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​Sweden has been experiencing one of the hottest summers in a long time due to which wildfires have become a common phenomenon all throughout the Arctic circle. 

To control one such forest fire which had spread near the military range in the country, Swedish emergency management authorities took Gripen's help to drop a single 500-pound class GBU 12 bomb. The strong air pressure from the explosion can help extinguish the blaze just like a puff of air can blow out a candle. 

The Gripen fighters flew 3000m above ground, and with high precision, the pilots targeted the front of the line of the fire where they dropped the bomb. Once they hit the target, the 500 pound explosives managed to extinguish the flames. 

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Passing through 

Who needs an airstrip when a public road can do the job? Gripen is tailor-made for short take off and landings like this example from exercise Aurora 17, Sweden.

Photo: Per Kustvik

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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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Natural predator

The Swedish Air Force Gripen in a summer flight over its natural habitat – Sweden’s unique lakes and forests.

Photo: Rich Cooper/COAP Media

The Finnish Air Force celebrated their centenary on the 6th of March, 2018. During the weekend of 16-17 June, the Finnish Air Force held an Airshow at Tikkakoski, close to Jyväskylä, to commemorate the milestone.

One of the biggest crowd pullers was the Gripen Full Scale Replica. Around 30 000 people attended the air-show so as to get a closer look at the aircraft. Display pilot “Sunshine” from Swedish Air Force Wing F21 putting up a scintillating show, much to the delight of the audiences.
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1.jpg2.jpg3.jpg4.jpg The 172nd Squadron of the Swedish Air force participated in an air combat exercise last week, over the Baltic Sea with the French Air force (Armée de l'air française). SwAF deployed four Gripen fighters from Ronneby, Sweden while the French started with two Mirage 2000-5 from the Ämari Air Base in Estonia.

The exercise was conducted in line with the Finnish-Swedish Training Event – the Swedish government’s understanding with countries surrounding the Baltic Sea to strengthen security cooperation. Over the years, the two countries have participated in a series of drills with the air forces of the NATO members temporarily present in the Baltic states, as part of FSTE. Exercises like this are a great opportunity for pilots to train with different fighters and develop interoperability. 

Photo:

ZipLip

172sqn Gators

Swedish Air Force

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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 ...

The five-day Swedish Air Force Exercise, AFX18, came to an end on May 30th at the Ämari Air Base near Tallinn, in Estonia. Eight Gripen fighters from the F7 Wing of the Swedish Air Force were deployed. Along with the hosting nations, Estonia and Sweden, the air forces of Finland, France and Spain also took part in the aerial exercises over the Baltic Sea in the air space shared between Estonia and Sweden. 

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The primary purpose of training was to put pilots through simulated air combat situations. This time around, the difficulty level of the exercise was upped a notch. The aircraft tried out new tactics and manoeuvres during the air combat exercises while refining processes and methodologies tested in previous exercises. 

The ground team in Ämari Air Base worked day and night to keep the aerial exercises up and running. The Swedish team collaborated with their Estonian colleagues and were in charge of the safety of the aircraft and the airport perimeter.​

Read the full story here

Image Courtesy: Swedish Armed Forces 

​SwAF Gripen pilots trained for night flying recently. This training is conducted every few months by the Swedish Air Force.

Flying a fighter aircraft at night is a different experience for pilots, as they have to be much more aware of their surroundings in low light. The goal of exercises like this is to increase the combat readiness of the SwAF Gripen fighters.​​

​General Micael Bydén, Supreme Commander Swedish Armed Forces, elaborates on how the MS20 upgrade has acted as a gamechanger over the Baltic Sea.

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