On Friday 6 October, Saab delivered the inaugural series-produced Gripen E aircraft to the FMV (Swedish Defence Materiel Administration). 

This step paves the way for the FMV to operate the aircraft temporarily before transferring it to the Swedish Armed Forces. This development has implications as the Gripen E finds its path to 2025 deployment in the Swedish Armed Forces.

Gripen E is a modern multi-role fighter aircraft designed to bolster the capabilities of the Swedish Armed Forces.

Lars Tossman, the head of Saab’s Aeronautics business area, said: “I am very happy and satisfied that we have achieved this important milestone towards deployment. It is an important milestone and more deliveries will follow shortly.” 

The Gripen E programme represents an advancement in Sweden’s military aviation capabilities. The Gripen E is the latest variation of the Swedish-made fighter jet, costing $85m (SKr931.67m) per unit; this is considerably more than the previous D and C variants, according to GlobalData’s Sweden Defense Market 2023–2028 report.

Mattias Fridh, head of delivery management at Gripen Design, emphasised the significance of the FMV’s preparation. He stated: “The delivery means that FMV has now received all parts of the weapon system to independently operate Gripen E. Their technicians have received Gripen E training, and they have initial capabilities for flight line operations and maintenance.”

According to a Saab release from October 2021, approximately 30 Gripen E aircraft were in production. 

This handover represents the culmination of work in both the development and production phases of the Gripen E programme. Fridh commended the dedication of employees, saying: “This is a very important step towards deployment in the Swedish Armed Forces in 2025 at F7 Såtenäs, and FMV has now applied for its own flight testing permit from the Swedish Military Aviation Safety Inspectorate. 

This is the culmination of intensive work in both development and production, where many employees have done a fantastic job.”

The Brazilian Air Force commenced operational activities with its Gripen E fighter aircraft at Anápolis Air Base in 2022.

The Gripen E’s journey from development to deployment is evidence of the commitment to enhancing the capabilities of the Swedish military. With additional deliveries on the horizon, the future of Swedish military aviation is poised to reach new heights.