Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Gripen

The Smart Fighter

Quick Launch

Gripen > Tags

Tags: Gripen F Demonstrator

Saab recently announced the launch of RBS15 Gungnir next generation anti-ship missile system at the Farnborough International Airshow 2018.

While Gungnir may look like one of the previous RBS15 versions from the outside, its capabilities are more advanced. More than a mere anti-ship missile, it gives Gripen all-weather capability and operational flexibility like never before.

Gungnir is offered in both air-launched and surface-launched configurations, and has an increased range of more than 300 km. Since it is a flexible launch platform, it can conduct coordinated attacks with multiple missiles against a wide range of naval and land-based targets.

The missile system also promises complete maneuverability without any dependence on GPS or data link. Gungnir is not just made for today's littoral environment, but can also be integrated with pre-existing RBS15 infrastructure to adapt the system for future.

The name Gungnir is from Scandinavian mythology and refers to the Norse god Odin’s spear which never missed its target. RBS15 Gungnir is the system level name whilst in the air-launched configuration the missile is called the RBS15 Mk4 Air.

​​

Magnus Lewis-Olsson, President at Saab Market Area Europe, chatted at length with Vago Muradian of Defense & Aerospace Report about Gripen E flight tests, weapon integration and technology sharing at the recently held Farnborough International Airshow.

Lewis-Olsson revealed that flight testing for Gripen E is on schedule, and Saab is pushing hard to meet its timelines. Prototype aircraft JAS 39-9 and 39-10 are expected to see the light of day early next year, and with every test the aircraft is getting closer to the operational aircraft. The focus during testing in near future will be on avionics and cockpit.

One of the key elements of the Gripen E is the open architecture of the aircraft – which allows Saab to compartmentalize the flight safety control systems in a bid to increase efficiency. This process is helpful not only because it increases mission safety, but it also extends more control to the users of the aircraft, helping them ‘own’ it as per their requirements. 

Talking about weapon integration, Magnus Lewis-Olsson also outlined the huge impact that the missile Meteor has had on the functionality and prowess of Gripen. The RBS-15 – ‘Gungnir’ was yet another projectile weapon on display, a pioneer of the anti-ship missile contingent. The Gripen on display was loaded to full capacity, with different weapons, to showcase the fighter’s excellent weapons integration capability.

Watch the full interview here​.

​​Gripen E_ For Michael 20160323 copy.jpg

The Next Generation Gripen, or Gripen E, is the successor to today’s proven Gripen C/D, and is an aircraft that is both evolutionary and revolutionary. Evolutionary because the E is based on today’s in-service Gripen, the multi-role fighter ordered by five air forces worldwide. 

With about 250,000 flight hours behind it, Gripen has an indisputable track record for low operational costs and total life cycle costs that feeds directly into Gripen E.

At the same time, Gripen E is a revolutionary fighter because it combines advanced technology and operational effectiveness in an affordable package that no other fighter aircraft can hope to match.

Gripen E takes the tried and tested elements of the Gripen design, and improves on these. The new aircraft has a more powerful General Electric F414G engine with the ability to supercruise. Its redesigned airframe operates at higher weights, allowing more fuel and weapons to be carried. A unique avionics architecture makes weapons and systems integration even easier and quicker. The Gripen E operates with a fully-networked, fully-fused sensor and communications systems that gives it cutting edge capabilities for any mission, from close air support (CAS) to beyond visual range air-to-air combat.

Among the key missions systems that make Gripen E such a formidable future fighter is its all-new ES-05 Raven AESA (active electronically scanned antenna) radar.

The aircraft is equipped with a electronic warfare system that gives the it a unique active and passive electronic attack (EA) capability – which adds the AESA to the vital EA mission. ...

fidae1-1.jpgPeople waiting for their turn to sit in Gripen NG replica
Fiade4_2016.jpg
fidae6_2016.jpgPosing with Gripen NG replica
Fidae2_2016.jpg

Swedish pilots interacting with visitors
FIDAE7_2016.jpg

Young visitors at the chalet
FIdae5_2016.jpg
The Saab team at FIDAE 2016

Saab presented a full scale model of a Gripen NG at the International Air & Space Fair, FIDAE in Chile last week.  A centerpiece at the show, the model generated a lot of buzz, both amongst the public and various Air Forces. A long queue of people was seen waiting for their turn to sit in the full scale replica of the new generation fighter.

The event was held between 29th March and April 3rd 2016. On the 31st, there was a special pilot get-together at the Saab chalet where pilots from different Air Forces got a short brief about Gripen and also talked to Swedish Gripen pilots.


Gripen NG12.jpg
Swiss technology company RUAG has announced that it has signed a contract for the series production of payload mountings for the Gripen E/F fighter aircraft, reports Bilan.ch​.

As a part of this contract, RUAG will work on the production of 33 prototypes and 546 series parts.

According to the report, the serial production in which subcontractors will be hired from all over Switzerland, is expected to continue till 2026. The contract is worth more than CHF 80 million in total.

Lennart Sindahl, Deputy CEO at Saab, says, "Gripen's success is built on partnership with world class companies as our single source suppliers on the global market. Following the design phase it is obvious that RUAG is the right partner for this product. Therefore we are very happy to establish this broad and long-term relationship making RUAG a major supplier in the Gripen programme, initially for the Swedish and Brazilian airforces. At the same time, it is a clear signal that Switzerland will be a key market for Saab also in the future."

The first prototypes are scheduled for delivery at the end of 2016.

Read the full story here.

gggg.jpg
Saab´s  local South African company, Saab Grintek Defence (Pty) Ltd. has been chosen to develop and manufacture parts for the Electronic Warfare (EW) System for Gripen E for Sweden. Development work, including prototype manufacturing, for  antennas and micro wave modules is on-going at the Saab Grintek Defence facility in Centurion, Gauteng.

Saab has signed an agreement with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) for next generation Gripen E fighters. Sweden’s requirement is for 60 Gripen Es that now are in development.

“This is important assignments for Saab Grintek Defence and a testimony to the local capabilities and exceptional local knowledge within electronic warfare in South Africa .The work will further strengthen our capabilities and secure and protect jobs at SGD for a long time   and we hope for further orders for the Gripen E going forward” says Magnus Lewis-Olsson, CEO Saab Grintek Defence

Recently, Saab Grintek Defence has also agreed to a contract with Rheinmetall Waffe Munition in Germany to provide Naval Laser Warning Systems as sensors to Rheinmetall's MASS Softkill System in a frigate upgrade programme in Asia Pacific.

Saab Grintek Technologies (SGT) is a telecommunications company offering a comprehensive range of end-to-end Services and Solutions to Operators, OEM’s, Enterprise and Government. Various defence forces across the globe are using South African electronic warfare and avionics technology being designed and produced at the company’s facilities in South Africa.

AESA2.jpg
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

Gripenpge4_30x15.jpg
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

060511-429_01.jpg
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

1 - 10 >