On Sunday 16 July, Saab’s test pilot André Brännström won the Paul Bowen Trophy for the Best Solo Jet Demonstration at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) in England. The winner of the coveted award is chosen from displays flown by air force and test pilots from around the world, with some of the most advanced military fast jets participating.
This was the first time for Gripen E at RIAT and Saab brought two of them, with the display aircraft sporting its popular dark splinter camouflage pattern while a second jet was in the more typical grey colour scheme at Saab’s static display.
“It was a real delight to show the aviation fans at RIAT what Gripen E is capable off in the air and, as the Saab team, we really enjoyed the interest and enthusiasm from the public we met every day at our static display. We wanted to show them that this all-new Gripen E fighter is everything that they loved before about Gripen but now on an even higher level. This award shows that we hopefully achieved that and can return to Sweden happy,” says Saab’s test pilot André Brännström.
The Paul Bowen Trophy for the Best Solo Jet Demonstration is named in memory of one of the co-founders of RIAT. In 2022, Captain David Szentendrei from the Hungarian Air Force won the same award flying a Gripen C, marking two years in a row a pilot flying a Gripen fighter has won the Paul Bowen Trophy for the Best Solo Jet Demonstration.
Gripen E is the latest version of Saab’s Gripen fighter jet, ordered by Sweden and Brazil. Gripen E incorporates cutting-edge technologies, the latest systems, sensors, weapons and pods to ensure combat advantage, delivering air superiority in highly contested environments.
Over 200 aircraft participated at RIAT, one of the most renowned air shows in the world, that took place this past weekend in Gloucestershire, England. Air forces and others brought a wide range of aircraft such as fighter jets, but also bigger aircrafts such as the B-52 bomber and air refuelling tankers.
Umair Aslam is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Global Defense Insight. He has worked as a defense journalist reporting on military modernization programs, defense industry, arms procurement, and emerging technologies.