Tag Archives: Brazil

Unveiled: next generation Saab Gripen

Saab unveiled its long expected Gripen NG (Next Generation) on Wednesday 18 May during a rollout ceremony at its development and production facility in Linköping in central Sweden. As reported already, the new Gripen NG – also known as Gripen E/F – is basically a bigger version of the current Gripen C/D. And, Saab adds, better foremost.

The new Gripen was rolled out after one hour of speeches from officials of both Saab and the Swedish and Brazilian air forces. So far, Sweden and Brazil are the only customers for the latest Gripen. Sweden has ordered 60 aircraft (with a desire for 70) while Brazil is expecting 36 jets, most of those to be produced locally in Brazil.

Production

Saab thinks it is able to produce 30 fighters a year at its plant in Linköping, Sweden. The first E is planned to be delivered to the Swedish Air Force in 2019, with the first operational division of two dozen aircraft in 2023 and final deliveries in 2026. Brazil might expand its 36 Gripen-E to more, including export versions to other Latin American countries.

The Flygvapnet officially currently has 97 JAS 39 Gripen C/Ds, of which about 86 are operational. Hungary, the Czech Republic, South Africa and Thailand together have combined another 66 Gripens on strength.

More, larger, newer

The new generation Gripen is powered by a General Electric F414-400 engine that supplies 22,000 lbs. of thrust (+40% compared to power plant Gripen C/D), and is designed to serve 30 to 40 years while delivering low maintenance costs. The jet offers more fuel (+40%), range and payload (+20%) than earlier Gripens. Despite it all, it is only 3 percent bigger than the Gripen C/D. According to Saab, the newer radar and sensors of the Gripen are able to detect new generation stealth aircraft like the Lockheed Martin F-35 and the Sukhoi PAK-T50.

(Image © Saab)
(Image © Saab)

According to Saab, the Gripen E/F is designed to combat the most advanced threats anywhere, offering adaptability and the capability to operate in complex scenarios. The Gripen project offers industrial offsets as well as knowledge transfer between countries in order to strengthen industries.

‘Smart fighter’

The Swedes always have had any eye for designing smart and flexible fighter jets. Like previous generations of aircraft the Gripen is suited for operations from rural road and offers great Independence from complex and costly logistical systems. It’s therefore no surprise that Saab now markets its new Gripen as the ‘smart fighter’.

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest and senior contributor Marcel Burger
Images: Saab AB

SAAB Gripen program update

During the annual Saab Gripen seminar, which was held on Thursday 17 March, Ulf Nilsson, head of Saab business area Aeronautics, and Richard Smith, head of Gripen marketing and sale, gave an update on the status on various developments on the Gripen.

Gripen E/F

At this moment, manufacturing of the first Gripen E prototype is still on schedule and within budget, as the aircraft is in final assembly now. Roll out is planned to take place at 18 May this year. This protoype will be used as test aircraft, so test equipment will be installed in it.

Competitions and tenders

At this moment, SAAB is involved in different competitions and tenders to market the Gripen system. Smith stated the Gripen has been offered to Croatia and Bulgaria as replacement of eageing eastern type of fighter aircraft. Negotiations started with Slovakia for delivery of 8 Gripens to replace the MiG-29 Fulcrum aircraft, which are reaching the end of their service life. Finland is looking for new aircraft as replacement for the F-18 Hornet, in which SAAB participates in a tender for 40 Gripen E/F aircraft. Belgium still has to decide what will be the successor of the F-16’s, and the Gripen will take part in the tender for 30-36 frames. In the Asian Pacific market, SAAB started the negotiating process with Malaysia, and they’re even confident the Gripen has in chance in Indonesia. Further more, SAAB stll has a focuss on India, as the Swedish and Indian Prime ministers met in India recently. In the Americas-region Colombia got marketing info about the Gripen system.

Brazil

Currently, there are 50 Brazilian engineers in Linköping, Sweden, who are being trained to learn the maintenance and development tools of the Gripen and the program. In April the next group will arrive in Sweden, and finally it is expected some 350 Brazilians have found there way to Linköping. SAAB and Embraer are building a new test and engineering center at Embraer’s industrial plant in Gavião Peixoto, Brazil. This will support the operations of the Brazilian Air Force Gripen aircraft.

