One reason that the development of the Gripen E is proceeding according to plan is the use of ”model-based development”. This methodology was secured through the development of the Neuron unmanned aircraft, among other things, and is now used in all technical areas for the Gripen E project.
With model-based development (MBD), Saab has expanded its virtual development to enable greater reuse of data models. This translates into shorter lead times. All software and hardware development is done with the help of computerized models, meaning that updates are made extremely quickly.
Fewer test flights are needed with this type of development, as much verification can be conducted in simulators rather than in the air. Any problems with the models are detected at an early stage and changes can be made to the models rather than at a later stage during test flights.
Simply put, things are more correct from the start, which improves development efficiency.
Some examples of the benefits of using MBD in hardware development (regarding structure and it’s effects on production):
• Higher quality of parts (assembly verification done using simulators etc.)
• Assembly work instruction is more user friendly
• Reduced lead time for changes