In January, the Gripen Programme accomplished another valuable achievement: the team of engineers and technicians at Saab Aeronáutica Montagens (SAM) delivered the first serially produced rear fuselage for the Swedish Gripen E as part of the on-the-job training programme in Linköping, Sweden. This is yet another milestone in the Transfer of Technology Programme that will train more than 350 Brazilian engineers and technicians by 2024, strengthening the base of the national defence industry.
Approximately 20 people were involved in the manufacturing of the aircraft's rear fuselage. The assembly team consisted of three Brazilians and seven Swedes: a support team composed by a Brazilian supervisor and three Swedes from the engineering and the quality and planning departments along with two Brazilians and four Swedes responsible for the parts inspection.
“The Brazilian staff that is currently learning about and working on the production of the Brazilian Air Force fighter's rear fuselage will be the same one to initiate the production of the aerostructures once they return to SAM in São Bernardo do Campo, backed by Swedish specialists,” explained Marcelo Lima, SAM's general director.
The team responsible for the delivery of this first rear fuselage has already started the production of the next one. The entire hands-on training (on-the-job) is tracked by a training card, which certifies that each employee under training is exposed to all of the technologies necessary for the process to be successfully developed in Brazil.
“This year, in mid-February, the first group of Brazilians – including assemblers and planners – will come back from training in Sweden. They will be responsible for qualifying the processes at SAM. This is a fundamental requirement before we start the production activities at the factory in Brazil,” added Marcelo.
At the present moment, more than 30 SAM employees are in Sweden actively participating in the training programme. The expectation is that they will all be qualified to fully develop the aerostructures by 2021.