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Brazilian Air Force details modernisation plans

Flight test with the first Brazilian Gripen E fighter aircraft. (Saab)

The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) is in an advanced stage of negotiations with Sweden's Saab to acquire four or more new F-39E Gripen fighter jets, the service's President of the Coordinating Committee of the Combat Aircraft Program (COPAC) Brigadier Antonio Luiz Godoy Soares Mioni Rodrigues told Janes .

The additional jets will be acquired through an addendum to the SEK38.9 billion (USD3.77 billion) contract signed in October 2014 for the initial 36 jets, he added.

Brazil acquired 28 F-39E single-seat and eight F-39F twin-seat jets to meet the F-X2 competition. The last jets are scheduled to be delivered to the FAB in 2027, according to the latest delivery plans.

The Squadron Jaguar, located at the Anápolis Air Force Base, has received four serial production F-39Es. Embraer and Saab utilise a fifth F-39E in a flight-test instrumentation (FTI) configuration for flight tests.

An additional two F-39Es are on the way to Brazil, and another two will be inducted by the end of 2023, according to Brig Soares.

The COPAC is to enter discussions with Saab for a second tranche of Gripen jets, Brig Soares said. The number of aircraft to be ordered is yet to be defined, he added.

The F-39E will debut its operational activity at the next CRUZEX multinational and joint air combat training exercise, to be hosted by the FAB at the Natal Air Force Base in 2024, the Commander of the Squadron Jaguar, Lieutenant Colonel Gustavo de Oliveira Pascotto, told Janes .

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