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SAAB, Embraer ink pact for joint management of F-X2 fighter programme

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The Gripen multi-role fighter.

STOCKHOLM (BNS): Swedish defence major SAAB and Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer have signed a partnership agreement for the joint management of the F-X2 project of the Brazilian Air Force under which it is acquiring 36 Gripen multi-role fighters at a cost of US$ 5.44 billion.

The partnership agreement is part of SAAB's commitment to deliver industrial cooperation in relation to the F-X2 project.

Under the agreement, Embraer will have a leading role in the overall performance of the programme. The Brazilian firm will also undertake an extensive share of work in the production and delivery of both the single- and two-seat versions of the Gripen NG, SAAB announced on April 14.

Brazil, in December 2013, had selected Gripen NG to be its next-generation fighter aircraft through the F-X2 evaluation programme and signed a contract worth 39.3 billion Swedish kronor (US$ 5.44 billion) in October 2014 in this regard.

Under the new partnership agreement, Embraer will be responsible for extensive work packages in systems development, integration, flight test, final assembly and aircraft deliveries.

It will also participate in the coordination of all development and production activities in Brazil.

Furthermore, Embraer and SAAB will be jointly responsible for the complete development of the two-seat version of Gripen NG, the aircraft manufacturer said.

Beginning in the second half of 2015, a team of Embraer engineers and technicians will be based in Sweden to conduct initial training in the maintenance and development work for the Gripen NG. This skill and competence will subsequently be transferred to Brazil, it added.

Embraer and SAAB will build an Engineering Centre at Embraer's industrial plant in Gaviao Peixoto, in the state of Sao Paulo, to support operations of the Gripen NG fighters with the Brazilian Air Force.

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