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An all-seeing eye in the sky: Thanks to infrared search & track technology (IRST), Gripen can track the movement of other objects in the sky using heat signals while remaining unnoticed. Here’s how it works. 

The IRST for Gripen E is produced by Selex in Scotland and called Skyward G. IRST stands for Infrared Search and Track and is an electro-optical system mounted in the nose of Gripen E. Its sensor sits on top of the nose, just in front of the canopy, and is looking forward in a wide sector registering heat emissions from other aircraft, helicopters and from objects on the ground and sea surface. The IRST is a passive sensor, meaning that it never emits any energy. It only listens for energy coming from other sources. The tactical advantage of a passive sensor is that it will not give your position away. Opponents will have no indication whatsoever that Gripen E is using its IRST to monitor their activities.

IRST Summing up:

  •   Totally passive – nobody knows you are looking
  •   Senses heat from aircraft, tanks, ships
  •   Range can be many times more than visual range
  •   Enables silent attacks

Read more:Gripen E features at a glance

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Saab could have started a new project from scratch and literally made a paper plane. Instead we opted to continue developing the proven Gripen concept.

“The demo programme showed that continued development was possible and that new requirements sought after by air forces could be met by evolving Gripen C/D; increasing the range, sensor performance, counter measures, communication and weapons load. At the same time, we could see that the aircraft’s performance could be improved and life cycle cost reduced,” says Ulf Nilsson, Head  of Gripen.

Read the full story here​.

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The radar for Gripen E is produced by Selex in Scotland and called ES-05 Raven. ES-05 is an AESA radar, which is state of the art for new fighters nowadays. AESA stands for Active Electronically Scanned Array and means that, in contrast to older generation radars, it has not only one antenna but a full array of small antennas, called elements.

Tactical advantages 

This means that the radar can simultaneously and independently track different targets, and also track targets independently of search volumes. The ability to control the elements separately and the high speed re-direction give Gripen a significant tactical advantage.

Radar summing up

  •  Electronic array gives immediate re-direction
  •  1000 antenna elements give redundancy
  •  Individual channels give multi-tasking
  •  Rotating swashplate gives 200 degrees field of regard
  •  Tactical advantage

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In order to explain why Gripen is the smart fighter system, let us present what a modern multirole-fighter need to perform. A fighter mission can be compared to large scale chess games, where the fighter allows you to get the right situation awareness in order to communicate the right information to take the adequate decision. The same analogy to chess games applies regardless if the mission to perform is air-to-air, reconnaissance or air-to-ground.  In all the case the fighter needs the following:

Information

Movements

Weapons

Information is obtained by the usage of the sensors and the possibility to communicate with other units, the fighter is integrated in a network of communications.

The performance of the fighter allows the aircraft to have the right movement dependent on the situation provided to him from its own sensors or other sensors from other units (land, sea or air).

In order to participate in an active role in the check game a modern multi role fighter needs to be a balanced design between, performance, sensors, communication, weapons carriage, countermeasure, stealth and cost among other criteria.  Cost has always been a design parameter and Saab’s engineers are asked to maximise performance at a given cost, not just to maximise performance freely.

The Gripen E fighter is equipped with the latest available technics in those keys areas, such as:

Selex ES-05 Raven AESA radar

Selex Skyward G IRST sensor

Electronic warfare system MFS-EW

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The Hungarian government has announced 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​

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NATO is impressed with Hungarian Air Force Gripen pilots, and has deemed Hungary’s airspace control as “excellent,” reports The BudapestTimes.

According to the Hungarian Defence Ministry, a team of NATO officials conducted an unscheduled inspection of emergency airspace control operations, testing the vigilance of control staff and the entire emergency security system.

The Hungarian Gripen fighters carried out an interception mission in real time and the NATO officials were satisfied with the performance of Hungarian personnel and the quality of tasks performed, noted Defence Ministry.

Read the full story: NATO high praise after spot check of airspace control​

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When it comes to surveillance, Gripen really excels. During “Operation Unified Protector” in Libya, a group of Gripen fighters equipped with Saab’s Reconnaissance Pods collected top-class hi-res imagery and real-time information for the operation’s Command, resulting in decision superiority that no other aircraft active in the operation even came close to delivering.

To download the calendar, click here​

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Czech Republic has offered four Gripen and 300 soldiers to strengthen the defense of the NATO member countries in response to the crisis in Ukraine, reports NSZ Online.

“If NATO requests us, we have four Gripen fighters ready to be sent for the protection of the Baltic airspace or the Polish-Ukrainian border. We also have 300 soldiers for NATO's rapid reaction units, said Martin Stropnický, the Minister of Defence, Czech Republic.

Czech Republic has been on a mission to protect the Baltic airspace in 2009 and 2012 as well. In 2012, a group of over 60 trained personnel were sent for Baltic air policing as a part of which the Czech Gripen pilots did 15 QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) take-offs, so called A-Scrambles within the total of 326 flight hours during 298 flights.

Read the full story: Ukrán válság - Csehország vadászgépeket és katonákat küld

Sometimes we all take the simple things in life, like our Monday morning routine, for granted. But when you think of it, a boring Monday morning could mean everything is as it should be. Normal. Safe.

In today’s complex and turbulent world, Saab is constantly working to anticipate and respond, to keep you and your society safe. All week long. Our way of thinking protects your way of life.

Actor in this movie is Jakob, a Gripen pilot at Saab. In his world, a boring Monday morning means that the world is doing all right, it’s safe. He makes it his job to keep these mornings rituals the way they are, and he just so happens do it at 1000 miles per hour.​

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