First flight success for Gripen E


Defence and security company Saab today completed a successful first flight of the next-generation smart fighter, Gripen E. The media is invited to join an online press briefing later today, and joining details are below.

At 10:32am, on Thursday 15 June, Gripen E took off on its maiden flight, flown by a Saab test pilot. The aircraft (designation 39-8) left from Saab’s airfield in Linkoping, Sweden and flew over the eastern parts of Ostergotland, for 40 minutes. During the flight, the aircraft carried out a number of actions to demonstrate various test criteria, including the retracting and extending of the landing gear.

“The flight was just as expected, with the aircraft performance matching the experience in our simulations. Its acceleration performance is impressive, with smooth handling. Needless to say, I’m very happy to have piloted this maiden flight,” says Marcus Wandt, experimental test pilot, Saab.

“Today we have flown this world-class fighter aircraft for the first time. We achieved it with the fully qualified software for the revolutionary avionics system. This is about giving our customers a smart fighter system with the future designed in from the start. The flight test activities will continue to build on this achievement, with the programme on track to achieve the 2019 delivery schedule to our Swedish and Brazilian customers,” says Jonas Hjelm, senior VP and head of Saab Business Area Aeronautics.

Invitation to online press briefing

Time: Thursday, 15 June 2017 at 4pm CET

Speakers: Jonas Hjelm, senior VP and head of Saab Business Area Aeronautics, and Marcus Wandt, experimental test pilot, Saab

Online press briefing: This will be live-streamed on or accessible through a telephone conference call. Please use one of the following numbers depending on which country code you prefer to use:

SE+46 8 566 426 94
UK: +44 203 008 9819
US: +1 855 831 5948

It will also be possible to ask questions via the live-streamed online press briefing or by the telephone conference call.

Please note that there will be no personal attendance at the press briefing.

The press briefing will be held in English. A video of the press briefing will be available via

For further information, please contact: 

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Saab serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions within military defence and civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents around the world. Through innovative, collaborative and pragmatic thinking, Saab develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers’ changing needs.