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RIO DE JANEIRO, April 14 (Reuters) - Brazilian planemaker Embraer SA and Swedish partner Saab AB hope to devise a plan by June for exporting the Gripen fighter jet from the South American country beginning in 2023, a senior Embraer official said on Tuesday.
Jackson Schneider, the head of Embraer's defense unit, said deliveries of 36 Gripen NG single-engine jets to the Brazilian Air Force from a joint assembly plant in the country would begin in 2018. It could wrap up as early as 2023, opening up export capacity.
The companies formalized their partnership in the $5.4 billion program on Tuesday at the LAAD defense fair in Rio.
Schneider said that over the course of the week he would meet with delegations from around 40 countries who were interested in the planemaker's KC-390 military cargo jet, which took its first flight in February.
Embraer also has about 10 open sales campaigns for its Super Tucano light attack aircraft, Schneider said.
The company continues to work with the Brazilian government to collect payments due late last year, according to Schneider, with the aim of stabilizing cash flow on those contracts and cutting back some defense programs if necessary. (Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier; Writing by Brad Haynes; Editing by Christian Plumb)