First SA Gripen single-seater flies

The first single-seat Saab JAS39 Gripen C destined for the South African Air Force made its maiden flight at Linköping in Sweden yesterday.
The aircraft, number 39.2101 (SAAF 3910), was flown by Saab test pilot Richard Ljungberg. 
It took off from the Saab facility at 1pm and touched down safely back at 2.03pm.
A Saab spokesman says the aircraft will undergo a short flight test programme ahead of delivery to South Africa in October.
The SA air Force is currently receiving the last of nine dual-seat Gripen D fighters under a comprehensive military transformation and modernisation programme and will from October receive 17 Gripen C.
All the aircraft bar a test platform will be at Air Force Base Makhado in Limpopo and are assigned to 2 Squadron. The test aircraft is assigned to the SAAF Test Flight and Development Centre at AFB Overberg near Bredasdorp east of Cape Town.    

The Gripen will next year play a key role safeguarding the FIFA Soccer World Cup.  


Pic: Gripen #10 makes its maiden flight. Credit: Per Kustvik/Saab