A SAAB Gripen NG demonstrator has completed flight tests, following a modification to be included in the next-generation Gripen.

The demonstrator has been modified with tactical systems, including an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, a new satellite communication system, an electro-optical missile warning system and increased internal fuel.

The sensors of the electro-optical missile approach warning system (MAW) is fitted on the Gripen’s wing root and the air brake.

The MAW system will protect the aircraft against man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS).

The AESA radar, built of many small antenna elements into a large antenna, enables can conduct quick scan of larger areas, monitor more targets simultaneously and allow the pilot to operate with more flexibility.

Gripen NG demonstrator project manager Mattias Bergstrom said the new satellite communication system that has been introduced will enable communicating voice and text via satellite technology.

In the next stage, all the new tactical systems will be tested, flights will continue and the flight envelope will be opened.