Saab vice-CEO: “Brazil will build and resell Gripen”

The Gripen design in true form. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
The Gripen design in true form. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

Only part of 36 Saab JAS 39 Gripen E/F the Brazilian Air Force will order are going be build in Linköping, Sweden. The biggest Latin American country will construct many Swedish designed fighter jets itself, and even more than the ordered 36 to resell the combat aircraft to other nations in Latin America and Africa. In the meantime Brazil will lease JAS 39C/D Gripen that will come from the current surplus or strength of the Swedish Air Force.

Saab’s vice-CEO Lennart Sindahl confirmed earlier plans from July in an interview with Brazilian Globo tv. “We are already negotiating with possible subcontractors inside Brazil. São Bernardo do Campo will get a Saab Gripen assembly line”. The industrial city is located near the metropolis São Paulo.

Sindahl hopes to sell more Gripens through its Latin American connection. “Brazil has good relations with its neighbours and developing countries elsewhere. That is something we would like to benefit from.”

Lease JAS 39C/D
Sources within Brazil and the Swedish Department of Defence confirm that the Força Aérea Brasileira is likely to lease current generation Saab JAS 39C/D aircraft first, as a stop-gap solution until the Gripen E/F can be delivered from 2018. Those fighter jets might come from the current strength of the Swedish Air Force (Flygvapnet) if necessary. Estimates run from 12 to 24 JAS 39Cs to be leased to Brazil.

Sweden seems on its way to downsize its fighter fleet from the current 100 Gripens to 60 Gripen E/Fs. It might buy extra of these Gripen Next Generation fighters when production prices can be kept low with more foreign sales of the type.

© 2013 AIRheads’ Marcel Burger

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