The Gripen E, named F-39E Gripen by the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), was officially presented October 23rd, during the celebrations of Aviators’ Day and the Brazilian Air Force Day, at Wing 1, in Brasília. The ceremony was attended by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Brazilian Defence Minister Fernando Azevedo e Silva; the Swedish Ambassador to Brazil, Johanna Brosmar-Skoogh; the Brazilian Air Force Commander, Air Lieutenant Brigadier Antonio Carlos Moretti Bermudez; Commander of the Swedish Air Force,Major General Carl-Johan Edström; Chairman of the Board of Directors of Saab, Marcus Wallenberg; and President and CEO of Saab, Micael Johansson, among others. The aircraft flew over the air base after an air display of the Brazilian Smoke Squadron.
The aircraft arrived in Brazil on September 20 and three days later made its first flight in the country, from Navegantes (Santa Catarina State) to Gavião Peixoto (São Paulo State), to continue the flight test programme. In Brazil, the activities include tests on flight control and climate control systems, as well as tests on the aircraft in tropical climatic conditions. In addition to the tests that are common to a Gripen E programme aircraft, unique characteristics of the Brazilian aircraft will be also tested, such as armaments integration and the Link BR2 communication system – which provides encrypted data and voice communication to the aircraft. The first fighters will be delivered to the Brazilian Air Force, at Wing 2, in Anápolis (Goiás State), at the end of 2021.
On 24 October 2014, Brazil and Sweden signed a US$ 5.44 bn contract for 28 Gripen E (single-seat version) and 8 Gripen F (dual-seat version) fighters for delivery from 2019 to 2024 and maintained until 2050; the Swedish government will provide a subsidized 25-year, 2.19% interest rate loan for the buy. The partnership with Brazil began in 2014, with the signing of the contract for the development and production of 36 Gripen E/F aircraft for the Brazilian Air Force, including systems, support and equipment. An extensive technology transfer programme is already promoting the development of the local aviation industry through partner companies participating in the Brazilian Gripen Programme.
During this period, more than 350 Brazilian technicians and engineers will also participate in theoretical and practical training in Sweden in order to acquire the necessary knowledge to perform the same tasks in Brazil. So far, more than 230 professionals have completed the training and most of them are back in Brazil, working at the Gripen Design and Development Center (GDDN). The Gripen E/F fighters that will be delivered to the Brazilian Air Force will be developed and produced in collaboration with the Brazilian technicians and engineers. From 2021 onwards, the complete assembly of 15 aircraft will begin locally. The development of the two-seat Gripen F is advancing with numerous activities at the GDDN.