Saab is reportedly set to carry out the final assembly of four Gripen E single-seat fighter jets that are set to serve as test aircraft for Brazil and Sweden.
The company is under contract to deliver 36 Gripen aircraft to Brazil. The consignment will include 26 Gripen Es and eight Gripen F two-seat aircraft.
Saab Gripen Brazil business unit head Mikael Franzén told Jane’s that three of the four Gripen Es are meant for Sweden, while one is meant for Brazil.
Brazil’s Gripen E test aircraft is expected to fly later this year, according to Franzén. Sweden will use the three Gripen Es as validation and verification aircraft.
The publication also reported that the company has commenced testing of the Gripen E’s radar and sensor suite, as well as top speed and altitude.
Speaking at the LAAD International Defence & Security Exhibition in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Franzén said: “The last year has been successful for the Brazilian Gripen programme. Among other things, we have installed both the wide area display (WAD) and the engine on the first Gripen E for Brazil.
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“This year, the first aircraft to Brazil will be delivered to start the flight test campaign in Linköping, Sweden.”
In December, Saab picked AEL Sistemas to supply the WAD, the head-up display (HUD) and the helmet-mounted display (HMD) for the Swedish Air Force’s Gripen E/F fighters.
AEL already supplies displays for Brazil’s Gripen fighter jets.
Franzén noted that the same configuration for the displays in the Swedish and the Brazilian Gripen fighters will help deliver savings in aircraft maintenance and during future software development.
The company also stated that it is advancing the transfer of technology programme, with training imparted to 165 Brazilian engineers in Sweden.