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​Gripen test pilots say they have the best job in the world. Watch the video to know why. 


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In a recent seminar, officials from Sweden and Brazil discussed about the industrial cooperation between the two countries under the Gripen programme.

The seminar called "Close Security Cooperation from Far Away", mostly focused on topics related to the development of bilateral security relations between the two countries.

Lena Bartholdsson, Head of the Security Strategy and Policy Department at the Ministry of Defence in Sweden, and Ambassador Alessandro Candeas, Director of the Department of Defence and Security Affairs at Brazil's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, addressed common interests related to security and industrial cooperation, the benefits and challenges of partnership between the countries.

Both Bartholdsson and Candeas stressed on the relevance of the Gripen programme and talked about the technology transfer and industrial cooperation.

"Saab has been working directly with its partners in local Brazilian industry developing the project for the fighter and its systems. We see that Gripen has great potential to benefit other areas of the Brazilian economy," Bartholdsson said.

Read the full story here.

​Lion Effort 2018 exercise is currently being held at the Kecskemét airbase, Hungary. The Hungarian, Czech and Swedish airforces have sent their Gripen fighters for participation. Thailand and Brazil have sent representatives who are participating as observers, and NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control (NAEW&C) force is supporting the exercise with one of its E-3s. The main goal of Lion Effort is to enhance the operational capabilities of the participating forces and learn from each other's experiences.

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Image courtesy:  Viktoria Hamori, Zord Gábor László and TopiDoc​

​When Brazilian engineers visit Sweden, they do not just learn about Gripen, but also experience a culture entirely different from their own. It is this experience that plays a very important role in understanding each other and forming a great partnership.

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Perfect balance

The key to victory in any air-to-air confrontation is always the right balance of situational awareness, power and weaponry.

Photo: Jörgen Nilsson

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“My manager called me into the room, shook my hand and said, ‘Congratulations, you’re going to Sweden,’” says António da Fontoura, a hardware and software engineer at AEL. 

“We spent a whole week inside the simulators in order to understand how Gripen’s system works, and we could also feel how these systems - such as the helmet - operate. It has a display that keeps information on the pilot’s visor. If you have a designated target, when looking to the side, the helmet points to its location,” he adds.

Since 2015, several engineers like António have been extensively working to develop various parts of the Gripen fighter along with their Swedish colleagues. More than a 100 Brazilian professionals have been trained so far with a majority of them already working at Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN).

According to General Márcio Bruno Bonotto, "So far, all our expectations have been met. Everything is going as per schedule. 50% of the technology transfer initiatives have been completed. This demonstrates the confidence that FAB and Saab have in each other."

In 2016, Saab and Embraer inaugurated GDDN in Gavião Peixoto, in the state of São Paulo. GDDN is responsible for providing the development environment and simulators required to undertake the fighter development work.

This year in May, Saab unveiled a 5,000-square-meter facility for its future Gripen fighter jet aerostructures plant: Saab Aeronáutica Montagens (SAM). SAM will be responsible for the development of aerostructures for the Brazilian ...

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When Captain Gustavo de Oliveira Pascotto flew Gripen for the first time in 2015, he was very impressed with the way Gripen managed the pilot work load. "What I liked the most was the highly advanced human-machine interface," he said.

Pascotto was one of the first few Brazilian pilots who left Anápolis for F7 in Såtenäs to learn all about the future fighter of their Air Force and pass on this knowledge to his colleagues and newly qualified Gripen instructors.

Fast forward to today, and more than 140 professionals have been trained in Sweden till date. They have already returned to Brazil, and most of them are working at the Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN).

Today, there is an excitement amongst everyone at the Brazilian Air Force about the arrival of new fighters with people eagerly waiting for Gripen to become operational in Brazil.

“There is a desire and a thrill that has not been seen for a long time. Today we have a group dedicated to studying this aircraft, which asks us a lot of questions. The pilots know they will have the opportunity to operate a modern machine that will enable them to complete their missions successfully. FAB is restructuring and training the squadron to operate Gripen,” says Lieutenant Colonel Renato Leal Leite.

Those who have flown it never forget it. “Flying Gripen was challenging, rewarding and an operational crowning experience,” says Major Gustavo Pascotto.

Teams are working diligently on ...

​For someone like Julia who always wanted to build something, a career as an assembly operator at Saab has been a great learning experience. 

Drilling machines in different shapes and sizes is the most common tool used at the stations. Julia has always been careful and precise. And these qualities come in handy while using these machines while building the central fuselage, the biggest part of Gripen E. 

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The pace at which technology has changed over the last few decades, and continues to do so, has been impressive to say the least. The computers, processors, and electronics of tomorrow are going to be even better and faster. This means any product - no matter how advanced it is - being developed today will have some or a lot of catching up to do every now and then.

For new age fighters, upgradability will be the key. It is for this very reason that Gripen E has been developed with future progress in mind. “The future pilot will need the ability to continuously upgrade the hardware and software and not get stuck in old functionality; this is of increasing importance,” says Saab’s Wing Commander Flying and Gripen test pilot Hans Einerth.

So, how does Saab build a system that is ready for tomorrow, a fighter that will have an edge in an uncertain future?

The answer is 'Split Avionics'. Separating flight critical and mission critical means a less complicated system that allows for easy modifications. Here is how it works at so many levels. 

Gripen avionics system separates 10% of core flight critical management codebase from 90% of tactical management code. This results in avionics that are hardware agnostic, leaving the tactical management to be integrated with new features without the need to re-certify the flight critical software.

Saab’s Avionic Management System (AMS) for Gripen is the first truly open architecture avionics platform. Conscious decoupling ...

Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN), the hub for the Gripen NG technology development in Brazil, is a proof of true technology transfer. 

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