Gripen NG

Saab and Embraer have signed an agreement to jointly manage the Brazilian Air Force’s (FAB) F-X2 next-generation fighter aircraft programme.

The agreement preceded by a memorandum of understanding signed in July 2014. It represents part of Saab’s commitment to deliver industrial co-operation in relation to the F-X2 project and offer Embraer a leading role in the overall programme performance of the programme.

Specifically, Embraer will undertake an extensive share of work in the production and delivery of both the single- and two-seat versions of the Gripen Next Generation (NG) aircraft, including systems development, integration, flight test, and final assembly.

The company will participate in the coordination of all development and production activities in Brazil, apart from collaborating with Saab for complete development of the two-seat version of the Gripen NG.

"Embraer will undertake an extensive share of work in the production and delivery of both the single- and two-seat versions of the Gripen Next Generation (NG) aircraft."

Saab deputy CEO Lennart Sindahl said: "Through this partnership, we will secure an excellent result for the Brazilian Air Force and we will establish solid ground for success with future business opportunities and customers."

Brazil Aeronautics Commander Air Force brigadier general Nivaldo Luiz Rossato said: "This new strategic partnership confirms that we are building a promising future.

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"The defence industry needs to be increasingly strengthened as it is one of the main drivers of scientific and technological development of our country."

A team of Embraer engineers and technicians will travel to Sweden later this year to conduct initial training in the maintenance and development work for the Gripen NG, and the resulting skill and competence will subsequently be transferred to Brazil.

Apart from development work, the two companies will also build an engineering centre at Embraer’s industrial plant in Gavião Peixoto, in São Paulo, to support the Gripen NG operations with FAB.

Implementation of the agreement is subject to the F-X2 and associated industrial co-operation contracts between Saab and Brazilian Defence Ministry’s Aeronautics Command becoming effective.

The contract will come into effect after certain conditions have been fulfilled, which is expected during the first half of this year.

In October 2014, Saab received a SEK39.3bn ($5.4bn) contract to supply 28 single-seat and eight two-seat Gripen NG jets, along with related systems and equipment to FAB from 2019 to 2024.

Embraer Defense & Security president and CEO Jackson Schneider said: "The Gripen NG will increase the operational standard of our air force, enabling it with the appropriate means to fulfil its primary mission, which is the defence of our territory."

Image: An artistic impression of Gripen Next-Generation fighter aircraft in flight. Photo: courtesy of Saab AB.