The first Gripen E test aircraft, 39-8 jettisoned one external fuel drop tank and fired an IRIS-T air-to-air missile this month at Vidsel Test Range in the north of Sweden.
These tests are the latest steps in the Gripen E flight test programme preceded by the carriage trials in July and form part of the weapon integration work.
“As a pilot, flying with external stores such as drop tank and missiles is important to allow for evaluation of how the aircraft behaves with the stores attached. This test was also used to evaluate the effect of releasing and launching the stores on the aircraft. The highlight was of course to pull the trigger and watch the missile fire away. It also brings us closer to making the aircraft ready for its operational use”, says Marcus Wandt, Experimental Gripen Test Pilot at Saab.
Gripen E's first prototype flew its debut flight in June 2017. Since then, the Gripen programme is on track. In October 2017, Gripen E prototype went supersonic for the first time. The next two prototypes 39-9 and 39-10, have already left the production line at Linkoping, and are currently undergoing verification ahead of their first flights, which is scheduled for 2019.
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