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Richard Smith, Head of Marketing, Gripen, summarises the recently held annual Gripen seminar.

During the seminar, Richard and Jerker Ahlqvist head of Gripen programme, talk about the current status of the Gripen E programme, the model based technology behind Gripen E development, Gripen C/D MS20 upgarade, Gripen M, and the opportunities in the global market.

Watch the seminar here​.​

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Gripen E's first test flight will be conducted during the second quarter of this year," says Jerker Ahlqvist head of Gripen programme.

During the annual Gripen seminar yesterday, Jerker explained that Saab’s new work methods with model-based-design is proving to be very successful. 

“As we prepare for Gripen E’s first test flight, we see that any software corrections can be easily implemented now. We can quickly make a change and introduce a new software load to the aircraft within days. This is something that previously took weeks or even months to undergo. It gives us the confidence that we are on the right track and the programme will run as per the schedule,” he said.

Saab is building two more test aircraft which are at various stages of production. Aircraft 39-8 is currently in ground test. The second test aircraft has entered the stage of final assembly.

About Gripen M, Jerker said that it is at a conceptual stage. “We are working with Brazilian engineers on a concept study of Gripen M. We are also in the process of responding to an RFI from India. We believe that Gripen M has good potential and can hopefully turn into a full development programme at a later stage.”

Jerker presented the Gripen seminar along with Richard Smith, Head of Marketing, Gripen, who gave an overview of the position of Gripen in the market today.

"The market looks optimistic for Gripen right now, and it comes down to getting ink on paper," Richard ...

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Saab has acquired another 10 per cent of shares, reaching 25 per cent of stakes, in Akaer, one of the largest companies within development of aeronautical projects in Brazil and also one of the partners of Gripen development for Brazil. 

Saab and Akaer’s partnership began in 2008 when Saab contracted Akaer to develop parts to the fuselage of the Gripen NG fighter. In May 2012, Saab invested in Akaer by making a convertible loan in shares which was a contribution of resources equivalent to 15 per cent of Akaer. Saab’s stake in the company has since been expanded to 25 percent. Since 2012, Saab has also been a part of Akaer's Advisory Board.

Saab has collaborated with Akaer in Gripen development since 2009. Akaer is one of the main companies that have an active role in the technology transfer programme under the Brazilian Gripen contract.

“Our partnership with Akaer is long-term and by exchanging knowledge, we want to expand our co-operation. The partnership brings mutual benefits and allows us to take another step in the technology transfer programme and in the development of the Brazilian defence industry. We have come to Brazil to stay and this also means to support our partners”, Ulf Nilsson, head of Saab Business Area Aeronautics.

Read the full story here.

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FAB Gripen pilots Captain Gustavo de Oliveira Pascotto and Captain Ramon Santos Fórneas, trained with pilots of four different nations to develop new techniques at a recently held Gripen User Group Simulation event.  

During a virtual fight, the two pilots led seven other pilots to fight against 40 enemy aircraft in a series of attack and counter-attack missions. At the end of this fight, the group took down the enemy from a distance of 80 kms.

"The highlight of the training was the fact that it was very realistic. The pilots felt like they were actually flying," Fórneas said.

"Since the training involved complex scenarios, and pilots of different nationalities and experiences participated, it was an excellent opportunity to assess our level of training of beyond visual range air-to-air combat, and find the best ways to use Gripen,” Captain Pascotto said.

Captain Pascotto and Captain Fórneas were the first FAB pilots who were sent to Sweden to learn to fly Gripen. They fulfilled their first Gripen training mission in November 2014. 

Read the full story here.

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Saab and Brazilian aerospace conglomerate Embraer inaugurated the Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN) in Gavião Peixoto last year, in the state of São Paulo yesterday.

The GDDN, located at Embraer premises in Gavião Peixoto - where the Gripen Flight Test Center and the Gripen Final Assembly will also be based - will be the hub for technology transfer and fighter development in the country. Partnering Saab and Embraer would be AEL Sistemas, Atech, Akaer and the Brazilian Air Force through its research department DCTA.

A Brazilian Government report quoted Colonel Julio Cesar Cardoso Tavares saying, "This project will allow Brazil to have autonomy to build fighter aircraft in future. It is a facility to back the country's efforts to develop high performance fighters."

The GDDN includes the development environment and simulators required to undertake the fighter development work. In addition, the GDDN is connected to Saab in Sweden and the industrial partners in Brazil, securing both technology transfer and efficient development.

