LONDON – The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) held a ceremony on 19 December at the Anápolis Air Base (BAAN) to mark the beginning of operational activities of its Saab Gripen E fighter aircraft.
The Swedish aircraft, referred to as Gripen F-39 in Brazil, will be used by the First Air Defense Group (1st GDA).
Flight testing program
This important customer milestone follows the flight test phase in Brazil that started in September 2020 with the arrival of the test aircraft in the country, and which were conducted at the Gripen Flight Test Center (GFTC) located at the Embraer plant in Gavião Peixoto.
“The start of operational activities with Gripen E by the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) is an extremely important day,” said Saab’s President and CEO Micael Johansson.
“It marks the beginning of a new operational era for FAB but also is the result of years of hard work done in partnership with the Air Force and with our Brazilian industry partners: Embraer, AEL Sistemas, Akaer, Atech, and our own subsidiaries in Brazil.”
At the event two Gripen fighters made a presentation flight led by FAB pilots Lieutenant Colonel Gustavo Pascotto, Commander of the 1st GDA, and Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Lincoln Santos Fórneas.
The Brazilian pilots carried out their training with Gripen E in Sweden. They also practiced for today’s flight on the mission trainers, which are installed at the Anápolis Air Base.
Certification in November
In November, Saab achieved the certification necessary for the military use of Gripen E, which attests that the aircraft has met certain airworthiness and flight safety requirements which was an important step prior to operational activities with the FAB.
This was granted by both the Swedish and Brazilian military authorities, represented by the Swedish Military Aviation Safety Inspectorate (FLYGI) and the Industrial Fostering and Coordination Institute (IFI) in Brazil.
The joint certification reflects the synergy obtained through the technical cooperation between the two authorities in each country.
“Brazil now has one of the most advanced fighters in the world. We are very proud to be a strategic partner to Brazil,” added Johansson.
“This is currently the most extensive ongoing technology transfer programme in Brazil and it is definitely the largest one ever done by any Swedish company bringing to the Brazilian defence industry the knowledge to develop, produce, test and maintain an advanced supersonic fighter.”
Saab is a leading defence and security company with an enduring mission, to help nations keep their people and society safe.
Saab designs, manufactures and maintains advanced systems in aeronautics, weapons, command and control, sensors and underwater systems.
Saab is headquartered in Sweden. It has major operations all over the world and is part of the domestic defence capability of several nations.