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What does it mean to be a part of the Brazil Gripen fighter programme?  How is the experience of working on the most advanced fighter aircraft like? Hear what people have to say.

Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN), the hub for the Gripen NG technology development in Brazil, is a proof of true technology transfer. 

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With every passing year, the signal environment for Electronic Warfare (EW) systems is becoming more and more complex. There are more signals out there, both military and civilian. Hence it becomes imperative to have a smart EW systems which can quickly differentiate a threat signal from other signals.

All around us, there is an Electromagnetic (EM) spectrum which covers all energy radiated by means of electromagnetic waves including radio communication and radar transmission. According to Inga Bergstrom, Sales Director of Gripen EW, Electronic Warfare is the combat for control of the EM spectrum.

“EW may not be the primary function of a fighter, but it is an enabler to conduct a successful mission,” Inga says.

Some of the tactics used by pilots of fighter aircraft to avoid detection include silent flight by reducing emissions, or by flying at low heights. Even then, detection by enemy devices is a possibility, and in the event that Gripen E’s location has been compromised, EW system provides countermeasure techniques, such as Dispensing – in which decoys are released into the air, creating a false target to fool the enemy.

Elaborating on the features of Gripen’s EW system, Inga says that it is all about listening, detecting, identifying, and if you are detected first, about deterring, defending and defeating. 

EW has been an important part of Gripen from the beginning. Today, Saab has a small, compact system that does a number of things while also reducing drag and increasing ...

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A full scale Gripen E model with the new Wide Area Display (WAD) was exhibited at the Rio International Defense Exhibition (RIDEX) by the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) last week. 

According to Major Aviador Manoel Carneiro, who was in charge of the FAB booth, "We have brought a fully interactive concept here. Each visitor will be able to get to know the strategic projects of FAB”. The full size replica of Gripen provided visitors with the unique opportunity of examining the fighter closely. Miroslav Kocian, Major-General of the Republic of Slovakia, was among the visitors impressed by the new version of the Gripen and the high end technologies that go into the smart fighter. 

RIDEX, held between 27 and 29 June in Rio Janeiro, enabled participants to present cutting edge products and technologies. 

AEL Sistemas showcased, along with WAD, the NVIS / HUDTM (Advanced Night Vision System / Head Up Display). 

The event had 9000 visitors, 90 exhibitors and was attended by Defence Minister Joaquin Silva. ​

Read the full story here.

At the end of the day, the person at the controls makes all the difference. Brazilian pilots will go through classes, presentations and protocols to prepare for flight tests of the Brazilian fighter that will take place at the Embraer headquarters in Gavião Peixoto, São Paulo.

Four students from the Brazilian Air Force Flight Test and Research Institute, IPEV (Instituto de Pesquisas e Ensaios em Voo) in São Paulo, were in Linköping recently for their final examination project, which involved an evaluation of JAS 39 Gripen. The objective was to verify the ability of pilots and engineering students in evaluating the aircraft’s air defence capabilities.

The evaluation – termed Preview – was carried out by the students of the XXVII Flight Testing Course, spanning a period of 12 days from 7th to 18th May​. During this period, the four students flew the Gripen D on eight occasions, collecting notes and data, in addition to assessing Gripen’s air-to-air and air-to-ground capabilities.

These evaluations were based on an Instruction Test Request issued by the Flight Testing department of IPEV.

Once the students graduate they will eventually work in the Flight Test Squadron of the Brazilian Flight Test and Research Institute. They will mainly work on the Brazilian Air Force projects involving Gripen E and other modernisation programmes.

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"We are preparing for the next phase of flight trials – that is, external stores," said Jonas Hjelm, Head of Saab aeronautics at the recently held Annual Gripen seminar.

So far, all the milestones under the Gripen Brazil programme, like the launch of GDDN and SAM and the first flight of Gripen E, have been right on schedule.

“Since the first prototype's flight debut in June 2017, the programme has remained on track, with recent milestones including achieving supersonic flight,” he added.

The seminar which aims at giving an insight into the fighter, covered important areas like the continuous evolvement of the Gripen C/D platform, progress on cooperation with Brazil, and current and future sales prospects for Gripen.

You can watch the seminar here​.  

Read the full story here.

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"Saab Aeronáutica Montagens (SAM) will be part of Saab's global supply chain. So if we see opportunities, we would want to take part in projects for other products that serve not only markets in Latin America, but the rest of the world as well," said Jonas Hjelm, the global head of the aeronautics division at Saab. 

According to Mr. Hjelm, there are other prospective clients in South America that the facilities at SAM can potentially cater to, such as Colombia, who have reportedly shown a clear interest.

Located at the city of São Bernardo do Campo, in São Paulo state, Saab SAM will play a major role in the production of the next generation fighter jets in Brazil. However, the final assembly of the aircraft will take place at Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN). SAM will initially have 55 engineers and technicians, and by 2024 this number will increase to 200.​

Logistically, SAM is strategically located near Guarulhos International Airport, and is connected by major highways to the aeronautical clusters of Sao Jose dos Campos and Gaviao Peixoto, the city where GDDN is based at.

Read the full story here.

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Director General of Saab Aeronáutica Montagens (SAM), Marcelo Lima says that Saab is reaching out to companies that can offer tooling material, general equipment, consumables, general services and handling material among other things.

To begin the process, Saab met with 55 companies, out of which 35 were based out of Brazil, at a workshop recently. 

According to Lima, the shortlisted companies will play various roles in starting SAM's operations. “We are also focusing on companies that already sell to multinationals," he says.

The selection process is intensive. All the companies had to prepare presentation for stage one. "After this presentation, we sent a questionnaire that will help us know more about the company, how was it formed etc. Then we will ask for quotations followed by which we will evaluate each offer before making the final decisions,” he elaborated.

SAM was unveiled earlier this month in the city of São Bernardo do Campo, in São Paulo state, Brazil. Not only will SAM produce aerostructures for the Brazilian Gripen fighter, but also become part of Saab´s global supply chain.

As of now, Saab has selected two service providers and hired nine employees. "Our strategy is to talk to our existing partners in the Brazilian Gripen programme, who are already familiar with the aeronautical sector. We have started visiting a few companies and will hold another workshop to meet more direct suppliers between year-end and beginning of 2019,” Lima says.

Read the full story here.

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Members of Gripen User Group paid a visit to the Aeronautics Command (COMAER), in Brasília, and discussed Gripen operations, maintenance and logistics. The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) hosted the Gripen Users Group (GUG) for the first time ever. The meeting took place between participants from Sweden, Czech Republic, Hungary, South Africa, Thailand and Sweden. 

Last year, Brazilian delegates went to Prague to meet the GUG. Air Major Jefson Borges, who is in charge of all communication between the official channels of the Brazilian Defence, stressed on the importance of such gatherings. “GUG meetings take place at different professional levels, from commanders to technicians. We learn a lot from these meetings because we get to know about operating the Gripen system from various operators. This will help us be better prepared and not make the same mistakes they made,” he said.

One of the participating members, Thai Air Force Captain Jackkrit Thammavichai said, “The issues discussed in the Group help both those who are already users of the aircraft, and Brazil, who will soon have access to the latest technology.” 

The entourage headed to Gavião Peixoto from Brasilia to pay a visit to the Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN) where Santosh Miadaira, Senior Program Manager, Embraer, Gripen programme, told everyone about the importance of GDDN."GDDN marks the beginning of the technology transfer programme between Brazil and Sweden," he said.

The next Gripen Users meeting will be hosted by Hungary.

Read the full story here​.

Image courtesy: Brazilian Air ...

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