Saab JAS 39 Gripen E multirole fighter aircraft in Finland for the HX Challenge
Saab JAS 39 Gripen E multirole fighter aircraft in Finland for the HX Challenge

Saab’s Gripen E and GlobalEye Complete Finnish Air Force HX Flight Evaluation

Swedish aerospace and defence company Saab has successfully completed its participation with JAS 39 Gripen E and GlobalEye AEW&C in the Finnish HX Challenge, the Finnish Air Force testing and evaluation event at Pirkkala Air Base in Finland. The flight evaluation is part of the capability assessment in the on-going HX programme, the procurement of new fighter aircraft to equip the Finnish Air Force. The HX Challenge was carried out in Finland with tests performed under Finnish winter conditions, with the purpose to verify the data previously reported by the fighter manufacturers. The solution offered by Saab features the latest technology available for operating in a continuously changing and highly challenging operational environment.

Furthermore, on 31 January Saab submitted a revised offer in response to the revised Request for Quotation for the Finnish HX programme. Saab’s offer to Finland is a comprehensive solution for air power and air defence. With Gripen E/F fighter aircraft, designed for the most challenging operations and threat scenarios very similar to those in Finland, combined with GlobalEye – the world’s most advanced AEW&C solution – as a force multiplier, the offer provides a substantial contribution to the joint operational capability of the Finnish Defence Forces. Transfer of maintenance, repair and overhaul capabilities to local industry, parts production and final assembly of aircraft as well as an establishment of a sustainment and development centre in Finland are included.

Saab JAS 39 Gripen E multirole fighter aircraft in Finland for the HX Challenge
Saab JAS 39 Gripen E multirole fighter aircraft in Finland for the HX Challenge

The Saab JAS 39 Gripen (Griffin) is a light single-engine multirole fighter aircraft manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab. It was designed to replace the Saab 35 Draken and 37 Viggen in the Swedish Air Force (Flygvapnet). The Gripen has a delta wing and canard configuration with relaxed stability design and fly-by-wire flight controls. It is powered by the Volvo RM12, and has a top speed of Mach 2. Later aircraft are modified for NATO interoperability standards and to undertake air to air refuelling. A further version, designated Gripen JAS 39E/F, is beginning deliveries to the Swedish and Brazilian air forces as of 2019; it has previously been referred to as Gripen NG or Super-JAS.

The Saab GlobalEye is a multi-role airborne early warning & control (AEW&C) platform from Swedish defence and security company Saab. GlobalEye consists of a suite of sensors using Saab’s Erieye ER (Extended Range) radar and mission system, installed in the Bombardier Global 6000 long-range business jet. The primary sensor of the GlobalEye is its Erieye ER airborne early warning (AEW) radar; weighing approximately 1 tonne, it is mounted atop the twinjet’s fuselage. The GlobalEye is capable of detecting and tracking a combination of airborne and surface targets, the latter on both land and sea, while mission times of up to eleven hours in duration are possible.

Saab JAS 39 Gripen E multirole fighter aircraft in Finland for the HX Challenge
Saab JAS 39 Gripen E multirole fighter aircraft in Finland for the HX Challenge

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