The first Brazilian Gripen E, designated by the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) as the F-39 Gripen, made its first flight in Brazil on September 24th. The aircraft flew from the airport in Navegantes to Embraer's facility in Gaviao Peixoto.
The official presentation of the aircraft is scheduled to take place during the Aviator's Day and the Brazilian Air Force Day ceremony in Brasilia, celebrated on the 23rd of October.
The flight test programme will be expanded to include the Gripen Flight Test Center at Embraer in Gaviao Peixoto, which will be fully integrated with the test programme already running at full phase at Saab in Linkoping since 2017. Activities in Brazil will include testing of flight control system, environmental control system as well as tests in the aircraft in tropical climate conditions. In addition to the testing that is common for the Gripen E Programme, unique features of the Brazilian aircraft, such as weapons integration as well as the Link BR2 communication system - which provides encrypted data and voice communication between the aircraft - will be tested in Brazil.
The production aircraft will be delivered to the Brazilian Air Force, at Wing 2 in Anapolis (Goias State), by the end of 2021.
"Gripen's arrival in Brazil and its first flight are major milestones in the Brazilian Gripen programme. We are proud of this journey alongside so many qualified and committed professionals from both countries," says Micael Johansson, President and CEO of Saab. "We are following the delivery schedule for the aircraft and we continue to maintain our long-term commitment to Brazil."
The President and CEO of Embraer Defense & Security, Jackson Schneider, highlights the scope of this partnership, "Embraer will play a leading role in the execution of the Gripen programme in Brazil and will be responsible for systems development, integration, flight testing, final assembly, and delivery of the aircraft in support of Brazilian Air Force operations. In terms of technology transfer, the Gripen is a great opportunity to increase our knowledge in the development and manufacturing of advanced combat aircraft."
The Brazilian Minister of Defence, Fernando Azevedo e Silva also highlights the importance of sharing experiences arising from cooperation between Brazil and Sweden, "Gripen increases the operational capacity of the Brazilian Air Force and promotes a partnership that fosters research and industrial development in both countries," the Minister of Defence declares.
The partnership with Brazil began in 2014 with a contract for the development and the production of 36 Gripen E/F aircraft for the Brazilian Air Force, including related systems, support and equipment. A comprehensive technology transfer programme, which is being delivered over a period of ten years, is driving the development of the local aeronautics industry through the partner companies participating in the Brazilian Gripen programme.
The Brazilian Gripen E/F fighters are developed and produced in collaboration with Brazilian technicians and engineers. This joint effort is part of the technology transfer programme which aims to produce the practical knowledge needed for the execution of these same tasks in Brazil. As of 2021, the complete assembly of 15 aircraft will commence locally. The development of the two-seat Gripen F is advancing with numerous activities at the Gripen Design and Development Centre (GDDN) in Gaviao Peixoto.
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