Brazil’s first Gripen E fighter completes debut flight

28 August 2019 (Last Updated August 28th, 2019 12:00)

The first Brazilian Gripen E fighter aircraft has completed its maiden flight from Saab's airfield in Linköping, Sweden.

Brazil’s first Gripen E fighter completes debut flight
Saab completed the first flight of the first Brazilian Gripen E fighter on 26 August. Credit: © Saab AB.

The first Brazilian Gripen E fighter aircraft has completed its maiden flight from Saab’s airfield in Linköping, Sweden.

With serial number 39-6001, the Gripen E was flown by Saab test pilot Richard Ljungberg on 26 August for 65 minutes.

The flight validated the aircraft’s basic handling and flying capabilities at different altitudes and speeds.

In a statement, Saab stated that the flight was carried out to see if the Gripen E fighter is performing in line with requirements.

Saab president and CEO Håkan Buskhe said: “This milestone is a testament to the great partnership between Sweden and Brazil. Less than five years since the contract was signed, the first Brazil Gripen has conducted her first flight.”

The 39-6001 is the first Gripen E aircraft to have been produced for Brazil. The aircraft will serve as a test aircraft in the joint test programme, which will involve envelope expansion and testing of tactical system and sensors.

It features a new cockpit layout with a large wide area display (WAD), two small head-down displays (sHDD) and a new head-up display (HUD).

In addition, the 39-6001 is equipped with an updated flight control system. Saab has also incorporated some changes in the aircraft’s hardware and software.

Richard Ljungberg said: “The flight was smooth and the aircraft behaved just as we have seen in the rigs and simulators. This was also the first time we flew with the wide area display in the cockpit, and I am happy to say that my expectations were confirmed.”

The aircraft entered the second stage of final assembly earlier this year. It will serve the Brazilian Air Force under the designation F-39.

Under a contract, Saab will supply receive 28 Gripen Es and eight two-seated Gripen F aircraft to the South American country.