Saab Brasil, the local subsidiary of the Swedish defence and security company, Saab, has concluded the production of the first rear fuselage for the Gripen fighter at its factory in São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil.

This marks a step forward for the Brazilian Gripen programme, as the country’s manufacturing capabilities produce aerostructures.

The rear fuselage houses the fighter’s engine and has been crafted using aluminium and titanium components.

Measuring 1.90 meters in width, 1.20 meters in height, and 2.50 meters in length, the rear fuselage weighs approximately 220 kilos and consists of 750 parts.

In addition to the rear fuselage, Saab Brasil will also transport the second forward fuselage manufactured in Brazil.

“We are proud to witness the beginning of a steady flow of aerostructures produced at our Saab factory in São Bernardo do Campo to the production line in Gavião Peixoto,” stated Alexandre Barbosa, Engineering and Facilities Manager at Saab Brasil.

“This milestone strengthens the national supply chain established by the Brazilian Gripen Programme, supporting the growth of our domestic aerospace industry.”

Saab’s Brazilian factory is an integral part of the global supply chain for the Gripen E, enabling the exchange of aerostructures between Brazil and Sweden. This collaboration enhances Brazil’s aerospace manufacturing capabilities and fosters the growth of a robust national supply chain.

According to GlobalData’s “Brazil Defence Market 2023-2028” report, the country enjoys close defence ties with strategically neutral Sweden, through which it signed a deal to acquire JAS-39 Gripen E multirole fighter aircraft.

Fabrício Saito, Director of the Saab Brasil factory in São Bernardo do Campo, expressed his excitement about the achievement, stating, “This is another significant milestone for Saab. With the factory now operating at full capacity, we have achieved excellent industrial maturity in producing various components.

From smaller parts like aerodynamic brakes and tail cones to more complex structures like the forward and rear fuselage, Brazil has the necessary knowledge, tools, processes, and skilled professionals to manufacture the structural components of a supersonic aircraft.”

Saab’s local manufacturing and collaboration in Brazil contribute to the technological advancement of the Gripen fighter, paving the way for Brazil’s increased self-reliance in defence capabilities. With the production of the first rear fuselage, Saab Brasil continues the growth of the Brazilian Gripen Programme.

The Brazilian Air Force began operational activities with the Gripen E in December 2022, and recently Saab has completed the operational training of Brazilian pilots to fly the Gripen fighter jet.

In Saab’s Q1 report, they recorded substantial order intakes. The Swedish defence and security company reported a total order intake of Skr17bn ($16.4bn), a 110% increase from Q1 2022.