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Category: Gripen E/F

Hans Einerth, Chief Wing Commander, Saab talks about what it is like to fly a Gripen and what makes the next generation aircraft unique.

“Gripen is a lovely plane to fly. The flight control system is simply terrific and the performance is outstanding. The next generation Gripen comes with a bigger engine that gives us better performance. It also comes with AESA radar that gives us the possibility to take targets farther away and also stealth targets,” Einerth says.

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Some parts of the Swedish Air Force Gripen E will be manufactured in South Africa, reports Engineering News.

The report quoted Saab South Africa president and CEO Magnus Lewis-Olsson saying, “I can’t say what parts yet. It is good news for South Africa. It will protect jobs for a long time to come.” 

Although Sweden had initially ordered 60 Gripen E fighter jets, the Ukraine crisis has prompted the government to increase its defence budget. The Swedish Defence Minister recently announced that she would like the current order to be increased to 70.

The reports adds that as compared to Gripen C/D, the new generation aircraft will have more weapons stations, new radar, improved communications systems, a new avionics architecture, new electronic warfare systems, new external sensors and a more powerful engine. It will also have a greater fuel capacity and a longer range.

“The Gripen E is more developed from the current Gripen C/D than we originally expected. There is extensive redevelopment of the airframe and systems” says Lewis-Olsson. 

South African firms already provide components and systems, including the communications suite and electronic warfare systems for Gripen fighter jets operated by the South African Air Force. Denel,  for example, is a South African company that has previously manufactured various Gripen C/D parts including power cartridges fitted below the pilot’s seat to help propel the seat into the sky in an emergency.

Read the full story: South Africa to make parts for new Swedish fighter

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Saab will showcase a full scale replica of the next generation Gripen fighter jet at the Farnborough International Air Show 2014. 

This year, Saab's presence in Hall 4 will be all about breaking the thought barrier- demonstrating Saab’s unique way of thinking, one that pushes the boundaries of innovation and anticipates tomorrow.

In 2012, Saab generated a lot of buzz at the Farnborough airshow when it unveiled the SELEX Galileo Raven AESA Radar and the new Saab 340 MSA (Maritime Security Aircraft).

This year, along with Gripen and Saab 340 MSA, Saab will showcase the Gripen Support Solutions, Erieye AEW&C, Saab 2000 MPA, Remote Tower and Commercial Aerostructures.

Farnborough Aerodrome is known for its continuous association with the history of man's conquest of air. Early flying machines like man-carrying kites, airships, balloons and aircraft have taken off from the grasslands since the beginning of the century. The laboratories and test centres on Farnborough runways boast of being linked with pioneers in the field of aerospace technology.

The theme of this year’s public Farnborough airshow year is 100 years of aviation and visitors would get to see aircraft from every decade of the past century. The public weekend will also commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the first world war with a display by the Great War Display team.

The airshow will be held from 14 to 20 July 2014.

Read more about Saab's participation at the Farnborough International Air Show 2014​ here.

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Swedish Air Force has tasked advanced defence solutions company Oxley Developments Ltd. to supply Gripen fighters with new gunfire-proof landing and taxi lights, reports the Westmoreland Gazette​.

According to Oxley, the new lights will deliver longer performance in difficult conditions and have a longer life on the plane as compared to conventional halogen lights. The new lights have also been developed to lock easily to the body of the Gripen and they do not cause glare for ground crew in night vision goggles.

Oxley already supplies wing tip, tail light, position lights and the control box for the aircraft external lighting system on the Gripen brand.

“The new order reflects the company’s long-term strategic relationship with Saab Aero-space as a key customer and product technology partner,” an Oxley spokesperson said.

According to a UK aviation magazine Advance, Oxley’s new lights are powered directly from the aircraft’s 115V/400Hz supply, without the requirement for an external supply. Hence they consume significantly less power than the current technology – just 65W for the landing light and 37W for the taxi light.

Oxley has received a production order for the supply of 140 shipsets of lights with delivery starting in August and continuing through to October 2015.

Read the full story:  Swedish air force gives Bardsea firm Oxley a lift

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The South African Air Force (SAAF) will organize Gripen User's Group at AFB Makhado this month, reports Defence Web.

Attendees at the week-long event include South Africa as host, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Sweden and Thailand.

Gripen User's Group brings together representatives of countries that fly the Gripen fighter, giving them a platform to discuss their experiences of operational use of Gripen including maintenance, logistics,  engineering and safety measures.

Czech Gripen pilot Maj. Petr Michenka, who attended a previous conference held in the Czech Republic, summed up the event, “Individual users accumulate different experiences in operating these aircraft, for example, due to different climatic conditions. We share different experiences and information during the conference and found that some of them are very similar. After the evaluation, we can be better prepared for the challenges ahead.”

In May 2013, Saab held the Gripen User's Group in Sweden in which it got an opportunity to listen to user feedback and share its vision for the Gripen fighter. Through the seminar, Saab also presented planned upgrades and informed the group on how the Gripen C/D and E systems can benefit from each other.

The Gripen User's Group is held twice a year.

Read the full story: South Africa hosts Gripen User Group​

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Gripen pilots operate in some of the most dangerous parts of the world – and they have to be the best. For every flight they need to wear specialised clothing and carry equipment that protects them and helps them to complete their mission.

