Tuomo Salonen / Wikipedia
Saab Gripen at the Kaivopuisto, Finland Air Show in June 2017.

Embraer, Saab Open Fighter Jet Assembly Line

May 11, 2023
The first assembly line for Gripen E aircraft outside of Sweden is set to start completing fighter jets for the Brazilian Air Force.

Manufacturing partners Embraer and Saab inaugurated a new production line for the Gripen E fighter jet at Embraer´s plant in Gavião Peixoto, S.P., Brazil, with a large number of Brazilian federal and defense officials attending. The even marked the readiness for the first Gripen E assembly line outside of Sweden.

The Gavião Peixoto plant is also the site of the Gripen Design and Development Network and the Gripen Flight Test Center.

“The start of operations of the Gripen production line marks our commitment to transfer technology and knowledge to Brazilian industry,” stated Micael Johansson, president and CEO of Saab AB.

The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is a single-engine multirole fighter aircraft developed by Saab AB and in production since 1987. Nearly 300 Gripen fighters of different variants have been delivered, mainly to the Swedish Air Force but also to the Brazilian Air Force, among others. Later versions of the aircraft are “NATO interoperable.”

The Brazilian Air Force ordered 36 single-seat and twin-seat Gripen E fighters in 2014, since which time Embraer and Saab collaborating on the Gripen program – and leading to a recent memo of understanding for technology transfer project between the two companies.

The new Brazilian production line is supplied with aerostructures produced at Saab plants in Linköping, Sweden, and São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil. Embraer technicians were provided theoretical and on-the-job training at Saab in Linköping, Sweden, to gain the skills needed to assemble supersonic fighter jets.

The Embraer line will complete fighter aircraft assembly by joining the aerostructures, installing cabling and other systems, and installing landing gear, avionics, tactical equipment, canopy, ejection seat, and engine.

Then, the completed fighter jets will undergo functional testing and production flights prior to final delivery.

According to Embraer, the Brazilian plant will complete 15 Gripen E fighters, to be delivered starting in 2025.

“Since the beginning, Embraer has played a relevant role in the Gripen program, participating, for instance, in the development of the Brazilian version of the twin-seater aircraft. As a natural evolution of this relationship, we hope that soon we can together expand our business into new markets,” stated Bosco da Costa Junior, president and CEO, Embraer Defense & Security.

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