Saab has unveiled its next-generation Gripen E fighter, some three years before delivering its first of at least 96 production examples to the air forces of Sweden and Brazil.
Rolled out at the Swedish manufacturer’s Linköping site in Sweden on 18 May, aircraft 39-8 is the first of three test aircraft which will support the Gripen E programme. It will be handed over to the flight test department at the site “this summer”, and is on track to make its debut flight before the end of this year, the company says. It will be used initially to verify the evolved design’s general systems, airframe and aerodynamics. The additional two Swedish test assets are already in different stages of structural assembly.
TRUE MULTI-ROLE FIGHTER
Gripen E is a fully NATO-interoperable, true multi-role fighter with outstanding availability, tailored for the future Network Centric Warfare (NCW) environment. Gripen E will meet the demanding operational requirements of the 21st century air forces and its unrivalled multi-role capability provides excellent tactical flexibility.
Gripen E offers operational dominance and flexibility with superior mission survivability. Air-to-air superiority is guaranteed with METEOR, AMRAAM, IRIS-T, AIM-9 missile capability and supercruise. Air-to-surface capability is assured through the use of the latest generation precision weapons and targeting sensors. Gripen E’s superior situation awareness is ensured through an AESA radar, IRST passive sensor, HMD, cutting-edge avionics, next generation data processing and a state-of-the-art cockpit.
NETWORK CENTRIC WARFARE
Together with proven Network Centric Warfare capabilities including advanced data communications, dual data links, satellite communications and video links, make Gripen E the ideal independent fighter of choice. On-board sensors, in combination with HMD/NVG, deliver the ability to detect and destroy a wide variety of targets, even at night or in poor weather conditions.