First South African Gripen Roll-out
The aircraft will now be prepared for an extensive flight test programme to integrate South Africa's custom avionics and mission systems. First flight is scheduled to take place in Sweden in two weeks. In mid-2006 the first Gripen will arrive at the Test and Flight Development Centre in South Africa.
In November 1998, South Africa ordered 28 Gripen fighters, 19 single-seater and 9 two-seaters. The aircraft will be delivered to the South African Air Force from 2008 onwards, with all aircraft to be delivered by 2012. The combined contract for 28 Gripens and 24 Hawks signed with BAE Systems is estimated to be worth US$2.2 billion.