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What does it mean to be a part of the Brazil Gripen fighter programme?  How is the experience of working on the most advanced fighter aircraft like? Hear what people have to say.

Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN), the hub for the Gripen NG technology development in Brazil, is a proof of true technology transfer. 

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With every passing year, the signal environment for Electronic Warfare (EW) systems is becoming more and more complex. There are more signals out there, both military and civilian. Hence it becomes imperative to have a smart EW systems which can quickly differentiate a threat signal from other signals.

All around us, there is an Electromagnetic (EM) spectrum which covers all energy radiated by means of electromagnetic waves including radio communication and radar transmission. According to Inga Bergstrom, Sales Director of Gripen EW, Electronic Warfare is the combat for control of the EM spectrum.

“EW may not be the primary function of a fighter, but it is an enabler to conduct a successful mission,” Inga says.

Some of the tactics used by pilots of fighter aircraft to avoid detection include silent flight by reducing emissions, or by flying at low heights. Even then, detection by enemy devices is a possibility, and in the event that Gripen E’s location has been compromised, EW system provides countermeasure techniques, such as Dispensing – in which decoys are released into the air, creating a false target to fool the enemy.

Elaborating on the features of Gripen’s EW system, Inga says that it is all about listening, detecting, identifying, and if you are detected first, about deterring, defending and defeating. 

EW has been an important part of Gripen from the beginning. Today, Saab has a small, compact system that does a number of things while also reducing drag and increasing ...

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Training at a different air base has its own set of advantages. For the ground staff, clearing the fighter from a different base requires some change in routine. For pilots, a new air base like Gotland could mean practicing close to the Baltic Sea, which is why this training was important for SwAF Gripen pilots. 

As a part of this exercise, Gripen pilots practiced the dissemination concept in which fighters were spread out in different directions, making it difficult for the opponents to detect them.

"We have, among other things, carried out air combat exercises with two other nations, France and Spain. Our Gripen fighters practised with and against Spanish Eurofighters and French Mirage fighters," says Jörgen Axelsson, divisional manager at 172 Stridsflyg division.

Read full story here.

Image courtesy: Forsvarsmakten​

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While developing a fighter, every single stage is important. Aircraft mechanic Maritza tells us about the various stations involved and how her job rotates around these stations to build the Gripen C/D fighter. 

“The final assembly consists of three stations. And it takes Gripen C/D 72 days to go through final assembly and after that, the fighter is ready to be painted,” she says.

During the first stage of assembly, the small but integral parts, such as cables and hydraulics are installed. It is necessary to have these in place before the bigger parts are installed since it helps in the optimization of space in the aircraft. According to Maritza, this is the most challenging station of the assembly process, since there are so many parts to install, almost 18000 articles in all.

The second stage of assembly sees the engine, windshield, canard, inlet and canopy being installed. These are the larger parts of the Gripen. After the installation, a functional test of the whole aircraft is performed, which is the third station. For Maritza, this station is the most fun because she gets to see how everything is working.

Gripen is assembled by referring to digital drawings, a deviation from printed ones. According to Maritza, says that there are notable advantages to using the digital medium, such as getting a 360° view of the aircraft and removing the details you don’t need to mount your parts of the day.

Maritza has been working at ...

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As a part of the Saab Experience at the Farnborough International Airshow, on display will be a full scale replica of the unique fighter concept Gripen E. Visitors can experience the Gripen E flight simulator which will be equipped with the latest wide area display (WAD), demonstrating some of the advanced technology and operational effectiveness built into the fighter.

Other interesting exhibits to look out for at the Air Show includes the Tactical Operations Command & Control System, 9Air C4I, and also the latest generation missile RBS15 which will be on display for the very first time. 

Saab will also showcase its highly advanced surveillance solutions, Global Eye. It is equipped with Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) that combines air, ground and maritime situational awareness in a single platform. 

There will be daily mini-talk sessions where Saab will present the capabilities of the Gripen fighter, EW suit Arexis, Global Eye and give insights into the development of RBS 15 missile system. Among the key-note speakers and presenters would be Mr Petter Bedoire, Head of EW Marketing & Sales, Sales Director, Mr Fredrik Follin, Mr Miguel Svensson, Director of technical sales support for missiles systems and Gripen Test Pilot Mr Mikael Olsson. 

Farnborough Air Show will be held between 16 and 22 July. Saab will be exhibiting at Stand OE14.

