The Saab JAS 39E Gripen has successfully completed the first tests to verify the ability to release and launch external payloads. The tests took place in October 2018 at Vidsel Test Range in the north of Sweden.
The tests, conducted by the first Gripen E test aircraft 39-8, comprised jettisoning one external fuel drop tank and one firing of an IRIS-T air-to-air missile.
‘As a pilot, flying with external stores such as drop tank and missiles is important to allow for evaluation of how the aircraft behaves with the stores attached. This test was also used to evaluate the effect on the aircraft when releasing and launching the stores. The highlight was of course to pull the trigger and watch the missile fire away. It also brings us closer to making the aircraft ready for its operational use,’ said Marcus Wandt, Experimental Gripen Test Pilot at Saab.
‘I am pleased to see the aircraft behaving and performing according to our expectations, which is proof of its smart design and world-class engineering by Saab. The programme is on track, and we are making good progress in the programme towards delivery to our Swedish and Brazilian customers,’ said Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President and Head of Saab business area Aeronautics.