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HU_fleet_formation_6000.jpgThe Hungarian government announced this year that it would allocate 2.8 billion forints to prepare the Gripen unit for close air support, reports Politics.hu.

The ministry’s ten-year army development concept aims at “developing the operational capability of the armed forces’ most modern arms system,” said a Defence Ministry statement.

“By ensuring the allocation for close air support, the government will considerably improve the armed forces’ defence capabilities within a short period of time, and at the same time demonstrate Hungary’s commitment towards its Visegrad Four partners (Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia)," the statement says.

Read the full story: Govt allocates HUF 2.8 billion to prepare Gripen fleet for close air support​

Gripen NG31.jpgFor an untrainded eye, Gripen E might look similar to Gripen C externally, but a closer look at its detailed design says that it will have many enhanced capabilities and will beat the development and operational cost performance of the latter, says Flightglobal.

According to the report, Gripen E will not retain any of Gripen C/D’s airframe but will reuse parts of its fuel and air systems, plus its ejection seat, windshield, canopy and outer wing elevons.

Gripen E will have five through-fuselage, aluminium-lithium frames at the heart of its structure, which will support its airframe through to its inner-wing weapons pylons. Its tail section has been redesigned to accommodate the General Electric F414G-39E turbofan engine, and a new intake has been added at the base of the tail for a second environmental control system, which is needed to cool its Selex ES Raven ES-05 active electronically scanned array radar and electronic warfare equipment.

The Gripen’s air intake design has also been enlarged, and new landing gear installed. The latter includes a larger, single nose wheel and main gear which retracts into the wing, freeing fuselage space and enabling a 40% increase in internal fuel capacity. Two additional weapon stations have also been introduced beneath the fuselage.

Lennart Sindahl, Senior Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Aeronautics at Saab vouches for the Gripen E’s sensor configuration which includes the Selex Skyward-G infrared search and track (IRST) turret and an advanced interrogation friend-or-foe suite. 

“It will be ...

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Selex.jpgThe new generation Gripen will be equipped with sensors that can detect low-radar-cross-section (RCS) targets, and will provide the pilots in a Gripen formation with a new level of situational awareness, says Bob Mason, Selex-ES marketing director for advanced sensors.

According to a report in the Aviation Week, Gripen E will have three Selex-ES sensors and a new identification friend-or-foe (IFF) system with three electronically steerable antenna arrays, which matches the radar's range and field of view.

Mason describes that the IRST is capable of detecting low-RCS targets at distances compatible with a beyond-visual-range missile launch.  Confirming that the Selex IRSTs have tracked low-RCS targets, he says, “We have seen them.” 

The report adds that Selex IRSTs have undergone a lot of changes, the most important one is the development of algorithms, based on operational experience and the analysis of real-world imagery, that look at IR signatures in detail, including variations of color and brightness within the target, in order to filter out false alarms caused by everything from birds to barbecue grills.

“The IRST can give the radar a very accurate azimuth and elevation to the target, which allows it to focus its energy and increase the probability of achieving detection and track on a low-RCS target,” Mason says.

Read the full story: Gripen Sensors Claim Counter-Stealth Performance

Read more about the AESA Radar here.

Production of the new Gripen is done primarily in Linköping and work is already in full swing. Test flights, where critical subsystems and their interoperability are tested to minimise risk, are already well underway. First delivery is planned for 2018. As previously reported, development is proceeding according to plan and contracts have been signed with all major subcontractors.

One of our engineers tells her story.​

Gripen-IRST-001 (2).jpgSaab successfully performed the first flight with the new sensor IRST (Infra Red Search and Track) which will feature in Gripen E, according to schedule this year. The IRST does not emit a signal and can, without revealing the aircraft’s own position, silently detect, track and identify all types of targets.

The IRST for Gripen E is produced by Selex in Scotland and is called Skyward G. It is a passive sensor: it does not emit any energy but only listens for energy coming from other sources.

“The first flight in the Gripen E test aircraft with IRST has been performed with very good results. Multiple targets were detected, tracked and identified and the system works perfectly as expected. IRST is a new sensor on Gripen, which allows pilots to see great distances in several directions,” says Saab’s Wing Commander Flying Hans Einerth.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Stefan Kalm​​

Frans Dely.jpgSaab plans to continue developing new systems to offer the existing Gripen operators options to enhance Gripen C/D's capabilities, reports IHS Jane's.  

"We will continue to develop systems, such as the PS-05/A radar, to improve capability and to satisfy future customer needs. The current international Gripen users will be operating the C/D long after Sweden has moved on to the Gripen E and we need to look after them," says Lennart Sindahl, Senior Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Aeronautics at Saab.

