Saab Displays New Flying Test Platform for Gripen

Saab's new Gripen Demonstrator poses in front of the Saab hangar.
Photo: Peter Karlsson / © Gripen

4/23/2008 - Linköping, Sweden -- In an event attended by over 700 international guests which was broadcast ‘live’ around the world, the Gripen Demonstrator (Demo) aircraft was ‘rolled-out’ in a spectacular ceremony in front of the world’s media.

The Gripen Demonstrator programme is the pathfinder for a whole new generation of technologies and capabilities to ensure that Gripen remains at the leading edge of fighter aircraft performance and capability well beyond 2040. The programme includes the development of a new Gripen test flying platform - Gripen Demo - and the Gripen Avionics Rig. The Gripen Demo includes new features such as the General Electric F414G Turbofan engine with increased thrust, a new

Saab/Thales active electronically-scanned array (AESA) radar, increased fuel capacity for extended range, improved landing gear, increased weapons and stores capabilities, advanced communications and defensive systems and world-beating avionics structures.Saab CEO Åke Svensson who hosted the Gripen Demo roll-out event said:

“This is a landmark event for Saab and its international industrial partners and a significant moment in the future of fighter aircraft technology and performance. I am very proud of what we have achieved and am confident that this next generation of Gripen will be trail-blazing the skies for years to come”.

Gripen International Managing Director Johan Lehander, who leads the Gripen team responsible for marketing, selling and supporting the Gripen fighter worldwide, is confident that the Gripen Demo aircraft is the start of the Gripen story for the next 40 years.

Saab's new Gripen Demonstrator is displayed at it's official rollout ceremony.
Photo: Peter Karlsson / © Gripen

“We are standing on the edge of a new era. The Gripen Demonstrator programme is not just the first step towards a new Gripen, it is driving the development of new technology for existing and potential Gripen customers. We have concentrated on the key strategic performance and capability areas. That includes the aircraft sensors, communications fit, weapons load, self-protection systems, range and engine performance. But we also need to build and deliver a system that remains affordable. In the coming years Gripen will find itself in a league of its own when it comes to costs, particularly long-term life cycle costs. We are already delivering systems and capabilities that our competitors still can only offer as promises. In the years to come Gripen will get even more advanced, even more sophisticated while staying every bit as affordable as it is now. We understand cost control”.

“We want everyone, the customers and the industrial team, to be proud to belong to this programme. We are a reliable supplier and we are an independent supplier. We always deliver what we promise – both in terms of the aircraft system and the entire spread of industrial co-operation and offset provision. You can be confident in Gripen for the next 40 years and be very secure in your relationship with Saab and with Sweden.”

Investment in the Demonstrator programme is being made by Saab and its international industrial partners, as well as potential future customers. In April 2007, Norway signed a Letter of Agreement regarding the future development of Gripen, valued at around USD 25 million, and in October 2007 the Swedish government also awarded a contract to Saab for the Demo programme. These decisions represent a significant national and international government investment and commitment to Gripen’s future.

General Electric together with Volvo Aero, Thales, Honeywell, Rockwell Collins, APPH, Martin-Baker, Terma and Meggit are just some of the world-leading aerospace companies that, together with Saab, are jointly investing in the Gripen Demonstrator programme. This combination of international corporate partnership and national and international commitment, through a jointly funded industry and government investment programme, is a very powerful testament to Gripen’s future.

Source: Gripen Press Release

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