At the LAAD Defence & Security exhibition in Rio de Janeiro this week, Saab and Embraer signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will see the two companies deepen their collaboration.
The agreement will see the two aircraft manufacturers collude in several areas, mainly related to business development and engineering opportunities.
Two key initiatives which will see a greater level of cooperation between the two partners are the Embraer C-390 and the Saab Gripen projects.
Embraer C-390 Millennium
The companies will collaborate to position the C-390 Millennium aircraft as the preferred solution to meet the Swedish Air Force tactical air transport requirements.
They will also evaluate the integration of Saab equipment and systems into the C-390 Millennium multi-mission aircraft.
The two manufacturers will also jointly pursue new business opportunities, including potential future customers of the Gripen, in Brazil and Latin America.
The C-390 Millennium is the most modern military tactical transport aircraft of the new generation. Its multi-mission platform offers incomparable mobility, combining high productivity and operating flexibility with low operating costs, which is an unbeatable combination.
The C-390 Millennium can carry more payload (26 tons) compared to other medium-sized military cargo aircraft and flies faster (470 knots) and farther.
The aircraft is capable of performing a wide range of missions such as transporting and dropping cargo and troops, medical evacuation, search and rescue, firefighting and humanitarian missions, operating on temporary or unpaved runways (i.e. including packed earth, soil and gravel).
In its refuelling configuration, it has already proven its aerial refuelling capacity, as well as an aircraft receiving fuel from another KC-390 using pods installed under the wings.
It is the only aircraft in the world in the segment to carry out such an operation.
Recently, the aircraft has achieved the Full Operational Capability (FOC), confirming that the project meets all the requirements defined and that the aircraft can successfully execute all missions for which it was designed.
The proposed partnership also cover the use of the Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN), the Gripen Flight Test Center (GFTC) and the final assembly line at Embraer, in Gavião Peixoto.
The MoU will effectively see an increase in Embraer’s participation in future Gripen contracts.
Gripen E/F is a multi-role fighter aircraft system. It incorporates cutting-edge technologies, the latest systems, sensors, weapons and pods to ensure combat advantage, delivering air superiority in highly contested environments.
In 2014 Saab and the Brazilian Government signed the contract to supply the Brazilian Air Force with 36 Gripen aircraft, which includes not only the aircraft, but also logistical support, weapons, support systems, simulators, training and development.
The Gripen programme represents the most extensive technology transfer ever done by Saab, which is driving the development of Brazil´s Defence Industry through local companies, having Embraer as its main strategic partner in the country.
Other areas of collaboration
Finally, the companies will collaborate on engineering and technical future fighter studies.
This includes consolidating the transfer of technology carried out by Saab for the Brazilian defense industry within the current Gripen program for the Brazilian Air Force (FAB).
This work can support the future growth of Gripen E out to 2060 and other future fighter needs as they arise.
“Our two companies have worked together to deliver an outstanding capability for Brazil that will last for decades,” said Saab’s President and CEO Micael Johansson.
“This MoU is an important and gratifying step toward growing that co-operation into new areas between Saab and Embraer that goes beyond Brazil, while maximising our existing achievements.”
Bosco da Costa Junior, Embraer Defense and Security President & CEO also commented:
“Saab and Embraer are two world leaders in the aerospace segment, recognized for the excellence of their engineering and products.”
“I view this MoU with extreme optimism, as I am sure that the two companies together can further grow their business in various markets around the world.”