Four Brazilian Air Force pilots have finished their Delta Conversion Training on the F-39 Gripen fighter jet at the Gripen Centre, located at the F 7 Wing in Såtenäs, in western Sweden.

The course was conducted by the Swedish Air Force’s Phoenix Squadron and covered the basic operation of the fighter jet in both solo and formation missions during day and night. The pilots will now undergo their conversion to the Gripen E entirely in Brazil, using the resources already available at the 1st GDA.

The Brazilian Air Force began operational activities with the Gripen E in December 2022, and in May 2023, Saab and Embraer inaugurated a Gripen E production line in Brazil.

Different fighter, essential experience

The binational program with large-scale technology transfer has resulted in continuous interaction between the two countries and benefits for both.

The Combat Readiness Training includes air-to-air combat capabilities of the fighter, including the use of missiles, cannons, and the human-machine interface, one of the main features of Gripen.

“The Phoenix Squadron is dedicated to the training of Gripen pilots, and we are equipped appropriately for that, including flight simulators. The Brazilian pilots are highly trained and come here with extensive operational experience, both from the F-5M and AMX units.

They quickly learned about the operation, configuration, and flying of Gripen,” revealed Major Richard Carlqvist, commander of the Phoenix Squadron.

The Gripen Centre serves as a hub for training pilots who will fly Gripen, from foreign nations and the Swedish Air Force. Students train on the Gripen C/D throughout the course, with single and twin-seater configurations.

Despite being a different Gripen fighter than that acquired by Brazil, this experience is essential as it helps pilots understand the system, operational mode, and flight controls, considering the similarity in some aspects between these different Gripens.

“After being adapted to Gripen C/D in Sweden, our pilots will undergo their conversion to Gripen E entirely in Brazil, using the resources already available at the 1st GDA, mainly through the planning stations and flight simulators.

The courses will be conducted within the scope of the 1st GDA and taught by selected Swedish pilots who will remain at the Anápolis air base as flight instructors. They work together with the Brazilian pilots on the conversion and operational deployment of the aircraft,” explained Lieutenant Colonel Aviator Gustavo de Oliveira Pascotto, commander of the 1st GDA.

A relationship which benefits both

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.

In this binational program with large-scale technology transfer, the interaction between the two countries is continuous and benefits both countries involved.

“The co-operation between the Swedish and Brazilian Air Forces is very good and takes place at various levels. We receive Brazilian fighter pilots here in Såtenäs, but we also have a support group from our base in Anápolis, assisting the FAB in the introduction of Gripen E into service. Cooperation and discussions between the teams are excellent,” said Colonel Adam Nelson, commander of the F 7 Wing.

This is the latest development in the binational program with large-scale technology transfer. The interaction between the two countries is continuous and benefits both countries involved.

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.