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In an interview with the DefesaNet, Mikael Franzén, Director and head of Business Unit Gripen Brazil, Saab, throws light on the Gripen E/F (called NG in Brazil) project so far and plans for the future.

 “The most important thing that took place this year was the first flight of the 39-8 aircraft, and it was very successful,” he says.

Other than that, the next big achievement was the development of the Wide Area Display (WAD) for Gripen. WAD will have the basic display software by AEL and tactical software by Saab.

About the next main goals, he says that Saab is currently building a test aircraft which is aimed to fly in 2019. "In the meantime, we will perform tests on various subsystems for the fighter jets – it’s going to be a very intense test period. We are also going to work on furthering the development of the tactical system for the aircraft, as well as the two-seat version, which is still in its early stages," he says. 

Post the first test flight, Saab has been in a phase of experimenting with speed and altitudes, various external loads etc.

Development work for the new cockpit is also set to start soon.

Read the full interview here.

Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President, Saab, gives an update about Brazil Gripen programme and transfer of technology.​

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Brazilian company AEL Sistemas exhibited the Gripen cockpit's Wide Area Display (WAD) at the recently held International Seminar of Defense (SEMINDE) in Brazil.

"Participating in SEMINDE is an opportunity to demonstrate the technological capabilities developed in the defense and technology center of the south of the country," said Sergio Horta, president of AEL Sistemas.

WAD is a multi-purpose display system with full-colour, large-screen (19 x 8 in) with continuous image presentation and the state-of-the-art touch-screen controls capability. AEL Sistemas was contracted to develop WAD and the head-up display (HUD) for Gripen in 2015. This year, the Brazilian company launched the first prototype panel of WAD.

Besides WAD, AEL Sistemas also displayed the advanced helmet mounted display (HMD) system, called Targo at the seminar.

Read the full story here.

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In the last few years, with about a hundred professionals participating in the Brazil's Gripen programme, Akaer, Saab's Brazilian partner, is about to complete a million work hours in the project.

The Akaer team that works on various Gripen projects, comprises of engineers, human resources and planning personnel, quality management experts, structural designers etc. So far, these professionals have worked on the development of Gripen’s rear and central fuselages and weapon pylons.

One of the participating structures designers, Flavio Teramoto has travelled to Sweden about 10 times so far.  “Being selected to participate on the development of a fighter is alone a huge emotional moment. Signing off on the FX-2 program and being a part of Gripen E’s first flight in Sweden were other special experiences. Now, the big expectation is to see the aircraft in Brazil,” he says.​

Akaer, based out of in São José dos Campos in São Paulo, is the first Brazilian company to partner with Saab. The partnership started in the year 2008 with Akaer being contracted to develop parts of Gripen fuselage. In May 2012, Saab took 15% stake in Akaer, and in January 2017, another 10%.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Akaer

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A Brazilian delegation headed by Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade (MDIC) recently paid a visit to the Gripen plant in Linköping to see the first Gripen E.

MDIC executive secretary, Marcos Jorge de Lima met Saab officials and talked about the aero structure plant, Saab Aeronautica Montagens (SAM), which will start operations in São Bernardo do Campo, in Greater São Paulo.

"We need to remember that technology is one of the great engines of industrial development and projects of this nature help develop the aeronautics sector as a whole. Even smaller companies can participate in the global supply chain of components," Marcos said.

SAM's operations should start in 2019 post the selection of property preparations for infrastructure. The facility will not just manage supply chains but also produce subassemblies for both the production line in Sweden and in Brazil, such as the wings, and front and rear fuselage of Gripen.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Brazil MDIC

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Saab has appointed Marcelo Lima as the General Director for Saab Aeronautics Assemblies (SAM), the Brazilian plant which will provide the aerostructure components for Gripen E/F.

SAM will be located in São Bernardo do Campo, the metropolitan region of São Paulo. Gripen parts like aerodynamic brakes, wings, front fuselage (both single-seat and double-seat versions) and rear fuselage will be produced at this plant.

"Marcelo Lima is a very experienced professional with deep knowledge of projects similar to SAM. He will add local and international knowledge into this project, which is fundamental to the Gripen program, "says Mikael Franzén, head of Business Unit, Gripen Brazil.

Most of the SAM staff will be sent to the Saab facility in Linköping, Sweden for training, post which they will start working on their projects in Brazil. All this comes under the transfer of technology aspect of the Gripen Brazil programme.

The transfer of technology process started in 2015 with 46 employees from Embraer and two from AEL Sistemas landing in Sweden for training. A year later, the Gripen Project Development Center (GDDN), was inaugurated in Gavião Peixoto, São Paulo.

Read the full story here.

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AEL Sistemas has launched the first panoramic panel of the Gripen fighter, reports Airway.com​.

"We are proud to deliver the prototype panel on schedule, helping Saab engineers to move forward with the integration work on the aircraft," says Sérgio Horta, president of AEL.

Saab selected AEL Sistemas (AEL) as a supplier in Brazil two years back for providing wide area display (WAD) and the head-up display (HUD). Both the WAD and HUD development programmes started in January 2015.

The WAD for Brazil’s Gripen NG aircraft is a single intelligent and full-redundant multi-purpose display system, full-colour, large-screen (19 x 8 in) with continuous image presentation and the state-of-the-art touch-screen controls capability. It is the primary source of all flight and mission information in the cockpit.

Saab and AEl Sistemas have also signed a contract for transfer of technology that focuses on developing human-machine interface (HMI) and workshops for avionics maintenance.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: AEL Sistemas

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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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