Saab says its new JAS 39 Gripen E will fly before the end of Quarter 2, 2017. Having been rolled out in May 2016, Saab initially expected to fly the first Gripen E prototype (serial 39-8) before the end of 2016, however it has modified its test plan in order to fully qualify the aircraft software. It says it remains on track to deliver the first aircraft in 2019.
In addition, Saab says it has three new customers on the horizon for new-build Gripen C/Ds. Bulgaria, Botswana and Slovakia are seen as short-term potentials for new Gripen C/Ds. The Swedish manufacturer plans to run twin production lines for the two variants.
The Gripen C/D is current at MS20 standard, featuring MBDA Meteor, GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb amongst other upgrades. MS21 will be the Gripen E entry standard in Swedish service, and a series of follow-on upgrades are now planned for the C/D variant.