Saab say they have performed the first metal cut for the two-seater fighter aircraft Gripen F, marking an important milestone in the programme.

“Gripen F is under development for the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) and shares the same advanced design and features as Gripen E, but with seat, displays and controls for a second crew member.  Gripen F has both a training mode for tuition of one crew member and a mode whereby the two crew members can share the workload with different display settings.”

The first part was manufactured recently at Saab’s facilities in Linköping and is for the air duct section, just behind the cockpit of the aircraft.

“This milestone is important for the Gripen project because it demonstrates that the development phase is proceeding properly. This signals the beginning of the production of the two-seater aircraft, Gripen F, which is much anticipated by the Brazilian Air Force,” says Colonel Renato Leite, head of the Monitoring and Control Group (GAC-Saab) at the Brazilian Air Force.

“Very effective teamwork among many dedicated people, both in Sweden and in Brazil, paved the way for this milestone on this new version of Gripen. These kind of milestones are special moments due to their rarity and that feels great,” said Jonas Hjelm, head of Saab business area Aeronautics.

Brazil has ordered 28 Gripen E fighters that will be delivered to Brazil starting from 2021 and eight Gripen F fighters, starting from 2023. Gripen F is also being offered by Saab to Finland for their fighter replacement programme.

Click here to watch a short video about the first metal cut.

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Might be amongst the last two seat combat aircraft to be produced now everything is moving to simulator based training.


Possibly not. Germany has an interest in replacing its ECR Tornados, with Typhoon being the favourite. They have requested the aircraft be a two seater so the crew can split the duties of flying and countermeasures.


Reportedly they are leaning towards a split buy of Typhoon, Growler and Super Hornet as the Americans will likely resist certifying the bombs on the Typhoon and it lacks an off the shelf area ECM as European air forces with the different theatre conditions present in Europe, and with the exception of the Tornado operated by UK/Germany/Italy, have tended to focus on equipping all aircraft with a basic all around ECM package rather than having a dedicated Jammer escort.

German order being described as ‘The worst of all worlds’.

Nigel Collins

“Germany has an interest in replacing its ECR Tornados”

Could this be another reason for the shift?

“Saab has shifted the focus of its Gripen E/F testing away from basic flight trials towards the aircraft’s tactical and sensor suites”


Saab has since the days of the Viggen made a priority on EW and ECM. The C/D Gripen always did very well using their ECM verses other aircraft in mock air battles. The system was very effective against F15s, but also against Typoon, until it got within IRST distance. Saab have stated that their jammer is comparable with those fitted to the F18 Growler. But not which version of jammer the Growler is using? The E/F uses the Raven AESA radar which is a derivative of the Typhoon’s Captor E. It uses the same mechanical system to increase its field… Read more »

Nigel Collins

Thank you for your detailed reply DavyB, very interesting.


Drone control and electronic warfare is best conducted from the back seat.


BAe should have never sold their stake in Saab. Gripen’s a great low budget airframe and Saab have secured a partnership with Boeing on the US trainer program which will lead to more international orders, probably out selling the Hawk over time.

Nigel Collins

This programme seems to be moving on very well at present.

“Gripen E/F shifts focus from flight to sensor tests

Saab has shifted the focus of its Gripen E/F testing away from basic flight trials towards the aircraft’s tactical and sensor suites as the programme ramps up ahead of the first upcoming deliveries to Sweden and Brazil.”