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“The reason for Gripen E's success is relatively simple - it has been developed as a robust and cost-sensitive plane. The fighter builds on the successful design of earlier versions and is not completely redesigned,” a report in Stern says about why the Gripen fighter system became the choice of a number of air forces.

Gripen was developed keeping in mind the Cold War philosophy. The idea was to have a cost-efficient multi-role fighter which could take-off and land on short landing strips. Once developed, Gripen was not just used for the Swedish Air Force, but also exported to countries like Thailand, South Africa, the Czech Republic and Hungary. The latest big order from Brazil has made Gripen the most talked about fighter of the recent times.

The all new Gripen E is super flexible, has an enviable 10-minute operational turnaround time, and boasts of split avionics and a modular system. The split avionics also means that new upgrades and products can be easily added to Gripen at any point in future, without much hassle.

The report also talks about Gripen F, the two seater version of Gripen E that Sweden will produce jointly with Brazil. Gripen F will not just be used as a training aircraft, but also as a fighter for complex missions. After Brazil, India has also shown great interest in the Gripen fighter system. Saab has offered Gripen NG to India under the 'Make In India' initiative with transfer of technology.

Read the full story 

​During the recent celebrations marking the 90th anniversary of the Swedish Air Force, Defense & Aerospace Report​ took the opportunity to speak to Ulf Nilsson, Senior Vice President and Head of Aeronautics, Saab, on the philosophy that drives the making and development of Gripen E and what makes the approach fundamentally different.

Future technology is, of course, hard to predict even three to four years down the line. Looking back 10-15 years, the pace of technology development could be predicted, but not so with the coming of the digital revolution. “Earlier, the pace of development of technology was setting the pace of development of capabilities of the fighter system. Not anymore though. This is a big change and the development platform has to be able to cope with this kind of a change,” says Nilsson. 

Keeping that in mind, Gripen E is created to be relevant even if the technology of today becomes obsolete tomorrow. That is one of the best features of the new Gripen: its flexibility, preserved in a balanced design, makes it extremely adaptable. 

Built upon the strong base of proven C/D platform, Gripen E redefines air-defence systems with its exciting new capabilities and significant cost reduction. Not only does Gripen E have what it takes to fly safely, when it comes to tactical and functional developments, it has more of an ‘app-based development’ approach, which makes it easier to upgrade the aircraft from time to time. “This is one of the major leaps forward when ...

​Last weekend, at the Sanicole International Airshow in Belgium, visitors spent a lot of time with Gripen. The impressive Gripen E full scale replica was on show, while another Gripen took part in the flying display. Here are some snapshots from the airshow:

29047365183_110d986d32_z.jpgA Czech Gripen performing an aerial display.

29047355803_2bab8d4681_z.jpg29671965145_686ca1dfa5_z.jpgCrowd gathers at the Saab stall to see the Gripen E full scale replica.

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Visitors playing the Gripen Fighter Challenge game.

"We have the best equipped fighter in the world," says Maj. Gen. Mats Helgesson, Chief of the Swedish Air Force  In an interview with Defense & Aerospace Report, he talks about the 90 years of Sweden´s Air Force, the Gripen C/D upgrade and Gripen E.

​Defense & Aerospace Report​'s Vago Muradian asks Gripen test pilot Marcus Wandt what makes Gripen E different and also gets the latest updates on the aircraft. 

“First, there is a new sensor suite with the AESA radar, IRST and EW which will be added with separate sensors. The idea is to get all these sensors working together and get a good sensor fusion in the avionics,” Wandt says.

According to Wandt, the transition from C/D to E/F will be easy for existing Gripen pilots.

"For a Gripen pilot, the transition from Gripen C/D to E/F will be pretty easy because flying both the aircraft is similar. It will be the human machine interface that will be different, for which pilots need to be trained," Wandt says.

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The International Sanicole Airshow (ISA), an annual Belgian airshow, will be held this weekend in Hechtel-Eksel. About 14 countries are participating this year, with demonstrations from both military and private aviation sector.

The airshow, which started in the mid-70s as a very small 'festival of stuntmen', has grown into a big event with participation of a number of fast jets and old timers, both on static and aerial displays. 

Saab will be present at ISA with a full scale Gripen E replica. People can climb onboard to get a feel of the new generation fighter. Saab staff will be present at the stall to respond to queries. Gaming enthusiasts can play the multi-player version the Gripen Fighter Challenge game.

A Czech Air Force Gripen will also participate in the aerial displays. Saab fighters Draken, Tunnan and Viggen will also be seen flying at the airshow.

Know more about the event here.

​For the Brazilian engineers in Sweden, working on an aircraft that is not produced in Brazil is a huge step. Working in a new country, adapting to a new culture and acquiring knowledge make the collaboration an unforgettable experience for them.

​More than 130,000 visitors attended the event that celebrated 90 years of the Swedish Air Force. Besides Gripen, more than 100 aircraft including Viggen, Draken and Tunnan also participated.​

Saab Experience offered virtual & augmented reality and a Gripen simulator among other things. Here are a few snapshots from the event.29285832335_ceda24179a_z.jpg

Gripen fighters in an aerial formation

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 Gripen test pilot Hans Einerth and a young visitor posing with a full scale Gripen E replica
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Inside Saab Experience
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Ever dreamed about flyging a fighter jet? Well now you can come close, with this 360 video, filmed together with the Swedish Air Force. 

For the full 360 experience, make sure you have the latest YouTube app installed on your phone or tablet.

​Last month, a full scale replica of Gripen E was on display at a mall in North Lake, Brasilia. The video captures the process of putting it all together.

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