MILAVIA > Aircraft > JAS 39 Gripen > Chronology Last updated: 24 May 2014
MILAVIA Aircraft - Saab JAS 39 Gripen

JAS 39 Gripen Chronology of Key Events / Milestones

| 1975-1980 | 1980-1985 | 1985-1990 | 1990-1995 | 1995-2000 | 2000-2005 | 2005-2010 | 2010-2015 |

1975-1980 BACK TO TOP
1976 B3LA future fighter studies begin
1980-1985 BACK TO TOP
June 1982 Swedish Parliament approves the JAS program.
June 1982 Aircraft is officially designated JAS 39
30 June 1982 First contract is signed between FMV and Industry Group-JAS, covering five prototypes and 30 Batch 1 aircraft.
Sep 1982 Aircraft is named Gripen (Griffin, Griffon or Gryphon in English) after public competition.
Apr 1983 Swedish Parliament approves the governments order for the first batch of 30 Gripen aircraft.
Dec 1984 Ground tests using hydraulic and flight control system rigs begin.
1985-1990 BACK TO TOP
Jan 1985 The first test runs of the RM12 engine are carried out by Volvo Aero Corporation.
May 1985 FFV Aerotech delivers the first digital test equipment to Ericsson Radio Systems
Jan 1985 The first test runs of the RM12 engine are carried out by Volvo Aero Corporation.
Feb 1986 Gripen'’s display system is test flown for the first time in a modified Viggen test aircraft.
11 Feb 1986 Full-Scale model revealed to Swedish politicians, military personnel and the media.
26 Apr 1987 First Gripen prototype (39.1) makes public debut at Saab’s 50th anniversary celebration.
May 1987 Gripen’'s PS-05/A radar is flown for the first time in a Viggen test aircraft.
Dec 1987 F7 Skaraborgs Wing at Såtenäs selected to become first operational Gripen wing.
Mar 1988 Engine tests start with the RM12 engine installed in the first Gripen prototype.
July 1988 First simulated test flight of Gripen prototype linked to Saab’s simulator centre.
9 Dec 1988 First flight of the Gripen prototype (39.1), flown by test pilot Stig Holmström.
Dec 1988 Weapons carriage trials commence.
2 Feb 1989 First Gripen prototype (39.1) is lost in landing accident at Linköping due to FCS problems. Test pilot Lars Rådeström survived.
Dec 1989 Swedish government approves the continued development of the Gripen program.
1990-1995 BACK TO TOP
4 May 1990 First flight second Gripen prototype aircraft (39.2, painted black), used for spin recovery and high-alpha tests. [Williams, 2003]
11 May 1990 First flight second Gripen prototype aircraft (39.2). [Gripen, 2007]
Nov 1990 Swedish government reaffirms program and approves next phase of procurement negotiations.
20 Dec 1990 First flight fourth prototype aircraft (39.4). [Williams, 2003]
25 Mar 1991 First flight third single-seat prototype (39.3), first with full avionics suite, except radar.
23 Oct 1991 First flight prototype 39.5, first prototype with radar.
Dec 1991 Swedish government gives FMV authority to conclude Batch 2 negotiations with Industry Group-JAS.
1991 Weapons trials start with Rb 74 Sidewinder launch.
3 June 1992 FMV and Industry Group-JAS sign agreement on Batch 2 for the SwAF, covering 96 JAS 39A and 14 dual-seat JAS 39B.
10 Sep 1992 Maiden flight first production aircraft (39101), replaced 39.1 prototype.
Sep 1992 Two Gripen aircraft make foreign debut at the Farnborough Air Show, UK.
8 June 1993 First production aircraft (39102) is delivered to F7 Såtenäs. [Williams, 2003]
11 June 1993 First production aircraft (39102) is delivered to FMV. [Gripen, 2007]
18 Aug 1993 39102 is lost during air show over central Stockholm, due to FCS problems. Test pilot Lars Radeström safely ejected.
1993 Weapons trials for the Rb 75 Maverick commence.
1995-2000 BACK TO TOP
Mar 1995 FMV begins its flight test program with production aircraft at Malmen Air Base, outside Linköping.
June 1995 At the Paris Air Show, Saab and BAe, sign a collaborative agreement for the joint marketing, system adaptation, production and product support of Gripen for the export market.
Sept 1995 Hungarian government and Saab sign MoU on industrial cooperation and evaluation of the Gripen for the HuAF.
Sept 1995 First dual-seat JAS 39-B unveiled in a ceremony in Linköping.
Dec 1995 2000th Gripen test flight takes place. More than 90% of the scheduled test flights are now complete.
29 Apr 1996 First flight of the first dual-seat JAS 39B prototype (39800).
June 1996 Gripen is officially introduced into the Swedish Air Force at the Gripen Training Centre at the Skaraborg Wing (F7).
20 Aug 1996 First flight of a Batch 2 aircraft (39131).
Sep 1996 Production Gripen first overseas display in the flying programme at Farnborough Air Show, UK.
Oct 1996 Fatigue test airframe passes 10,000 simulated flight hours without incident.
22 Nov 1996 First flight of first production JAS 39B two-seater (39801).
13 Dec 1996 Final Batch 1 aircraft (39129) delivered to FMV.
13 Dec 1996 Swedish government authorizes Batch 3 contract, comprising 50 JAS 39C and 14 JAS 39D.
19 Dec 1996 First Batch 2 aircraft delivered to FMV, concluding basic development.
4 June 1997 First Hungarian pilot, Ference Varga flies the Gripen.
26 June 1997 Batch 3 contract signed, comprising 64 aircraft plus a development and improvement program.
Sep 1997 F7 Såtenas wing flies first combat exercise with the Gripen.
27 Oct 1997 First Czech pilot, Lt. General Ladisav Klima flies the Gripen.
1 Nov 1997 First Gripen squadron, 1./F7 Såtenas declared operational by SwAF C-in-C Lt Gen Kent Harrskog.
Dec 1997 First dual-seat JAS 39B is delivered to FMV.
1997 Rb 75 Maverick and Bk 90 Mjölner declared operational on the Gripen.
Mar 1998 An evaluation team from South Africa visits Linköping for a 10-day period and flies the Gripen.
Mar 1998 Debut in South America, two aircraft participate in FIDAE Air Show in Santiago, Chile.
