First Gripen E Swedish Air Force wing announced

The Chief of the Swedish of Air Force recently announced that Skaraborg Air Force Wing (F7) will be first within the Swedish Air Force to receive the Gripen E. Flight tests and preparations are ongoing in parallel at both the Swedish Air Force and at Saab to make the introduction of the aircraft as effective and smooth as possible.

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First Gripen E Swedish Air Force wing announced 01

Gripen E armed with Meteor and IRIS-T missiles (Picture source: Saab)

At three sites, both in Sweden and Brazil, Saab together with the Swedish and Brazilian customers, are jointly conduct flight tests with Gripen E. The test programme is proceeding according to plan and is moving at full speed. Before the year is over the delivery phase of the first Gripen E aircraft, four to Brazil and two to Sweden, will start. The delivery phase includes many activities such as shipment, final certification activities as well as hand-over activities with the authorities and customers. The first Gripen E will arrive at Skaraborg Air Force Wing (F7) in 2025.

“In a deteriorating geopolitical environment, the Air Force must remain relevant in Sweden’s air defence in the future, the Jas 39 E Gripen means an increase in capability and ensures this. We are great already now and with Gripen E we will be even better, creating a military problem for an adversary. We simply become sharper and more dangerous,” says Carl-Johan Edström, the Swedish Chief of Air Force, at the announcement.

With the delivery getting closer and closer and the flight envelope continuously expanding, the flight tests are in an intense phase with nine aircraft ready and more to come before the end of the year. Right now tests with different configurations are being conducted with both test and serial produced Gripen E aircraft, for example different air-to-air configurations and heavier attack and reconnaissance configurations up next. In parallel, tests with tactical systems are being given higher and higher priority. In addition to tests with individual sensors, primarily focusing on radar and EW systems, collaboration and fusion between all sensors, decision support and presentation are also tested. Further on there will also be intensified work to verify weapons and external loads, which will involve a number of annual trial campaigns on the Vidsel Test Range in the northern part of Sweden.

“The announcement of Skaraborg Air Force Wing (F7) as the wing that will introduce Gripen E into the Air Force feels exciting. It is proof that we are getting closer to the delivery phase. Thanks to a tremendous effort from all employees at Saab and an excellent collaboration with our customers, we now have a stabile platform and mature product,” says Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President & Head of Aeronautics.

The introduction will take place in several steps.

Already next year, the first training in technical service for 39 E will begin under the auspices of Saab and will mainly be aimed at personnel who will support FMV in production at Malmen to later enable aviation operations on their own operating license.

Thereafter, TU Jas LSS will in 2023 and 2024 continue to fly Jas 39 E Gripen to produce training instructions and tactical regulations. Operations during 2023 and 2024 will be conducted on FMV's operating licenses.

Jas 39 C / D Gripen forms the basis for the air force's capability and training activities throughout the 2020s. Jas 39 C / D Gripen will continue to be an important part of the continued military flight training system. From 2026, they will be the Air Force's Advanced Trainer Aircraft, ATA.