Cooperation FMV and Saab: Gripen E is Shooting IRIS-T for the First Time
(Source: Swedish defence matériel agency, FMV; issued Oct 26, 2018)
(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
The prototype of Saab’s Gripen-E fighter, which it is developing for the Swedish and Brazilian air forces, has begun external ordnance trials at the Vidsel test range, and has so far fired an IRIS-T missile and dropped auxiliary fuel tanks. (Saab photo)
Aircraft 39-8, a JAS 39E test aircraft, recently took off from FMV's test site in Vidsel for tests involving IRIS-T and additional fuel tanks. This is the first time the aircraft had left its home base in Linköping, and instead operated from FMV's test site Vidsel Test Range, which is located in the northernmost part of Sweden and is Europe's largest land test site.

Tests with external loads such as weapons and external fuel tanks will determine how the aircraft behaves when these are mounted, and what happens when they are released or fired.

During one test, the tanks was released from the aircraft and the missile was launched while observations and measurements were carried out. "Analysis will take a while, so the results will come later, but we could see immediately that nothing looked abnormal," says Thomas Eriksson, project manager at FMV for JAS 39E.

He noted that the Vidsel test campaign was a great success for the cooperation between FMV and Saab, and a significant step in the development of JAS 39E.

"In order for such a campaign to succeed, there is much to be done, both in aircraft engineering and in all test site weather conditions. Through hard work and close cooperation between Saab, which provided the test aircraft, and FMV, which provided the test site, separation tests with two different loads could be made in a very short space of time.”

Verification of the functioning of the technical systems and validation of the entire air system's ability is done in close cooperation between FMV and Saab. A cooperation that is a prerequisite for the entire project to be in a goal.

"These early tests are good for future work when the project is now entering an intensive phase with an increasing focus on testing," says Thomas Eriksson.

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First Missile Firing by Gripen E
(Source: Saab; issued Oct 26, 2018)
Gripen E has successfully completed the first tests to verify the ability to release and launch external payloads. The tests took place in October 2018 at Vidsel Test Range in the north of Sweden.

The tests, conducted by the first Gripen E test aircraft (designated 39-8), comprised jettisoning one external fuel drop tank and one firing of an IRIS-T air-to-air missile.

“As a pilot, flying with external stores such as drop tank and missiles is important to allow for evaluation of how the aircraft behaves with the stores attached. This test was also used to evaluate the effect on the aircraft when releasing and launching the stores. The highlight was of course to pull the trigger and watch the missile fire away. It also brings us closer to making the aircraft ready for its operational use”, says Marcus Wandt, Experimental Gripen Test Pilot at Saab.

“I am pleased to see the aircraft behaving and performing according to our expectations, which is proof of its smart design and world-class engineering by Saab. The programme is on track, and we are making good progress in the programme towards delivery to our Swedish and Brazilian customers”, says Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President and Head of Saab business area Aeronautics.

These tests are the latest steps in the Gripen E flight test programme preceded by the carriage trials in July and forms part of the weapon integration work.

Gripen E has weapons for all types of missions, such as stand-off precision strike using guided glide bombs, heavy anti-ship and deep strike missiles, to long-range and agile air-to-air missiles such as Meteor. Gripen E can also carry pods and sensors for reconnaissance and special missions. To give air forces a wide choice of operational capabilities, Gripen E is designed to enable quick integration of various weapons. This is partly made possible by Gripen E’s flexible avionic architecture.


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