Mar 1998 Ericsson Saab Avionics becomes main supplier for the electronic countermeasures system in the export version.
Apr 1998 First AIM-120 AMRAAM launch by the Gripen, FMV’s Vidsel test range in Sweden.
Apr 1998 Air-to-air refuelling trials in the UK with a RAF VC-10 tanker, using mock up refuelling probe.
Apr 1998 Saab AB enters Stockholm Stock Exchange, BAe buys 35% of shares and capital.
27 Aug 1998 First captive flight with Taurus KEPD 150 weapon.
Sep 1998 International debut dual-seat Gripen at Farnborough Air Show, UK.
18 Nov 1998 South Africa selects Gripen and negotiations with Gripen International start.
30 Sep 1999 F10 at √Ąngelholm becomes the second Swedish Air Force Wing to operate Gripen.
Oct 1999 Testing of Taurus KEPD 350 weapon begins.
Dec 1999 South Africa becomes first export customer, orders 28 Gripens (19 single-seat and 9 dual-seat).
1999 Prototypes 39.2 and 39.4 are retired and dispatched to the air museum in Malmslätt.
mid-1999 Rb 99 AMRAAM declared operational on the Gripen.
20 Sep 1999 Third Gripen (39156) lost in crash due to loss of control, Vänern lake near the island of Djurö. Pilot ejected.
2000-2005 BACK TO TOP
Apr 2000 Denel Aviation starts manufacturing Gripen components in South Africa.
July 2000 Gripen completes a total of 16,000 sorties corresponding to 12,000 flying hours.
Mar 2001 100th Gripen aircraft is delivered to FMV.
Oct 2001 FMV orders precision weapons capability for Swedish Gripen aircraft, including laser-guided weapons.
Nov 2001 Hungary and Sweden sign MoU for the lease of 14 Gripen aircraft (12 single seat and two dual-seat).
10 Dec 2001 Czech Republic government declares it has selected the Gripen.
20 Dec 2001 Hungary and FMV sign formal lease agreement in Budapest.
Jan 2002 F21 Luleå becomes the Swedish Air Force’s third Gripen Wing
May 2002 FMV declare that 20 of the Batch 2 aircraft will be equipped to an enhanced Batch 3 standard.
May 2002 Aircraft tail number 39207 is declared the first Gripen C standard aircraft.
May 2002 Gripen International submits revised proposal for Brazil's F-X project, offering technology transfer.
June 2002 Gripen Investment Fund is established in Hungary and first offset milestone achieved.
June 2002 VARIG VEM of Brazil and Saab confirm technology partnership.
14 Aug 2002 First flight JAS 39C standard aircraft from Linköping.
9 Sep 2002 Saab delivers first JAS 39C to FMV.
Oct 2002 Captain Musa ¬ďMidnight¬Ē Mbhokota, becomes South Africa¬ís first pilot to fly the Gripen.
Oct 2002 1,000 flying hours reached by first operational Gripen aircraft (39131).
Oct 2002 125 Gripens have been delivered and close to 30,000 flying hours and 40,000 sorties flown.
Dec 2002 EWS39 Electronic Warfare System trials commence.
3 Feb 2003 FMV and Hungary sign new agreement, changing to lease-and-purchase of C/D standard NATO-interoperable aircraft.
10 Mar 2003 First solo flight in the Gripen by South African test pilot Johannes Joubert.
Apr 2003 F17 Ronneby achieves 1,000 flying hours on the Gripen.
June 2003 Seperation trials of MK.82/83/84 and GBU-10/12/16 bombs and export standard fuel tanks at Vidsel range, Sweden.
July 2003 Czech Republic issues its RfP on government-to-government basis for an interim fighter solution.
Sep 2003 Two Gripen fighters fly to the United States to celebrate 100 years of aviation history.
10 Oct 2003 South Africa Gripen production line is officially commissioned.
Oct 2003 First sub-assemblies for the South African aircraft enter the production line at Saab.
Oct 2003 Manufacture of first Hungarian Gripen airframe (39301) commences.
31 Oct 2003 Sweden submits proposal for loan of 14 new build Gripens, full support package and 150% industrial participating for the Czech Republic.
Nov 2003 Test aircraft 39.208 flies with two Taurus KEPD 350 precision stand off weapons.
Nov 2003 Gripen submits its final and best offer for Brazil's F-X BR Project.
1 Dec 2003 Czech Government evaluation committee recommends Sweden's Gripen proposal.
17 Dec 2003 Czech Government declares it has selected the Gripen.
1 Jan 2004 F17 Ronneby 2nd division's SWAFRAP JAS 39 equipped with eight Gripens replaces SWAFRAP AJS 37.
21 Apr 2004 First trial fit of geometrically representative Meteor BVR missile with the Gripen combat aircraft.
Mar 2004 SWAFRAP JAS 39 deploys seven Gripens to Bod√ł AB, Norway, for its first international exercise 'Joint Winter'.
6 May 2004 First flight trial of the ¬ĎCobra¬í Helmet-Mounted Display (HMD) system in the Gripen.
6 May 2004 Ground connection test between the Gripen's refueling probe and a SwAF C-130 (TP84) tanker.
May 2004 First guided releases of GBU-12 and GBU-16 weapons, using Litening G111 FLIR/LDP.
2 June 2004 First flight dual-seat Gripen 39D export standard aircraft (Tail No. 39815) in Linköping.
14 June 2004 Czech Republic and Swedish governments sign a lease agreement for the supply of 14 new-build Gripen aircraft, together with a full support package of training, spares and equipment.
June 2004 Fifth Hungarian Gripen enters the production phase in Linköping.
July 2004 Swedish Air Force, FMV and Saab have flown over 45,000 flying hours and 60,000 sorties.
Aug 2004 Hungarian pilots begin preparation training in Sweden.
Sep 2004 Czech pilots and technicians begin Gripen training in Sweden.
Sep 2004 First female pilot to fly the Gripen 39B, SAAF trainee fighter pilot Capt. Catherine Labuschagne.
Sep 2004 Bulgarian Deputy Minister of Defence signs MoU with Gripen International and BAE Systems.
Oct 2004 Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra states that Thailand favours Gripen as its F-5 replacement.
18 Oct 2004 First flight export Gripen, destined for the Czech Republic.
