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Last year was a productive one for the Brazilian Gripen Programme, with several important milestones. Among other achievements, we can highlight the first Brazilian aircraft in final production in Linköping and the important results of the joint development of Gripen E and F in Linköping and at the Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN), in São Paulo State, Brazil.

Since the beginning of the Transfer of Technology Programme in October 2015, more than 120 Brazilian engineers have participated in theoretical and practical ‘on-the-job’ training in Sweden in several technical disciplines related to the development, production and maintenance of the aircraft. These engineers have returned to Brazil and most of them are currently working at the GDDN.

In total, more than 350 Brazilian specialists (engineers, technicians and assembly operators) will be trained in Sweden until the end of the Transfer of Technology Programme, which involves more than 60 offset projects. From now on, the ‘on-the-job training’ in Sweden will be focusing on flight test, verification and production.

Today, 115 Brazilian engineers and 18 expatriates from Sweden work at the GDDN. They are involved in Gripen E/F development work in areas such as vehicle systems, aeronautical engineering, airframe design, systems installation, system integration, avionics, human-machine interface and communications.

"The Gripen programme continues to progress according to schedule, and expectations are high since the first Brazilian aircraft will begin the flight test campaign in Linköping this year," says Mikael Franzén, head of business unit Gripen Brazil and vice ...

Busy days in the Gripen factory. Another four Gripen E are soon ready to take to the skies!​

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“As a mechanical engineer, I have taken countless courses about materials, production processes, logistics, industrial economics – and the list goes on. Pretty much everything I have read about at university can be related to the design and production of an aircraft,” writes Johanna from Linköping who talks about her 3-week eye-opening experience working on Gripen fighters at the Saab Aeronautics production unit in Linköping.

Johanna, along with her other graduate colleagues, were part of the Saab Graduate Leadership Programme which is an extended and in-depth introduction to the company for future ‘Saabers.’ Saab's Graduate leadership programme offers thesis work placement wherein students get to solve different kinds of fascinating problems. These students also get to visit Saab sites and develop an extensive understanding of the company.

“What really struck me is how we are taking major steps for the future within production right now. One is how we have successfully implemented full Model-Based Definition (MBD), which is essentially design and production without drawings. Even those who have been working in production for decades, being used to conventional drawings, were happy to show us how they work with their new 3D tools,” she writes.

Read the full story here.

​The Brazilian Gripen will allow the pilot to make accurate decisions in a short time. Want to know more? Watch Episode 18 of our True Collaboration web series!​

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What happens when a multi-role fighter aircraft like Gripen and a state-of-the-art Air-to-Air missile like MBDA’s Meteor come together? They make for one of the strongest and the most lethal combinations in air-warfare. 

During modern warfare, the ability to strike with pinpoint precision from beyond the horizon is very crucial. Let’s take a look at how Meteor, which is considered to be the best Beyond-Visual-Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) available today, does exactly that. 

With an operational range of over 100 km, a BVRAAM Meteor missile can travel at a speed of over Mach 4, which is over four times the speed of sound. The missile can accelerate mid-way, leaving very little chances of the target to escape. In fact, it has a no-escape zone of over 60 km which is known to be the largest among air-to-air missiles. 

Meteor is capable of engaging targets ranging from agile jets and UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) to cruise missiles, simultaneously and autonomously in any given weather. 

More features that make Meteor capable include its two-way data link ability, active radar seeker, and the solid-fueled Ramjet motor. The two-way data link allows the pilot to target and re-target the missile even after it has been launched. The active radar seeker enhances the missile’s tracking ability, and the ramjet propulsion system gives Meteor its high-speed performance and the energy to defeat fast, moving targets at long range.

Meteor is an “all-up-around” weapon and is not only lethal, fast, and ...

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The Gripen E-series is for customers who face more pronounced threats or have wider territories to secure. With an ability to constantly evolve, Gripen E is built to keep up with all sort of challenges that a future battle scenario may throw at a pilot. But what exactly helps Gripen deal with the most advanced threats?

