Since the first flight with the Gripen E test aircraft (39-8) last year, an intensive flight trials period has been successfully conducted. The aircraft has shown throughout the expansion of the envelope expected performance and behaviors, with high availability and reliability. Gripen has now taken another big step towards customer delivery next year by flying with external stores.
"Gripen flew as expected and we are very pleased with the flight test results. During the flight, the aircraft carried out a number of actions to verify the flying and handling qualities of the aircraft with this extended configuration", says Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President and head of Saab business area Aeronautics.
Gripen E's pylons are installations by which additional tanks for fuel, surveillance systems or guided weapons can be attached under the aircraft. Eight pylons are supplied per aircraft. These technologically sophisticated components include both electronic as well as mechanical systems and must meet the highest demands regarding aerodynamics and load capacity.
The first flights with external stores were conducted over the Baltic Sea at the beginning of July. Besides two of the IRIS-T air-to-air missile, the aircraft carried five pylons designed and built together with the Swiss company RUAG Aerostructures.
"I am glad to follow the continued success of the Gripen E programme. RUAG Aerostructures is proud of the broad and long-term partnership with Saab", says Dirk Prehn, CEO of RUAG Aerostructures and emphasising the importance of the business relationship between RUAG and SAAB. "As a major supplier in the Gripen programme, responsible for the design and manufacture of the pylons and other components, we contribute to the superior performance of the fighter, meeting all requirements in terms of safety, performance, life cycle cost and quality", concludes Dirk Prehn.
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