LINKOPING, Sweden, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- A multibillion dollar contract between Saab and Brazil for the procurement of 36 Gripen NG fighter aircraft is now in effect, the company announced.
The status was achieved following the fulfillment of all required conditions of the $4.6 billion agreement signed last year.
"This important milestone marks the formal start to the Brazilian Gripen NG program," said Hakan Buskhe, president and chief executive officer of Saab. "We will now work full speed ahead to ensure timely deliveries of Gripen NG to Brazil.
"Our partnership with Brazilian industry strengthens Saab's position in Latin America and supports our strategy for growth through industrial co-operation."
Saab said an associated industrial cooperation contract, which includes technology transfer to Brazilian industries, is now also in effect. It includes a provision for Brazilian engineers and technicians to receive training in Sweden from Saab to build some of the fighters in Brazil.
"The acquisition of Gripen NG will provide benefits beyond the enlargement of the Brazilian Air Force's operational capacity," said Lt. Brig. Nivaldo Luiz Rossato, commander of the Brazilian Air Force. "In addition to equipping FAB with one of the world's most modern fighters, the participation in the development of Gripen NG means a technological breakthrough for Brazilian industry."
The Gripen is a single-engine, multirole combat aircraft with a maximum speed of 1,370 miles per hour and a combat radius of 497 miles. It is equipped with an active electronically scanned array radar and infrared search-and-track system.
Deliveries of the aircraft will begin in 2019.