In our Aug/Sept issue, Rob Erdos muses on float flying and we discuss night aerial firefighting. Plus: Air Canada in the pandemic, KF Aerospace at 50 and Canadians in the Battle of Britain.
Saab Aeronautica Montagens (SAM), Saab’s first aerostructures plant outside of Sweden for the new Gripen E/F fighter, reached another important milestone recently with the start of production. This site builds sections of Gripen, which will then be delivered to the final assembly facilities at the Embraer plant in Gaviao Peixoto, Sao Paulo, Brazil and to Linkoping, Sweden.
In 2014, Saab signed a contract with the Brazilian government for the development and production of 36 Gripen E/F aircraft. In September last year, the first Brazilian Gripen E aircraft was delivered to start the flight test program. Now, another milestone is reached, as Gripen production starts at the SAM plant, which is located in Sao Bernardo do Campo, a city in the metropolitan area of Sao Paulo in Brazil.
The tail cone and front fuselage of the single-seat version of the Gripen fighter are the first aerostructures to enter into production at SAM. Subsequently, the aerodynamic brakes, rear fuselage, wing box and front fuselage for the two-seater version will also be manufactured at SAM.
“This is another outcome of the transfer of technology (ToT) of the Gripen program. Based on theoretical and practical on-the-job training of Brazilian engineers and assemblers at Saab in Linkoping, we were able to establish a highly qualified production line at SAM, following the same standards that we have in our factory in Sweden,” said Jonas Hjelm, head of Saab’s business area.
Currently, SAM has more than 70 highly qualified employees, half of whom are participating or have already participated in the ToT Program in Sweden. Part of these employees have already completed the training and returned to initiate the production in Brazil.