Sweden’s Saab has reached another milestone in the Gripen fighter aircraft program by starting construction of the two-seater Gripen F jet.
Gripen F is under development for the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) and shares the same design and features as Gripen E, but with seat, displays and controls for a second crew member.
Gripen F has both a training mode for tuition of one crew member and a mode whereby the two crew members can share the workload with different display settings.
The first part was manufactured recently at Saab’s facilities in Linköping and is for the air duct section, just behind the cockpit of the aircraft.
“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 joint industrial programme on Gripen F is between Saab and the Brazilian partner companies Embraer, AEL Sistemas, Akaer and Atech. Currently, approximately 400 engineers are working with the development of Gripen F, mainly at Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN) at the Embraer plant in Gavião Peixoto, São Paulo State, Brazil. Manufacturing will take place both in Sweden and in Brazil.
Brazil has ordered 28 Gripen E fighters that will be delivered to Brazil starting from 2021 and eight Gripen F fighters, starting from 2023.
Gripen F is also being offered by Saab to Finland for their HX fighter replacement program.