Saab and Embraer signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen the relationship between the two companies, especially in the Gripen and C-390 Millennium programs.
The ceremony took place during LAAD, South America’s largest defense event, in Rio de Janeiro on April 11.
The deal has several areas of action, the most urgent of which is to offer the airlifter to the Swedish Air Force, as a replacement for the six Lockheed Martin C-130H currently operated.
Previously, Sweden intended to revitalize the C-130Hs, but in 2022 it announced a plan to acquire C-130J turboprops from Italy. Unexpectedly, the deal failed to meet the requirements and in March the government announced that it would seek new options to replace the aging aircraft.
The two companies will also assess the integration of Saab’s equipment and systems into the C-390 and look for new opportunities to sell the Gripen E/F fighter in Latin America – Colombia would be a potential customer for the supersonic jet.
The partnership between the two manufacturers also provides for the development of technical studies for future fighters, but without detailing what they are about.
“Our two companies have worked together to deliver an outstanding capability for Brazil that will last for decades. This MoU is an important and gratifying step toward growing that co-operation into new areas between Saab and Embraer that goes beyond Brazil, while maximizing our existing achievements,” said Saab’s President and CEO Micael Johansson.
“Saab and Embraer are two world leaders in the aerospace segment, recognized for the excellence of their engineering and products. I view this MoU with extreme optimism, as I am sure that the two companies together can further grow their business in various markets around the world,” said Bosco da Costa Junior, Embraer Defense and Security President & CEO.
Currently, Embraer supports the supply of 40 Gripen E/F fighters to the Brazilian Air Force (FAB). Part of the aircraft will be assembled at the facilities in Gavião Peixoto, in Brazil, starting in April.
The two companies, which were fierce competitors in the regional turboprop market in the past, currently have complementary activities, which enhance the partnership in the future.
In addition to the Gripen, Saab is also jointly developing the T-7A supersonic advanced trainer jet, which will replace the T-38 Talon in the US Air Force (USAF), among other smaller programs.