Saab is offering you the chance to find out what it takes to enter the cockpit by dressing your own pilot – you’ll even get the chance to see what you look like as a Gripen fighter pilot and share the image with your friends.

To start, click here.​

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Radar Warning Receiver 

Gripen is built for high survivability in a combat environment. Gripen tactics are based on smart use of a variety of electronic warfare capabilities. The RWR (Radar Warning Receiver) is the source for an accurate sensor for detecting emitting threats such as radar. 

Missile approach warning system

Gripen E has a sophisticated Missile Approach Warning (MAW) system. The MAW system uses passive sensors and can detect and track incoming missiles of all types!  Not only radar-guided missiles but also passively guided IR missiles can be detected and the correct defensive actions taken.

Countermeasures

Gripen is a survivor. There are many reasons for this, one of them being the fact that it can carry a vast number of chaff packets and flares – substantially more than many competitors. For the Gripen E, this ability is further enhanced with an even greater number of chaff, flares and pyrophoric chaff – so called hot chaff.

If ever attacked, a Gripen pilot can rely on the strong protection provided by all the defensive countermeasures released, tricking incoming missiles to change their course.

Survivability and countermeasure summing up:

  •  Effective system awareness with
  •  AESA Radar
  •  IRST
  •  EW system
  •  RWR – Radar Warning Reicever
  •  MAWS – Missile approach warning system
  •  Large amounts of countermeasure dispensers
  •  Chaff, hot chaff, flares in pre-programmed sequences

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​The Gripen project has quietly built momentum since it began in the early 1980s and now stands as arguably the most promising export-oriented combat aircraft programme in the world, says Angad Singh in an exclusive report on the fighter aircraft which featured as the cover story “The Gripen Forges Ahead In Super Mode” for the May-June issue of the Vayu magazine.

Gripen made its first flight in December 1988, and the first production aircraft was delivered to the FMV in 1993. In total, Sweden had ordered 204 fighter aircraft which were delivered in three batches. Though the first batch was delivered under a fixed price contract, Saab and FMV agreed on a ‘target price’ concept for the second batch. Taking it even further, the third batch was delivered in 2008 at a cost that was 10 per cent less than the agreed-upon price, impressively increasing the efficiency of the programme.

For Gripen’s new variant, Saab and its partners have invested heavily in cutting edge technologies such as gallium nitride (GaN) for sensors such as AESA radars and electronic warfare (EW) systems. Selex Skyward-G infrared search and track (IRST) sensor and a new IFF (identification friend or-foe) system have added to the buzz around Gripen E development.

The Gripen E test aircraft which has already shown its supercruise ability in 2009, has logged around 300 flights ratifying its vital systems and airframe attributes and generating unprecedented interest across the globe.

Gripen is being successfully operated in six countries- Czech Republic, Hungary, ...

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Gripen E represents that rarest of capability improvements, one that does not come with a correspondingly hefty price tag, says Angad Singh in an exclusive report on the fighter aircraft which featured as the cover story “The Gripen Forges Ahead In Super Mode“ for the May-June issue of Vayu magazine.​.

Gripen E development, right from the start has been focused on producing an aircraft that combines high performance and low cost. For example, GE F414 engine, with its high performance and reliability was the obvious choice for the new generation aircraft. Also, sensor development for Gripen E focuses on leveraging a mix of innovative solutions and proven technologies which eventually keep the cost down.

Gripen E would have sensors that are enhanced, not just in comparison to its earlier variants, but also to contemporary fighters worldwide. It would also feature GaN-based EW suite that provides tremendous situational awareness and BriteCloud which is an onboard active decoy from Selex.

All this, according to the report, results in an aircraft that looks much the same – and feels much the same – but brings a quantum leap in performance and combat ability to the type.

Saab has not only drawn on its experience from the Gripen A/B to C/D conversion programme, but also on industry best practices acquired from manufacturing work done for Airbus and Boeing commercial products.

More emphasis on pre-production design work has led to reduced parts count for the new airframe, and shorter component manufacturing times, making each aircraft less ...

​Gripen has a very moderate life cycle cost compared to its competitors. Life cycle cost equals acquisition cost plus operational costs during the entire lifetime. Flight hour cost is a parameter included in operational cost. When comparing these costs, it’s important to calculate with equal conditions, i.e. to compare “apples with apples”. An independent study based on open source ordered by Saab was conducted by IHS Jane’s with the following results:

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Gripen has a considerably lower flight hour cost than its competitors. Some competitors are even several times more expensive than Gripen. There are three main reasons for this:

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Cost consciousness from the start:

  • 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.
  • Cost is a design parameter
  • Maintenance and mean time between failure is part of the design variables

We select the best suppliers

  • Saab is a systems integrator for Gripen
  • For every system category, we look for the best price-performance, choose freely, and select the suppliers that best meet our high standards

Lean and model based development

  • The models provide early design validation which reduces risk
  • ​The models help engineers to visualise systems’ behaviour and thereby help avoiding misunderstandings

Cost Summing up:

  • Cost is not something that is added later. It is built in from the very beginning “as a design feature”
  • Gripen is breaking the cost curve
  • Lowest life cycle cost on the market
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