First flight success for Gripen E

Defence and security company Saab today completed a successful first flight of the next generation smart fighter, Gripen E. The media are invited to attend an online press briefing later today and joining details are below.

At 10:32 on Thursday June 15, Gripen E took off on its maiden flight, flown by a Saab test pilot. The aircraft (designation 39-8) left from Saab’s airfield in Linköping, Sweden and flew over the eastern parts of Östergötland for 40 minutes. During the flight the aircraft carried out a number of actions to demonstrate various test criteria including the retracting and extending of the landing gear.

“The flight was just as expected, with the aircraft performance matching the experience in our simulations. Its acceleration performance is impressive with smooth handling. Needless to say I’m very happy to have piloted this maiden flight,” says Marcus Wandt, Experimental Test Pilot, Saab.

“This is an important milestone in the development programme of Gripen E, of which first deliveries to Sweden and Brazil are expected by 2019. Gripen E has been designed with the future in mind, incorporating the most advanced technology and providing excellent tactical flexibility. As a truly multi-role fighter, fully NATO-interoperable, we are very confident that Gripen E meets the demanding operational requirements expressed by the Belgian Air Force as it seeks to replace its current fleet of fighter aircrafts”, as expressed by Per Alriksson, Campaign Director for Gripen in Belgium. “Gripen E differs also from any other fighter aircraft with unrivalled cost efficiency in combination with advanced technology and operational effectiveness”, Per Alriksson continues.


Invitation to online press briefing 

Time: Thursday, June 15 2017 at 16.00 CET

Speakers: Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President and Head of Saab Business Area Aeronautics and Marcus Wandt, Experimental Test Pilot, Saab. 

Online press briefing: This will be live-streamed on or accessible through a telephone conference call. Please use one of the following numbers depending on which country code you prefer to use:

SE: +46856642694
UK: +442030089819
US: +18558315948

It will also be possible to ask questions via the live-streamed online press briefing or by the telephone conference call.

Please note that there will be no personal attendance at the press briefing.

The press briefing will be held in English. A video of the press briefing will be available via


For further information, please contact:

Saab Press Centre,
+46 (0)734 180 018

Follow us on Twitter: @Saab.

Saab serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions within military defence and civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents around the world. Through innovative, collaborative and pragmatic thinking, Saab develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers’ changing needs.