Defence and security company Saab and the British Empire Test Pilots' School (ETPS) have extended the agreement to use the Gripen multi-role fighter for ETPS test pilot and test engineer courses during 2012. ETPS students have used Gripen as part of their training since 1999.
The recently signed contract contains several ETPS courses, including two training campaigns per year, one in the spring and one in the autumn, to take place in Sweden.
The Gripen fighter aircraft has been used in test pilot training courses for 13 years, and is an important part of the ETPS Fixed Wing Graduate Course syllabus. Instructors and students use a dual-seat Gripen for instructional flights and simulator training, experiencing Gripen's advanced technology and flight characteristics. Learning specific techniques, and providing systems and assessment on the aircraft are also fundamental parts of the programme. The campaign also consists of target flights, where an SK 60 jet trainer aircraft is used as a target for radar assessment.
“Saab is thrilled to have been awarded the ETPS contract for 2012,” says Eddy de la Motte, VP and head of Gripen Export. “It is an excellent acknowledgement of Gripen's capabilities, having yet again been selected as ETPS choice of latest generation fighter, and we are naturally glad to continue this fruitful co-operation.”
There is also a close collaboration between Saab and the Swedish Air Force regarding the ETPS programme, where all flying is conducted in Sweden. Therefore, students and instructors will go to the Saab flight test facility in Linköping, where a course of simulator flying is held, while Gripen simulator training takes place at the Swedish Air Force F 7 Wing, Såtenäs.
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