Brazil is increasingly relying on Saab technology for defense. The Air Force ordered the first Saab F-9 Gripen E 39 years ago. The technology package for Brazil also includes pilot training. The last four have now successfully completed the Delta Conversion Training with the Swedish Air Force, which included theoretical and practical courses as well as simulator flights.
On June 13, Delta Conversion Training ended at the Gripen Center of the F 7 Air Fleet (Link) in Såtenäs, in western Sweden.
Extensive Gripen training in Sweden
Conducted by the Royal Air Force's Phoenix Squadron, the course is divided into two phases. The conversion training, lasting 11 weeks and 50 flights per pilot, covers the basic operation of the fighter jet on both solo and formation missions, day and night.
The Combat Readiness Training consists of 25 flights over approximately nine weeks, exploring the fighter's air-to-air combat capabilities, including the use of missiles, guns and man-machine interface, one of the Gripen's key features.
“Our Phoenix Squadron is dedicated to training Gripen pilots and we are fully equipped to do this, including flight simulators. The Brazilian pilots are highly trained and have extensive operational experience. She quickly learned how to operate, configure and fly the Gripen,” said Major Richard Carlqvist, commander of Phoenix Squadron.
The Gripen Center serves as a hub for training pilots who will fly the Gripen, both from abroad and from the Swedish Air Force itself.
Throughout the course, students train on the Gripen versions C and D. Although it is a different Gripen type than the one purchased from Brazil, this experience is crucial as it helps the pilots to better understand the system, the mode of operation and the to understand flight controls, considering the similarity in some aspects between these different Gripen.
The Gripen Center of the F7 Air Fleet has already trained 17 Brazilian FAB pilots. The current 1st GDA Commander, Lt. Col. Aviator Gustavo, and Lt. Col. Aviator Ramon Lincoln Santos Fórneas were the first FAB pilots to complete the Gripen C/D course in 2014.
Swedish pilots later remained as flight instructors at the Anápolis air base. You will work together with the Brazilian pilots on the conversion and operational use of the Gripen E jets.
Images courtesy of Saab AB