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Swiss test fly Gripen E/F

May 7, 2012 at 10:34 AM

LINKOPING, Sweden, May 7 (UPI) -- Swiss Air Force pilots put Sweden's Gripen E/F fighter aircraft through its paces earlier this month prior to its possible acquisition, officials say.

The three days of testing, the result of Switzerland's defense procurement agency naming the Saab-built Gripen the preferred candidate to replace the country's F-5 fleet, was performed using a test aircraft.

"We tested the flight performance simulating an operational air defense mission profile," said Swiss Air Force pilot Lt. Col Fabio Antognini. "The flight was packed with test points. We were able to perform them all."

Added the Swiss agency's chief test pilot Bernhard Berset: "We performed flight performance tests using an air policing scenario. We simulated a quick reaction alert and a maximum performance intercept to high altitude and supersonic speed.

"We tested the engine in the entire envelope and are pleased with the results."

Saab said it will soon integrate more advanced avionics onto the E/F model of the aircraft, which is under development.

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