Saab unveiled a 5,000-square-meter facility for its future Gripen aerostructures plant: Saab Aeronáutica Montagens (SAM), in the city of São Bernardo do Campo, in São Paulo state, Brazil.
Saab Aeronáutica Montagens (SAM) will produce aerostructures for the Brazilian Gripen fighter and is preparing to become part of Saab´s global supply chain. This is another important step in the Gripen fighter jet programme in Brazil.
“We are transferring knowledge and production capacity for complex aerostructures to Brazil, in compliance with our offset agreement. The plant is planned to be part of the global Saab supply chain for the civil aviation and defence markets,” explains Mikael Franzén, Head of Business Unit Gripen Brazil, Saab Aeronautics.
SAM will be responsible for producing six complex structural parts for Gripen acquired by the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), such as the tail cone, aerodynamic brakes, wing box, front fuselage for the single-seat and two-seat versions and the rear fuselage for the single-seat version of the aircraft.
“This is the beginning of the plant installation. We are setting up the office, hiring personnel and suppliers. By 2020 the entire plant structure will be ready to start manufacturing Gripen components,” explains Marcelo Lima, SAM’s Director-General.
When the operations starts at SAM in 2020, it will be with 55 employees. That number will until 2024 increase to 200. Among them engineers and technicians, who until then will be trained in Linköping, Sweden, for up to 24 months.
“The new jobs in the plant will be for highly skilled people to work on complex fuselage structures, both metallic and composite, driving our technology transfer programme. At the end of this project, we will have added more than 84,000 hours of training for SAM employees alone,” says Marcelo Lima.
Saab AB will be the majority shareholder in SAM with 90 percent and the Brazilian engineering company Akaer will be a minority shareholder with 10 percent. At the same time, Saab increases its stake in Akaer to 28 percent in a stock swap agreement.
“The partnership with Akaer began even before Saab was selected by the FAB. The work began with the development of structural parts and engineering, and now it is also active in the manufacturing area. Since 2009, Akaer has worked more than half a million hours on the Gripen Programme.,” says Mikael Franzén.
“Akaer’s share participation in SAM strengthens our long-lasting partnership with Saab and it is in accordance with the strategy of expansion, diversification and internationalization of our business”, said Cesar Augusto Teixeira Andrade e Silva, president and CEO of Akaer.
In these 32 months of the Gripen Programme in Brazil, Saab, together with its industrial partners and the FAB, has contributed to the development of the defence industry in Brazil and helped create new skilled jobs, including the region of São Bernardo do Campo, which will also benefit and enjoy increased revenue.