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The Smart Fighter

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​The partnership between Saab and Akaer began in the year 2008 when the leading Brazilian aerospace company was contracted by Saab to develop the rear fuselage of the Gripen NG fighters. This was long before Brazil selected the former to deliver 36 Gripen fighters for the Brazilian Air Force (FAB). 

Once the Gripen Brazil programme was announced, Akaer's role in it increased. In 2012, a group of five engineers from the company went to Sweden to monitor the production of parts to be developed in Brazil and start planning for the next phase of the central fuselage design of Gripen. They also began working on the central and armament fuselage of Gripen after completion of the rear fuselage.

As of now, more than 100 professionals from Akaer have worked on various projects under the Gripen programme and the company has logged in more than half a million hours in the project.  Saab also holds 25% stakes in Akaer and, since 2012, is a part of the company’s Advisory Board. 

​What is the role of AEL Sistemas in the partnership between Saab and Brazil? As a supplier of important Gripen cockpit equipment, AEL is developing three distinct systems: the Wide Area Display (WAD), the Head up Display (HUD) which allows the pilot to focus on the mission and not look down into the cockpit to read instruments for information, and the Targo helmet (Helmet Mounted Display – HMD) that projects all this information.

Saab selected AEL Sistemas (AEL) as a supplier for the Gripen NG in Brazil in February 2015. The contract was to provide wide area display (WAD) and the head-up display (HUD) for Brazil's newly ordered Gripen fighters.

This was followed by an extensive flight test campaign at the Saab plant in Linköping, Sweden to demonstrate the validity of both WAD and HUD.

Saab and AEL also signed a contract for transfer of technology which covered further development of the human machine interface (HMI), workshops for avionics maintenance and theoretical courses and on-the-job-training.

AEL delivered the first WAD prototype (Model A) and the HUD in September 2015. The Brazilian-based defence electronics company has already exhibited the WAD and HMD systems for FAB's Gripen fighters at various seminars and events like LAAD so far.

In May 2016, AEL successfully delivered the WAD Demo HMI Software, a preliminary version of an application which shows Saab’s concepts for the future WAD Human-Machine Interface (HMI).

Almost a year and a half later, in September 2017, AEL delivered ...

​Saab signed a contract with Brazil to develop 36 Gripen E/F fighters for the Brazilian Air Force in October 2014. One of the major decisive factors behind Brazil's selection of Gripen was Saab's transfer of technology (ToT) offer. The ToT program is divided into 50 projects and covers theoretical training, research & technology programmes, on-the-job training in Sweden, and development and production work.

Since the contract was finalised, many developments have taken place in the transfer of technology program for Brazil. Here are a few milestones.

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The Gripen technology transfer programme started in October 2015 when 50 engineers from Saab’s partner companies (Embraer and AEL Sistemas) in Brazil came to Sweden for training. Each engineer had a different programme schedule according to their roles in the programme.


Captains Ramon Lincoln Santos Fórneas and Gustavo de Oliveira Pascotto, who left Rio de Janeiro and Anápolis respectively for F7 in Såtenäs in November 2014, flew their first solo flight in Gripen in January 2015.


Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN), was inaugurated in November 2016 at the Embraer plant in Gavião Peixoto, in the state of São Paulo. GDDN is the hub for the Gripen technology development in Brazil for Saab and its partners in Brazil. So far, about 140 professionals who have been trained in Sweden, have already returned to Brazil, and most of them are working at GDDN. 


In January 2017, engineers from AEL Sistemas went to Arboga, Sweden to learn in detail the ...

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This summer, Hungarian Air Force Gripen will take part in a joint training exercise with Royal Air Force's Typhoon fighters in Kecskemét , reports

British Ambassador to Hungary, Ian Lindsay said that the Typhoon fighters will relocate to Romania after the exercise in Hungary. The ambassador also said that in the light of increasing security risks, the European countries and the UK should strive for closer cooperation.

The training will also carry out combat tasks and capture tactics. The British Royal Air Force Hawk aircraft and the Hungarian Gripen participated in a joint exercise last year, in August, where they decided to continue the training this year as well. Joint exercises with other air forces are good from a training perspective as they help pilots train in different environments and understand the capabilities of other aircraft. 

Read the full story here

Learn how the Gripen Program represents much more than the increased operational capacity of the Brazilian Air Force. ​

​Cope Tiger, an exercise conducted by Singapore, Thailand and the United States is being held at Wing 1, Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base.

Both air and ground units are participating in the exercise. The exercise is aimed at increasing combat readiness and improving interoperability between the participating nations. 

Cope Tiger 2018 is being conducted between 12 and 23 March 2018.


Image and video courtesy: Cope Tiger 2018

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South African Government’s armaments development and manufacturing company, Denel Dynamics, is using an aircraft-mounted testing pod to develop its missiles in a quick, cost-effective way. 

The pod has a controller, power supply, telemetry downlink and uplink receiver, radios to communicate to the aircraft, and recording systems. With the help of the pod, one can easily test things like infrared and radar seekers, optical equipment and electronic warfare systems.

The pod was first used to test A-Darter fifth-generation infrared guided missile that has been integrated onto Gripen fighters. After its successful testing, now it is also used to examine the radar sensor used by Denel Dynamics’ Marlin technology demonstrator. 

A-Darter is a fifth-generation Imaging Infrared (IIR) SRAAM air-to-air missile system. Its features include lock-on after launch, memory tracking, and countermeasures resistance with a 180-degrees look angle and 120-degrees per second track rate.

According to the Program Manager of Denel Dynamics, Jaco Botha, one of the greatest benefits of the testing pod is that it cuts down the enormous expense of having to integrate the missile (in its final configuration) onto Gripen. “We’ve skipped that whole process by going to the pod – you are on the wing of an aircraft and can evaluate in a real environment,” he said.

Read the full story here.

​What is the importance of women in the Brazilian Gripen Program? Women engineers and executives show that talent and competence are genderless.

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The annual Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton International Air Day at Somerset, England​, is back. Scheduled to be held on 7th July 2018, it will feature a spectacular five-hour flying display -besides an array of ground attractions - from engineering fairs to the latest defence technology exhibitions, simulators, fairground rides and helicopter pleasure flights. 

After last year’s remarkable performance, the Czech Air Force has confirmed their participation at the event for this year as well. They will return with the JAS 39C Gripen that won the title of ‘Best Fixed Wing Display’ last year.  

The RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day is expected to have up to 40,000 visitors. The event will include demonstration of the Maritime Capability and Air Power of not only the Royal Navy, but also the British Army and the Royal Air Force, which are celebrating their centenary year. The British Armed Forces’ NATO and European allies will participate too. The Air Day will have both static and flying displays from some of the world’s most skilled pilots and their aircrafts. 

Read the full story here.

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