Brazil selects Gripen NG for F-X2 Requirement
18 Dec 2013
The Saab Gripen NG has been selected as the new fighter aircraft for the Força Aérea Brasileira (FAB - Brazilian Air Force). The announcement was made by Defense Minister, Celso Amorim, at a press conference on Wednesday 18 December 2013 in Brasilia. The Brazilian Air Force FX-2 program, initiated in 2001, provides for a procurement of 36 new fighter jets. The contract negotiations for the Gripen NG are expected to take 8 to 12 months, according to Minister Celso Amorim. The delivery of the first aircraft estimated to take place in late 2018, or some 48 months after the contract has been finalized, with final deliveries in 2023.
The Gripen NG offer presented to the Brazilian Government by Saab includes sub-systems, technology transfer package, financing and long term bi-lateral collaboration between the Brazilian and Swedish Governments. The value of the contract is estimated to be USD 4.5 billion.
The F-X2 program was a re-launched project for selection of the FAB future fighter following the cancellation of the F-X program. As the F-X2 program was postponed, the FAB acquired 12 second-hand Mirage 2000 fighters from France as interim solution for the air defense role. In 2008, the Dassault Rafale, Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet and Saab Gripen were shortlisted in the F-X2 selection process. Saab renewed its bid offering its enhanced Gripen NG. While the Rafale was favored by Brazil's former president, the economic situation meant further delays in the F-X2 and the shortlisted manufacturers were asked to renew their bids again in mid-2012.
The Mirage 2000 will be retired by the end of this year, their air defense role being taken over by the F-5EM until the new Gripen fighters become operational.
The Gripen NG (Next Generation) was developed to increase and update the capabilities of Saab's Gripen light multirole fighter. The single-seat version dubbed Gripen E has been selected by Switzerland, but its decision for the 22 fighters will need to be confirmed in a referendum next year. Sweden’s defense materiel agency, FMV, signed a SEK 16.4 billion (USD 2.51 billion) production deal with Saab to upgrade 60 JAS 39C Gripen fighters to the Gripen E configuration.