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Brazilian firm Embraer will co-develop and co-produce Gripen E fighters, due to be purchased by Brazil, with Saab as per a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two companies recently.

Under this agreement, Embraer will perform a leading role in the overall program performance as well as undertake an extensive share of work in the production and delivery of both the single and two-seat versions of the state-of-the-art Gripen NG aircraft for the Brazilian Air Force.

"We are happy to announce this partnership with Embraer. Not only do we share experience in the defense and aeronautical markets, but both organizations have a clear dedication to customer satisfaction. Through this partnership we will secure an excellent result for the Brazilian Air Force and we will establish solid ground for success with future business opportunities and customers," says Hakan Buskhe, Saab's president and CEO.

“The deal is part of a really strong technology transfer package. The plan will see Brazilian firm Embraer handle most of the development on a two seater Gripen F for the Brazilian airforce,” Buskhe said at the Farnborough International Airshow recently.

Embraer is a leading Brazilian aeronautical company based in Sao Paulo that produces commercial, military, executive and agricultural aircraft. The 40 year old company has been involved with design, development, manufacturing, sales and technical support for commercial, agricultural and executive aviation.

Read the full story: Embraer to partner with Saab In Joint Program Management For Brazil's FX2 Project

Buskhe300.jpgThis interview was written by Mario Sabino and published on Veja Magazine (Yellow Pages), February 2014.

Hakan Buskhe, CEO of Saab, the company that sold the Gripen jets to Brazil, explains how education and the need to do more with less are key to the success of his company and his country.

Anyone arriving at Saab's offices in Stockholm, located on one floor of a small building without doormen, is shocked by the frugal atmosphere at what is one of the most cutting-edge companies in the armaments industry with almost 15,000 employees and which beat the Americans and the French to win a contract to supply Brazil with 36 fighter Jets – the Gripen NG, for Next Generation – at a cost of $4.5 billion. However, according to the 50-year-old company CEO Hakan Buskhe, it is this philosophy of simplicity which is behind Sweden's success. Before another trip to Brazil last week to meet with the commander of the Air Force and the minister of Science, Technology and Information, he granted us the following interview.

In 2009, when former President Lula announced that the government had chosen French jets to rebuild the Brazilian Air Force, what was the reaction like at Saab? 

I hadn't joined the company yet, I arrived in 2010, but I heard that Saab executives and employees felt that the announcement by Brazil's former president came like a bolt of lightning out of a clear blue sky. It was totally unexpected, given their strong relationship with ...

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"It is an opportunity for Brazil to reduce its dependence on technology in the industry. The choice of Gripen is the basis for the development of a Brazilian supersonic military aircraft," says Professor Abdalla Alvaro Martins, School of Engineering of São Carlos-USP.

In an interview in Noticias, Professor Martins talks about the opportunities that come with the Gripen Brazil contract in terms of sharing technology and co-developing a fighter aircraft with Sweden.

 “More than technology transfer, it is important that Brazil could be a partner in the development of the aircraft. The Gripen NG is not quite ready. We can learn to design, modify and improve a combat aircraft.” Martins says.

Martins adds that depending on the agreement between Embraer and Saab, the partnership may result in benefits not only for military aviation, but also for civil aviation.

Another news report in Dinheiro​ also highlights that FAB’s agreement with Saab can put Brazil among the select group of countries that produce supersonic aircrafts.

The report adds that the Gripen contract is not restricted to just the import of aircraft but is much broader as it includes the development of Swedish - Brazilian military jets, which may even be sold to other countries.

The choice of Saab’s Gripen NG gives an impetus to the revival of the Brazilian defense industry, the report says.

Read the full story: Tecnologia de caça Gripen pode ser usada em jatos comerciais​

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Gripen has the world's most advanced military technology, says Muni Perez, a former Brazilian Air Force pilot in a report in canaltech.com.

Perez first talks about Gripen’s fly-by-wire system which enables everything to be controlled by a computer. For example, if the pilot gives a command to turn an aircraft, it goes through a computer first which analyzes if the aircraft can move safely at that time without damaging its structure.

