FAB incorporates first F-39 Gripen into Jaguar Squadron fleet

Ceremony held at Anápolis Air Base marked the first operational flight in the multi-mission fighter jet by the 1st Air Defense Group

Air Force Agency, by Lt. Marayane

The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) carried out, this Monday (Dec. 19), the incorporation of the first two F-39 Gripen fighter aircraft into the 1st Air Defense Group (1st GDA) – Jaguar Squadron. The military ceremony took place at the Anápolis Air Base (BAAN) and was presided over by the Commandant of the Air Force, Air Lieutenant Brigadier Carlos de Almeida Baptista Junior. The ceremony was also attended by the Swedish Ambassador to Brazil, Karin Wallensteen, former commanders of FAB, General Officers of the Aeronautics High Command, General Officers from yesterday and today, among other military and civilian authorities.

At the event, Lieutenant-Brigadier Baptista Junior highlighted the operational leap that the aircraft will bring to FAB. “Preparing the Anápolis Air Base took six to eight years, since this aircraft requires a different infrastructure than the aircraft we operated until today. From now on, Brazil will greatly increase its defense capacity and the maintenance of our national sovereignty, which is the Air Force’s main mission,” he highlighted.

Saab’s President and CEO, Miccael Johansson, spoke about the Gripen project and the partnership between the Swedish company and the Brazilian Air Force. “The new Gripen fighter jets will take security to a new level, guaranteeing Brazil’s sovereignty and helping the country strengthen control of its borders and protect its people and society. Brazil now has one of the most advanced fighter jets in the world. Thank you and congratulations for reaching this important milestone!

During the event, the Air Force Commander and the Preparations Commander, Air Lieutenant Brigadier Sergio Roberto de Almeida, received from Saab the Tactical Declaration, the official document that defines all the functionalities of the Gripen system and certifies that, as of this moment, the aircraft is ready to start operations. “A lot of work and effort were necessary for us to be gathered here, witnessing and celebrating the beginning of operational activities of this fighter jet at BAAN, an Air Base that carries in its DNA an innovative vocation, being in the vanguard since its creation for the implementation of new technologies and doctrines, honoring the achievements of those who preceded us, represented by our Dijon Boys”, emphasized Lieutenant Brigadier Almeida.


Fighter Aviation at BAAN

The Anápolis Air Base operated FAB’s first supersonic fighter jet, the Mirage 3, and consolidated the foundations of the Brazilian Aerospace Defense System. With the arrival of the Mirage 2000, it inaugurated the BVR combat doctrine, which is still intensely exploited in operational scenarios. 

At the ceremony, the Commander of BAAN, Aviator Colonel Renato Leal Leite, spoke about the role of the Air Unit in the history of national fighter aviation. “Since the beginning of the project this Base has been preparing itself with infrastructure works, with personnel training, among other things. And, as we could hear in the words of Lieutenant Brigadier Almeida, practically the entire Air Force Command had a very important participation. It was a long, extensive preparation, which began at the end of 2013, culminating with this very important milestone that was the arrival and start of Gripen operations at FAB,” he said.

And it was this important milestone for Fighter Aviation that the Jaguar Squadron Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Gustavo de Oliveira Pascotto, was part of. At the ceremony, he and Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Lincoln Santos Forneas performed the first operational flight of the aircraft. “The satisfaction is very great. The Gripen is an aircraft that is at the highest technological level, with onboard systems, instrument flight, in short, all the assistance that the pilot has to fly, to conduct a mission, is really state of the art. It is a great honor and a great satisfaction to be able to make this first flight”, said Lieutenant Colonel Gustavo. 

Gripen in Brazil

The F-39 Gripen is a supersonic fighter that, in time, will replace the F-5M and A-1M aircraft, standardizing the fleet, reducing the cost of operation and increasing the capacity to respond to external threats.

On April 2nd of this year, the first two mass-produced aircraft arrived at the Port of Navegantes (SC), transported by ship. They flew to the Flight Test Center, located in Gavião Peixoto (SP), where test pilots from FAB, Embraer and Saab carried out tests until they achieved military certification, which is a kind of initial operating license for the aircraft.

On September 25, two more F-39 Gripen aircraft landed and underwent the same process. Once the phase in the interior of São Paulo was concluded, the fighters were transferred to the BAAN, where they went through the final stages of acceptance for the 1st GDA to begin operations.

In November, the Military Type Certificate for the Gripen E was issued, certifying that the aircraft met all airworthiness and flight safety requirements established by the Swedish and Brazilian military authorities, represented by the Swedish Military Aviation Safety Inspectorate (FLYGI) and the Institute for Industrial Promotion and Coordination (IFI) in Brazil.

Photos: Petty Officer Manfrim and Sergeant Müller – Video: Petty Officer Barros and Sergeant Neris
Picture Editing: Sergeant Neris – *** Translated by the DEFCONPress FYI Team ***

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