Employees from virtually every part of Saab are involved in the Gripen E project. Agreements have also been struck with more than 30 major development suppliers that are helping to realise Gripen E.
By the summer of 2013, less than six months after the contract was signed, production of components for Gripen E had already begun. Peter Svensson, Sub-project Manager, is shown here beside a large wing-coupling frame to be used on one of the test aircraft.
- What we are doing now is unique, says Lars-Erik Svedlund, Programme Manager for Gripen E/F. We received the order from the Swedish state back in February 2013 and since then we have been working to assemble and trial the 39-7 test aircraft.
- When it comes to the suppliers we work with, we expect them to believe in the project and so they must be prepared to make their own investments, explains Lars-Erik Svedlund. Here we have also been pleasantly surprised by the response. Many companies, both in Sweden and abroad, are investing heavily in order to work with Gripen E.
- It is great to know that only a few countries and companies in the world are capable of doing what we are doing right now, says Lars-Erik Svedlund proudly.
One motivating factor for everyone involved is that production has begun. It is simply more tangible and substantial now. The assembly of the first fuselage sections for test aircraft 39-8 started before the summer of 2013 and the design department and the workshops are fully engaged in developing and producing components for Gripen E.
Test flights are already under way with the modified Gripen aircraft 39-7. In 2015, this will be joined by 39-8 followed by the two remaining test aircraft, 39-9 and 39-10. Besides the actual test flights, a great deal of work is being conducted in test rigs and simulators, something that increases safety while also bringing down the costs.
Facts; major milestones
- 2014 the various Gripen E parts will be assembled to form a complete aircraft.
- 2015 the first test flights are planned for 39-8, the first aircraft built according to Gripen E specifications.
- 2018 the first series-produced aircraft delivered under contract.