Saab has unveiled its future aerostructures manufacturing plant, Saab Aeronáutica Montagens (SAM), for the Gripen fighter aircraft in Brazil.

Located in the city of São Bernardo do Campo in São Paulo, the 5,000m² facility will be used to manufacture Gripen aerostructures for the Brazilian Air Force (FAB).

The future production plant is also preparing to become part of the company’s global supply chain.

Saab Aeronautics Gripen Brazil Business Unit head Mikael Franzén said: “We are transferring knowledge and production capacity for complex aerostructures to Brazil, in compliance with our offset agreement.

“The plant is planned to be part of the global Saab supply chain for the civil aviation and defence markets.”

Once built, the SAM facility will be used to produce six complex structural parts for the Gripen aircraft acquired by the FAB.

The six structural parts to be manufactured at the site will cover the tail cone, aerodynamic brakes, wing box, front fuselage for the single-seat and two-seat versions, as well as the rear fuselage for the single-seat versions of the fighter jet.

“At the end of this project, we will have added more than 84,000 hours of training for SAM employees alone.”

SAM director-general Marcelo Lima said that the plant will be ready by 2020 to begin production of the Gripen aircraft components.

Once operational, the facility is expected to immediately generate 55 job opportunities and will reach to 200 by 2024.

Lima said: “The new jobs in the plant will be for highly skilled people to work on complex fuselage structures, both metallic and composite, driving our technology transfer programme.

“At the end of this project, we will have added more than 84,000 hours of training for SAM employees alone.”

Once completed, Saab will be the majority shareholder with 90% stake in SAM, while the remaining 10% will be owned by Brazil-based engineering company Akaer.

Gripen is a multi-role fighter aircraft featuring operational range, payload and built-in net-centric combat (NCW) capabilities that would enable the jet to meet all defined roles of the FAB.