First Brazilian Air Force F-39E Gripen Makes Official Debut

The first F-39A during its official presentation on Oct. 23, 2020. (Image credit: Saab)

Gripen E Officially Presented During The Brazilian Air Force Day.

On Oct. 23, 2020, the first Saab Gripen E, designated F-39E Gripen by the Brazilian Air Force, made its official debut during the celebrations of Aviators’ Day and the Brazilian Air Force Day, at Wing 1, in Brasília.

“It is a great honour to see Gripen E at the ceremony in celebration to the Aviators’ Day and the Brazilian Air Force Day. I do not believe that there is a more appropriate occasion for this presentation, as it certainly means a lot to all Brazilian aviators to have the aircraft flying in the skies of Brazil”, stated Micael Johansson, CEO and President of Saab, during the ceremony, that was attended by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Brazilian Defence Minister Fernando Azevedo e Silva; the Swedish Ambassador to Brazil, Johanna Brosmar-Skoogh; the Brazilian Air Force Commander, Air Lieutenant Brigadier Antonio Carlos Moretti Bermudez; and Commander of the Swedish Air Force, Major General Carl-Johan Edström, among others.

As we reported last month, the first Gripen E for the Brazilian Air Force flew for the first time in Brazil on Sept. 24, 2020. The aircraft arrived on a ship in the port of Navegantes, where it was offloaded and moved by road, under strict surveillance, to the local airport. After a taxi test on the runway at Navegantes airport, the F-39, flew to Embraer’s facility in Gavião Peixoto (São Paulo State), where a Gripen Flight Test Center has been established to continue the flight test program. The first fighters will be delivered to the Wing 2, in Anápolis (Goiás State), at the end of next year.

According to Saab, in Brazil, the activities include tests on flight control and climate control systems, as well as tests on the aircraft in tropical climatic conditions. In addition to the tests that are common to a Gripen E programme aircraft, unique characteristics of the Brazilian aircraft will be also tested, such as armaments integration and the Link BR2 communication system – which provides encrypted data and voice communication to the aircraft.

The partnership with Brazil began in 2014 with a contract for the development and production of 36 aircraft, 28 Gripen Es and eight twin-seat Gripen Fs, for the Brazilian Air Force, after 10 years of negotiations which left the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and Dassault Rafale defeated. A comprehensive decade-long technology transfer program will also benefit the development of the local aerospace industry which are participating in the Brazilian Gripen program.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.