Swedish aerospace company Saab has successfully completed the operational training of the last group of Brazilian pilots to fly the Gripen fighter jet.
The training, known as Delta Conversion Training, took place at the Gripen Center in Såtenäs, Sweden, and involved both theoretical and practical classes, as well as simulator flights.
The training was conducted by the Swedish Air Force’s Phoenix Squadron and consisted of two stages:
- The Conversion Training, lasting 11 weeks with 50 flights per pilot, covered the basic operation of the Gripen fighter jet in various mission scenarios.
- The Combat Readiness Training, which followed the Conversion Training, focused on air-to-air combat capabilities, including the use of weapons systems and the human-machine interface unique to the Gripen.
Major Richard Carlqvist, commander of the Phoenix Squadron, commended the Brazilian pilots.
“The Phoenix Squadron is dedicated to the training of Gripen pilots, and we are equipped appropriately for that, including flight simulators,” Carlqvist said. “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.”
The last group of four pilots, who are part of the 1st Air Defense Group (1st GDA) of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), concluded their training on June 13, 2023.
In total, 17 pilots from the FAB went through training with the Skaraborg Air Force Wing at the Såtenäs Air Base. The Gripen Centre in Sweden serves as a training hub for pilots from various nations, including Sweden itself.
Brazil signed an agreement with Saab in 2014 for the development and production of 36 Gripen E/F aircraft for the FAB. They are intended to replace the aging fleet of Northrop F-5 fighters that currently constitutes the backbone of the FAB fighter fleet.