“We have a long-term commitment to Brazil. The launch of the GDDN is a key milestone in the Brazilian Gripen programme as it will be the basis for the technology transfer and fighter development in the country,” said Håkan Buskhe, CEO and president of Saab.

Read the full story here.

During the celebrations marking the 90th anniversary of the Swedish Air Force, Defense & Aerospace Report​ took the opportunity to speak to Ulf Nilsson, Senior Vice President and Head of Aeronautics, Saab, on the philosophy that drives the making and development of Gripen E and what makes the approach fundamentally different.

Future technology is, of course, hard to predict even three to four years down the line. Looking back 10-15 years, the pace of technology development could be predicted, but not so with the coming of the digital revolution. “Earlier, the pace of development of technology was setting the pace of development of capabilities of the fighter system. Not anymore though. This is a big change and the development platform has to be able to cope with this kind of a change,” says Nilsson. 

Keeping that in mind, Gripen E is created to be relevant even if the technology of today becomes obsolete tomorrow. That is one of the best features of the new Gripen: its flexibility, preserved in a balanced design, makes it extremely adaptable. 

Built upon the strong base of proven C/D platform, Gripen E redefines air-defence systems with its exciting new capabilities and significant cost reduction. Not only does Gripen E have what it takes to fly safely, when it comes to tactical and functional developments, it has more of an ‘app-based development’ approach, which makes it easier to upgrade the aircraft from time to time. “This is one of the major leaps forward when it ...

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Canadian company Héroux-Devtek has been awarded a contract to deliver landing gear systems for Gripen E fighters, reports UPI.

“Héroux-Devtek is proud to further enhance its long-standing relationship with Saab. Our U.K. operations have designed and manufactured landing gear systems for previous variants of the Gripen aircraft and this new contract acknowledges their expertise on an important program," said Martin Brassard, Vice-President and CEO of Héroux-Devtek.

Héroux-Devtek will manufacture, assemble and deliver complete landing gear systems for the 96 Gripen E fighters being developed for the Swedish and the Brazilian Air Force.

There has been a great interest in Gripen ever since Brazil announced its decision to acquire 36 Swedish fighters. The aircraft is being considered by several other countries and this contract also has an option for Saab to award the manufacturing of additional complete landing gear systems to Héroux-Devtek.

The deliveries of the landing gear systems are expected to begin next year.

Read the full story here.

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Transfer of technology, and the partnership with the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) and Brazil are two of the biggest advantages of the Brazilian Gripen programme, which includes the purchase of 36 Gripen NG aircraft for FAB, according to Saab President and CEO, Håkan Buskhe.

In an interview with Defesanet, Buskhe elaborates that the partnership is advantageous for both countries as it broadens the possibilities in the area of defence for Brazil and gives them access to unprecedented technological capacity for developing fighter jets; at the same time, it helps Sweden in the discovery of potential markets.

According to him, Gripen is the aircraft of the future. It redefines the way an advanced aircraft – that offers relevant operational capabilities for the future and new technology at a reasonable cost – is built and operated. “Computers, processors and electronic items are continuously evolving and it is important that you can update them as new technologies emerge in the market. The Gripen NG system was created specifically with future developments in mind. By isolating systems that affect core flight abilities, the aircraft's separate avionics system enables the integration of ready-to-use products,” says Buskhe.

Answering a question on Saab’s and the Swedish production sector’s view on the manufacture of Gripen in Brazil, Buskhe said building technical competence and capability in Brazil creates new opportunities in several areas. Most importantly, Brazil's operations could be part of a supply chain for future production volumes or specialized production in certain areas. 

The partnership with Saab ...

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A group of Swedish Air Force pilots met their Brazilian counterparts last month and talked about operating Gripen and discussed the associated infrastructure and logistics.

The pilots were accompanied by the Saab Campaign Director in Brazil and the Swedish Defence Attaché, Lieutenant Colonel Christer Olsson. The meeting was aimed at increasing interactions between the pilots of the two countries. The Brazilian pilots also got to know about the various aspects of Gripen operation in Sweden and about the necessary adjustments for receiving the aircraft.

"Brazil is a strategic partner in the Gripen NG programme. As Sweden and Brazil will operate the same plane, it is very important to know each other, "explains Colonel Christer Olsson.

Colonel Olsson also added that this meeting was important not just for Brazil, but also for Sweden. During these interactions, the Swedish pilots also got an opportunity to understand how things work at the FAB Air Force.  “There would be more such exchanges in future,” he says. 

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Fab.mil

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