Saab has completed the Gripen NG contract procedures with the Brazilian Federal Government, allowing the contract to officially come into effect.
In October 2014, the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) awarded a $5.4bn contract to Saab for the delivery of 36 Gripen NG fighters, including 28 single-seat and eight two-seat jets, as well as related systems and equipment.
Saab president and CEO Håkan Buskhe said: "This important milestone marks the formal start to the Brazilian Gripen NG programme.
"We will now work full speed ahead to ensure timely deliveries of Gripen NG to Brazil."
Recently, Brazil and Sweden signed the financing agreement for the acquisition of Gripen NG fighters.
Swedish Defence and Security Export Agency FXM agreed to fund the contract by charging an annual interest rate of 2.19% on the loan.
The first 15 aircraft under this programme will be manufactured in Brazil, whereas the remaining 21 will be jointly produced by Brazilian and Swedish engineers.
Saab is expected to deliver the first aircraft in 2019, while the deliveries are scheduled to be completed in 2024.
Brazilian Air Force commander lieutenant-brigadier Nivaldo Luiz Rossato said: "The acquisition of Gripen NG will provide benefits beyond the enlargement of the Brazilian Air Force’s operational capacity.
"In addition to equipping FAB with one of the world’s most modern fighters, the participation in the development of Gripen NG means a technological breakthrough for Brazilian industry."
The Gripen NG features the same design and technology as the combat proven JAS 39 Gripen and is scheduled to initially replace FAB’s Mirage 2000C fighters, followed by the F-5EM and A-1M aircraft.
Image: A Gripen NG fighter. Photo: courtesy of Bthebest.