Brazilian Air Force Gripen Pilots Begin Conversion Training in Sweden
Brazilian Air Force Gripen Pilots Begin Conversion Training in Sweden

Brazilian Air Force Gripen Pilots Begin Conversion Training in Swedish Air Force base

In January 2021, the first group of pilots from the Brazilian Air Force (Força Aérea Brasileira, FAB) First Air Defense Group (1° Grupo de Defesa Aérea, 1° GDA), also known as the Jaguar Squadron, began the operational training on the Gripen fighter, at Wing F7 of the Swedish Air Force base in Såtenäs, Sweden. The Brazilian Air Force chose this selected group of pilots to take the course, based on their flight experience and their operational performance.

The Brazilian Air Force offered an extensive language course in English for the selected pilots before the training in Sweden. They also paid special attention to their physical fitness, since SAAB Gripen is a 9G class aircraft, which increases the demand for strength and muscle endurance of its pilots. All of this pre-preparation resonated positive feedback from the Swedish Air Force instructors.

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In Sweden, the first group of pilots underwent a series of exercises that included learning how to deal with the lack of oxygen, water survival training as well as an intense training in the 9G centrifuge at the Qinetics Physiological Flight Center, located in Malmslätt, Linköping. Only after having passed this stage did the pilots start their first theoretical classes with the Gripen C/D at Wing F7, where simulator training, familiarization flights in the rear nacelle and solo flights took place.

Brazilian Air Force F-39E Gripen
Brazilian Air Force F-39E Gripen Multirole Fighter

After completing the training with the Gripen C/D, the pilots will return to Brazil to continue the preparations for receiving the E/F version of the fighter. This includes improving the doctrine applied to the squadrons and producing new manuals and procedures. At the same time, continuous training will be conducted in the new flight simulator at Wing 2, in Anápolis (GO). COMPREP, which coordinates the formulation of the aerospace doctrine, closely monitors this entire process.

The Brazilian Air Force initially planned to procure at least 36 and possibly up to 120 later, to replace its Northrop F‐5EM and Dassault Mirage 2000C aircraft. On 18 December 2013, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff Dilma Rousseff announced the Gripen NG’s selection. On 24 October 2014, Brazil and Sweden signed a 39.3 billion SEK (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 for the buy.

The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is a light single-engine multirole fighter aircraft manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab. The Gripen has a delta wing and canard configuration with relaxed stability design and fly-by-wire flight controls. Various versions have been built, grouped as A-, C- and E-series. An updated and redeveloped version, designated Gripen JAS 39E/F but previously referred to as Gripen NG began deliveries to the Swedish and Brazilian Air Forces as of 2019.

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