Brazilian Air Force Completes Gripen Aircraft Training in Sweden

The Brazilian Air Force 1st Air Defense Group (1st GDA) has completed training on the JAS 39 Gripen multirole fighter jet in Sweden.

Facilitated in partnership with Saab and the Swedish Air Force’s Phoenix Squadron, the course involved two phases focusing on the aircraft’s basic operations and combat capabilities.

The Conversion Training covered Gripen’s deployment for solo and formation in day and night scenarios for 11 weeks with 50 flights per pilot.

Meanwhile, the Combat Readiness Training explored the combat jet’s air-to-air capabilities for nine weeks with 25 flights per pilot. Lessons included the usage of weapons and human-machine interface equipped into the vehicle.

“The Phoenix Squadron is dedicated to the training of Gripen pilots, and we are equipped appropriately for that, including flight simulators,” Phoenix Squadron Commander Maj. Richard Carlqvist stated.

“The Brazilian pilots are highly trained and come here with extensive operational experience, both from the F-5M and AMX units. They quickly learned about the operation, configuration, and flying of Gripen.”

Saab’s Gripen Center

The F7 Wing Gripen Center in the southern city of Såtenäs serves as the training hub for future Gripen pilots in the Swedish Air Force and partner nations.

Enrolled airmen are usually trained with Gripen C/D variants in single and twin-seater configurations.

Despite a difference in the center’s available jets and variants being delivered to Brazil, Saab said  experiences gained at the facility are still critical for pilots to be knowledgeable on the system, corresponding operational modes, and flight controls.

JAS 39 Gripen fighter jet
JAS 39 Gripen fighter jet. Photo: Saab

“After being adapted to Gripen C/D in Sweden, our pilots will undergo their conversion to Gripen E entirely in Brazil, using the resources already available at the 1st GDA, mainly through the planning stations and flight simulators,” 1st GDA Commander Lt. Col. Aviator Gustavo de Oliveira Pascotto explained.

“The courses will be conducted within the scope of the 1st GDA and taught by selected Swedish pilots who will remain at the Anápolis air base as flight instructors. They work together with the Brazilian pilots on the conversion and operational deployment of the aircraft.”

‘Excellent’ Military Cooperation

The Brazilian Air Force commissioned its latest Gripen E fighters last year at the Anápolis Air Base.

The handover is part of the Brazilian government’s effort to integrate advanced combat jets into the service. In 2021, Saab commenced serial production for the program.

The company accepted the contract to deliver a 36-aircraft fleet to the South American country in 2013.

“The cooperation between the Swedish and Brazilian Air Forces is very good and takes place at various levels,” F7 Wing Commander Col. Adam Nelson said.

“We receive Brazilian fighter pilots here in Såtenäs, but we also have a support group from our base in Anápolis, assisting the FAB in the introduction of Gripen E into service. Cooperation and discussions between the teams are excellent.”

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