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One of the major deciding factors behind Brazil's selection of Gripen was Saab's technology transfer offer, says Vianney Goncalves Jr in an opinion piece in Aviation Week.

Even more decisive than the winning aircraft's lowest operational cost was its level of technology transfer. A major criterion for Brazilian engineers was the Swedish proposal for participation in the development of the two-seater version, he says. In addition to the transfer of know-how, Brazil also took the opportunity to reorganize its force structure.

The opinion piece dwells on the importance of the development of Gripen F and its potential role as a special sensor node for network centric warfare. Goncalves also discusses the wide-area display and the Link-BR2 datalink system developed in Brazil.

Read his opinion piece here.


​CNBC's Managing Editor Shereen Bhan was in Linköping last week to see what goes behind the production of Gripen E and experience a flight in Gripen.

Bhan traveled to Sweden for CNBC-TV18’s special series ‘Make In India: A New Deal For Defence’. Saab has made public its offer to develop, manufacture and assemble Gripen fighters in India should the country choose it.

Bhan flew with Saab’s Wing Commander Flying, Hans Einerth, who showed her the agility and speed of the aircraft during the 55 minutes sortie. She had the control for ten minutes.

For Bhan, it was a memorable ride. She has almost lived her entire life near air force bases as her father was a fighter pilot. "It was one of the coolest moments of my life," she says.

Saab test pilot Marcus Wandt explains how he prepared for Gripen E's first flight.​

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At 10:32 on 15 June 2017, Gripen E took off on its maiden flight, flown by a Saab test pilot. The aircraft (designation 39-8) left from Saab’s airfield in Linköping, Sweden and flew over the eastern parts of Östergötland for 40 minutes. During the flight, the aircraft carried out a number of actions to demonstrate various test criteria including the retracting and extending of the landing gear.

“The flight was just as expected, with the aircraft performance matching the experience in our simulations. Its acceleration performance is impressive with smooth handling. Needless to say, I’m very happy to have piloted this maiden flight,” says Marcus Wandt, Experimental Test Pilot, Saab.

Read more here.

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The transfer of technology through cooperation with Saab is extremely significant for increasing the technological competence of Brazilian industry," says Jackson Schneider, President and CEO of Embraer Defence and Security.

"Embraer and the other companies committed to this programme will benefit from the transfer of knowledge," he says. "It will make it possible for them to carry out future upgrades to the Gripen fleet and to compete in the market for coming generations of fighters."

Embraer has always been an important partner of Saab in Brazil’s Gripen programme. The opening of GDDN was a key milestone in the Gripen technology transfer programme. The GDDN is located at Embraer premises in Gavião Peixoto in the state of São Paulo. According to Schneider, GDDN can be described as a project work station with professionals mainly from Embraer and Saab, but also from other Brazilian industry partners and the Brazilian customer.

"We can use the Gripen Design and Development Network for future joint projects, such as an export version of the two-seater Gripen. We are also discussing potential additional cooperation outside the Gripen programme."

Schneider considers the project a first-class opportunity for both Embraer and Saab to exchange knowledge."Both companies are very experienced in the aeronautical market and this is a great opportunity to improve our expertise in the development and manufacturing process of a high -standard modern combat aircraft," he says.​

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Ahead of the Paris Air Show this year, members of the Gripen User Group met up in Paris on 20 June to add Brazil as the newest member of the group.

The Gripen User Group is made up of representatives of countries that operate the Gripen fighter. Before Brazil, the last induction in the group was that of Thailand in 2010. The Gripen Users Group holds a biannual conference to share the participants’ experiences of flying the fighter. The Group shares information, and the discussions revolve around Gripen’s operational, maintenance, logistics, engineering and safety matters.

The User Group also conducts ‘Lion Effort’ - a tactical exercise aimed to improve interoperability between the Gripen operating countries. Hungary will host Lion Effort in 2018. 

Read the full story here.

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Saab is focusing on developing the next generation of its RBS15 anti-ship missile for its domestic customer’s Gripen fighter and Visby class corvette, reports Monch.com.

According to Michael Hoglund, Head of Marketing and Sales for Missile Systems at Saab, the missiles need to be developed before the Gripen E fighters are introduced to the Swedish Air Force.

“The driving force for the timing of this is the Gripen E,” he says.

Saab received the order for the anti-ship missiles in March 2017. As per the contract, the missiles will be developed in both air-launched and ship-launched configurations.

Read the full story here.

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“Gripen fighters will be operational from day one of delivery to the Brazilian Air Force (FAB),” Brigadier General Marcio Bruno Bonotto, commander of the FAB's procurement command (COPAC), said.

Brigadier Bonotto was speaking during a briefing on Gripen exports at Saab’s aeronautics division in Linkoping. He said that the first Gripen fighters delivered to the FAB in 2021 will be “operational aircraft and there will not be any 'Independence Day' aeroplanes that are just for parades".

Brigadier Bonotto added that FAB is also considering a number of other programs for future which will run in parallel to the Gripen programme.

At the LAAD International Defence & Security Exhibition this year, Saab had presented the latest developments in the Gripen NG programme for Brazil.

"Major advances are happening in the Gripen programme for Brazil. The first aircraft to be delivered to the Brazilian Air Force is already under production at Saab’s facilities in Linköping, Sweden," said Mikael Franzén, head of Business Unit Gripen Brazil, Saab business area Aeronautics.

Read the full story here.

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“Model Based Development for Gripen E will allow tactical functions to be uploaded into the system in a span of days instead of years,” Combitech's CEO Lars Ydreskog said at an event in Linköping earlier this year.

The concept is similar to a smartphone structure wherein, just like apps, subsystems can be easily added or removed. Gripen E's avionics system has separate flight critical functions and tactical features which means the operator can add a new capability or feature without interfering with any flight critical functions.

With model based development, the number of system failures can be reduced by 90 percent and the errors can be rectified in days and not months. Another advantage of this system is that the verifications can be done in simulators which reduce the need for extensive test flights.

“It hereby ends the discussion if model-based development works or not,” Ydreskog said.

Read the full story here.

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Developing a fighter for less than 2 billion Euros is made possible by a number of factors and strategic decisions taken at the programme’s beginning. Finding less expensive ways to develop advanced products, which Saab describes as 'breaking the cost curve’, is one, reports Defence Aerospace.

Strategies like buying a new engine (GE F414G) or ES-05 Raven AESA radar, and not developing these systems from a scratch – which can be an expensive process - have played an important role as well. But integrating these systems into Gripen E without spending a lot on integration cost was not easy.

According to Jerker Ahlqvist, Head of the Gripen programme, this was solved by adopting new ways of working, including model-based systems engineering (MBSE), model-based development (MBD), and agility. This is to say that the company’s simplified management structure was prepared to react quickly and adapt to change.

The report also mentioned two other factors that helped minimize cost. Saab allows engineers to take decisions without the interference of upper management or committees, which results in a faster development process.

The second factor, which in different guises is on the lips of every executive, is the sense that the company has a duty not only to develop the combat systems needed by the Swedish military but to develop them at a price the country can afford, the report says.

Read the full story here.

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Welcome to the official Gripen blog by Saab. This site features information and commentary about the Gripen fighter jet.
 
The Gripen Blog shares stories and discussions on the Gripen aircraft. The Blog does not vouch for the authenticity of the reports from other publications that have been quoted.
 
The reference to articles and news reports does not imply endorsement or validation of the views of the authors of the stories.