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Since 1999, the UK’s Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS) has operated Gripen as its advanced fast jet platform for test pilots throughout the world. Gripen provides ETPS with a high-performance new generation capability, allowing them to train the test pilots of the future. ETPS has included Gripen in its graduate test pilot training courses, working together with Saab and the Swedish Air Force.

During the past 13 years, more than 100 ETPS Instructor Pilots and test pilot students from around the world have experienced the unsurpassed performance and reliability of Gripen – the most advanced fast-jet combat aircraft available to test pilots anywhere in the world.

Future test pilots and flight test engineers

ETPS is run as a partnership between the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and defence contractor QinetiQ, Europe’s largest science and technology solutions company. The School provides the UK MoD with fully qualified military test pilots and it also trains flight test engineers for QinetiQ, along with test pilots and engineers from Commonwealth and other friendly nations.

Providing new generation fighter experience

ETPS test pilot students are routinely given access to a wide range of aircraft. By including Gripen in its test pilot training courses, ETPS can offer students the advanced cockpit technology and flight characteristics of one of the world’s most sophisticated combat aircraft.

Gripen ETPS flying over Sweden
Photo: Andy Mogg

“Modern aircraft rely on advanced systems for their effectiveness. For this reason, we give our students access to a number of different aircraft. Expanding our use of the Gripen allows us to teach systems integration more effectively and on the latest platforms,” says Steve Westwood, Business Grour Manager ETPS

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