Face high-threat environment head-on

Contested airspaces, integrated air defence systems, these are modern battlefield environments that call for the most modern fighter systems. Gripen E/F carries a variety of both active and passive measures to disrupt enemy efforts and protect itself and other friendly units. The new Electronic Warfare (EW) system allows disruption of the enemy’s ability to function effectively. Its goal is to either assist in the destruction of enemy assets or confuse them altogether. Designed to handle the new age signal environment, this EW system, with its  ultra wide band digital receivers, advanced signal processing and extensive processing capacity, can distinguish the real threat signals from others.

Detect First

To succeed in any mission up in the sky, information is the key. But what is even more important is the time at which you get this information. Did your enemy sense you before you sensed them? Gripen E/F reduces its likelihood of being detected by relying on its passive sensors, or through active jamming. It utilizes all available data in the battle cloud, including that sent by other air, land or sea-based units, and fuses it locally ...

What happens when a Gripen pilot reaches high altitude and the cabin pressure drops all of a sudden? It can actually have fatal consequences, and therefore it is very important to have systems in place that detect such scenarios in advance and take measures to protect the pilot.

Recently, as a part of Gripen E testing, a number of tests were conducted to verify these systems. Prototype 39-9 onwards, Gripen E has several new systems installed, including an On-Board Oxygen Generating System (OBOGS) and anti-g system.

Two different pressure chambers were used to conduct these tests; one simulated the cabin in the aircraft and the other simulated a non-pressurized space (device space), where OBOGS was mounted. A test doll with a respiratory simulator was used at first to conduct a few tests. This was followed by a test pilot stepping in to do corresponding tests and evaluate the functioning of these systems.

The tests were further enhanced by usage of explosive decompression, simulating the sudden drop in cabin pressure at high altitudes. Low pressure like this could happen in case of an explosion or loss of the aircraft hood. If this happens, the system will quickly detect it, and also take the necessary steps to protect the pilot.

"The focus was to verify that the system gave the correct pressure to the oxygen mask and G-suit depending on the actual altitude. In addition, it was checked that the oxygen level that the system generates ...

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With advancements of technologies in the field of defence taking place at a rapid rate, combat and conflict situations will only get more complicated in future. The missiles are going to be bigger, better. What a fighter needs is survivability that is effective.

Enhanced Survivability Technology (ESTL)​, with its modular structure, offers efficient self-protection for virtually any type of fixed-wing aircraft on a mission-to-mission basis. Missiles of today maybe smart, but ESTL - together with the MAW (Missile Approach Warning) sensors, and AIM-9 and AIM-120 interface - acts as a powerful shield against them.

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The Missile Approach Warning system (MAW) provides rapid, accurate detection and tracking data of approaching missiles.

BOP, the lightweight pyrotechnical dispenser, boasts of a forward firing capability enabling superior protection against latest missiles. BOL, on the other hand, is a lightweight electromechanical dispenser holding efficient chaff or IR payloads. Together with BOP, it gives ESTL an advanced countermeasure dispensing capability.

ESTL provides covert sustainable pre-emptive dispensing, missile warning, forward firing of flares, and cocktail dispensing. All these capabilities have been incorporated into the form-factor of a missile utilizing the well-established AIM-9 Sidewinder and AIM-120 AMRAAM interfaces and characteristics for lean aircraft integration.

ESTL offers state-of-the-art self-protection against 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation IR- seekers. A standard, AIM-9 Sidewinder and AIM-120 AMRAAM, interface makes it possible to share ESTL units among the aircraft of an entire fleet, which mean better internal coordination during missions. Not just that, ESTL can handle up to ...

Collaborations like that of Brazilian company Embraer and Saab mean an effective Gripen F development. The collaboration is an example of how true technology transfer works.


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On 26 November, Saab completed the successful first flight of the second Gripen E test aircraft.

The second Gripen E test aircraft, designated 39-9, took off on its maiden flight at 09.50 am on 26 November 2018. The test flight was operated from Saab’s airfield at Linköping, Sweden, with Saab test pilot Robin Nordlander at the controls.

“Some people think being a test pilot is the most exciting job in the world and it should be. Flying Gripen E means breaking no sweat though, even on a maiden flight such as this. The flight was so smooth and 39-9 a real pleasure to pilot. I am looking forward to getting it back in the air again and soon putting the new systems to the test,” says Robin Nordlander, Experimental Test Pilot, Saab.

Read the full story here.​

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