Know more about Saab’s participation at the Farnborough Air Show here.

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In the wake of reports that suggest Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the Multi-Role Fighter (MRF) programme in principle, Saab has strongly positioned Gripen in the country. The Swedish Defence Group has established contact with the Philippine Air Force (PAF) to meet their demands.

Dubbed the ‘Smart Fighter’, Gripen is equally versatile when it comes to performing different roles that require defensive countermeasures, attack roles or surveillance. Further, the latest developments to Electronic Warfare capabilities adds an edge to the fighter system.

A spokesperson of Saab said, “It’s a positive development for us in the Philippines, and we are encouraged by the momentum that is now building around the MRF programme.”

The requirements of the PAF, as revealed in detailed discussions with Saab, is for two squadrons to be delivered over two batches. Saab is in dialogue with PAF and AFP regarding the military requirements of the country. “We have had detailed discussions with the PAF’s technical working group that has been studying the options for the Philippines,” said the spokesperson toJanes​.

Read the full story here.

Four students from the Brazilian Air Force Flight Test and Research Institute, IPEV (Instituto de Pesquisas e Ensaios em Voo) in São Paulo, were in Linköping recently for their final examination project, which involved an evaluation of JAS 39 Gripen. The objective was to verify the ability of pilots and engineering students in evaluating the aircraft’s air defence capabilities.

The evaluation – termed Preview – was carried out by the students of the XXVII Flight Testing Course, spanning a period of 12 days from 7th to 18th May​. During this period, the four students flew the Gripen D on eight occasions, collecting notes and data, in addition to assessing Gripen’s air-to-air and air-to-ground capabilities.

These evaluations were based on an Instruction Test Request issued by the Flight Testing department of IPEV.

Once the students graduate they will eventually work in the Flight Test Squadron of the Brazilian Flight Test and Research Institute. They will mainly work on the Brazilian Air Force projects involving Gripen E and other modernisation programmes.

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Saab will begin flight tests with a new jamming pod by 2020, reports Shephard Media.

This self-protection system, also known as the Arexis Jammer Pod, was launched last year in September. The pod works on the DRFM (digital radio frequency memory) and AESA technology. DRFM digitally captures the signature of the radar-guided threat and then emits a jamming signal to confuse the incoming missile, usually by giving it a ‘false target’.

“We see a huge interest in the airborne electronic attack pods. In NATO, there is a need for airborne electronic attack…there is a capability gap,” says Petter Bedoire, head of marketing and sales for EW at Saab.

Once the Jammer prototype will be integrated with Gripen, the fighter’s EW capabilities, which already boast of ultra-wide brand digital receivers, high powered signal amplifiers, gallium nitride and electronically scanned array jammers, will be considerably boosted. 

As per Saab, Arexis also includes an advanced Electronic Attack (EA) application, with EW technologies adapted to the lower frequency ranges that are required to jam modern anti-stealth air defence systems. The EA application provides high output power and is packed in a pod to make it a role-specific solution.

Bedoire says the Jamming Pods mean a significant leap in technology, and will be the most advanced self-protection system for a fighter.

As a part of the test flight of Gripen equipped with the jammers, radars will illuminate the aircraft, and it’ll be tested whether the aircraft will ...

Winning in a modern battlespace has become more challenging with every passing day, thanks to the fast-paced technological advancements. Situational awareness, however, can turn the tables when it comes to taking decisions faster than your opponent. 

Saab Test Pilot, Martin, talks about the features of Gripen E's Wide Area Display (WAD), a panoramic high-resolution screen (19 x 8 in) that uses data fusion to provide the pilot with all kinds of flight and mission information during a flight, at the recently held Canada's Global Defence & Security Trade Show (CANSEC 2018). 

WAD shares the right tactical information with the pilot at the right time. In fact, it does more than that. It shares information in easily interpretable, information-centric icons. The pilot can reconfigure information presentation as per their requirement during a mission.


With WAD, the pilot can toggle between different screens simultaneously, and also opt for full screen mode for any of the functionalities for the sake of superior situational awareness. “Fighter aircraft today need to have tactical supervision over a greater physical area as compared to aircraft of the past, owing greatly to the invention and prevalence of BVR (Beyond Visual Range) missiles. The Wide Area Display comes in very handy in providing this data, “says Martin.

Brazilian company AEL Sistemas (AEL) is Saab's supplier of WAD. The first simulator with WAD was presented by Saab in April this year.​


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