Latest Gripen News from the Farnborough International Airshow
(Source: Saab; issued July 16, 2018)
Saab says it is making steady progress on the development of the Gripen-E fighter for Brazil and Sweden, with three aircraft now in the flight test program, one of which has flown with Swiss pylons carrying Iris-T missiles. (Saab photo)
Saab’s Gripen E programme continues to make progress. The Gripen aircraft with designation 39-8 has conducted a number of successful flights carrying external stores, including pylons from the Swiss company RUAG Aerostructures.

Saab’s head of business area Aeronautics, Jonas Hjelm, laid out how the next two Gripen E aircraft for the flight test programme are benefiting from key design decisions.

“Today’s threats are not tomorrow’s and modern fighters could be viewed as a network of flying supercomputers seeking to outperform their opponents. So we designed Gripen’s smart architecture to ensure that we can introduce the latest powerful computers and other hardware swiftly and simply which is unmatched in this industry. We have the double advantage of being both the newest aircraft and able to effortlessly leap ahead as processing power advances. The pilot flying Gripen E will therefore have an undeniable edge.”

The two aircraft (known as 39-9 and 39-10) benefited by having new and upgraded computers rapidly added to them, further improving the capabilities from the first aircraft, 39-8. A critical factor was that this could be done without affecting the flight critical systems and so was completed in days and weeks, rather than in months and years as is typical in fighters. It means Gripen E can be at the forefront of air combat for decades as new features or technologies demand every greater processing power.

Jonas Hjelm also revealed that during July, Gripen E has undertaken its first flight equipped with an IRIS-T air to air missile on each wingtip, and four pylons under the wings and the centre pylon on the fuselage.

The flight included several test maneuvers at supersonic speed. This took place over the Baltic Sea and paves the way for future trials involving carriage and release of missiles, drop tanks and other external stores.

Gripen E is an international programme and there has been progress with the design of Gripen F, the two-seat version. This is being designed with Embraer in Brazil and can be used for training, Combat Readiness training, Combat Missions and Electronic Warfare Officer, Mission Commander and Weapon System Officer in the rear seat. Additional highlights have been further deliveries around key hardware such as the Wide Area Display being led by the Brazilian company AEL Aeker. Gripen E is being developed for the Swedish Air Force whilst the Brazilian Air Force will receive both Gripen E and F.


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.

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Gripen-E In the Air with Swiss Pylons
(Source: Saab; issued July 16, 2018)
Saab’s Gripen E programme continues to make progress. The Gripen aircraft with designation 39-8 has conducted a number of successful flights carrying external stores, including pylons from the Swiss company RUAG Aerostructures.

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.


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.

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