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Brazilian Gripen E

What Gripen’s Quick Upgrades Mean for the Brazilian Air Force

2 min read + Video

Upgrading a fighter system is very important to increase the lifecycle and the usefulness of the aircraft. The Brazilian Air Force has so far been working with the so-called “Mid-life Upgrade,” which, according to Col Av Paulo Roberto de Carvalo Junior, Manager of the F-X2 Project at COPAC Brazilian Air Force, is a time-consuming and a costly affair.

Episode 11 of True Collaboration Season 3 focuses on Gripen's ability to incorporate quick yet significant upgrades at a low cost and what it means for the Brazilian Air Force.

“The modular architecture system used in Gripen is fantastic, because it allows the Air Force to constantly update the systems without having to wait for a mid-life upgrade, as we in the Brazilian Air Force, currently have to,” says Col Av Luciano Barbosa Magalhaes, Director of IAOp - Brazilian Air Force.

There are some key capabilities of the innovative updating concept of the Gripen. “One is that the software is independent of the hardware,” says Johan Segertoft, Deputy Head of Programme Management Gripen E/F- Saab. This means that Gripen has separate flight critical and mission critical functions that can be worked on independently.

“The great advantage of this open architecture is that it enables easier, faster and safer integrations, while also enabling the Brazilian companies to participate in new projects in the future whether it be manned or unmanned fighters, or the future generation of Gripen,” says Luis Hernandez, Industrial Cooperation Director Gripen Brazil- Saab.

Col Luciano further compares the Gripen’s updating concept to a computer system. “Fighter aircraft today are virtually computers with wings and this modular system allows constant upgrades to be made, so that we can always maintain the aircraft at its full capability, while reducing the costs, as modular updates are much cheaper than waiting for the mid-life upgrade for all systems,” he adds.