BRASILIA, (BM) – In Brazil, the production of fighter jets began. Yesterday, July 7, the portal defensenews.com announced that the Saab Aeronáutica Montagens plant launched the production of parts for Gripen E / F aircraft, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
The Swedish company Saab announced the start of the construction of a new plant in Brazil in 2018. SAM will produce six structural components for the Gripen fighters, including wing and fuselage elements.
Parts manufactured by SAM will be used in the production of Gripen fighters for the Brazilian Air Force, as well as in the global supply chain of Swedish combat aircraft.
Back in 2008, the Brazilian Ministry of Defense chose the finalist of the F-X2 program, in which the Brazilian Air Force was to replace the Northrop F-5EM and Dassault Mirage 2000C aircraft.
But only six years later, the contract for the supply of fighters was signed with the winner of the tender – the Swedish corporation Saab. The Brazilian Air Force ordered 36 Gripen E / F fighters (single and double modifications), the contract amounted to about $ 5.4 billion, the first aircraft should be delivered in 2019.
Since Brazil already wrote off the Dassault Mirage 2000C fighter aircraft in service in 2013, the military command decided to rent the Gripen C / D fighters from the Swedish Air Force before the delivery of purchased aircraft began.
According to official information, 13 Gripen fighters will be manufactured and assembled in Sweden, another 8 units will go to Brazil in parts, and their final assembly will be carried out by Embraer Defense and Security [a division of the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer]. Embraer will also be responsible for the production and assembly of another 15 units [8 single and 7 double].
First flight of the Brazilian Gripen E fighter jet
As we reported on August 27 last year, Saab completed a successful first flight with the first Brazilian Gripen E fighter aircraft, 39-6001.
At 2.41 pm CET on August 26, the Gripen E aircraft took off on its maiden flight flown by Saab test pilot Richard Ljungberg.
The aircraft operated from Saab´s airfield in Linköping, Sweden.
The duration of the flight was 65 minutes and included test points to verify basic handling and flying qualities at different altitudes and speeds. The main purpose was to verify that the aircraft behavior was according to expectations.
“This milestone is a testament to the great partnership between Sweden and Brazil. Less than five years since the contract was signed, the first Brazil Gripen has conducted her first flight,” says Håkan Buskhe, President and CEO of Saab.
This aircraft is the first Brazilian production aircraft and will be used in the joint test program as a test aircraft. The main differences compared to the previous test aircraft are that 39-6001 has a totally new cockpit layout, with a large Wide Area Display (WAD), two small Head Down Displays (sHDD) and a new Head Up Display (HUD). Another major difference is an updated flight control system with updated control laws for Gripen E. It also includes modifications both in hardware and software.
“For me as a pilot it has been a great honour to fly the first Brazilian Gripen E aircraft as I know how much this means for the Brazilian Air Force and everyone at Saab and our Brazilian partners. The flight was smooth and the aircraft behaved just as we have seen in the rigs and simulators. This was also the first time we flew with the Wide Area Display in the cockpit, and I am happy to say that my expectations were confirmed,” says Saab test pilot Richard Ljungberg.
39-6001 will now join the test programme for further envelope expansion as well as testing of tactical system and sensors.
39-6001 will be designated F-39 in the Brazilian Air Force and will have the tail number 4100.
Brazil is also partnering with another major producer in the world – Boeing
Embraer announced on 10th January 2019 that the company together with Boeing have welcomed the approval by the Brazilian Government of the strategic partnership between the two companies, which is expected to position the companies to accelerate growth in global aerospace markets.
The approval by the Government of Brazil comes after Embraer and Boeing approved in December terms for the joint venture that will involve the commercial aircraft and services operations of Embraer. It has been agreed Boeing to hold an 80 percent ownership stake in the new company and Embraer – 20 percent.
In another joint venture, the terms of which have been also agreed between Embraer and Boeing, Embraer will hold a 51 percent stake in the joint venture, and Boeing – the remaining 49 percent. Through that joint venture the companies will promote and develop new markets for the multi-mission medium airlift KC-390.
The Embraer KC-390 is a medium-size, twin-engine jet-powered military transport aircraft under development by the Brazilian aerospace manufacturer Embraer. It is able to perform aerial refuelling and to transport troops and cargo.
The Embraer KC-390 is the heaviest aircraft made by the company as of the moment, which will be able to transport up to 26 tonnes (29 tons) of cargo, including wheeled armoured fighting vehicles. Its first prototype was ready out from the Embraer subsidiary plant, Embraer Defence and Security, at Gavião Peixoto, São Paulo on 21st October 2014 and flew for the first time on 3rd February 2015.
Millennium KC-390 military aircraft is already in service in the Brazilian army
After the completion of the acceptance procedure, the Brazilian company Embraer on June 27 handed over to the Brazilian Air Force the third Millennium KC-390 military transport aircraft.
The acceptance procedure for the new KC-390 took place from May 4 to June 26, 2020. It was attended by the Flight Research and Testing Institute (IPEV), the Brazilian Air Force Coordinating Commission for Combat Aviation (COPAC – Comissao Coordenadora do Programa Aeronave de Combate), the Monitoring and Control Group (GAC-PAC), the Institute Trade Facilitation and Industrial Coordination (IFI), etc.
The new aircraft will be part of the 2nd air wing of the 1st transport aviation group (1 Grupo de Transporte de Tropa – 1 GTT), formed in 2018 in Anapolis.
As planned, in the near future, the new KC-390 will begin to perform tasks for which two other aircraft are already being used. In particular, aircraft are currently used to transport patients and equipment to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
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