SAAB expects to sell 400 aircraft in the next 20 years, with a backlog of 96 aircraft at the moment (60 Gripen E’s for Sweden and 36 for Brazil). At this moment the Gripen is already in service with the Swedish military, as well as in Thailand, South Africa, Czech Republic and Hungary.

Two Gripens over an Icelandic postcard. (Image © 21st TAFB)
Two Gripens over an Icelandic postcard. (Image © 21st TAFB)

Proven concept

The Gripen also proved its value in recent conflicts, for example by doing Air Policing missions, such as the Hungarians  did over the Baltics, and the Czechs operated several times from Iceland.

So we certainly will hear more about SAAB and the Gripen in the year’s to come.

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Dennis Spronk
Featured image: 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)

 

Embraer unveils first E2 jet

Embraer on Thursday 25 February officially rolled out the first E190 E2 aircraft, the first of a new generation of E-jet single aisle airliners from Brazil. The aircraft appeared from the production hangar in a ceremony held at Embraer’s headquarters in São Paulo, Brazil. Hundreds of eployees and invited Embraer stakeholders witnessed the event.

The new jet is powered by Pratt & Whitney’s PW1900G engines To date, Embraer has received orders, options and letters of intent for more than 640 E-Jets E2s. Embraer is planning on the first flight of the E190-E2 to take place in 2016, with deliveries expected for 2018.

Pratt & Whitney’s collaboration with Embraer on the E2 program began in January 2013 when Embraer selected the GTF engine as the exclusive power for their second generation of E-Jets. This milestone follows the start of the PW1900G engine’s flight test program which began in November 2015.

The E2 enter a competive market with the Bombardier CSeries, Mitsubishi MRJ and Chinese designs all looking for a share. All aircraft have the Pratt & Whitney engine in common.

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest

LATAM first in the Americas with Airbus A350

The LATAM Airlines Group has become the first in the Americas to operate the Airbus A350 XWB. The first aircraft, to be flown by TAM, has been handed over at the Airbus plant in Toulouse.

LATAM Airlines Group is the result of the merger between LAN Airlines and TAM Airlines which took place in 2012. The group has ordered 27 A350s, with the first aircraft started its service between Sao Paulo and Manaus for TAM in January 2016. After that Sao Paulo to Miami, to Madrid and to Orlando will follow.

The Chilean-Brazilian airlines group has become a major player, with also being the first 787-8 and -9 Dreamliner operator of Latin America. It is also the largest Airbus A320 operator in Latin America with 230+ aircraft of the type in service.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: Take-off for the first Airbus A350 XWB for the LATAM Group from Toulouse IAP during a routine test flight, prior to the hand-over (Image © P. Pigeyre / Master Films / Airbus S.A.S.)

Brazilian H-36 first helicopter with refueling probe

The Brazilian Air Force is fielding the first helicopter in Latin America equipped with a refueling probe, to receive the necessary stuff in mid-air. The first Airbus Helicopters / Helibras H-36 Caracal with the probe will be fully operational in January 2016.

Brazil hopes that the air-to-air refueling option gives the chopper even better capabilities to perform long-range Search and Rescue options across the vast Brazilian territory stretching far into the Atlantic Ocean and into the Amazon River base.

19 Caracals in Brazilian service

Although not all of the 50 helicopters ordered by the Brazilian Armed Fores are receiving the probe, many or even all of the Força Aérea Brasileira (FAB) will. Designed by Aérospatiale / Eurocopter / Airbus Helicopters (H225, formerly EC725), the choppers are being assembled by Helibras in Itajubá. Of the total number ordered, currently 19 are in service: 5 in the FAB, 5 in the Brazilian Army, 7 in the Brazilian Navy and 2 as presidential flight.

Força Aérea Brasileira H-36

The FAB H-36s will not only receive a probe, but also new warnings systems for radar, laser and missile approach, as well as special electronic counter measures, encrypted communication systems and an infrared camera, the FAB writes in a statement.

2015 Airheadfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: A H-36 Caracal equipped with a probe (Image © Força Aérea Brasileira)