The Swiss defence procurement agency, armasuisse, has formally recommended to Saab not to participate with Gripen E in the upcoming flight tests in Switzerland.
the Gripen E development plan does not match the Swiss plan to perform flight tests with aircraft that are operationally ready in 2019. Therefore, Saab has decided not to attend the Swiss flight tests in Payerne 24-28 June.
As Gripen E is yet to become operational, Saab has presented solutions to perform the Swiss flight tests in 2019. An offer to complement the Gripen E test aircraft with an operational Gripen C aircraft for the flight tests in June 2019 has not been accepted by armasuisse.
With the non-participation in the flight and soil testing Gripen E leaves the evaluation process. Retrofitting the flight and ground testing at a later stage would contradict equal treatment of all candidates and is not an option.
Since the beginning of 2018, armasuisse has been in regular contact with all applicants and has shown both the process and the criteria. Based on current information and analyzes on the degree of maturity and the integration of the subsystems, specialists from armasuisse and the Swiss Air Force came to the conclusion that several of the planned missions could not be carried out expediently. For this reason, armasuisse Saab has recommended that it withdraw from the evaluation. Apparently, Saab also came to the conclusion in a separate estimate not to participate in the flight and ground trials.
The following four candidates will remain in the evaluation:
• Airbus with the Eurofighter (DE)
• Boeing with the F/A-18 Super Hornet (USA)
• Dassault with the Rafale (FRA)
• Lockheed Martin with the F-35A (USA)