The F-39 E Gripen aircraft, registration FAB 4100, dedicated to testing in Brazil, took part in a flight test campaign in Anápolis (GO) to test the Infrared Search and Track (IRST), a passive long-range target detection sensor.

For the activity, two F-39 E Gripen fighters and one F-5 simulated air combat. The test aircraft, FAB 4100, driven by Saab test pilot Jonas Jakobsson, was tasked with locating the other two aircraft using the IRST.

A second Gripen was flown by Lieutenant-Colonel Cristiano de Oliveira Perez, a test pilot from the Brazilian Air Force’s (FAB) Institute for Research and Flight Tests (IPEV). The F-5 flew under the command of Colonel Bettega, also an IPEV test pilot.

Three flights were carried out, lasting between 1 and 1.5 hours. Brazilian professionals from Saab and Embraer were involved in the entire test campaign, with Swedish engineers from Saab accompanying them.

“The aim of the tests was to ensure that the system is able to locate threats within the expected specifications and are part of the global Gripen E test campaign for all aircraft of the model, not just those of the FAB,” said Martin Leijonhufvud, head of the Gripen Flight Test Center (GFTC) in Brazil.

“We made a good flight, with the collaboration of the other fighters, to test the IRST and also check the resolution of the image obtained, which is very important for the pilot to understand if there are one or more targets and to be able to plan his actions,” commented Swedish pilot Jonas Jakobsson.

The IRST is capable of detecting and identifying targets at long distances by means of their infrared signatures, i.e. the heat emitted. Located at the front of the fighter, the system works as a passive sensor that identifies objects of interest of varying types and in varying environments, be they aircraft in flight, vessels at sea or vehicles on the ground.

By admin