Oct 2004 Lt Col Peter Mikulenka and Lt Col Michael Boruvka become the first CzAF pilots to fly solo in the Gripen.
Nov 2004 First Czech Republic Gripen was unveiled for the first time, at Saab’s factory in Linköping.
Nov 2004 Production of Czech Republic Gripen aircraft was completed.
2005-2010 BACK TO TOP
Jan 2005 First batch of Hungarian pilots begin Gripen conversion training in Sweden.
11 Jan 2005 First dual-seat Gripen for South Africa enters final assembly at Saab’s factory, Linköping.
25 Jan 2005 First Hungarian Gripen unveiled at a ceremony at Saab's facility in Linköping.
16 Feb 2005 First flight of the first Hungarian Gripen at Saab’s facility in Linköping.
19 Mar 2005 SAAF Boeing 707 tanker arrives in Linköping to support Gripen AAR trials.
23 Mar 2005 First solo flight in a Gripen by a Hungarian Air Force pilot, at F7 Såtenäs.
Mar 2005 First 19 Hungarian technicians start technical training on the Gripen at the Swedish Armed Forces technical school in Halmstad.
Apr 2005 ETPS and Saab sign new 3-year agreement, providing the school with more Gripen flying hours and greater autonomy.
18 Apr 2005 First six Czech Air Force JAS 39C Gripen arrive in the Czech Republic.
21 Apr 2005 Maiden flight of the first Czech dual-seat JAS 39D at Saab in Linköping.
June 2005 159 aircraft delivered to the FMV/SwAF, SwAF nears 60,000 flying hours and 78,000 sorties.
Aug 2005 Johan Lehander is appointed the new Managing Director of Gripen International.
Aug 2005 Two dual-seat JAS 39D delivered, arriving at C√°slav AB, Czech Republic.
25 Aug 2005 CzAF Gripen first operational scramble, intercepting Turkish Airbus A320 with lost radio contact.
Sep 2005 Three SwAF Gripens take part in the first international air show in Greece, 'Archangel 2005'.
27 Oct 2005 Maiden flight of the first Hungarian dual-seat JAS 39D at Saab in Linköping.
28 Oct 2005 First Gripen for the SAAF (SA01) is unveiled at a ceremony at Saab in Linköping.
14 Nov 2005 Maiden flight of the first South African dual-seat JAS 39D at Saab, flown by South African test pilot Charl Coetzee and Saab test pilot Magnus Olsson.
18 Nov 2005 One JAS 39C and one JAS 39D arrive at the Dubai Air Show.
22 Nov 2005 First Gripen air-to-air refuelling test flights with a C-130 Hercules.
Dec 2005 Gripen International responds to Denmark’s RfI for a replacement for its F-16 fleet.
13 Dec 2005 First test flight with MBDA Meteor instrumented missile.
21 Mar 2006 First five Hungarian Gripens (including the two dual-seaters) arrive in Hungary.
30 Mar 2006 First five Hungarian Gripens formally handed over at a ceremony at the Kecskémet air base, Hungary.
May 2006 Last batch of CzAF pilots complete Gripen conversion training at F7 Skaraborg wing at Såtenäs in Sweden.
9 May 2006 First Air Launched Demonstration of the Meteor BVR missile from Gripen, at the Vidsel test range in Sweden.
15 May 2006 Gripen N enhanced variant announced for Norway's requirement.
16 May 2006 Gripen DK enhanced variant announced for Denmark's requirement.
20 June 2006 Second Air Launched Demonstration of the Meteor BVR missile from Gripen, at the Vidsel test range in Sweden.
30 June 2006 FMV signs SwAF Gripen upgrade contract worth $139 million for new systems fit Version 19.
July 2006 Seven SwAF Gripen aircraft participate in Cope Thunder (now Red Flag Alaska), at Eilson AFB.
July 2006 QinetiQ and Saab sign new agreement for increased usage of the Gripen by the EPTS.
Aug 2006 Second batch of HuAF pilots commence training in Sweden.
11 Aug 2006 First Gripen (SA01) Test Flight in South Africa by the GFTC at AFB Overberg, Southern Cape.
22 Aug 2006 Gripen proposal presented to the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense in responds to its formal RfI.
5 Sep 2006 Third Air Launched Demonstration of the Meteor BVR missile from Gripen, at the Vidsel test range in Sweden.
Sep 2006 South Africa’s Gripen make its public debut in South Africa during AAD2006 at Ysterplaat AFB, Cape Town.
Oct 2006 Sixth Gripen delivered to the Hungarian Air Force at Kecskémet air base, Hungary.
Nov 2006 First flight tests with the IRIS-T air-to-air missile.
Nov 2006 Danish company Aerotech A/S and Saab AB conclude a co-operation agreement.
14 Dec 2006 Aircraft 39210 of F17 Ronneby flies its 500th operational flying hour, a first for the C/D standard.
Jan 2007 Seventh Gripen delivered to the Hungarian Air Force at Kecskémet air base, Hungary.
Feb 2007 85,180 flying hours and 108,072 sorties flown by Gripen operators in total.
Feb 2007 190 Gripen aircraft delivered to the FMV/Swedish Air Force.
Feb 2007 One JAS 39C and two JAS 39D take part in the Aero India 2007 show in Banagalore, India.
Feb 2007 Norway’s Air Force Inspector General, Stein Erik Nodeland, flies the Gripen at F21 in Luleå, Sweden.
Mar 2007 Six SwAF Gripen participate in the ¬ĎCold Response¬í multi-national exercise, Norway.
Mar 2007 European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Christer Fuglesang becomes the first astronaut to fly the Gripen.
Apr 2007 Saab is awarded two contracts for further tests in support of the Meteor BVR missile.
26 Apr 2007 Norway signs MoU on co-operation in development work on the future versions of Gripen.
May 2007 Gripen conducts a live firing with the Meteor at the UK’s Hebrides range, the first Meteor launched in UK airspace.
May 2007 First international deployment of Hungarian Gripens, to Italy for NATO exercises.
May 2007 ETPS Gripen Chief Instructor Pilot Rhys Williams reaches his 100th flying hour on the Gripen.
7-8 Jun 2007 Swiss Air Force Lt. Gen. Walter Knutti visits F7 Såtenäs to fly the Gripen.
19 June 2007 Next generation Gripen Demo test aircraft announced at Paris Air Show, Le Bourget.

