Saab recently entered another important milestone in the Gripen E/F programme with the first metal cut of the two-seater F version at Saab's facilities in Linköping.
“This milestone is important for the Gripen project because it demonstrates that the development phase is proceeding properly. This signals the beginning of the production of the two-seater aircraft, Gripen F, which is much anticipated by the Brazilian Air Force,” says Colonel Renato Leite, head of the Monitoring and Control Group (GAC-Saab) at the Brazilian Air Force.
The current Gripen F development is for the Brazilian Air Force (FAB). The joint industrial programme on Gripen F is between Saab and Brazilian partner companies Embraer, AEL Sistemas, Akaer and Atech. Currently, approximately 400 engineers are working on the development of Gripen F, mainly at Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN) at the Embraer plant in Gavião Peixoto, São Paulo State, Brazil.
“The effective teamwork from both Sweden and Brazil paved the way for this milestone on this new version of Gripen. These kind of milestones are special moments due to their rarity and that feels great,” says Jonas Hjelm, head of Saab business area Aeronautics.
Gripen F has the same advanced design as Gripen E, except that it has seat, displays, and controls for a second crew member or a pilot as well. Gripen F can be used both for training new pilots and co-piloting a mission with a second crew member.
Brazil had finalised a deal for 28 Gripen E fighters and eight Gripen F fighters in 2015. The delivery for Gripen Es will begin in 2021 while that for Gripen Fs will start in 2023.