According to the IHS Jane’s report, the Swedish Air Force will soon be upgrading its JAS 39 Gripen C/D fleet with the MS 20 block upgrade, which will be the last before the Gripen E begins to enter service from 2018. The upgradation process includes integration of the MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile and Boeing GBU-39 Small-Diameter Bomb; improved radar modes; a digital close air support capability; increased Link 16 connectivity; civil navigation enhancements; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) protection for the pilot; night-capable operations using the SPK 39 Modular Reconnaissance Pod II; and a ground collision avoidance system (GCAS).

Sindahl said that MS 20 was last planned for the Gripen C/D and the new Gripen E will be of MS 21 standard. Therefore, the additional Gripen C/D upgrades in future may be classified as MS 20++ or something like that.

Read the full report:  Saab to offer Gripen C/D upgrades, pushes exports​

5144895_2161652.jpegSaab is all geared up to showcase its next-generation Gripen programme, multi-faceted airborne surveillance and ISR capabilities, and the revolutionary Remote Tower system at Farnborough 2014.

Starting 14 July, Saab will host media briefings from Monday to Thursday at Farnborough.

On Monday, Saab President and CEO Håkan Buskhe will deliver a presentation on the new era for Saab, with insight on programmes, strategies and markets.

The next day, media members can interact with Lennart Sindahl, head of Saab Aeronautics, who would provide the latest on the next-generation Gripen programme, including a glimpse of Gripen’s future evolution.

One of Saab’s highlights at the event is a new full-scale replica of the Gripen E, to be showcased alongside a Gripen cockpit simulator at the company’s main stand in Hall 4, E5.​

To know more about Saab media event, click here​.​

_SKA0023.jpgRecently, aviation magazine AFM took a closer look at the history of Gripen and the factors that keep it ready to meet the future challenges. AFM paid a visit to the Saab development facility in Linköping and talked to Björn Johansson, the chief engineer on the Gripen E/F project about the technology that goes into the development of the new generation aircraft.

According to Björn, when the SwAF looked at potential future threats, it came up with a list of requirements for a new aircraft, including the need for extended range; increased weapons payload and more hardpoints; a MIL-STD 1760E Class 2 weapon pylon interface and further adaptation to modern standards; an upgraded sensor suite with active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar; improved communication and fighter link including satellite communications (SATCOM); an improved EW capability; a quick software-update capability; and a low life-cycle cost.

“The first thing we did was to find an engine that could do the job. It had to be powerful enough, cost effective, and reliable and fit in our existing airframe with reasonable modifications. We basically had two choices – the GE F414-400 or a modified RM 12. The choice fell on the F414, an existing and well proven engine (2.5 million-plus hours) with many of the safety features that were required on the RM 12 already implemented in the basic design. It has more thrust and approximately the same built-in centre of gravity [CoG] as the RM 12 in a similarly sized package. Some initial modifications were made to adapt ...

Buskhe300.jpgThis interview was written by Mario Sabino and published on Veja Magazine (Yellow Pages), February 2014.

Hakan Buskhe, CEO of Saab, the company that sold the Gripen jets to Brazil, explains how education and the need to do more with less are key to the success of his company and his country.

Anyone arriving at Saab's offices in Stockholm, located on one floor of a small building without doormen, is shocked by the frugal atmosphere at what is one of the most cutting-edge companies in the armaments industry with almost 15,000 employees and which beat the Americans and the French to win a contract to supply Brazil with 36 fighter Jets – the Gripen NG, for Next Generation – at a cost of $4.5 billion. However, according to the 50-year-old company CEO Hakan Buskhe, it is this philosophy of simplicity which is behind Sweden's success. Before another trip to Brazil last week to meet with the commander of the Air Force and the minister of Science, Technology and Information, he granted us the following interview.

In 2009, when former President Lula announced that the government had chosen French jets to rebuild the Brazilian Air Force, what was the reaction like at Saab? 

I hadn't joined the company yet, I arrived in 2010, but I heard that Saab executives and employees felt that the announcement by Brazil's former president came like a bolt of lightning out of a clear blue sky. It was totally unexpected, given their strong relationship with ...

Gripen_Iceland.jpgIn February this year, Swedish Air Force Gripen flew over Iceland for the first time as a part of a Nordic Air Exercise, reports Expressen.se​.

According to the report, Sweden had sent seven Jas 39 Gripen aircraft from F21 in Luleå to Iceland to participate in this exercise.

“This is a further step forward in NATO’s excellent cooperation with Finland and Sweden: it is the first time that we have flown together over Iceland,” said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

The Iceland Air Meet 2014 (IAM2014) brought together participants from NATO members Iceland, Norway, the Netherlands and the United States, and from partner countries Finland and Sweden, supported by NATO AWACS.  

The exercise continued till 21 February.

Read the full story: Nu flyger svenska Jas-plan över Island

Image Courtesy: Louise Levin/ Swedish Armed Forces​​

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Welcome to the official Gripen blog by Saab. This site features information and commentary about the Gripen fighter jet.