by Richard Tomkins
Linkoping, Sweden (UPI) Oct 27, 2014
Brazil has signed a contract with Saab, the Swedish defense and security company, for acquisition of 36 Gripen NG fighter aircraft.
The deal between Saab and the Ministry of Defense -- through the Aeronautics Command, or COMAER -- is worth nearly $5.42 billion. It also includes a substantial technology transfer to Brazilian industry under an associated industrial cooperation accord.
"The contract with Brazil validates Gripen as the most capable and modern fighter system on the market," said Hakan Buskhe, president and chief executive officer of Saab.
Added Marcus Wallenberg, chairman of Saab's board of directors: "We are proud to stand side-by-side with Brazil in this important program. There is already a long and successful history of industrial cooperation between our two countries, and this historic agreement takes that partnership to a new level."
The contract covers 36 aircraft -- 28 single-seat Gripens and eight two-seat Gripens -- and related equipment. The two-seat variant will be built by Brazilian industry.
The NG is the newest variant of the multi-role fighter flown by the air forces of Sweden, the Czech Republic, Hungary South Africa and Thailand. Brazil selected it last December for its F-X2 fighter program in which the local company Embraer has a large role.
Saab said the contract and the industrial cooperation agreement are expected to take effect next year following fulfillment "certain conditions," including necessary export control-related authorizations.
Delivery of the jets is expected to begin in 2019.
Aerospace News at SpaceMart.com
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