The Swedish Air Force has announced that the Skaraborg unit, on the F7 Wing, will be the first squadron to receive the Gripen E. Flight tests and preparations are underway in parallel at the site and at Saab for the introduction of the aircraft to be the as effective and smooth as possible.
Together with Swedish and Brazilian customers, SAAB conducts joint flight tests for the Gripen E in-house, in Brazil and Sweden. The testing program is proceeding according to plan and at high speed. Before the end of the year, six aircraft will enter the delivery phase. The stage includes activities such as shipping, final certification activities, and delivery with authorities and customers. The first Gripen E will arrive at the F7 Wing of the Swedish Air Force in 2025. (Note DefesaNet – The translated text implies that the Swedish Air Force will receive the first Gripen F39E, in 2025. This is not the exact meaning of the original text published by Flygvapnet, on Oct 1, 2021.)
“In a deteriorating geopolitical environment, the Air Force must remain relevant to Sweden’s air defense in the future. The JAS 39 E Gripen means an increase in the capability to ensure that this mission is accomplished. we will be even better at creating a military problem for an adversary. We have simply become more cunning and dangerous,” said Carl-Johan Edström, head of the Swedish Air Force, in the announcement.
With delivery ever closer and the flight envelope continually expanding, flight trials are in an intense phase with nine aircraft ready and more to arrive by the end of the year. At the moment, tests with different configurations are being conducted with series-produced and test Gripen E aircraft, for example, with different air-to-air configurations and heavier and reconnaissance attacks to follow.
At the same time, tests with tactical systems are receiving increasing priority. In addition to activities with individual sensors, mainly focusing on radar systems and electronic warfare, collaboration and fusion between all sensors, decision support, and presentation are also tested. Going forward, there will also be intensified work to check weapons and external loads, which will involve a series of annual test campaigns at the Vidsel Test Ground in northern Sweden.
“The announcement of the Skaraborg Squadron as the one that will introduce the Gripen E into the Air Force is exciting. It is proof that we are approaching the delivery phase. Thanks to a tremendous effort from all Saab employees and an excellent collaboration with our customers, we now have a stable platform and a mature product,” says Jonas Hjelm, senior vice president and head of the Aeronautics business area at SAAB.