At Paris Air Show 2013, Saab announced that it is working on an unmanned version of Gripen to keep the program viable for another 30 years, reports Bloomberg.
"The concept would follow the development of the Gripen E, an upgraded model of the jet Saab is developing for the Swedish and Swiss air forces," Saab CEO Hakan Buskhe said.
The Bloomberg report says that the emergence of increasingly sophisticated air defenses is driving military planners around the world to explore greater use of unmanned planes to mitigate risk to personnel. Describing the concept, Hakan Buskhe, in his presentation at the Paris Air Show 2013 said that customers can acquire a fleet of aircraft that can operate both manned and unmanned as per the need; the dull and dangerous tasks can be remotely piloted. It would be an optionally manned version and hence a more cost effective solution.
In an interview with Ny Teknik, Eddy De La Motte, Head of Gripen Export says, “There was a huge amount of interest and we got a lot of questions about the new concept.”
Read the full story:
Saab Working on Unmanned Gripen to Keep Combat Jet Competitive
"Valfritt flyga Gripen med - eller utan pilot"
You can watch the webcast of the Gripen briefing by Hakan Buskhe, President and CEO, Saab at the Paris Air Show 2013: Breaking The Thought Barrier