In June, as part of the Gripen E test programme, Saab completed a water spray test with Gripen E. The activity was conducted at the Gripen Flight Test Centre (GFTC), in Gavião Peixoto, Brazil. During the test, a Gripen E was made to pass through a flooded runway at varying speeds. The test helped identify the impact of water on Gripen including its engines and sensors, and check if the fighter can function without any problems in rough scenarios. The success of the test demonstrates Gripen’s abilities to perform in all kinds of harsh weather and adverse scenarios.
The activity went well and the aircraft performed as expected. Saab Gripen E has shown that it is capable of operating safely in situations such as heavy rain, without suffering damage from cascades of water pooling on the runway. The testing campaign conducted at the GFTC is an activity performed in partnership with Embraer, whose exchange of experiences brings significant benefits to the Gripen programme and also to Brazil and Sweden. The Brazilian company has a special infrastructure in Gavião Peixoto to set up a “pool” on the runway and provide this unique experience.
The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is a light single-engine multirole fighter aircraft manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab AB. The Gripen has a delta wing and canard configuration with relaxed stability design and fly-by-wire flight controls. Various versions have been built, grouped as A-, C- and E-series. Gripen A- and C-series are powered by the GE F404G engine (previously designated Volvo RM12) and the E-series is powered by the GE F414G engine, and has a top speed of Mach 2. Later aircraft are modified for NATO interoperability standards and air-to-air refuelling. As of 2020, more than 271 Gripens of all models, A–F, have been built.
On 24 October 2014, Brazil and Sweden signed a 39.3 billion SEK (US$5.44 billion) contract for 28 Gripen E (single-seat version) and 8 Gripen F (dual-seat version) fighters for delivery from 2019 to 2024 and maintained until 2050;the Swedish government will provide a subsidized 25-year, 2.19% interest rate loan for the buy. At least 15 aircraft are to be assembled in Brazil, Brazilian companies shall be involved in its production; Gripen Fs are to be delivered later. The Brazilian Navy is interested in the Gripen Maritime to replace its Douglas A-4KU Skyhawk fighters. In 2015, Brazil and Sweden finalised the deal to develop the Gripen F, designated F-39 by Brazil.