Military Aviation

SAAB TO DELIVER FIRST 2 GRIPEN E FIGHTERS TO BRAZILIAN AND SWEDISH AIR FORCES IN 2019

According Saab CEO Håkan Buskhe the company remains on track to deliver the first series production examples of its Gripen E

Saab’s CEO Håkan Buskhe told journalists on Feb. 16 that the aerospace firm is on schedule to deliver the first two Gripen E fighters to the Brazilian and Swedish Air Forces next year.

Buskhe revealed that the test data from the current prototype is better than predicted and a second aircraft will be ready by end of the year.

“Test and evaluation of the first [prototype] aircraft is going extremely well. We are getting better-standard data than we had anticipated,” Buskhe said to Flight Global.

“It’s always challenging to have this type of programme, but if it’s not challenging then it probably will not be a good product at the end,” he notes, while describing development work as progressing “fairly well”.

Noting that Saab is eyeing potential opportunities to sell the Gripen E to additional nations, including Canada, Finland and Switzerland, he says: “Our performance in delivery will also prove that we have a ready product.”

Buskhe says Saab had hoped to conclude new sales of its Gripen C/D by the end of last year, but that factors including political processes in potential customer nations prevented this from happening. “The number of possible deals hasn’t changed,” he stresses. “We have some intensive discussions with some countries, and there are great possibilities during this year.”

With the US Air Force having delayed a decision in its T-X trainer competition from last year until around mid-2018, Buskhe says Saab also spent “much more than anticipated” on the activity last year. Working in partnership with bid leader Boeing, it is pursuing a deal for 350 aircraft to replace the USAF’s Northrop T-38s.

In 2010, Sweden awarded Saab a four-year contract to improve the Gripen’s radar and other equipment, integrate new weapons, and lower its operating costs. In June 2010, Saab stated that Sweden planned to order the Gripen NG, designated JAS-39E/F, and was to enter service in 2017 or earlier dependent on export orders. On Aug. 25, 2012, following Switzerland’s intention to buy 22 of the E/F variants, Sweden announced it planned to buy 40–60 Gripen E/Fs. The Swedish government decided to purchase 60 Gripen Es on 17 January 2013.

Photo credit: Saab

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

Recent Posts

Oregon Air National Guard 142nd Wing unveils first two operational USAF F-15EX Eagle II fighter jets

Oregon Air National Guard 142nd Wing first two F-15EX Eagle IIs On Jul. 12, 2024… Read More

10 hours ago

F-104 Starfighter Pilot recalls when he and his Wingman scored five Simulated Kills against an F-15B Eagle in a Single Training Mission

The F-104 Starfighter Designed by Lockheed’s ace engineer Clarence “Kelly” Johnson to surpass the MiG-15… Read More

10 hours ago

USAF A-10 pilot recalls his job as “Snacko” (Snack Officer) when he got to his first operational squadron

The Snacko In US Air Force (USAF) flying squadrons are busy places. According to BogiDope.com,… Read More

1 day ago

From damaged neck discs to being momentarily incapacitated during a dogfight: US Navy fighter pilot tells how high Gs over many years damaged his body

G-LOC G-induced Loss Of Consciousness (abbreviated as G-LOC) is a term generally used in aerospace physiology to… Read More

1 day ago

The story of the Iraqi MiG-23 that crashed while trying to escape from two AIM-54 Phoenix missiles fired by US Navy F-14 Tomcats

The F-14 Tomcat Following Grumman's tradition of naming its aircraft after cats, the new F-14… Read More

2 days ago

Did you know the Tu-95V that released the Tsar Bomba it dropped 621 ft when it was hit by the shock wave of the bomb?

The Tu-95V: a special Bear to drop the Tsar Bomba The Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bomber… Read More

2 days ago