2008-05-11 - Gripen South Africa deliverFirst Gripen for South Africa delivered
Südafrika übernimmt erste JAS 39D<br /> On April 30th, the South African Air Force received and accepted its first new Gripen fighter aircraft opening a new chapter in the forces modernisation and transformation.
As part of its 1999 Strategic Defence Procurement, South Africa ordered 26 modern Gripen fighters for its front-line air defence and fighter requirement. The new multiple capability aircraft are replacing the SAAF's fleet of Cheetah aircraft. South Africa will receive 26 Gripen new generation fighters 9 dual-seat and 17 single-seat. Delivery of the first Gripen follows an extensive two-year flight test programme in South Africa to integrate local avionics, defence and combat systems. Initial work was conducted in Sweden before migrating to a dedicated Gripen Flight Test Centre established at the SAAF's Test Flight Development Centre near Bredasdorp in the Southern Cape.
South Africa's first Gripen aircraft (SA01) first flew in November 2005 at Linköping, Sweden. It was transferred to South Africa in July 2006 and engaged in a South Africa-specific flight test programme which was completed in January 2008. South Africa aircraft deliveries will continue progressively from now until 2012.