Gripen: Sweden and Brazil Initiate Contacts to Send Brazilian Technicians to Europe
(Source: Brazil Ministry of Defence; issued May 27, 2015)
BRASILIA --- The Deputy Minister of Defence of Sweden, Jan Salestrand, met on Wednesday (27) with key advisors Brazilian Defense Minister Jaques Wagner. One of the topics discussed was the transfer of 250 Brazilian scientists, engineers and technicians to that European country for education and training about the technology of fighters. At the Ministry of Defence, Salestrand met the portfolio’s senior managers and prepared to strengthen strategic partnerships in the defense sector.

The Swedish delegation was composed of military and civilian representatives and was received by the Secretary General of the Ministry, Eva Chiavon; by the head of the Joint Staff of the Armed Forces (EMCFA), General Jose Carlos De Nardi; and the secretary of defense production, Murilo Barbosa.

For the secretary general, the visit was an important step towards even closer relations between Brazil and Sweden in strategic areas. "Our need for closer cooperation between countries is important in the negotiations made so far in all areas and, in particular, the agreement already signed with our Air Force is built on the need to move forward on the exchange in development of technologies," he said.

For Eva Chiavon, skills acquired through the experience exchange process are essential in the case of the Gripen contract with Sweden, especially for Brazilian technicians to develop their knowledge of increasingly advanced equipment and systems. "This will enable us to be more effective, efficient and effective in our political and defense strategy," he added.

Jan Salestrand took the opportunity to stress that the F-X2 program agreement signed in 2014 between the Brazilian Air Force and the Swedish Ministry of Defense, which provides for the hosting of Brazilian scientists, technicians and engineers in Sweden. "It's great to return to this subject here at the Ministry of Defense, and to say that it's not just aircraft but a strategic partnership," he added.

In this scenario, there should be another preserving confidentiality agreement. The PSI (Project Security Instructions - acronym in English) is the document that supports and protects the exchange of sensitive information between the two countries. The document will be prepared by the Air Force Command and will be signed by the two parties.

The deputy minister also explained that, for some time, Sweden had not paid enough attention to its armed forces, but that with the country’s current situation with regard to Russia and Ukraine, the sector now occupies a prominent position on the government's agenda.

"Our primary focus is on security and defense, which today are leading the government's agenda," he said. It is in this context, he said, that the Gripen program has emerged as a topic of interest. "This way, I hope we can finalize our contract with the F-X2 so that many Brazilian engineers will be going to our country to join the project."

At the end of the meeting, General De Nardi added that the Gripen is a good solution for both countries and talked about the quality of Swedish anti-aircraft equipment. "Apart from the Gripen, you have a very important technology that is used by the Brazilian Army and Navy, which is Bofors anti-aircraft artillery. “In Brazil, we still employ automatic cannon, and they are Swedish. I hope that, in future, general staff meetings will study possibilities in this area," said the chief of staff, adding that he was sure that the two countries still have many other “opportunities for cooperation."

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