Deliveries of the next generation Saab Gripen E for Sweden and Brazil will begin in 2019, it was announced at the aircraft’s unveiling ceremony yesterday.
The Gripen E has a significantly improved avionics system. The capability to carry more weapons and the improved range performance, is possible by a more powerful engine and the ability to carry more fuel, a statement from Saab said.
The aircraft is equipped with a highly integrated and sophisticated sensor suite including an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, Infra Red Search and Track (IRST), Electronic Warfare (EW) suite, and datalink technology, which, when combined gives the pilot, and co-operating forces exactly the information needed at all times.
Among the guests at the unveiling ceremony were Sweden’s Minister of Defence Peter Hultqvist, Sweden’s Air Force Chief of Staff Mats Helgesson, Commander of the Brazilian Air Force, Nivaldo Luiz Rossato, and representing Saab; Chairman of the Board Marcus Wallenberg, CEO Håkan Buskhe and the Head of business area Aeronautics, Ulf Nilsson.
“Saab has developed design and production methods for the Gripen E to both increase capability and to reduce costs”, says Håkan Buskhe, President and CEO Saab.
Five nations currently operate Gripen: Sweden, South Africa, Czech Republic, Hungary and Thailand. Brazil has ordered Gripen, and Gripen has also been down-selected in Slovakia. Besides that, Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS) uses Gripen as platform for test pilot training.