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Saab picks Brazil's AEL for Gripen avionics displays

Saab has tapped Brazil-based AEL System to provide wide-area and head-up displays for Gripen NG fighters that are being purchased by the Brazilian military.

Brazil became the export launch customer for the NG-model multi-role fighter when in October it ordered 28 single-seat and eight two-seat aircraft for its FX-2 programme. The selection process for a company to produce the cockpit displays began in January, Saab says.

Development and delivery of the Gripen NG avionics will last four years and includes integration and production work to be performed at AEL’s Porto Alegre, Brazil, campus under a technology-sharing agreement that is part of the contract. AEL is wholly owned by Israeli defence electronics manufacturer Elbit Systems.

Saab will perform system integration with the airframe in partnership with Brazilian aerospace company Embraer. Contract work will begin in the second half of 2015, Saab says. Its transfer of technology agreement also includes development of improved human-machine interfaces for advanced fighters like the Gripen NG.

The Gripen NG’s wide-area display is a multi-purpose touchscreen that can display full-motion video on a 19in by 8in panel. The heads-up display provides flight control and mission information for the pilot while looking out of the canopy.

“Incorporating these advanced products from AEL into Brazil’s Gripen NG further enhances the aircraft. This agreement also shows our continuing commitment to develop and produce the Gripen in close partnership with Brazilian industry,” says Ulf Nilsson, head of Saab Aeronautics.

The avionics suite will be flight tested at Saab’s facility in Linköping, Sweden, to demonstrate and validate the new equipment, the company says.

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