Saab has already completed the assembly of two new Gripen E fighters for the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) and has two other aircraft in production, said Mikael Franzén, vice president of marketing and sales, to the Brazilian newspaper Valor Economico.
The four fighters will be sent to Brazil in the coming months in pairs. The first two planes are expected to follow a ship in November while the other two are expected to arrive in early 2022, according to a statement from the Air Force.
“The forecast is that the first four Gripen E series aircraft will have their production phase finished and will be presented to the FAB in November this year, with the first two being shipped to Brazil, then, to start activities in the Gripen Flight Test Center, in Gavião Peixoto, where FAB, Embraer and Saab test pilots will carry out flight tests until the military certificate is ready. The other two aircraft should be shipped in the first half of 2022”, explained the FAB.
The Air Force ordered 36 Gripen E/F fighters, part of which will be assembled by Embraer in Gavião Peixoto, in the interior of São Paulo. The four new planes are single-seat aircraft that received the F-39E designation in Brazil.
While the Gripen are being manufactured, Saab, Embraer and the FAB are carrying out pilot training and military certification of the aircraft in Sweden and Brazil.
The first F-39 fighter was delivered by the Swedish manufacturer a year ago. The supersonic jet arrived by ship at the port of Itajaí, in the south of the country, on September 20 and took off from the runway at Navegantes Airport four days later, heading for Gavião Peixoto.
Since then it has been used in several test flights to achieve operational capability at the FAB.