The advent of serial production of Gripen E earlier this year had meant Saab ramping up the test programme as well. As anticipated, the third designated test aircraft, Gripen E 39-10, is now undergoing test runs as Saab readies it for its first test flight, progressing the test programme further, reports ainonline.com.
With the first four production Gripen E nearing completion, more tests will be conducted later this year, scaling up the programme even more.
So far, testing of systems like MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile and Diehl short-range IRIS-T air-to-air weapon have been successfully conducted on Gripen E.
"We are flying 39-8 on a daily basis and running updates fast on the test aircraft,” says Eddy De La Motte, head of Saab’s Gripen E/F business unit.
Eddy also added that currently, Saab, the Swedish ministry of defense, and Sweden’s FMV Defence Material Administration are jointly involved in the validation program, but Brazil will also join in at some point.
According to an earlier report in Jane’s, out of the four Gripen E aircraft, one will be delivered to the Brazilian Air Force while the remaining three will serve as validation and verification aircraft for Sweden's Gripen E programme. Both deliveries are expected to be made by the end of 2019.