On 15 June 2017 Defence and security company Saab completed a successful first flight of the next generation smart fighter, Gripen E.
At 10:32 on Thursday June 15, 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 Linköping, Sweden and flew over the eastern parts of Östergötland 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 Vice President and Head of Saab Business Area Aeronautics.
Defence and security company Saab continues to enhance the Swordfish Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA). Detailed design studies have expanded operational capabilities, adding new mission equipment and a significantly expanded operational payload. The Swordfish MPA is the smart solution for the full range of real-world maritime missions that modern customers demand.
Saab’s Swordfish MPA is a strategic, multi-role asset that combines the latest, operationally proven sensors with Bombardier’s ultra-long range, Global 6000 platform. It is a MPA system that can fly further, stay longer on station and deliver superior results in every task that MPAs are required to fulfil across the complete spectrum of national, international and coalition missions.
Recent product development milestones at Saab and Bombardier have validated a significant increase in the available payload carried on Swordfish’s four, NATO-compatible hard points. Swordfish can now be armed with up to six lightweight-torpedoes for the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) role. Swordfish can also carry the Saab RBS 15EF anti-ship missile or a mix of missiles and torpedoes to assure total sea control in every aspect. The Swordfish can equally carry a load of four search-and-rescue pods underlining its true multi-mission capability across the maritime domain.
Another capability that sets Swordfish apart from competitors is its ASW suite with a world-leading acoustics processor, Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD), gravity-launching systems and an operational load of around 200 A, F and G size sonobuoys. This complete and highly-capable ASW suite enables Swordfish to locate, track and classify the most advanced, high-threat sub-surface targets for several hours, with a higher probability of detection.
«We have invested heavily to produce an MPA at the peak of operational capability today and future-proofed for decades to come when new technologies, such as unmanned systems, come online. Anti-submarine warfare is the cornerstone of any MPA and we can draw on Saab’s unique design insight into submarines and airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), underwater weapons and sensors, together with decades of experience from our valued partners including GDMS-Canada, CAE and leading sonobuoy specialists Ultra Electronics UK. The result is an MPA optimised for the demands of ASW, especially at low-level, which is where the game is truly won or lost. The need to classify targets from a passive source remains as relevant as ever and is enhanced by confirmation from other sensors such as the MAD», says Gary Shand, sales director at Saab business unit Airborne ISR.
In parallel with Swordfish, Saab’s multi-role and swing-role GlobalEye AEW&C system continues its successful progress with three units in production and scheduled for on-time delivery. Swordfish shares around 70 per cent commonality with its GlobalEye sistership including the Global 6000 platform, mission management system, electronic warfare and self-protection systems, Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, electro-optics, Automatic Identification System (AIS) and the majority of communications systems.
Swordfish was launched at the 2016 Singapore Air Show and Saab has since received substantial interest from potential users in every corner of the world, many of whom are already experienced MPA operators.
«We are very encouraged by the increasing interest shown in the Swordfish MPA. We have a fantastic product that offers a high-end, strategic capability with much lower acquisition and operating costs compared to airliner equivalents. Our dialogue with the market and the wider anti-submarine warfare community shows there is a clear requirement for a fast, long-range, multi-mission MPA that performs across a range of profiles with smarter ways of operating to reduce costs. Saab continues to invest in this programme and we know that we can deliver a system that will change forever the way users think and act in in the maritime domain», says Emilien Saindon, head of sales and marketing, Saab business unit Airborne ISR”
The proliferation of submarines around the world continues to increase and many countries have a growing need to replace existing, ageing MPA platforms. Regional maritime disputes, anti-piracy, terrorism and security of national waters, borders and lines of commerce mean that the demand for multi-role ISR air power has never been more pressing. Saab is committed to expanding its presence in Asia Pacific and working with local industries in the region to deliver, support and sustain the Swordfish MPA far into the future.
Boeing and partner Saab have completed the first flight of their second production-ready T-X aircraft, which is identical to the first and designed specifically for the U.S. Air Force advanced pilot training requirement.
During the one-hour flight, lead T-X Test Pilot Steve Schmidt and Boeing Test Pilot for Air Force Programs Matt Giese validated key aspects of the aircraft and further demonstrated the low-risk and performance of the design, proving its repeatability in manufacturing.
«The jet handled exactly like the first aircraft and the simulator, meeting all expectations», said Giese. «The front and back cockpits work together seamlessly and the handling is superior. It’s the perfect aircraft for training future generations of combat pilots».
Both pilots trained for the flight using the complete Boeing T-X system, which includes ground-based training and simulation.
«Our successful flight test program is a testament to the fact that our offering is the right choice for the U.S. Air Force», said Schmidt. «This aircraft was built to Air Force requirements and designed to fulfill the Air Education and Training Command mission».
The Boeing T-X aircraft has one engine, twin tails, stadium seating, and an advanced cockpit with embedded training. The all-new, purpose-built design offers flexibility to evolve as technology, missions, and training needs change.
Boeing and Saab revealed their design in September 2016 and flew the first aircraft last December.
T-X will replace the Air Force’s aging T-38 aircraft. Initial operating capability is planned for 2024.
Swedish defense and security company Saab serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions ranging from military defense to civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents and constantly develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers’ changing needs. Saab is a $4 billion business with approximately 14,000 employees in about 35 countries.
Defence and security company Saab took the next step in the evolution of the Gripen fighter system on 18 May, with the unveiling of the first test aircraft of the next generation, Gripen E. Gripen E is equipped with a highly integrated and sophisticated sensor suite including an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, Infra-Red Search and Track (IRST), Electronic Warfare (EW) suite, and datalink technology, which, when combined gives the pilot, and co-operating forces exactly the information needed at all times.
