Saab’s Gripen E has reached supersonic speeds for the first time during flight tests over the Baltic Sea.

The aircraft reached a top speed of Mach 1. The fighter is an advanced version of the Gripen C/D multi-role aircraft, exceeded.

The fighter achieved supersonic speed for a few minutes, while carrying out manoeuvres, Saab stated.

Saab test pilot Marcus Wandt said: “As Gripen pilots, we are used to extreme speed but to go through the sound barrier for an aircraft’s first time is still a moment to enjoy.

“It is important that the aircraft handles the transition smoothly through what we call the transonic zone around the sound barrier and she certainly did, it was very smooth.”

“To go through the sound barrier for an aircraft’s first time is still a moment to enjoy.”

The aircraft has recorded more than 20 flying hours since its first flight on 15 June this year.

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The Gripen E smart fighter is equipped with active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar that can simultaneously and independently track different targets.

The 15.2m-long aircraft can communicate two ways, using secure and multi-frequency data links system with all armed units.

It features a radar warning receiver and missile approach warning system for detecting threats such as incoming missiles.

With at a maximum cruise speed of Mach 2, the aircraft is armed with weapons that include guided glide bombs for precision engagement with low collateral damage, as well as long-range and agile air-to-air missiles and heavy anti-ship armaments.