UK-based aircraft and aero-engine manufacturer GKN Aerospace has received funds from the Swedish Armed Forces for the modernisation and construction of a new engine test facility.
The company has received approximately $19.36m (Skr20m) to carry out the associated work.
The new test facility will be established at GKN Aerospace’s Engine Systems manufacturing site in Trollhättan, Sweden.
This facility can replicate supersonic flying conditions that an engine goes through when aircraft operates at very high speeds.
The new investment primarily aims to support the development and maintenance activities related to RM12 and RM16 combat engines that power the JAS 39 Gripen multi-role fighter jet.
Currently, GKN Aerospace only maintains and develops RM12 engines and is working on attaining the same capability for RM16 engines.
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With expanded capability, GKN Aerospace’s Trollhättan site will be able to provide long-term technical and maintenance support for aeroengines of all the Gripen variants, including Gripen E and C/D.
The Trollhättan facility currently engages 2,000 employees in different roles. Out of the total people, nearly 250 are working in GKN Aerospace’s military engine design and support business.
GKN Aerospace Government and Space Programmes vice-president Stefan Oscarsson said: “This investment secures our ability to support the Armed Forces for the long term.
“It enhances our offer for both current and future aircraft engine systems and we are extremely proud of our role in the Gripen platform.”
Built by Swedish firm Saab, the Gripen fleet is in service with the Swedish Armed Forces since the late 1990s.
GKN Aerospace has been supporting the Swedish Air Force’s Gripen fleet since 1997 and is also the original equipment manufacturer, as well as the type certificate holder for Gripen C/D’s RM12 aeroengine.