The unveiling of the first Gripen E test aircraft took place at Saab’s facilities in Linköping. Among the speakers are the Swedish Minister for Defence, Peter Hultqvist; the Swedish Air Force Chief of Staff, Mats Helgesson; Commander of the Brazilian Air Force, Nivaldo Luiz Rossato; and from Saab the Chairman of the Board, Marcus Wallenberg; the CEO, Håkan Buskhe and head of business area Aeronautics, Ulf Nilsson.
«There is huge global interest in the Gripen fighter system and we are now ready to present the first Gripen E. We look forward to sharing this important event with both guests and viewers», says Ulf Nilsson, head of Saab business area Aeronautics. «This key milestone is proof of our ability to build world-class fighters on time and on budget and it brings us one step closer to first flight and delivery to our customer», says Ulf Nilsson.
The construction phase for the Swedish Navy’s A26 next-generation submarine has officially begun. On 4 September 2015 at the Saab Kockums shipyard in Karlskrona, the first steel for the new vessel was cut. This is a key milestone for the world’s most modern submarine programme.
The A26 is a next-generation submarine with the ability to perform in all oceans and across a broad spectrum of conflict environments. Along with its traditional load of mines and torpedoes, the submarine can be equipped with missiles. Perhaps the most unique A26 design feature is its Multi Mission Portal, for the launch and retrieval of diverse mission payloads such as manned and unmanned vehicles. The A26 submarine will be a strong intelligence-gathering platform within the wider defense network.
«We have left the design phase behind and begun construction of the A26, a pillar of Sweden’s future naval defence. The A26 is a new standard bearer; a step forward in the Swedish tradition of modular design and building, it ensures maximum operational effectiveness with a lower lifecycle cost. With the A26 you can always adapt the submarine to the mission in hand. Now that production has started it is a clear signal to other potential customers around the world that Saab is ready to deliver to them as well», says Gunnar Wieslander, head of Saab’s business unit Saab Kockums.
On 30 June 2015, Saab signed contracts with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration to construct, verify and deliver two new Type A26 submarines to a total order value of SEK7.6 billion. The first delivery will be 2022.
A26 submarine for the Swedish Navy is the world’s most modern submarine programme. The submarines will be powered by conventional diesel-electric propulsion machinery and equipped with the Kockums Stirling AIP (Air-Independent Propulsion) system. The Stirling system makes the A26 very stealthy and difficult to detect. The A26 boosts all the traditional operational capabilities of a submarine and is also a strong intelligence-gathering platform within the wider defence network. Its proven modular design ensures availability, with efficient through-life upgrades and adaptations, and low life cycle costs.
This week we started on the construction of the world’s most modern submarine programme. Congratulations to everyone involved in helping us deliver the next generation submarines to the Swedish Navy
Defence and Security Company Saab presented the newly developed next generation Carl Gustaf M4 at the 2014 Association of the U.S. Army exhibition in Washington D.C. The Carl Gustaf M4, known in the U.S. as M3A1 MAAWS (Multi-role Anti-armor Anti-tank Weapon System), is the latest man-portable shoulder-launched multi-role weapon system from Saab designed to provide users with flexible capability and help troops to remain agile in any scenario.
Since 1948, Carl Gustaf has been supporting dismounted infantry around the world in dealing with a full range of battlefield challenges. A marked evolution in the history of the system, the new Carl Gustaf M4 model meets the needs of modern conflict environments while offering compatibility with future innovations.
The new lightweight Carl Gustaf M4, weighing approximately 15 pounds (<7 kg, some 3 kg lighter than the earlier Carl Gustaf M3 and half the weight of the 14.2 kg M2 version), offers significant weight savings to the soldier. According to Nicholas de Larrinaga, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, this has been achieved by constructing the recoilless rifle’s barrel out of titanium, saving 1.1 kg (compared to the M3’s steel barrel), building its outer casing our of carbon fibre (saving 0.8 kg), and by redesigning the weapon’s venturi to save a further 0.9 kg. The redesign has also served to decrease the size of the Carl Gustaf, bringing the M4’s total length down to under 1,000 mm (M2 – 1,130 mm; M3 – 1,065 mm).
The Carl Gustaf M4’s current default sight is the same telescopic sight used on the M3 model, although it can also mount a red-dot sight or, through its integrated 1913 Picatinny rail mounts, be fitted with a variety of other sighting options.
It is also compatible with future battlefield technology such as intelligent sighting systems for programmable ammunition. With a wide variety of munitions available, it is a weapon system capable of handling multiple tactical situations, bridging the gap between full-scale operations and low intensity conflicts, and providing the modern warfighter with unprecedented flexibility and capability on the battlefield. The Carl Gustaf M4 enables soldiers to deal with any tactical situation – from neutralizing armored tanks or enemy troops in defilade, to clearing obstacles and engaging enemies in buildings.
The new generation Carl Gustaf is a further development of today’s widely deployed Carl-Gustaf M3. This «outdated» version has long been in service with the U.S. Army Rangers and has been employed by every U.S. Special Operations Force in the U.S. military. Versions of the system are in service with more than 40 nations globally.
The latest M4 design and capability enhancements were recently showcased to a select group of visitors at a ground combat systems demonstration held in Sweden. The demonstration included a comprehensive series of successful firings with a range of ammunition types against a variety of targets. The new Carl-Gustaf is attracting a high level of interest.
In addition, development does not stop here. Future complementary improvements to this new formidable system will include development of smart programmable ammunition, advanced sighting systems, and expanded confined space capabilities.