First Flight Dual Seat Hungarian Gripen
Following this maiden flight, the aircraft now enters a period of ground and flight-testing to verify that all systems are operating in accordance with the Hungarian Gripen configuration plan.
This is the first of two Gripen dual seat aircraft, together with twelve single seat aircraft, that Hungary will lease for a period of 10 years, before taking ownership of the aircraft under the terms of the agreement signed between the Swedish and Hungarian authorities in February 2003. Deliveries of the 14 Gripen aircraft to Hungary will take place between March 2006 and December 2007.
Hungarian pilots and technicians have been undergoing training - in Sweden with the Swedish Air Force, from the beginning of 2005 and are scheduled to return to Hungary ahead of the arrival of the first Gripen aircraft in March 2006.
Hungary will be the second NATO country to operate the latest Gripen fighter, but will be the first NATO operator to equip the latest versions of the Gripen aircraft for the air-to-surface role. These aircraft are the latest standard of the Gripen and are equipped with full color cockpit displays, a retractable air-to-air refueling probe and are fully NATO-interoperable.