The Gripen F development advanced to a new phase with the first metal cut in March this year. Not only the event 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.
“There is a range of activities and cooperation- from detail manufacturing, system development, and flight test to research projects that involve Brazilian defence academia. Development of Gripen F is also a part of this cooperation,” said Eva Söderström, Head of Saab Industrial Cooperation, during a recently held Gripen webinar with leading Indian defence journalists.
The joint Gripen F development programme is between Saab and Brazilian partner companies such as Embraer, AEL Sistemas, Akaer and Atech. 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 to 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 will be Gripen E and the remaining 8 will be Gripen F fighters which share the same advanced design and features as of Gripen E but will have a seat, displays and controls for a second crew member as well.
The delivery for the Gripen F fighters is scheduled to start from 2023.