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​A Hungarian Gripen fighter and a Gripen simulator were sent to Croatia last week to demonstrate the capabilities of the fighter at a presentation event.

The visitors at the event included Croatia’s deputy prime minister and minister of defence Damir Krstičević, and commander of the air force. The visit was organised so that the Croatian delegation could get familiarised with the Gripen fighter.

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Image Courtesy: Mr. Cacic​

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A full- scale replica of Gripen E adorns the entrance of the Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN) in Gavião Peixoto, in the state of São Paulo. Inside, Brazilian and Swedish engineers work together on various 'work projects' under the Gripen NG development programme.

"The idea is that the Brazilian version of Gripen will eventually be manufactured here," says Jonas Petzén, Site and Development Manager at GDDN. “Meanwhile Saab and Embraer will together oversee the development of a two-seater version of Gripen."

The work has already begun on various 'work packages'. These cover the design of the cockpit, including new displays, rigs and simulators, pneumatic systems and ejection systems, overall design and avionics - all of which form the basic infrastructure for other work packages.

"The working climate is extremely creative and is a clear example of a situation where one plus one makes more than two," Petzén says.

According to Petzén, over the next few years, the focus of Saab's cooperation with Embraer and other partners in Brazil will be on development. "The simulator for the air force pilots will come online in 2017, and a manufacturing facility will gradually be built," he says.

One of the Swedish engineers, Johan Beckman who has moved to Brazil to work at GDDN, says things have got off to a great start. “It’s going really well and this is mainly due to the fact that our Brazilian colleagues spent a year in Linkoping. They know how Saab works and how we manage projects.”

Beckman ...

Several of Saab’s larger deals include long-term industrial cooperations with customer countries. The goal is to create good value for both parties.

Many countries around the world have formal requirements and regulations in place which relate to industrial cooperation. 

“Even countries that don’t have such formal requirements often want Saab to contribute to their industrial development,” says Anders Edlund, Director at Saab Industrial Cooperation. “In some cases it involves increasing exports, in others it is purely a matter of security – they want to be able to maintain and upgrade the system they have purchased from us.” 

The most recent major business deal is Brazil’s purchase of 36 Gripen aircraft. The contract stipulates a number of requirements for industrial cooperation, including the training of Brazilian engineers and workshop personnel. By the end of 2024, more than 350 individuals from the Brazilian Air Force and Saab’s business partners will have taken part in training courses in Linköping, Sweden. 

The contract also includes a new hub for technology development and flight tests, which was inaugurated at the end of 2016. A local production facility will be built, and the assembly process at the site is set to begin in the early 2020s. In addition, various research projects are being conducted jointly with the Brazilian Air Force. 

Analysis before agreement

When making such an extensive commitment, Saab undertakes a comprehensive analysis of the country concerned before considering entering into an agreement.

“You have to understand the country and its conditions, its driving ...

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The low building in an industrial area in Arboga reveals nothing about the high level of technical interaction between Swedish and Brazilian engineers that goes on inside. For seven months, Marcelo Tonial and his two colleagues from AEL Sistemas are spending their days developing the knowledge on how to build and optimize the resources required to maintain the avionics units on Gripen. They are there to acquire the knowledge required to set up a workshop in Brazil for maintaining 36 Gripen fighters ordered for the Brazilian Air Force. “Going to Sweden for the technology transfer process was something I really wanted to be involved in,” says Tonial, who has temporarily left his position at the Research and Development department at AEL Sistemas to lead the Brazilian team in Sweden.

Marcelo Tonial and his colleagues are only three of nearly 350 professionals from Saab's Brazilian partner companies and the Brazilian Air Force that are involved in the Transfer of Technology (ToT), the industrial cooperation and technical exchange programme between the two countries that began in October 2015 and will last until 2024. The aim is to provide the Brazilian aerospace industry with the technology and knowledge needed to develop, assemble and maintain Gripen in Brazil.

In the technology transfer program, the sharing of knowledge goes two ways. AEL Sistemas develops and manufactures technological solutions for defence and security in air and on land and has developed the electronic display for the Gripen aircraft in Brazil.

“The panoramic screen is an ...

Gripen has for the first time undergone a series of test flights with 100% biofuel. This demonstrates that the aircraft can be flown with an alternative fuel and gives valuable knowledge for future possible use of alternative fuel.

“Demonstrating that Gripen can fly with 100% biofuel is an important step in making Gripen future-safe,” says Göran Bengtsson, Director of Research and Technology, Future Business, Aeronautics. “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.”

This was the first time that a single engine fighter flew with 100% biofuel. The flights were conducted with a Gripen D (dualseat) at Saab’s facilities in Linköping and went entirely as planned.

Read the full story here​.

​Gripen Full Scale Replica (FSR), getting ready for LAAD 2017

At the LAAD 2017, the leading Latin American Defence exhibition, Saab will be exhibiting a range of products for land, sea and air domains, including the Gripen fighter.

Saab solutions will be on display at two areas: Stand O20 (internal area) and Space J.OUT.70 (external area). Visitors at the event can check out the Gripen simulator and Gripen FSR at the Saab stand. Gripen Maritime will also be on display.

For Saab, LAAD is an important event to present its solutions and meet potential partners. "Latin America is a strategic region for Saab. Apart from the important partnerships already established in the region, we are very interested in supporting local companies with the development of solutions that will meet customers’ needs and requests,” points out Bo Torrestedt, president of Saab in Latin America.

Besides Saab, AEL Sistemas S.A., a Brazilian-based defense electronics company, will also exhibit Gripen features like Wide Angle Display (WAD) cockpit, Head Up Display (HUD) and Helmet Mounted Display (HMD).

The event will be held between 4 and 7 April.

Read more about Saab’s participation at LAAD here.

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For 80 years, saab has developed innovative solutions to challenges and this is the spirit with which we have built Gripen, world's most advanced fighter. 

Download the calendar here​.

Photo: Jörgen Nilsson

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During the cold war, Sweden felt threatened by the Warsaw Pact countries. The country needed an aircraft that could outperform and outmanoeuvre a larger force of advanced fighters.

The north of Sweden is an unforgiving land with long, freezing winters and largely unpopulated areas. It presents a harsh environment to operate an aircraft – yet it was this place that gave birth to Gripen.

Defending these vast areas required a fighter that could perform air-to-air, air-to-surface and reconnaissance missions in a single sortie, without the need to return to base for reconfiguration.

Gripen was also designed to use roads as temporary runways, allowing the Air Force to use logistical flexibility and speed to keep an invading force at bay. Easy maintenance and reconfiguration was also vital, as it would need to be performed by Swedish conscripts with only 10 weeks’ training – usually outdoors in freezing, isolated conditions.

Read the full story here​.

​At LIMA 2017, an RTAF Gripen Fighter performed aerial displays for the audience. Here are a few images chronicling the performance.

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Getting ready for the flight
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Engineers getting the aircraft ready for the display
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The Malaysian Defence Minister with the RTAF Gripen display team

Photo credit: Richard Cooper @COAPPhoto​

​Here are some pictures from the ongoing Langkawi International Maritime & Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) 2017.

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A visitor flies Gripen in Virtual Reality
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Chief of Air Force, Sri Lanka at the Saab stand
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1st Admiral Zulkarnain, MMEA Northern Region, and Dato’ Rahman, Deputy Director General MMEA, at the Saab stand
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RTAF Gripen preparing for display rehearsal

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