Gripen E now stationed at Malmen Air Force Base
The joint test programme for Sweden’s Gripen E has taken yet another important step towards delivery as the number of test sites has now expanded to also include the Swedish Air Force’s airbase at Malmen for continued testing together with the Swedish customer.
The joint test programme for verification and validation of the Gripen E is a collaboration between Saab, the Swedish Armed Forces and FMV, where the organisations have tested and verified the aircraft and its functions since the beginning of the aircraft’s development, from basic aircraft systems to tactical capability. The purpose is to ensure that the aircraft and its tactical capabilities are developed in line with what is demanded.
“Carrying out joint testing as we are doing now with the Gripen E, in which all parties participate from the outset, results in greater sophistication and efficiency in operations. To the Air Force this also means that we can learn the system earlier, which will lead to a quicker and more effective implementation of Gripen E in the Air Force,” says Henrik Lahti, Head of Gripen Operational Test & Evaluation, Swedish Air Force.
Now another important step has been taken in the joint test programme and towards delivery, as the number of test sites has been expanded to also include the airbase at Malmen (other test sites are Saab in Linköping and Gripen Flight Test Center in Brazil).
In November, one Gripen E aircraft (designated 6004) flew from Saab to Malmen to be stationed at the airbase and continue the testing from there. As a result, personnel from both FMV and the Swedish Armed Forces will further increase their participation in the test programme.
“To have 6004 stationed at Malmen means that we get another test site and with that more resources to conduct more and more flight tests and the testing of equipment needed when operating an aircraft, which will speed up the development. Additionally, this enables all three parties to share knowledge and experiences with each other in a more effective way” says Ken Lindberg, Senior Advisor Gripen at FMV.
The test operations at Malmen will continue to be led by Saab, just as they are at the other two sites, but with a deeper involvement from the customer.
“This is a very important milestone for Saab and for the development of the Gripen E. Since day one, the operations with 6004 at Malmen have been in full swing. The tests we are focusing on from here are with tactical systems and sensors, such as IRST, Electronic Warfare and radar,” says Thomas Gustafsson, Technical Chief Flight Test, Saab business area Aeronautics.
Joint flight tests are also being carried out in Brazil together with the Brazilian customer. The first aircraft (designated 6001) arrived in Gavião Peixoto, Brazil in September this year and will be used for the verification of the Brazilian aircraft’s unique functionality, such as its communication system and weapon integration.