Saab's new Gripen E fighter jet achieved maiden flight

World Aviation Defense & Security Industry News - Saab
Saab's new Gripen E fighter jet achieved maiden flight
Saab's latest variant of the JAS 39 Gripen fighter jet took to the skies today, the Swedish planemaker announced on June 15 on Twitter. The Gripen E test aircraft maiden flight took place at Saab’s facilities in Linköping.
Saab's Gripen E fighter jet taking off for its maiden flight
(Credit: Saab)
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.

Today we have flown this world class fighter aircraft for the first time. We achieved it with the fully qualified software for the revolutionary avionics system. This is about giving our customers a smart fighter system with the future designed in from the start. The flight test activities will continue to build on this achievement with the programme on track to achieve the 2019 delivery schedule to our Swedish and Brazilian customers,” says Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President and Head of Saab Business Area Aeronautics.

Saab unveiled the first Gripen E test aircraft on May 18, 2016.

The E variant is a single-seat production version developed from the Gripen NG program. In Octobrer 2014, Brazil signed a US$5.44 bn contract for 28 single and 8 two-seated Gripen E fighter jets. Deliveries to the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) will be undertaken from 2019 to 2024.

The Gripen E is powered by one General Electric F414G turbofan engine rated at 22,000lb. It features a new high-pressure turbine and a new six-stage, high-pressure compressor. The aircraft features Selex's ES-05 Raven active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar system.

Gripen E's weapons package include METEOR, AMRAAM, IRIS-T, and AIM-9 missiles. The single-seat aircraft is equipped with a 27 mm Mauser BK27 gun.