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Gripen starts supersonic flight tests in Brazil

The new fighter for the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), the F-39 Gripen E, has begun performing supersonic flight tests in Brazil. The aircraft, based at the Gripen Test Flight Centre (GFTC) at Embraer's facilities in Gavião Peixoto (SP), has been carrying out the flights over the designated test areas north west of the base.  All flights follow authority-defined procedures and take place at high altitude, above 5.000 meters.

These flights, carried out by Saab, are essential to test performance and functions of the new aircraft, in order to continue the certification and acceptance procedures of the aircraft, which arrived in Brazil in September 2020.

“Gripen will be performing supersonic flights during the next couple of months. Flying faster than the speed of sound creates a sound wave, a sonic boom, that may sound more like a thunderclap than the sound of a passing aircraft. It is possible that residents of the region will hear this sound while this important testing of Brazil´s new fighter is being done. We take care to ensure that these supersonic flights are taking place in designated test areas, in coordination with the aeronautical authorities and following the procedures of the Brazilian Air Force”, explains  Sven Larsson, head of GFTC at Saab.

Flight activities in Brazil includes testing of flight and environmental control systems. It also aims to test the aircraft in the tropical climate. National features unique to the Brazilian aircraft, such as weapons integration and the Link BR2 communication system - which provides encrypted data and voice communication for the aircraft - will also be tested in Brazil.

The Gripen Programme

The partnership with Brazil began in 2014, with a contract for the development and production of 36 Gripen E/F aircraft for the Brazilian Air Force, including systems, support and equipment. An extensive technology transfer programme, running for a period of ten years, is driving the development of the local aeronautical industry through partner companies participating in the Brazilian Gripen Programme.

During this period, more than 350 Brazilian technicians and engineers are participating in theoretical and practical training in Sweden to acquire the necessary knowledge to perform the same tasks in Brazil. So far, more than 230 [CP1] professionals have completed the training and most of them are back in Brazil working at the Gripen Design and Development Center (GDDN), also located at Embraer, in Gavião Peixoto.

The GFTC and GDDN are part of the transfer of technology of the Gripen Programme. They are joint activities carried out by Saab and Embraer that aim to build the procedures and capability to develop and test new features during Gripen´s lifetime at FAB.


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