See also the News page for more recent developments.
AAR - Air-to-air refuelling
BAe - British Aerospace, now BAE SYSTEMS
CzAF - Czech Air Force
Ericsson Radio Systems - now Ericsson Microwave Systems
ETPS - Empire Test Pilots’ School (UK)
FCS - Flight Control System (fly-by-wire)
FFV Aerotech - now Saab Aerotech
FMV - Försvarets Materielverk (Swedish Defence Materiel Administration)
GFTC - Gripen Flight Test Centre (South Africa)
HuAF - Hungarian Air Force
JAS - Jakt, Attack, Spaning
Industry Group-JAS - industrial consortium of Saab, Volvo Aero Corporation AB, FFV Aerotech, and Ericsson Radio Systems AB
MoU - Memorandum of Understanding
SAAF - South African Air Force
SwAF - Swedish Air Force
SWAFRAP - Swedish Air Force Rapid Reaction Unit, SwAF unit ready to deploy in 30 days in support of international peace missions within UN, EU or NATO PfP framework 2001-2007.
RfI - Request for Information

Bk - Swedish designation for bomb dispenser, Bk stands for Bombkapsel
Bk 90 - DWS39 Mjölner stand-off submunitions dispenser, Swedish version of the German MBB/DASA DWS24.
Rb - Swedish designation for missiles, Rb stands for Robot
Rb 74 - AIM-9L Sidewinder IR guided air-to-air missile
Rb 75 - Hughes AGM-65A/B Maverick TV guided air-to-surface missile
Rb 98 - IRIS-T thrust-vectoring IIR air-to-air missile
Rb 99 - AIM-120B AMRAAM active radar homing air-to-air missile
Rbs 15F - anti-ship missile developed by Saab Dynamics, air-launched version of Rbs 15M ship-launched missile.
Meteor - MBDA's future medium-range air-to-air missile

