Saab’s first aerostructures plant outside of Sweden for the new Gripen E/F fighter, in São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil, reaches another important milestone with the start of production.
Saab Group announced on July 7 that it has started building sections of Gripen, which will then be delivered to the final assembly facilities at the Embraer plant in Gavião Peixoto, São Paulo, Brazil and to Saab in Linköping, Sweden.
In 2014, Saab signed a contract with Brazilian government for the development and production of 36 Gripen E/F aircraft. In September last year, the first Brazilian Gripen E aircraft was delivered to start the flight test programme. Now, another milestone is reached, as Gripen production starts at Saab’s site in São Bernardo do Campo, in São Paulo in Brazil.
Saab won the Brazilian F-X2 competition in December 2013 and is initially supplying 28 single-seat Gripen Es and eight Gripen F two-seaters under a deal worth $4.8 billion. This includes an impressive transfer of technology that fully includes Brazilian defense companies. The project ultimately aims to generate 14,000 direct and indirect jobs.
The tail cone and front fuselage of the single-seat version of the Gripen fighter are the first aerostructures to enter into production at Saab’s site in São Paulo. Subsequently, the aerodynamic brakes, rear fuselage, wing box and front fuselage for the two-seater version will also be manufactured there.
“This is another outcome of the Transfer of Technology (ToT) of the Gripen programme. Based on theoretical and practical on-the-job training of Brazilian engineers and assemblers at our Linköping site, we were able to establish a highly qualified production line in our production site in São Bernardo do Campo, following the same standards that we have in our factory in Sweden,” says Jonas Hjelm, head of Saab’s business area Aeronautics.
Currently, Saab has more than 70 highly qualified employees present at the site in São Bernardo do Campo, half of whom are participating or have already participated in the ToT Programme in Sweden. Part of these employees have already completed the training and returned to initiate the production in Brazil.
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