Saab has commenced manufacture of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB)’s first two-seat Gripen F fighter jet.
“Saab has performed the first metal cut for the two-seater fighter aircraft Gripen F, marking an important milestone in the programme,” the company said in a statement Thursday.
“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.
Brazil has ordered 28 Gripen E fighters that will be delivered to the country starting from 2021, and eight Gripen F fighters, starting from 2023.
Gripen F shares the same advanced 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.
The joint industrial programme on Gripen F is between Saab and the Brazilian partner companies Embraer, AEL Sistemas, Akaer and Atech.
Gripen F is also being offered by Saab to Finland for their fighter replacement programme.