Saab has successfully test flown a key passive detection capability for its in-development Gripen E fighter, using dedicated test aircraft 39-7.
Developed by Selex ES’s Airborne & Space Systems division, the Skyward-G infrared search and track (IRST) sensor will give the combat aircraft a long-range means of detecting and identifying potential airborne threats, without the need to first switch on its active electronically scanned array radar. Secondary applications include the ability to act as a navigation and landing aid during darkness.
“The first flight in the Gripen E test aircraft with IRST has been performed with very good results,” says Hans Einerth, wing commander flying at Saab’s Linköping production and test site in Sweden. “Multiple targets were detected, tracked and identified, and the system works perfectly.”