Gripen E Program Update 2021
At the recently held Gripen Seminar 2021, Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President and head of Saab Business Area, Aeronautics gave a detailed update on the Gripen E/F programme so far. Below are the highlights.
Where are we?
“We are quite far into the Gripen program at the moment which means we are now entering into the final stages of the aircraft development. We are constantly ramping up the full production of the serial aircraft,” Hjelm said. He added that Saab is also in the middle of obtaining the military type certificate which is important in order to deliver the complete weapon system to its customers.
About the timelines, Hjelm said that things are moving forward as per the agreed contracts with both Sweden and Brazil. The development program is very much on schedule.
The test programme
Talking about the test programme, Hjelm said the flight tests are in full swing, adding that Saab reached 10,000 flights for Gripen (all variants) this spring. Saab is conducting joint tests and verifications together with its customers for the Gripen E/F programme. In total, there are three test sites.
“We actually chose a different way of conducting the tests for Gripen E/F. Instead of doing it as we did before at different sites, where the customers did their own tests, and the industry its own, we decided to do it together this time. We are also trying out multiple sites both here in Sweden and in Brazil. This is happening right now as we speak, and I think, it is one of the key reasons for us to be successful in this program,” Hjelm said.
What lies ahead
Saab is pitching the Gripen fighter to countries including Finland, India, Canada and Colombia. “We have handed a very strong and competitive offer to Finland consisting of 64 Gripen E aircraft, two Global Eyes, an extensive weapons package, and an industrial participation program that will ensure a security of supply for Finland over time,” he said.
About Saab’s offer to India, Hjelm said that Saab has responded to the RFI with a proposal of over 100 Gripen aircraft. “India is a very important potential customer for us. We are absolutely convinced that our total package is something that is a perfect fit for India and the Indian Air Force,” he added.
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