KEPD - Kinetic Energy Penetration and Destruction stand-off missile with GPS/INS guidance, terrain-referenced navigation, and terminal IIR.
KEPD 150 - variant with 150 km range (93 miles) and 1060 kg (2,336 lb) warhead.
KEPD 350 - variant with 350 km range (217 miles) and 1400 kg (3,086 lb) warhead.
Sources: BACK TO TOP
- AFM Apr07, Air Forces Monthly #229, April 2007, p. 27, Key Publishing Ltd., UK, 2007. - J√łrgensen, J., (2007), Battle Group Gripens, in Air Forces Monthly #233, August 2007, pp. 42-46, Key Publishing Ltd., UK, 2007. - Gripen International (2006-1), Gripen News 1/2006,, Sweden, 2006.
- Gripen International (2006-2), Gripen News 2/2006,, Sweden, 2006.
- Gripen International (2006-3), Gripen News 3/2006,, Sweden, 2006.
- Gripen International (2007), Gripen - the story so far,, Sweden, 2007, last retrieved on 27 July 2007.
- Williams, M., (2003), Superfighters - The Next Generation of Combat Aircraft, pp. 72-91 and 143, AIRtime Publishing Inc., USA, 2003.

Related Pages
Saab Viggen

First Published: 24 May 2014
Last Revised:
Last Modified: 24 May 2014

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