Rheinmetall has received a subcontract from Saab to equip Swedish and Brazilian Gripen Next Generation (NG) aircraft with an automatic cannon.

Under the terms of the agreement, the company will equip 88 Gripen NG aircraft with the Mauser BK-27 automatic revolver cannon that features a newly developed linkless ammunition feeding system.

The contract also covers provision for service support and spare parts along with associated ammunition for the weapon system.

Delivery under the contract is expected to take place during 2017-2025.

In December, Saab commenced work on the $5.4bn contract awarded by the Brazilian Ministry of Defence for the production of Gripen next-generation (NG) aircraft.

"The contract also covers provision for service support and spare parts along with associated ammunition for the weapon system."

Under the terms of the contract, Saab will deliver 36 Gripen NG fighters, including 28 single-seat and eight two-seat jets, as well as related systems and equipment.

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The aircraft has also been ordered by the Swedish Air Force.

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.

The aircraft offers more thrust, extended range and endurance, and is fitted with new sensors, including an active electronically scanned array radar, highly effective electronic warfare systems and multi-function communications.

Image: BK27 automatic cannon. Photo: © 2016 Rheinmetall AG.