Meetings held in Brazil and South Africa dealt with the progress of the production and certification of the F-39 Gripen aircraft, the new fighter of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB).
Representatives of the Swedish Airworthiness Authority (SE-MAA) were in São José dos Campos (SP), on March 20 and 21, for the 7th Gripen Joint Certification Team Meeting. The meeting, held twice a year, alternately in Brazil and Sweden, took place at the Institute of Industrial Development and Coordination (IFI), an organization subordinate to the Department of Aerospace Science and Technology (DCTA) that acts as the Brazilian Military Airworthiness Technical Authority.
In Cape Town, the first Gripen User's Group (GUG) conference of 2019 was held between 18 and 22 March. The intergovernmental initiative between the air forces currently operating the Gripen aircraft was aimed at facilitating the exchange of information on the state of play in order to establish mutual cooperation between participants, focusing on operational efficiency as well as technical aspects of the project.
At the meeting in Brazil, updates were discussed on the bilateral reconnaissance agreement between the two bodies responsible for Military Airworthiness, which governs the responsibilities of each authority, the equivalence of documents and institutional relations in certification projects of mutual interest.
Progress was also made in the joint procedure for airworthiness verification during the flight test campaign in Brazil, scheduled to begin in 2020. At the request of SE-MAA, the IFI presented its Government Quality Assurance System (GQQ) and the software certification process, areas that the Swedish agency has already shown interest in incorporating the direct participation of the IFI specialists.
For the Director of the IFI, Colonel Pilot José Renato de Araujo Costa, the Gripen strategy agreed with the Swedish certification authority allows for mutual support and optimization of the human and material resources used in proving compliance with the requirements that guarantee the safety of the aircraft.
Gripen User's Group
In South Africa, representatives from the Air Forces of Sweden, Czech Republic, Hungary, South Africa, Thailand and Brazil shared their experiences in the operational use of the supersonic fighter aircraft. The meeting also explored the possibilities of future joint activities as well as joint acquisition programs connected with the use of the Gripen.
FAB participated with a delegation comprising the Acquisition and Development Group and Operational Working Group (A & D and Op). During the conference, presentations were made by all participants, showing the current situation of the Gripen fleets of the operator countries, as well as the operational and logistical challenges they face.
The Brazilian delegation presented the evolution of Gripen production, detailing the construction phases of the first aircraft, the schedule of deliveries to the FAB and the training program of the pilots, as well as the main equipment and armaments that will integrate the new fighter.
The delivery schedule for the fighters begins in 2021. The first flight of the Brazilian aircraft (Flight Test Instrumentation) is scheduled to occur in 2019.
Part of the 36 Brazilian Gripen aircraft, which in the FAB will be called the F-39 E / F, will be manufactured entirely in Europe by SAAB. Others will be started in Sweden and finished in Brazil, with the participation of Brazilian technicians and engineers.
This integration is part of the transfer of technology provided for in the contract, and aims to provide practical knowledge necessary for the execution of the same activities in Brazil.