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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​.

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Saab is developing the RBS15 Mk4, the next generation, air-launched variant of RBS15 anti-ship missile for Gripen. Dubbed as RBS15 Gungnir, the developmental missile system was unveiled at the Farnborough Air Show 2018 recently.

The RBS15 Gungnir will also be integrated into Swedish Navy’s Visby-class corvettes, but Gripen E is the priority.

“Everything is driven by the Gripen program,” said Michael Höglund, Vice President and Head of Marketing and Sales for missiles systems at Saab Dynamics.

Currently, Sweden is operating RBS15F, a 1980s version of this weapon which will soon become obsolete owing to a discontinuation of its maintenance support. Hence the development of RBS15 Gungnir is a priority for Saab.

The name Gungnir is from Scandinavian mythology and refers to the Norse god Odin’s spear which never missed its target. With the new configurations, this version of RBS15 will have an extended range and anti-jam capabilities. Not just that, it will be able to travel just above sea level and therefore avoid detection.

“RBS15 Gungnir is offered in both air-launched and surface-launched configurations that offer greatly improved capabilities, compared to other missile systems on the market. With an improved range to more than 300 km and highly advanced target seeker, it gives the capability to engage any target, in all conditions,” says Görgen Johansson, Senior Vice President and Head of Saab Business Area Dynamics.

Saab was contracted by FMV in 2017 to deliver RBS15 Gungnir. Saab aims to deliver the missile by ...

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With every passing year, the signal environment for Electronic Warfare (EW) systems is becoming more and more complex. There are more signals out there, both military and civilian. Hence it becomes imperative to have a smart EW systems which can quickly differentiate a threat signal from other signals.

All around us, there is an Electromagnetic (EM) spectrum which covers all energy radiated by means of electromagnetic waves including radio communication and radar transmission. According to Inga Bergstrom, Sales Director of Gripen EW, Electronic Warfare is the combat for control of the EM spectrum.

“EW may not be the primary function of a fighter, but it is an enabler to conduct a successful mission,” Inga says.

Some of the tactics used by pilots of fighter aircraft to avoid detection include silent flight by reducing emissions, or by flying at low heights. Even then, detection by enemy devices is a possibility, and in the event that Gripen E’s location has been compromised, EW system provides countermeasure techniques, such as Dispensing – in which decoys are released into the air, creating a false target to fool the enemy.

Elaborating on the features of Gripen’s EW system, Inga says that it is all about listening, detecting, identifying, and if you are detected first, about deterring, defending and defeating. 

EW has been an important part of Gripen from the beginning. Today, Saab has a small, compact system that does a number of things while also reducing drag and increasing ...

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A full scale Gripen E model with the new Wide Area Display (WAD) was exhibited at the Rio International Defense Exhibition (RIDEX) by the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) last week. 

According to Major Aviador Manoel Carneiro, who was in charge of the FAB booth, "We have brought a fully interactive concept here. Each visitor will be able to get to know the strategic projects of FAB”. The full size replica of Gripen provided visitors with the unique opportunity of examining the fighter closely. Miroslav Kocian, Major-General of the Republic of Slovakia, was among the visitors impressed by the new version of the Gripen and the high end technologies that go into the smart fighter. 

RIDEX, held between 27 and 29 June in Rio Janeiro, enabled participants to present cutting edge products and technologies. 

AEL Sistemas showcased, along with WAD, the NVIS / HUDTM (Advanced Night Vision System / Head Up Display). 

The event had 9000 visitors, 90 exhibitors and was attended by Defence Minister Joaquin Silva. ​

Read the full story here.

At the end of the day, the person at the controls makes all the difference. Brazilian pilots will go through classes, presentations and protocols to prepare for flight tests of the Brazilian fighter that will take place at the Embraer headquarters in Gavião Peixoto, São Paulo.

Four students from the Brazilian Air Force Flight Test and Research Institute, IPEV (Instituto de Pesquisas e Ensaios em Voo) in São Paulo, were in Linköping recently for their final examination project, which involved an evaluation of JAS 39 Gripen. The objective was to verify the ability of pilots and engineering students in evaluating the aircraft’s air defence capabilities.

The evaluation – termed Preview – was carried out by the students of the XXVII Flight Testing Course, spanning a period of 12 days from 7th to 18th May​. During this period, the four students flew the Gripen D on eight occasions, collecting notes and data, in addition to assessing Gripen’s air-to-air and air-to-ground capabilities.

