Brazilian Air Force finalises Gripen NG contract with Saab
The Brazilian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed a SEK39.3bn ($5.4bn) contract with Saab for the supply of Gripen Next-Generation (NG) fighter aircraft to the Brazilian Air Force.
Signed through MoD's Aeronautics Command (COMAER), the contract covers development and production of 36 Gripen NG fighters, including 28 single-seat and eight two-seat jets, as well as related systems and equipment.
Saab president and chief executive officer Håkan Buskhe said: "The contract with Brazil validates Gripen as the most capable and modern fighter system on the market.
"It solidifies Saab's position as a world-leading fighter aircraft producer and strengthens our platform for growth."
Saab Board of Directors chairman Marcus Wallenberg said: "There is already a long and successful history of industrial co-operation between our two countries, and this historic agreement takes that partnership to a new level."
Saab and COMAER also signed an associated industrial co-operation contract for technology transfer to the Brazilian industry over approximately ten years.
The contracts are scheduled to come into effect after certain conditions, including the necessary export control-related authorisations, among others, have been fulfilled. All of the required conditions are anticipated to be fulfilled during the first half of 2015.
Gripen NG was selected for Brazil's F-X2 next-generation fighter aircraft project in December 2013, and all parties have negotiated to finalise a contract ever since.
The contract is claimed to strengthen the ties between Saab and Brazilian industry. This will play a significant role in the development of, and be responsible for production of the two-seat Gripen NG variant through technology transfer plan.
In addition, Embraer will play a leading role as the strategic partner in the F-X2 programme.
Gripen NG shares the same smart design and innovative technology as the combat proven JAS 39 Gripen, and has also been ordered by the Swedish Air Force.
Equipped with new sensors, including active electronically scanned array radar, highly effective electronic warfare systems and multi-function communications, the aircraft offers more thrust, extended range and endurance. It is expected to address the market's demand for a sophisticated and flexible combat aircraft with sustainable costs.
The Swedish and Brazilian aircraft share all the attributes of the next-generation Gripen design, but are also tailored to each country's specific national requirements.
Aircraft deliveries to the Brazilian Air Force are scheduled to take place from 2019 to 2024.
Image: An artistic impression of Gripen Next-Generation fighter aircraft in flight. Photo: courtesy of Saab AB.