Defence and security company Saab today at LAAD International Defence & Security Exhibition presented the latest developments in its Gripen NG Programme for Brazil. The new developments included an announcement on the first aircraft for the Brazilian Air Force and that the development of the two-seat version has already begun in Brazil. Saab also confirmed extended cooperation with a number of Brazilian companies.
"Major advances are happening in the Gripen programme for Brazil. The first aircraft to be delivered to the Brazilian Air Force is already under production at Saab’s facilities in Linköping, Sweden," said Mikael Franzén, head of Business Unit Gripen Brazil, Saab business area Aeronautics.
"Furthermore, Brazilian engineers are participating in the development and integration of the fighter’s systems. We are seeing an excellent working relationship between the Swedes and Brazilians, with the latter very passionate about being a part of the Gripen Programme."
The two-seat version of the Gripen NG is being developed at the Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN), which was inaugurated in November 2016, in the state of São Paulo. The site was designed to serve as the technological development center for the Gripen NG in Brazil for Saab and Embraer, together with Brazilian partner beneficiares and institutions. It currently has 56 engineers working at the facilities, with 40 Brazilians and 16 Swedish expatriates.
"The transfer of technology also continues to advance to ensure the conditions needed for Brazilian companies to acquire all the knowledge related to the fighter development," explained Franzén.
Regarding Gripen’s aerostructures plant, Saab confirmed that it will be built in São Bernardo do Campo, in Greater São Paulo. Called Saab Aeronautica Montagens (SAM), the facility will manage the supply chain and will produce subassemblies for both the production line in Sweden and in Brazil, such as the wings and front and rear fuselage of Gripen.
Saab announced two new agreements in the Gripen Programme: with Atmos Sistemas and DCTA. They will work on developing the Gripen fighter to Brazil, joining Embraer, Inbra, Akaer, AEL Sistemas and Atech.
Atmos Sistemas will build-up component maintenance capabilities for Gripen sensor systems such as radar and electronic warfare equipment. The company will also be responsible for in country component maintenance for such systems. This will help to secure a cost efficient maintenance solution for the Gripen platform and to secure outstanding availability for the complete weapon system.
DCTA will establish capabilities for early phase requirements capture and development of a complex future fighter system. There are six different Research &Technological Cooperation projects togetheDer with DCTA Institutes ranging from aircraft design to aerospace engineering.
Transfer of technology programme
The transfer of technology programme for Gripen to Brazil began in October 2015 and will grow over the course of around ten years, through theoretical and on-the-job training - including final assembly - in Sweden.
Today some 150 Brazilian engineers are undergoing training at Saab's facilities, in Sweden. More than 30 professionals have already returned to Brazil, some of whom are working at the GDDN.
Until 2024, more than 350 Brazilian professionals will take part in courses and on-the-job training in Sweden. There will be over 60 projects, lasting up to 24 months. During this period, each person will have a different program schedule and will receive theoretical and practical training according to the role they will have in the program.
Brazil’s early involvement in the project and development of the Gripen NG ensures the Brazilian Air Force and the country’s industry have access to all levels of technology, both existing and future.
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