Brazil is considering leasing or buying second-hand Gripen C/D fighters until the new-generation Gripen E enters service in 2018, according to Defense Aerospace.
Initial deliveries will go to Sweden, however, and first deliveries to Brazil are not expected until two years later, in 2020, contrary to earlier reports.
The fighter lease was most recently discussed by Brazilian Defense Minister and his Swedish counterpart, Karin Enstrom, during a Dec. 20 telephone call, according to a news release posted on the Brazilian air force’s website.
The used Gripens, provided by the Swedish air force, would replace the air force’s Mirage 2000C fighters which were ceremonially retired Dec. 20 and will cease operations on Dec. 31. Their air-defense and air police missions will be taken up by Brazil’s newly-upgraded Northrop F-5EM fighters, three squadrons of which are in service and based at Rio de Janeiro, Manaus and Canoas.
Enstrom confirmed “the industrial, technological and military partnership between the two countries” and told Amorim that “in early 2014 Sweden will give the Brazilian government concrete proposals on early delivery of fighters, and the training of Brazilian Air Force (FAB) to operate the new aircraft,” according to the FAB statement.
Sweden currently has about 50 mothballed Gripen A/B aircraft, the initial production version, and these could be upgraded to C/D standard and leased to Brazil and to other prospective customers, such as Slovakia.
The FAB proposed a schedule for preparing the contracts for the Gripen purchases, which will now be considered by the company. It is expected that the purchase contract is will be signed by the end of 2014, the report added.