A state-of-the-art SAAB Gripen fighter jet has successfully flown on %100 biofuel.
Nicknamed the smart fighter it was the dualseat Gripen D model which demonstrated it could run on the alternative fuel made of rapessed oil during recent tests at Saab’s facilities in Linköping.
“Demonstrating that Gripen can fly with 100% biofuel is an important step in making Gripen future-safe. Gaining independence from imports of oil is important from a defence standpoint and opens the way for additional sources of fuel, which creates flexibility. It’s naturally also good if we in the long term can contribute to reducing environmental impact from military aviation,” said Göran Bengtsson, Director of Research and Technology, Future Business, Aeronautics.
He added: “The test team noted no differences between the biofuel and the ordinary jet fuel, which means that biofuel can be used as a fully satisfactory alternative to ordinary jet fuel in Gripen. Flying with biofuel in operational service with Gripen requires, however, further certification of the fuel and access to fuel in the amounts that correspond to operational needs.”
The project is backed by the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) which is supported by Saab and GKN Aerospace. It has also involved a collaboration between Sweden and the United States, with the the American Navy and Air Force providing information around certification.