As part of the Gripen sale to Brazil, Saab has agreed on extensive industrial cooperation, particularly when it comes to technology transfer.
“We have made a commitment on technology for fighter aircraft that includes includes development, production and maintenance,” says Göran Almquist, deputy programme manager for Gripen in Brazil. “The main aim is to train up Brazil’s own industry so that it will eventually be able to maintain its own fleet of Gripen aircraft and also develop its own future technology.”
Such an agreement was a prerequisite for the deal to go through. Brazil sets a legal requirement for 100 per cent industrial cooperation and aims to develop its own defence industry.
More than 60 per cent of the development of the two-seat Gripen NG will take place in Brazil, as will the production. A full 80 per cent of flight testing will take place in Brazil.
“The aim is for the customer to build up a degree of independence, which will allow us to continue to develop the next generation of fighter technology,” says Almquist.
He is looking forward to a close cooperation. “If we bring about effective development and production in Brazil, we will also be able to use this in other markets.
The Brazilian aviation manufacturer Embraer is one of six partner companies that have been selected. The industrial cooperation will start with 150 Brazilians coming to Saab’s facility in Linköping, Sweden, for education and what is known as ‘on-the-job training’, where they will work in parallel on different projects. This phase began in autumn 2015 and will continue for a number of years, after which personnel move gradually back to Brazil with their newly acquired knowledge. During this phase Saab employees will accompany them to build up operations in Brazil.