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The South African Air Force is to fit the fifth-generation A-Darter short-range imaging infra-red air-to-air missile currently under development at Denel Dynamics to its fleet of 24 workhorse BAE Systems Hawk Mk120 lead-in fighter trainers in addition to integrating it on to the 26 more sophisticated Saab Gripen C and D advanced lightweight fighter, reports the South African web journal Defence Web.

Denel Dynamics CE Jan Wessels says the new weapon, under joint development by SA and Brazil since March 2007 is on track and on target for delivery to the SAAF and the Brazilian Air Force from early 2013, now less than three years away. Wessels adds training missiles will be delivered from 2012.

Wessels says the A-Darter has now passed a series of development tests, the latest just last month. The test followed a series of programme flight tests where the missile had to fly a series of pre-determined routes, or circuits, “and it is very extreme, left, right up down, all the difficult manoeuvres. But it doesn’t engage a target. You are exercising its manoeuvrability. Can it pull the G’s etcetera. That was done by February,” Wessels adds.

“In parallel the so-called integration missiles that went to Saab. So they have in Sweden already integrated the missile with the structure of the aircraft, the mechanical integration of the missile with the aircraft and with the avionics, which is very complex on the Gripen. They conducted a series of flight tests where they flew with this ...

gripenbrazil.jpgThe Indian Air Force evaluation team has become the first non-Swedish pilots to fly the Gripen Demo from the front cockpit. The IAF team has done a larger envelope of flying with the technology demonstrator of the Next Generation of Gripen in Sweden and will be shortly arriving in India for completion of phase 3 of the flight evaluation trials.The Gripen Demo was flown with a fully operational AESA radar.

The IAF team had eight flights in the aicraft, and will fly it again next month. The Gripen Demo will touch down in Jamnagar on May 17, after which the IAF will decide on the legs of the trial that the Demo will undertake.

The Demo being a technology demonstrator, the aircraft is possibly far more valuable given that it carries cutting edge platforms. Consequently, web journal Livefist reports that while the Swedish team is confident about handling the field evaluations, there is concern over the need to ensure that the aircraft arrives safely.Gripen’s Inda campaign director, Eddy de la Motte, told Livefist that “We will be hopping it across from Sweden to India. We don’t foresee any problems, but it is after all a prototype, and we can’t be too careful.”

To date, Saab has conducted about two dozen flights in India, including in Bangalore’s Aircraft Systems & Testing Establishment (ASTE). Among various exercises, the Gripen Ds also undertook air refueling. In Jaisalmer, the Gripen D did a weapons release test and the very demanding high speed, low ...

five.jpgSELEX Galileo’s prototype of its Raven ES-05 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, the Raven 1000P, is playing a key role in the Saab Gripen Next Generation flight proving and demonstration programme.

The programme has been very successful, demonstrating radar modes in flight as well as showing the effectiveness of the SELEX Galileo and Saab team in integrating the radar into the weapon system and proving real capability in very short timescales, according to a Selex Press Release

Both air-to-air and air-to-ground modes have been integrated with great success and the expected performance has been achieved. Particular focus was placed on the air-to-ground capability and Raven 1000P produced excellent medium and high resolution SAR imagery at long ranges.

Trials will continue and capability insertion will take place at the appropriate points in the development schedule.SELEX Galileo, a Finmeccanica Company, is a key provider of leading edge sensors for the most advanced fighters. In recent months, SELEX Galileo has been selected by Saab to supply two key sensors: the Raven ES-05 and the Infrared Search & Track (IRST) system SKYWARD-G.

Raven ES-05 is a high performance, premium class fire control radar. Building on over 50 years of fire control radar experience, Raven ES-05 delivers greater performance and higher reliability than comparable mechanically scanned radars.With the Raven ES-05 and with the IRST, the Company will be guaranteeing the full mission effectiveness of the next generation aircraft Gripen NG.

ten.jpgWith the World’s biggest sporting event, bar the Olympics, getting underway in a little over a month, South African forces are getting into peak readiness. South Africa’s security forces will this week test their preparations for securing the FIFA soccer World Cup one last time.

