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A week after Gripen E's successful maiden flight, it was time for the second flight on 22 June. Test pilot Robin Nordlander piloted this 68 minutes flight in which several tests like take-off with afterburner and aileron rolls, were conducted. The test programme is going as planned and more flights will follow.

Photo: Stefan Kalm

Saab test pilot Marcus Wandt explains how he prepared for Gripen E's first flight.

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Last week, Thursday, June 15, Gripen E made its maiden flight. It was a fantastic moment and so did our followers think in our social channels as well. Here is a compilation of posts from our Twitter followers showing their love. Get the best of Gripen E Twitter posts here​.​

​"Gripen made its maiden flight with fully qualified software for the revolutionary avionics system. This gives us the confidence that the rest of our program will run on schedule," said Jonas Hjelm, Senior VP and Head of Saab Business Area, Aeronautics during a press conference yesterday.

“It is a historic moment for Saab.”

Hjelm added that from the beginning, Saab has maintained that Gripen E is a smart fighter. “And it is smart in so many ways. With the split avionics, we can adapt Gripen to meet the requirements of future, that too in a very short lead time. This means Gripen E pilots will always be ahead and prepared for ever-evolving battle scenarios.”

"We did it. It was indescribable. Magic," said the super excited Marcus Wandt, test pilot who flew Gripen E. Wandt said that if someone asked him five years back about the number of expected safety checks after a maiden test flight, he would have said five maybe.  “But today, with Gripen E, there was not a single malfunction. It was super stable,” he said.

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At 10:32 am today, Gripen E took off on its maiden flight, flown by a Saab test pilot. The aircraft (designation 39-8) left from Saab’s airfield in Linköping, Sweden and flew over the eastern parts of Östergötland for 40 minutes. During the flight, the aircraft carried out a number of actions to demonstrate various test criteria including the retracting and extending of the landing gear.

“The flight was just as expected, with the aircraft performance matching the experience in our simulations. Its acceleration performance is impressive with smooth handling. Needless to say I’m very happy to have piloted this maiden flight,” says Marcus Wandt, Experimental Test Pilot, Saab.

Read more here.

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Saab is focusing on developing the next generation of its RBS15 anti-ship missile for its domestic customer’s Gripen fighter and Visby class corvette, reports Monch.com.

According to Michael Hoglund, Head of Marketing and Sales for Missile Systems at Saab, the missiles need to be developed before the Gripen E fighters are introduced to the Swedish Air Force.

“The driving force for the timing of this is the Gripen E,” he says.

Saab received the order for the anti-ship missiles in March 2017. As per the contract, the missiles will be developed in in both air-launched and ship-launched configurations.

Read the full story here.


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“Gripen fighters will be operational from day one of delivery to the Brazilian Air Force (FAB),” Brigadier General Marcio Bruno Bonotto, commander of the FAB's procurement command (COPAC), said.

Brigadier Bonotto was speaking during a briefing on Gripen exports at Saab’s aeronautics division in Linkoping. He said that the first Gripen fighters delivered to the FAB in 2021 will be “operational aircraft and there will not be any 'Independence Day' aeroplanes that are just for parades".

Brigadier Bonotto added that FAB is also considering a number of other programs for future which will run in parallel to the Gripen programme.

At the LAAD International Defence & Security Exhibition last month,Saab had presented the latest developments in the Gripen NG programme for Brazil.

"Major advances are happening in the Gripen programme for Brazil. The first aircraft to be delivered to the Brazilian Air Force is already under production at Saab’s facilities in Linköping, Sweden," said Mikael Franzén, head of Business Unit Gripen Brazil, Saab business area Aeronautics.

Read the full story here.

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Developing a fighter for less than 2 billion Euros is made possible by a number of factors and strategic decisions taken at the programme’s beginning. Finding less expensive ways to develop advanced products, which Saab describes as 'breaking the cost curve’, is one, reports Defence Aerospace​.

Strategies like buying a new engine (GE F414G) or ES-05 Raven AESA radar, and not developing these systems from a scratch – which can be an expensive process - have played an important role as well. But integrating these systems into Gripen E without spending a lot on integration cost was not easy.

According to Jerker Ahlqvist, Head of the Gripen programme, this was solved by adopting new ways of working, including model-based systems engineering (MBSE), model-based development (MBD), and agility. This is to say that the company’s simplified management structure was prepared to react quickly and adapt to change.

The report also mentioned two other factors that helped minimize cost. Saab allows engineers to take decisions without the interference of upper management or committees, which results into a faster development process.

The second factor, which in different guises is on the lips of every executive, is the sense that the company has a duty not only to develop the combat systems needed by the Swedish military, but to develop them at a price the country can afford, the report says.

Read the full story here.

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The transfer of technology through cooperation with Saab is extremely significant for increasing the technological competence of Brazilian industry," says Jackson Schneider, President and CEO of Embraer Defence and Security.

"Embraer and the other companies committed to this programme will benefit from the transfer of knowledge," he says. "It will make it possible for them to carry out future upgrades to the Gripen fleet and to compete in the market for coming generations of fighters."

Embraer has always been an important partner of Saab in Brazil’s Gripen programme. The opening of GDDN was a key milestone in the Gripen technology transfer programme. The GDDN is located at Embraer premises in Gavião Peixoto in the state of São Paulo. According to Schneider, GDDN can be described as a project work station with professionals mainly from Embraer and Saab, but also from other Brazilian industry partners and the Brazilian customer.

"We can use the Gripen Design and Development Network for future joint projects, such as an export version of the two-seater Gripen. We are also discussing potential additional cooperation outside the Gripen programme."

Schneider considers the project a first-class opportunity for both Embraer and Saab to exchange knowledge."Both companies are very experienced in the aeronautical market and this is a great opportunity to improve our expertise in the development and manufacturing process of a high -standard modern combat aircraft," he says.

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A full- scale replica of Gripen E adorns the entrance of the Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN) in Gavião Peixoto, in the state of São Paulo. Inside, Brazilian and Swedish engineers work together on various 'work projects' under the Gripen NG development programme.

"The idea is that the Brazilian version of Gripen will eventually be manufactured here," says Jonas Petzén, Site and Development Manager at GDDN. “Meanwhile Saab and Embraer will together oversee the development of a two-seater version of Gripen."

The work has already begun on various 'work packages'. These cover the design of the cockpit, including new displays, rigs and simulators, pneumatic systems and ejection systems, overall design and avionics - all of which form the basic infrastructure for other work packages.

"The working climate is extremely creative and is a clear example of a situation where one plus one makes more than two," Petzén says.

According to Petzén, over the next few years, the focus of Saab's cooperation with Embraer and other partners in Brazil will be on development. "The simulator for the air force pilots will come online in 2017, and a manufacturing facility will gradually be built," he says.

One of the Swedish engineers, Johan Beckman who has moved to Brazil to work at GDDN, says things have got off to a great start. “It’s going really well and this is mainly due to the fact that our Brazilian colleagues spent a year in Linkoping. They know how Saab works and how we manage projects.”

Beckman ...

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Welcome to the official Gripen blog by Saab. This site features information and commentary about the Gripen fighter jet.
 
The Gripen Blog shares stories and discussions on the Gripen aircraft. The Blog does not vouch for the authenticity of the reports from other publications that have been quoted.
 
The reference to articles and news reports does not imply endorsement or validation of the views of the authors of the stories.