A Gripen cockpit boasts of various advanced features including HUD, HMDS, multifunction displays and HOTAS. An HUD (Heads Up Display) helps a pilot to concentrate on flying the aircraft without having to look down for information. An HMDS (Helmet Mounted Display System), on the other hand enables the pilot to get all the information on the helmet itself, making it easier to focus on the mission even while looking outside the cabin.

The report adds that Gripen is made to be network connected i.e. it is in constant contact with other aircraft, stations and units on land and ships, sending and receiving data from sensors, radar and imaging through the DataLink system.

“Technology is constantly evolving. Saab provides an access to the source code of the system which makes it possible to upgrade the aircraft according to Brazil’s needs, and at a cost much lower than competitors,” the report says.

Read the full story: Computador voador: conheça o Gripen, novo caça comprado pelo Brasil​

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The radar for Gripen E is produced by Selex in Scotland and called ES-05 Raven. ES-05 is an AESA radar, which is state of the art for new fighters nowadays. AESA stands for Active Electronically Scanned Array and means that, in contrast to older generation radars, it has not only one antenna but a full array of small antennas, called elements.

Tactical advantages 

This means that the radar can simultaneously and independently track different targets, and also track targets independently of search volumes. The ability to control the elements separately and the high speed re-direction give Gripen a significant tactical advantage.

Radar summing up

  •  Electronic array gives immediate re-direction
  •  1000 antenna elements give redundancy
  •  Individual channels give multi-tasking
  •  Rotating swashplate gives 200 degrees field of regard
  •  Tactical advantage

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Brazil’s Anapolis Air Base (BAAN) which recently celebrated 42 years of its inception, is waiting for the arrival of the Gripen fighters, reports the Brazil Portal​.

Last week, Saab officials visited BAAN to assess base infrastructure to identify adjustments for basing Gripen NG fighters here. 

They reviewed the squadron and maintenance supplies, the structure of the First Air Defense Group (1st AD), the alert hangar and the runways and taxiway.

Saab officials were happy with the facilities at the air base, especially with the available space. 

According to Colonel Rodrigo Santos Fernandes, Commander of Anapolis Air Base, preparations for the arrival of the Gripen fighters have already started.

Read the full story: À espera dos caças Gripen, base aérea comemora 42 anos

Representantes da SAAB fazem levantamento da estrutura da Base Aérea de Anápolis

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Gripen pilot Lieutenant Martina Špačka

Czech Republic Air Force Gripen pilot Lieutenant Martina Špačka has achieved certification for performing aerobatic air displays, reports Afbcaslav.cz.

After undergoing an arduous certification process that includes theoretical and practical training, Špačka is ready to thrill spectators at air shows. 

His theoretical training involved study of aviation regulations and the technical framework of the aircraft. It also included learning from veteran pilots who flew at air shows. 

After practicing on simulators, Špačka trained for flying at various altitudes and under various weather conditions. 

The newely certified display pilot will perform at air shows in Germany, Denmark, Belgium and Slovak, at the aviation pilgrimage in Pardubice, the Czech International Air Show in Hradec Králové, NATO Days and Days of Air Force Ostrava in future.

Read the full story: Display piloti 21. základny taktického letectva byli certifikováni!

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A group of 15 Brazilian Air Force officers flew to Sweden to visit the Air Force, Saab AB and Defence and Security Export Agency (FXM), reports forsvarsmakten.

The purpose of the visit was to see and learn how the Swedish Air Force works with Gripen.

The first stop of the site survey was at F7: the main center for the entire Gripen system which is also the training centre for pilots, including that of foreign operators. The conversation at F7 focused on the flight and technician training, aircraft maintenance and support.

This was followed by a visit at F17 where the team was briefed on successfully completed exercises, especially about Operation Unified Protector (OUP) which is better known as the Libya Initiative.

Swedish Air Force had organized a dinner at Air Force Museum for the visitors.

“We look forward to greater future cooperation between our countries and the respective air forces,” said Swedish Air Force chief Major General Micael Bydén in his speech at the dinner.

Read the full story: Besök från Brasilien

Image Courtesy: Kent Löving, F17

​Gripen E Chief test pilot Richard Ljungberg talks about the Gripen NG test aircraft and its testing process. 

"Gripen E will be a modern and a high performance aircraft and as a pilot in the Gripen E, I will be confident to meet any threat that shows up," he says.

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