The FAB pilots were chosen from the First Air Defense Group, also known as the Jaguar Squadron Based on their flight experience and operational performance. The training started in January this year.

Before participating in training in Sweden, FAB offered an extensive language course in English for the selected pilots.

The Brazilian Air Force also paid special attention to the physical fitness of the trainees, since ‘Gripen is a 9G class aircraft, which increases the demand for strength and muscle endurance of its pilots’.

Developed by Saab, the Gripen multirole fighter aircraft entered operational service with the Swedish Air Force in 1997.

Commander of Preparation (COMPREP) lieutenant brigadier Luiz Fernando de Aguiar said: “In this initial phase, only professionals with experience in the F-5M or A-1M, which are our current fighters, were chosen.

“We also looked for the individuals who had the best grades in the air activities, bearing in mind their overall performance since the Air Force Academy, including the theoretical and flight test scores.”

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Before starting their first theoretical classes with the Gripen C/D at Wing F7, the pilots were also put through a series of exercises at the Qinetics Physiological Flight Center in Malmslätt, Linköping.

Post the completion of training with the Gripen C/D, the pilots will return to Brazil to continue the preparations for receiving the fighter’s E/F version.

Aguiar added: “An important work that we carry out is the revision of our doctrinal concepts, in order to expand the horizons and to create an environment conducive to new strategies, tactics and techniques.

“To this end, we selected and trained professionals from different areas to operate the flight simulators, the mission planning stations, the electronic warfare programming equipment, among many other operational support equipment, so that the potential of Gripen, and its systems, are used to the maximum.”