Gripen is the first of the new generation, multi-role combat aircraft to enter service. Using the latest available technology it is capable of performing an extensive range of air-to-air and air-to-surface operational missions and employs the latest weapons.
Gripen is designed to meet the demands of current and future threats, while at the same time meeting strict requirements for flight safety, reliability, training efficiency and low operating costs.
Gripen is in service with the Swedish, Czech Republic, Hungarian and South African Air Forces and has also been ordered by Thailand. The UK Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS) is also operating Gripen as its advanced fast jet platform for test pilots worldwide.
- Gripen was declared operational in the Swedish Air Force in 1997, and 204 aircraft, including 28 two seaters, have been delivered.
- Gripen is in full operational service with the Czech Republic Air Force, which has taken delivery of all of its 14 aircraft (12 single-seat and 2 two-seaters) to meet its national, European and NATO defence needs.
- Gripen is also in full operational service with the Hungarian Air Force, which has taken delivery of all of its 14 aircraft (12 single-seat and 2 two-seaters) to meet its national, European and NATO needs.
- South Africa, Gripen’s first export customer, has ordered a fleet of 26 aircraft (9 two-seat and 17 single seat aircraft) to replace its existing front-line aircraft. Deliveries started in 2008 and will be completed by 2012.
- The United Kingdom’s (UK) Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS) is also operating Gripen as its advanced fast jet platform for test pilots worldwide.
- In October 2007, the government of Thailand approved the procurement of Gripen fighters to replace the Royal Thai Air Force’s ageing F-5 fleet, and in February 2008 Thailand and Sweden signed contracts for the supply of the initial six Gripen aircraft for the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) with aircraft delivered during 2011.
Binding tenders around the world
Saab is actively marketing Gripen around the world. As of early 2009, there are binding Gripen tenders for Denmark, India, Romania, Brazil and Switzerland. In addition, Saab has responded to requests for information from Bulgaria, Croatia, and the Netherlands.