These evaluations were based on an Instruction Test Request issued by the Flight Testing department of IPEV.

Once the students graduate they will eventually work in the Flight Test Squadron of the Brazilian Flight Test and Research Institute. They will mainly work on the Brazilian Air Force projects involving Gripen E and other modernisation programmes.

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The fifth generation of fighter aircraft was defined in the 1980s and was characterized by an emphasis on positional awareness and stealth. However, it’s been quite a while since then, and the focus has gradually shifted from overtly relying on stealth and tactical positioning to Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, collectively grouped as ISR capabilities. Since the Gripen E/F is being developed to have these capabilities, and with several advanced software features that are considered breakthroughs in defence, Bill Sweetman of Aviation Week had argued that it could well be called a sixth generation fighter.

Explaining some of the key concepts of Gripen evolution in a recent interview with HushKit, Richard Smith, Head of Gripen Marketing, points out that the pace of technology probably makes the concept of “generations” redundant: “We have understood that the future of air combat is going to be defined by technology – and we have built a system that truly adapts and embraces new technologies in a way that will keep us ahead of 21st century threats – fast. This is achieved through our deep and long experiences in sensor fusion and a revolutionary avionics system. For me, it means that the talk of generations, I hear so much of from within the industry just no longer means anything at all. The technology we have now, the ideas Saab engineers are working on, ensure that Gripen quite literally transcends all generations.”

About Gripen's thrust-to-weight ratio, Smith says that it is certainly enough. "The ...

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"We are preparing for the next phase of flight trials – that is, external stores," said Jonas Hjelm, Head of Saab aeronautics at the recently held Annual Gripen seminar.

So far, all the milestones under the Gripen Brazil programme, like the launch of GDDN and SAM and the first flight of Gripen E, have been right on schedule.

“Since the first prototype's flight debut in June 2017, the programme has remained on track, with recent milestones including achieving supersonic flight,” he added.

The seminar which aims at giving an insight into the fighter, covered important areas like the continuous evolvement of the Gripen C/D platform, progress on cooperation with Brazil, and current and future sales prospects for Gripen.

You can watch the seminar here​.  

Read the full story here.

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"Saab Aeronáutica Montagens (SAM) will be part of Saab's global supply chain. So if we see opportunities, we would want to take part in projects for other products that serve not only markets in Latin America, but the rest of the world as well," said Jonas Hjelm, the global head of the aeronautics division at Saab. 

According to Mr. Hjelm, there are other prospective clients in South America that the facilities at SAM can potentially cater to, such as Colombia, who have reportedly shown a clear interest.

Located at the city of São Bernardo do Campo, in São Paulo state, Saab SAM will play a major role in the production of the next generation fighter jets in Brazil. However, the final assembly of the aircraft will take place at Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN). SAM will initially have 55 engineers and technicians, and by 2024 this number will increase to 200.​

Logistically, SAM is strategically located near Guarulhos International Airport, and is connected by major highways to the aeronautical clusters of Sao Jose dos Campos and Gaviao Peixoto, the city where GDDN is based at.

Read the full story here.

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Director General of Saab Aeronáutica Montagens (SAM), Marcelo Lima says that Saab is reaching out to companies that can offer tooling material, general equipment, consumables, general services and handling material among other things.

To begin the process, Saab met with 55 companies, out of which 35 were based out of Brazil, at a workshop recently. 

According to Lima, the shortlisted companies will play various roles in starting SAM's operations. “We are also focusing on companies that already sell to multinationals," he says.

The selection process is intensive. All the companies had to prepare presentation for stage one. "After this presentation, we sent a questionnaire that will help us know more about the company, how was it formed etc. Then we will ask for quotations followed by which we will evaluate each offer before making the final decisions,” he elaborated.

SAM was unveiled earlier this month in the city of São Bernardo do Campo, in São Paulo state, Brazil. Not only will SAM produce aerostructures for the Brazilian Gripen fighter, but also become part of Saab´s global supply chain.

As of now, Saab has selected two service providers and hired nine employees. "Our strategy is to talk to our existing partners in the Brazilian Gripen programme, who are already familiar with the aeronautical sector. We have started visiting a few companies and will hold another workshop to meet more direct suppliers between year-end and beginning of 2019,” Lima says.

Read the full story here.

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