The Cooperation for the Brazilian Gripen Programme is Progressing Well: Eva Söderström
In March 2020, the Gripen F development advanced to a new phase with the first metal cut at Saab’s facilities in Linköping. Not only did it flag off the Gripen F production, it also marked an important milestone in the Brazilian Gripen programme both for Saab and the Brazilian partners involved.
The ongoing Gripen F development is for the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) which is headed by a joint partnership between Saab and its Brazilian companies – Embraer, AEL Sistemas, Akaer and Atech.
Speaking at a webinar, Eva Söderström, Head of Saab Industrial Cooperation, says, "There is a range of activities and cooperation from detail manufacturing, system development, flight test to research projects that involve Brazilian defence academia. Development of Gripen F is also a part of this cooperation."
There are about 400 engineers at GDDN (Gripen Design and Development Network), an Embraer plant in Gavião Peixoto, São Paulo State, Brazil, who are currently working on the development of the Gripen F aircraft. The GDDN was established in 2016 with an aim to drive the Gripen E/F development in Brazil, while creating high-tech job opportunities, transferring capabilities, and generating a long-term export business.
“Through the GDDN, the Brazilian Gripen Programme will provide significant autonomy for the Air Force, including logistics support and the integration of weapons and systems, and maintenance for both Gripen E and F, thus consolidating a major improvement in FAB's capabilities for aircraft development,” Eva Söderström adds.
In 2014, Saab was contracted to deliver 36 Gripen fighters to Brazil, out of which 28 are Gripen E and the remaining 8 are the dual-seat Gripen F fighters. Gripen E was officially presented in Brazil in October last year. The delivery for the Gripen F fighters is scheduled to start from 2023.