Saab has unveiled its Gripen Demo aircraft during a ceremony at its Linköping site, and confirmed that the future capabilities demonstrator will use an active electronically-scanned array radar to be developed under a collaborative venture between Saab Microwave Systems and French manufacturer Thales.

Saab will be responsible for leading the development and integration of the new AESA system, which will retain the back end of the Gripen's current PS05 sensor.

Gripen Demo reveal 
All photos © Craig Hoyle/Flight International

Prepared under a programme also including manufacturers such as Honeywell, Meggitt and Terma, the Gripen Demo will be powered by an F414G engine now being developed by General Electric and Volvo Aero. This will provide 20% more thrust than the Gripen's current RM12 powerplant, and support the new aircraft's increased maximum take-off weight.

Gripen Demo side 

A new landing gear - moved into the aircraft's wing root - will also enable the Gripen Demo to carry more internal fuel, and two precision-guided bombs on new centreline stores pylons.

 Gripen Demo gear

Saab plans to conduct the first flight of the Gripen Demo aircraft later this year.

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