The South African Air Force (SAAF) assisted by the police the SA Civil Aviation Authority, the Intelligence Coordinating Committee (made up of representatives of the various SA intelligence agencies), the Air Traffic Navigation Service and disaster management authorities, will conduct a national air space protection exercise, code-named Shield VI (6) between April 23 and 26, reports Defence Web . The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) says Shield VI is intended to test and verify the air space security plan to be implemented during the tournament as government has given certain security-related guarantees to FIFA for the duration of the World Cup, now just 50 days away.

The aircraft being deployed by the SAAF during Shield VI include AgustaWestland A109 light utility helicopters, Denel M1 Oryx medium utility helicopters, Pilatus PC7 Mk2 Astra trainers, BAE System Mk120 lead-in fighter trainers and Saab Gripen advanced light fighter aircraft.

Earlier, in February, Chief of the Air Force, Lt Gen Carlo Gagiano, had said. "The focus is on ensuring the airspace is safe. We have a mix of aircraft because a helicopter cannot take on an airliner that’s diverting from its flight path. The light aircraft will intercept and order mavericks out of (no fly) ...

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Vishnu Som, a defence expert and associate editor of India’s leading News Channel NDTV writes in the Bharat Rakshak forum:

“The Gripen Ds did sensationally in their tests when they were in India recently. The D restarted and took off from Leh with a loadout of 2.6 tonnes which included air to air missiles and underwing fuel tanks. The heat test went off very well in Jaisalmer. It meant placing the aircraft in the sun for a designated period of time, firing her up and flying her at maximum speed at low altitude while checking out all the systems. They also dropped a bomb flying out of Jaisalmer. They also did tanking ops.

And … no need to hold your breath any longer … the Demo will be here in mid May and will likely do the Leh trip again and anything that the Indian Air Force requests. They were earlier unable to bring in the Demonstrator because of tasking with the Swedish Air Force which happened at exactly the same time that they were supposed to come to India.

Indian Air Force pilots travel to Sweden in the next few days. They are free to fly the Demo there if they want though they will be firing an AMRAAM off a D platform.My sources tell me that Indian Air Force pilots loved the jet while it was here, particularly its man-machine interface and the intuitive nature of the setup …”

Incidentally, Vishnu makes it clear in his ...

one-300x204.jpgSaab has received an order from the Swedish FMV for further development of the reconnaissance system in Gripen, according to an official Saab release.

The order is worth approximately MSEK 400, distributed over a four-year period. The order entails development of night capacity and an improved user interface for the reconnaissance pod on Gripen. The reconnaissance pod provides the Gripen with a photo-reconnaissance function and is a significant component of Gripen’s overall reconnaissance capacity. The system is modular and has considerable potential for further development.

“Saab’s expertise in sensors and image processing is world-class and we are looking forward to working with the Swedish Defence Material Administration and the Swedish Armed Forces to further improve Gripen’s reconnaissance capabilities,” says Micael Johansson, head of Saab’s Electronic Defence Systems business area.

Specialist Indian Defence blog Stratpost recently reported that Indian Airforce and aeronautical experts were ‘unimpressed’ with the Pakistan Airforce’s Roadbase test. SAMAA and other Pakistan Media had reported that during the High Mark 2010 military exercises, Wing Commander Atta-ur-Rehman was flying a Mirage whereas Squadron leader Nadeem Iqbal was flying F-7P which landed on a 9,000 ft long and 103 ft wide piece of Islamabad-Lahore motorway. To prepare the runway for these exercises, blocks dividing the motorway were removed and tops of trees grown on an area of 3,000 ft on both sides of motorway were trimmed.

Stratpost quoted IAF officers saying that it didn’t really matter. PAF had simply converted a road into an airfield and were using the length of a normal runway and that IAF pilots trained for landing and taking from Parallel Taxi Tracks that are around 75 feet wide – half the width of a normal runway.

