Last twelve months were very productive and eventful for the Gripen E/F programme. More Brazilian engineers were trained, three new test aircraft were added, bringing the total number to six, and the test programme reported more than 300 flight hours. But the icing on the cake was the first metal cut for the two-seater Gripen E.
Presenting at the Gripen Seminar last week, Eddy de la Motte, Head of Business Unit, Gripen E/F, said, “The program is running as per schedule and we will deliver the first Gripen F to Brazil in 2023.”
According to Eddy, the two seater Gripen will be an important addition to Saab’s product line, not only for Brazil, but also for other customers too.
Gripen F development process is divided equally between Saab in Sweden and Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN). Approximately 4oo engineers are currently working on Gripen F, and the next step for Saab and GDDN will be to maintain similar timelines in future as well.
Sharing the highlights of the Gripen E test programme, Eddy said that Saab’s focus will now be to test all the tactical systems and sensors. “I am happy to say that the sensors we have, the new radars, the IRST system, and the EW system, are all performing well,” he said.
For the Brazilian Gripen E programme, the main milestones of last year include the inauguration of the Systems Rig (the first Gripen development simulator installed outside of Sweden), and the flight of the first Brazilian production aircraft.
For the Swedish Gripen E programme on the other hand, the first SwAF Gripen’s flight in December, and the smooth cooperation between Saab, the Swedish Air Force, and the FMV were the big highlights.
“In the coming year, we are going to deliver the second and the third production aircraft to Sweden. These aircraft will also be a part of the Joint Validation and Verification programme. We’re also planning to start test activities at the FMV test centre later this year. So we will be test flying Gripen E from two locations in Sweden soon,” Eddy said.