The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) has extended the Gripen future development support services contract with Saab.

The order is valued at approximately $118m (Skr998m) and is valid from 1 April this year until 31 December next year.

Serving as an extension of an existing contract, the latest contract supports the future development of the Swedish Air Force’s Gripen and other users of the aircraft.

It will see the delivery of test aircraft operating and support, as well as advanced tools such as testing rigs and simulators.

According to the company, test aircraft and the advanced tools are used in the ‘verification and validation of Gripen C/D and Gripen E fighter systems’.

This is a major requirement as the company develops future new capabilities or enhancements to Gripen aircraft.

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Developed by Saab, Gripen multirole fighter jet was first flown in December 1988 and entered operational service with the Swedish Air Force in 1997.

Saab Aeronautics business area senior vice-president and head Jonas Hjelm said: “Gripen is designed for continuous upgrades to take on and defeat new combat challenges, a design approach that we have already proven many times.

“To enable continued development in Gripen it is required that we have advanced tools in place that are easy to manage, quick to implement and affordable to sustain.

“This order invests in achieving all of these objectives so that Gripen will always be in the forefront, both for today and the future.”

Major works under the recent contract will be executed at the company’s Swedish facilities in Linköping, Gothenburg, Järfälla, Arboga and Växjö.

In March, Saab conducted a test flight of an exterior 3D-printed replacement hatch component on Gripen at its facilities in Linköping.