Saab will intensify its flight trials once it has the two new Gripen E prototypes ready, reports Jane's. The ever evolving aircraft is now set to get two new prototypes, according to Saab’s head of Aeronautics, Jonas Hjelm.
Last year, the first prototype of the Gripen, dubbed 39-8, was revealed. That is soon to be followed up by the 39-9 and 39-10. Both these prototypes have already left the production line at Linkoping, and are currently undergoing verification ahead of their first flights, which is scheduled for 2019.
Jonas Hjelm outlined the necessity for the new prototypes – the 39-9 will be a testbed for the tactical systems, whereas the 39-10 is being designed to be the first production-standard airframe. “The avionics in 39-9 and 39-10 are almost completely different from 39-8, and this shows that our development concept for the aircraft works,” said Hjelm. Incidentally, the 39-7, which was the Gripen demonstrator, is continuing to serve as a test platform throughout the flight trials.
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