The blog further quotes Eddy de la Motte, India Campaign Director and former Head of Design, on what goes into designing an aircraft that can do real road base flying. He says that because of its Electrical Flight Control system, the Gripen can land and take-off on a strip with a length of 800 meters (2625 feet) and a width of 9 meters (30 feet). “The earlier Saab aircraft, the Viggen and the Drakken were also designed to operate from public roads with a length of 800 meters and a width of ...

gripen_demo.jpgThe technology demonstrator aircraft for the Gripen NG and the Gripen IN platforms, the Gripen Demo, will be arriving in India for field trials in mid-May.

Earlier, the JAS 39 Gripen had undertaken key field trials in Bangalore, Jaisalmer and Leh in the second half of March. In early April, the IAF is reported to be doing further trials on the Demo in Sweden with a larger envelope as well as carrying out checks on various development programs for the only truly futuristic aircraft in the competition which is currently in a stage of development. The IAF will also trial Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missile deployment.

The field trials with the Gripen Demo in India will include a possible landing in Leh. This will be a performance test for the new GE F414G engine of the demonstrator in high altitudes. The aircraft will also get a true test of hot weather since the other aircraft had completed their field trials in the less harsh winter months.

Ajai Shukla in his Blog Broadsword quotes Gripen’s India campaign head, Eddy de la Motte, saying “Our plan was always to bring the (Gripen NG) demonstrator to India. The Swedish government’s sudden tasking is being completed right now. We will soon be ready to go to India and we will provide the IAF with maximum opportunity to evaluate the fighter.”

 The Gripen Demonstrator aircraft is more powerful compared to earlier versions of Gripen, but it is just as easily flown. The Gripen Demonstrator ...

livefistpoll.JPGA recent poll by the Indian defence blog Livefist tipped the Gripen as a good choice for the IAF with the largest number of people opting to keep as a principal MMRCA choice. Says Blogger and Defence Correspondent Shiv Aroor in his blog, "Interesting. Only 41 voters wanted the Gripen yanked, making it the most popular craft in the competition on the blog." 

To read more, go here:Livefist​

Earlier, Ajai Shukla writing in the Business Standard, had said "even without having flown the Gripen NG prototype, IAF pilots have been extremely impressed by the fighter’s capabilities. Besides superb avionics and superior flight performance, they say the Gripen NG can land on an 800-metre stretch of highway; and then refuel, rearm and take-off within 10 minutes. This allows each Gripen NG to fly far more sorties per day than any other aircraft today. The IAF pilots who have visited the Gripen simulators in Sweden have also been impressed by its electronic warfare capabilities and by the training facilities on offer."​

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According to a story by Ravi Sharma, CorrespondentThe Hindu, the Gripen fleet left Bangalore on Monday for the Air Force Station (AFS) Jaisalmer:

Sweden’s Gripen, the last of the six fighter aircraft that are being evaluated by the Indian Air Force for the $12 billion medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) deal, left Bangalore on Monday morning for the Air Force Station (AFS) Jaisalmer.

Having gone through a week of performance trials — including a demonstration of air-to-air refuelling and flying manoeuvres — by the IAF’s specifically designated MMRCA team here, two Gripens will now complete the remaining part of their flight tests over Pokhran and Leh before heading for the AFS Jamnagar and then to an air base in Sweden.

While one of the Gripens will undertake hot weather trials in and around the AFS Jaisalmer and later take off to perform a dummy run and bomb drop at the Pokhran test range, the other fighter, as part of the cold weather trials, will land in Leh, switch off, refuel and then take off again.

The officials confided that four of the five aircraft in the MMRCA competition faced problems starting up in the rarefied atmosphere of Leh, and the IAF had to ask the manufacturers to undertake modifications in the aircraft’s fuel systems. The Gripen’s evaluation is part of the MMRCA flight trials, which started in August last, when the F/A-18 Hornets arrived here. These were followed by another American fighter, the F-16IN Super Viper. In September, ...
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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.


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