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Sweden and Saab recently offered to co-develop its Gallium Nitride AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar with India if it selected Gripen fighters. According to Lars Tossman, Head of Saab’s Airborne Surveillance business unit, GaN AESA radars are 70 percent more effective than existing AESA radar technology.

Saab has been actively researching, and working with GaN for a number of years with Chalmers University of Technology and the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV). GaN technology is already included in the new members of Saab’s extended surface radar family, which were launched in 2014. Because of its high power efficiency, GaN allows an extended range through higher output and higher reliability.

So far, Saab is far ahead of its competitors in terms of GaN development. Deemed as the next big thing since silicon, GaN has gained a lot of attention in military and civilian defence development over the last few years.

GaN is a semi-conductive material currently under intensive development. Areas of use include LED-lights and Blu-ray components, and now it is also being incorporated into microwave applications in the military industry. GaN transistors have the ability to boost the amplification of microwave signals. Since it can carry higher voltage as compared to silicon, GaN allows a system to operate on less power.

Last year, Saab won the prestigious Aviation Week Laureate Award for bringing GaN electronics to military radar and electronic-warfare systems, introducing the technology into products for delivery in 2016.

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Three Swedish Air Force Gripen will participate in the Tour de Sky – Kuopio International Airshow, the biggest aviation event in Finland.

One of the participating Gripen aircraft will be on static display and one will perform aerial display for the visitors of the event.

Tour de Sky is an annual airshow, and this year it will be held on 18 and 19 June.

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During the last few weeks, SwAF Gripen pilots were busy at the Tactics, Techniques and Procedures Exercise (TTP16). TTP is a recurrent exercise, but this time it was different as the participating Gripen fighters were upgraded with the MS20.

The MS20 upgraded Gripen are integrated with the MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile and Boeing GBU-39 Small-Diameter Bomb, improved radar modes and a new laser designation pod (LDP) among other things.

TTP is also known as pilot's own exercise because there are no order chains; the pilots have to make their own decisions. The exercise focuses on developing skills to fight in a war, giving pilots an opportunity to work on small details that can make big differences in real life scenarios.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Forsvarsmakten

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The new Gripen E will make its maiden flight later this year. Though thanks to simulators, it has already been flying a lot in the virtual world. 

To ensure that the simulators replicate actual onboard systems, the same software and tools used for developing the aircraft are deployed. The process called “design once” makes certain that the simulated aircraft systems are performing in the same fashion as those on the aircraft.

Saab test pilot Jonas Jakobsson says that they are focussing on the system design at the moment. "We have started to practice a lot of tactical scenarios, and are looking at different systems and human-machine interfaces," he says.

According to Saab, testing in simulators reduces the number of actual test flights by about two thirds. Because of the model-based design and advanced simulators, pilots can perform a series of tests in the computer environment before the actual flights.

Read the full story here.

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The Swedish Air Force Gripen has been upgraded with MS 20.

As a part of this upgrade, one of the major additions is that of MBDA’s Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile. The missile's propulsion is managed by a ramjet engine.

"The ramjet engine provides a significant increase in range. It makes it harder for an enemy to protect themselves from Meteor as compared to missiles operated with conventional propelled rocket [engines]," said Michael Östergren, Project Manager for the version 20 upgrade at FMV.

According to the Swedish Air Force Chief Maj Gen Mats Helgesson, the Meteor’s addition is a game-changer.

Besides the Meteor, GCA, Ground Collision Avoidance System is another important feature of MS 20. GCA will help avoid a collision with the ground in case the pilot loses control.

Also, with the new upgrade, there is an enhanced chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) protection for the pilot. The new protection not only safeguards pilots in contaminated environments during a mission, but also helps the ground crew to effectively decontaminate the aircraft once it has landed.​

Read the full story here.

​Yesterday, Saab unveiled Gripen E, the next generation fighter. Over previous versions of the Gripen, Gripen E has a significantly improved avionics system. The capability to carry more weapons and the improved range performance is possible by a more powerful engine and the ability to carry more fuel. Gripen E is equipped with a highly sophisticated sensor suite including an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, Infra Red Search and Track (IRST), Electronic Warfare (EW) suite, and datalink technology, which, when combined, gives the pilot and co-operating forces, exactly the information needed at all times.

The Gripen Evolution ceremony was attended by more than 500 guests including Sweden’s Minister of Defence Peter Hultqvist, Sweden’s Air Force Chief of Staff Mats Helgesson, Commander of the Brazilian Air Force, Nivaldo Luiz Rossato, and representing Saab; Chairman of the Board Marcus Wallenberg, CEO Håkan Buskhe and the Head of business area Aeronautics, Ulf Nilsson.

“We are redefining air power for the 21st century. This will change the way air forces think, fly and fight for decades to come,” says Ulf Nilsson, head of Saab business area Aeronautics.

Know more about the event here​.

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A modern fighter aircraft will have an operational life of thirty to forty years, perhaps more. This poses a great challenge for air forces. How can you maintain technological superiority over the fighter’s entire life in service? Especially when engineering capabilities are becoming more widely available, to both friends and foes, and technology advances much faster.

The smartest thing with Gripen is its ability to constantly evolve. Very few things are more high tech and complex than fighter jets. Still they can be upgraded, not that different to how you upgrade the operating system on your smart phone or buy new functionality in apps. Traditionally, aircraft operates for 10-15 years before being upgraded to fly another 10-15 years. But Gripen is different. We have a long tradition of gradual development. Every two to three years we introduce new operational upgrades and combat enhancements to Gripen.

Our philosophy
Our development philosophy has several advantages. Most importantly the fighter is always up to date, continuously enhanced to take on and defeat combat challenges. Secondly, the upgrades can be adapted to specific requirements. If you make just one major upgrade you must predict the future operational needs for the rest of the aircraft's lifetime, knowing very little about future threats. The world is constantly changing, and the pace is rapid. Five years ago few could predict the developments in Ukraine and Syria. The flexible design of Gripen allows us to constantly upgrade the system and add capability when the need arise.
 
How ...

​Behind-the-scene highlights from the first next generation Gripen in production, shown in 30 seconds. On May 18 we will unveil the first Gripen E to the world both on site in Linköping and online.

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Saab test pilot Stig Holmström was the first one to fly a Gripen aircraft. The flight was made on 9 December 1988. The entire maiden flight fom Linköping towards the coast of Nyköping and Malexander​ and back took about 51 minutes.

The new Swedish fighter was set to replace Saab 37 Viggen. Demands were sky high. Gripen had to be fully computerised and easily switch between air combat, attack and reconnaissance. This was an enormous challenge as the computers and systems needed did not yet exist.

Holmström, who had also flown Draken and Viggen before, had been preparing in a Gripen simulator for quite some time before this flight. Throughout the flight, three other planes were closely following the new fighter.   

On May 18, Saab will take the next step in the evolution of the #smartfighter when it will unveil the very first Gripen E test aircraft.​

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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. ...

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Welcome to the official Gripen blog by Saab. This site features information and commentary about the Gripen fighter jet.
 
The Gripen Blog shares stories and discussions on the Gripen aircraft. The Blog does not vouch for the authenticity of the reports from other publications that have been quoted.
 
The reference to articles and news reports does not imply endorsement or validation of the views of the authors of the stories.