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Sweden to upgrade Gripen C/D engines for greater performance and lower costs

Seen in a test rig, the RM12 engine that powers the Gripen C/D is to be upgraded by GKN Aerospace. (GKN Aerospace)

Sweden is to upgrade the powerplant of its Saab JAS 39 Gripen C/D combat aircraft for greater performance and lower life-cycle costs, GKN Aerospace announced on 3 October.

GKN Aerospace currently holds the type certificate for the General Electric (GE) F404 turbofan-derived Volvo Aero RM12 engine in the Gripen C/D and has been contracted by the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) to implement the upgrade in co-operation with the FMV, Saab, and GE.

“The GBP2 million (USD2.42 million) contract is the last part of a development project that GKN Aerospace has been conducting since 2019,” the company said. “In addition to enhancing key components within the engine, the development work also involves updating the engine software in the aircraft system.”

As noted in the announcement, upgraded RM12 engine testing will take place at GKN Aerospace's facility in Trollhättan, Sweden, with flight-testing undertaken by the FMV and Saab.

According to Janes World Air Forces, the Swedish Air Force (SwAF) has 73 single-seat Gripen Cs and 48 twin-seat Gripen Ds that are powered by the RM12 engine.

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