Artist impression released by the Swedish Department of Foreign Affairs of the Saab JAS 39 Gripen E/F in Brazilian Air Force colours (Image © Utrikes Departementet)

Brazil: requirement for 108 Gripens

Brazil requires not 36, but 108 Saab JAS 39E/F fighter aircraft for its Força Aérea de Brasília (FAB). The rumour emerged on Tuesday 18 November, with Brazilian military being the apparent source. The desire for more Gripen NGs, as the Gripen E/F variant is also known, comes just three weeks after the deal for 36 Gripens was officially signed.

Update 19 November: two Brazilian Air Force pilots flew their first Gripen training mission in Sweden on 19 November, flying Swedish Air Force two seat Saab JAS 39Ds . The took off from Såtenäs Airbase for a 50 minute flight.

It’s no surprise that Brazil eyes more Gripens, since the signs were already there. Saab and Embraer are setting up an entire production line for the Gripen in Brazil, with the two seat F-variant exclusively developed and produced in the South American country. That seems a big decision for only a few dozen aircraft. Since then, Argentina has also expressed interest in Gripen fighter aircraft.

In Brazil, the Gripen will at first operate next to well over 50 upgraded F-5EM and F-5FM Tiger aircraft, as wel as recently modernized Embraer A-1M( AMX) aircraft. Both these types should serve the FAB another 15 years or so, after which replacing them with additional Gripens doesn’t seem too bad an idea.

© 2014 editor Elmer van Hest

A F-5EM from the Força Aérea Brasileira (FAB) during Cruzex Crusade (Image © Ralph Blok)
A Força Aérea Brasileira (FAB) F-5EM Tiger. (Image © Ralph Blok)
The Embraer AM-1 of the Força Aérea Brasileira (Image © Embraer)
Typical Brazilian terrain below this Embraer A-1M. (Image © Embraer)