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Category: Gripen E/F

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Recently, 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 it ...

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 ...

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Saab has started conversations with Brazil regarding the transfer of technology that allows the country to manufacture and develop Gripen NG jet fighters, reports Prensa Latina.

Marco Antonio Raupp, Brazil’s Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, met Hakan Buskhe, President and CEO, Saab on Tuesday to discuss about initiating technology transfer and co-operation between Brazilian and Swedish defence companies.

The minister talked about a national program called "Science without borders", which will be an important tool to create the new technology for Gripen NG manufacturing process.

"The intention is to combine our interests for strengthening the partnership", said Mr. Raupp.

Read the full story: Brazil-Sweden Talks Step up to Transfer Gripen NG Technology​

The video shows the experience of Brazilian naval aviator, Romulo Sobral visiting Saab in Linköping, trying his hands at the simulator first and then flying the actual Gripen. 

The purpose of Sobral’s visit was to verify that the design requirements of the Gripen confer flight characteristics that demonstrate their conversion potential into a naval version without major and fundamental design changes.​

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"With Gripen, I am no longer limited to my own range of vision, but I can see much farther away from me, getting an early awareness of what is happening, says FAB's fighter aircraft pilot Carlos Afonso de Araujo who tested the new generation Gripen and gave approval for its purchase.

Carlos has made a detailed report verifying the capabilities of the new Gripen. In an interview with Mediacon News, he talks about the aircraft’s technical aspects that caught his eye.

Carlos says that Gripen is a very easy aircraft to fly and control, adding that it accelerates very fast and can reach high altitudes with high speed while maintaining its performance.

Gripen can receive information from sensors and radars that are very distant: on the ground, or even from other aircraft. This gives the pilot a situational awareness advantage. This technology has never been used before in Brazil. With the current fighter aircraft in the country, a pilot’s vision is limited to the radar’s detection capabilities.

"Gripen is a new dimension. It is not like exchanging an old car for a new one. It is a radical, complete change. It is a new generation aircraft with new concepts, new tactics, new possibilities ", Carlos says.

Read the full story: Piloto que aprovou Gripen para Brasil diz que alcance de visão é diferencial​

Dan_Jangblad.jpgIn an interview with the Brazilian daily Carta Capital, Dan Jangblad, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) at Saab talks about the possibility of a plant in São Bernardo and manufacturing pilot-less aircraft in future.

“It will be a 'win-win' investment for both Sweden and Brazil because sales volumes will grow. The potential for Gripen has been confirmed by the market, and I am very optimistic. It is a great opportunity for everyone,” Dan Jangblad says.

Dan added that Saab also works with unmanned aircraft and on being asked if such equipments can be manufactured in Brazil, he says that it is certainly possible.

“As said before, Brazil is a very advanced country in terms of its aviation industry. And we do see a potential for partnerships here, even in the case of unmanned vehicles.  The expertise is definitely available in Brazil, we simply need a partner who is interested in drones.

Read the full story:  Nas asas da Saab

​"Saab can immediately start working on the Gripen NG fighter development to supply the Brazilian Air Force," said Hakan Buskhe, President and CEO, SAAB after meeting with Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff in Davos last week.

“Our offer includes the delivery of the best aircraft and full technology transfer and that is what we will fulfill. We can start soon. That means there would be lots of engineering work and new plants in Brazil,” Buskhe says.

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Inside the plant premises, one cannot help but notice the smiles of the engineers. "We have a lot of work now" says Jonas Jakobsson, Gripen test pilot.

A report in Estadao.com describes the simplicity of the location of the Gripen manufacturing plant in Linköping and the spirit of the people involved in the making of the new generation aircraft.

The high-tech fighter jet and the political impact of the Brazilian order contrast with the simplicity of the manufacturing plant’s premises: Gripen is mounted in a modest setting of wooden houses from the '40s and '50s, the report says. 

"Sometimes we need to paint the site," said one of the technicians. In the parking lot, hundreds of bicycles dominate the landscape.

Read the full story:  Na paisagem fria e modesta, nasce o novo jato de combate

"To have a good surveillance capability, the possibility to move with the right equipment, to exact targeting will be very important in the future years, “says Saab CEO and president Hakan Buskhe in a video interview.

The video explores the biggest threats in the coming 10 years. The industry leaders talk about the threats as well as about the important capabilities for air forces to have in future. ​

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According to the Air Power Blog, Jackson Schneider, president, Embraer Defense and Security, said that the company will discuss the role of Embraer in the chain of production of 36 aircraft with Saab soon.

Schneider told Brazilian media before leaving for the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2014 in Switzerland that the role of Embraer in the production of Gripen for the Brazil Air Force is yet to be defined. 

"It is still too premature to define precisely Embraer‘s responsibility in the process. However, we will be involved in the project for sure, "said Schneider.

Read the full story:Embraer deve conversar com Saab sobre caças em fevereiro


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