The aircraft performed its first flight in November and is now part of the joint verification and validation programme, a cooperation between Saab, the Swedish Armed Forces and FMV, where the aircraft and its functions are tested all the way from basic systems up to full operational capabilities.
The approximately 50 invited guests, including media, visited Saab December 20th to learn more about the programme as well as to take a closer look at the aircraft and the work conducted at the flight test department.
Marcus Wallenberg, Chairman of the Saab Board, welcomed the guests. “For 80 years we have had both the ability and the benefit of being able to develop very advanced fighter aircraft to Sweden, Gripen E with its capabilities and the way it is developed and produced, is no exception. This is a perfect example of Swedish industry being at the forefront of technology transformation. Model-based development, avionics and front-end sensors as well as human-and-machine interface are some examples. The launch into the joint verification and validation programme – and the first flight of the serial produced aircraft – are important steps forward.”
Major general Carl-Johan Edström, Chief of Swedish Air Force.
After a walk through the flight test facilities and learning more about all the Gripen E aircraft produced up until today, the guests gathered around the aircraft and was briefed about the capabilities and how it meets the needs and requirements of the Swedish Armed Forces.
“With this aircraft, Sweden can counter future threats. We will not be numerically superior, but we will have the tactical superiority. Additionally, I know what a fantastic feeling it is to fly Gripen. It’s really incredible that a small country like Sweden can build a fighter aircraft like this, positioned to be one of the best in the world,” says Major general Carl-Johan Edström, Chief of Air Force.
Peter Hultqvist, Swedish Minister for Defence.
“The aircraft is one of the most modern aircraft in the world. It adds the operational capability to the Swedish Armed Forces that our time demands. It is also a proof of Saab’s and Sweden's position at the forefront of development. We are a world leader. I would like to congratulate everyone who participated in this development for a very good job done. Everyone involved has been incredibly important making this come true,” concluded Peter Hultqvist, Swedish Minister for Defence.
The joint testing is an important milestone in the Gripen E programme. Serial production deliveries will continue during 2020.