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Category: Gripen E/F

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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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One reason that the development of the Gripen E is proceeding according to plan is the use of ”model-based development”. This methodology was secured through the development of the Neuron unmanned aircraft, among other things, and is now used in all technical areas for the Gripen E project. 

With model-based development (MBD), Saab has expanded its virtual development to enable greater reuse of data models. This translates into shorter lead times. All software and hardware development is done with the help of computerized models, meaning that updates are made extremely quickly. 

Fewer test flights are needed with this type of development, as much verification can be conducted in simulators rather than in the air. Any problems with the models are detected at an early stage and changes can be made to the models rather than at a later stage during test flights. 

Simply put, things are more correct from the start, which improves development efficiency.

Some examples of the benefits of using MBD in hardware development (regarding structure and it’s effects on production): 

• Higher quality of parts (assembly verification done using simulators etc.) 

• Assembly work instruction is more user friendly  

• Reduced lead time for changes

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The Swedish Armed Forces might need more Gripen E to support its existing operational capacity on account of possible lending of Gripen C/D to Brazil and Switzerland in the near future, says a report in Corren.se.

Earlier, the Swedish Government had planned to upgrade the existing Gripen C/D fighters to the enhanced E-model configuration for the Air Force. However, it has now decided that the acquisition process will include production of the new generation aircraft as well.

“Thanks to the increasing interest in Gripen, there is a demand for hiring more C / D aircraft. To ensure that the Swedish Armed Forces' operational capacity can be maintained during this time, we want to be able to build new components and as well as entire Gripen E,” says Sweden’s Defence Minister Karin Enstrom.

Read the full story: Regeringen vill ha nya Gripen-plan​

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Brazil’s Anapolis Air Base (BAAN) which recently celebrated 42 years of its inception, is waiting for the arrival of the Gripen fighters, reports the Brazil Portal​.

Last week, Saab officials visited BAAN to assess base infrastructure to identify adjustments for basing Gripen NG fighters here. 

They reviewed the squadron and maintenance supplies, the structure of the First Air Defense Group (1st AD), the alert hangar and the runways and taxiway.

Saab officials were happy with the facilities at the air base, especially with the available space. 

According to Colonel Rodrigo Santos Fernandes, Commander of Anapolis Air Base, preparations for the arrival of the Gripen fighters have already started.

Read the full story: À espera dos caças Gripen, base aérea comemora 42 anos

Representantes da SAAB fazem levantamento da estrutura da Base Aérea de Anápolis

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A group of 15 Brazilian Air Force officers flew to Sweden to visit the Air Force, Saab AB and Defence and Security Export Agency (FXM), reports forsvarsmakten.

The purpose of the visit was to see and learn how the Swedish Air Force works with Gripen.

The first stop of the site survey was at F7: the main center for the entire Gripen system which is also the training centre for pilots, including that of foreign operators. The conversation at F7 focused on the flight and technician training, aircraft maintenance and support.

This was followed by a visit at F17 where the team was briefed on successfully completed exercises, especially about Operation Unified Protector (OUP) which is better known as the Libya Initiative.

Swedish Air Force had organized a dinner at Air Force Museum for the visitors.

“We look forward to greater future cooperation between our countries and the respective air forces,” said Swedish Air Force chief Major General Micael Bydén in his speech at the dinner.

Read the full story: Besök från Brasilien

Image Courtesy: Kent Löving, F17

​Gripen E Chief test pilot Richard Ljungberg talks about the Gripen NG test aircraft and its testing process. 

"Gripen E will be a modern and a high performance aircraft and as a pilot in the Gripen E, I will be confident to meet any threat that shows up," he says.

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Saab has successfully performed the first flight with the new sensor IRST (Infra Red Search and Track) which will feature in Gripen E, according to schedule. 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​

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