Gripen E out of Armasuisse’s Tests

Gripen E out of Armasuisse’s Tests 14 June, 2019

The Swiss defence procurement agency, Armasuisse, has formally recommended to Saab not to participate with Gripen E in the upcoming flight tests scheduled from 24 to 28 June 2019 in Switzerland.

The reason is that the flight tests have been designed to only evaluate aircraft that are operationally ready in 2019. The flight tests are part of the fighter evaluation process that foresees aircraft deliveries in 2025.

However, the Gripen E development plan does not match the Swiss plan to perform flight tests with aircraft that are operationally ready in 2019.

Gripen E is currently being developed, tested and produced for Sweden and Brazil.

Upon an invitation from Armasuisse, Saab submitted a proposal for Gripen E on 25 January 2019. Since the submission of the proposal in January, the Armasuisse’ expectations on the flight tests have evolved to expect participation of operationally ready aircraft. As Gripen E is yet to become operational, Saab has presented solutions to perform the Swiss flight tests in 2019.

An offer to complement the Gripen E test aircraft with an operational Gripen C aircraft for the flight tests in June 2019 has not been accepted by Armasuisse. Competitors have showcased capabilities on existing platforms, which are different to the versions offered for delivery.

Switzerland has a need to replace its fighter fleet of F/A-18 Hornet and F-5 E/F Tiger aircraft.

The following four candidates remain in the evaluation:

-- Airbus with the Eurofighter (DE)

-- Boeing with the F / A-18 Super Hornet (USA)

-- Dassault with the Rafale (FRA)

-- Lockheed Martin with the F-35A (USA)


Issue 86