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The Smart Fighter

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syner1.jpgLt. Col. Peter Nilsson, Former Lt. Col. and Commander of the Swedish Gripen Operational Test and Evaluation Unit, Swedish Air Force

Normally two-seater fighter aircraft are designed as operational conversion trainers with the instructor pilot at the back and the student in the front. This is not the case with the Gripen IN. The Gripen IN two-seater is much more. It is a true Force Multiplier, increasing fighting capabilities. The two-seater is identical with the single seater in terms of avionics, sensors and payloads, so what you can do in a single seater you can do in a twin seater.

However, as to whom will sit in the back seat is up to the operator. Different customers

consider a wide spectrum of specialists in the back seat. Saab is building the back seat cockpit with a flexible approach. Some Air Forces will put a Mission Commander in the back seat to lead the strike package. Others will put an Electronic Warfare or Reconnaissance specialist in the back seat. Having a Mission Commander in the back seat commanding the fighting element is a very interesting concept. By adding the Gripen’s Network capabilities, we suddenly have the possibilities to share sensors within the fighting element.

Perhaps the most futuristic concept with the two-seater Gripen IN is the possibility for it to lead UCAVs (Unmanned Combat Airborne Vehicles). Saab AB will launch the NEURON at the beginning of this decade together with partners and one can be certain that during the MMRCA operational service, there will be ...

book1.jpgLarge, sophisticated and complex industrial  development projects always require that a number of technological problems be solved along the way. All advanced production is therefore surrounded by a “cloud of new technology”, so called technological spillovers, that are available to other firms in proportion to their ability to capture and commercialise them. Military aircraft development projects belong to the most advanced of these.

In a recent study, Gunnar Eliasson concludes that the development investment of the Saab Gripen has been returned to Sweden in the form of additional social value creation, or economic growth at least 2.6 times over. This is in creation of new industrial knowledge during a military project that has made additional civilian production possible, which would not have come about in the absence of the military project.

In his new book Advanced Public Procurement as Industrial Policy – The Aircraft Industry as a Technical University, Professor Gunnar Eliasson illustrates through case studies how this has been possible and how the new technologies created during the course of development of the Saab Gripen system, have been diffused through the Swedish economy and formed the technological base for new civilian production programmes.

book21.jpgGunnar Eliasson emphasises two particular circumstances for this positive outcome for the Swedish economy. First, he emphasises the role of a competent customer, in this case the Swedish military procurement agency the FMV for maximum civilian spillovers for each krona invested development. Second, he carefully elaborates the important role of local entrepreneurial or commercialising competences ...

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By Prof. Prodyut Das

The United States, Russia, Britain, Germany, Japan and France have a legacy of defence engineering experience that has transcended engineering to become part of their cultural heritage. To model our own aerospace industry on the imperious traditions of these countries is unnecessary, but the absence of such traditions must not become an excuse for failure. Fortunately knowledge has a sedimentary nature. What is the latest, best and top-secret today loses importance and then relevance and finally utility with the passage of time. Sometimes, hard acquired knowledge is found to be useless, sometimes it is irrelevant. There is also the matter of diminishing returns. There is thus no need (nor indeed the possibility) to emulate the heritage of others as a precondition to having our own healthy aerospace industry.

India must look at those countries which have less imperious a heritage in this context. Such search reveals that hoary and immense traditions are not a necessary precondition. It reassures one that what is important is not the latest and most expensive technology but fair common sense, honesty of purpose and accountability which yields world class results achieved by ordinarily competent personnel within a short time. Essential too is enthusiasm and zeal for the project on hand. Granting these few conditions, quite astonishing results can be achieved with limited resources: there is actually no magic though the results may seem magical. China, Sweden, Brazil and even Taiwan and Korea have demonstrated as to what can be achieved.We ...

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India Today front page - Gripen.jpg

An enterprising supplement on the Gripen proposition for India hit the stands recently with a 32 page coverage of various facets of the Gripen Program and the future of fighter aircrafts. The supplement was carried along with India’s leading daily, India Today. ​

By ​gripenng1.jpgLt Col Magnus Olsson,

Swedish Air Force

The Next-Generation Gripen, or Gripen NG, is the successor to today’s proven Gripen C/D, an aircraft that is both evolutionary and revolutionary. Evolutionary because the NG is based on today’s in-service Gripen, the multi-role fighter ordered by five air forces worldwide. With over 130,000 flight hours behind it, Gripen has an indisputable track record for low operational costs and total life cycle costs that feeds directly into Gripen NG.

At the same time, Gripen NG is a revolution because it combines advanced technology and operational effectiveness in an affordable package that no other fighter aircraft can hope to match.

The Gripen NG 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 fueland weapons to be carried. A unique avionics architecture makes weapons and systems integration even easier and quicker. The NG 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 NG such a formidable future fighter are its all-new Selex-Galileo ES-05 Raven AESA (active electronically scanned antenna) radar, developed in cooperation with Saab Microwave. The aircraft is equipped with a Saab Avitronics electronic warfare system that gives the NG a unique active ...

group_thai_swe_454x2531.jpgThe first three Gripen aircraft made for RTAF will arrive in Thailand in January 2011 and the remaining three RTAF Gripen are due in March 2011. The six Gripen at Wing 7 are expected to be fully operational around September 2011.

Gripen will be the newest and most modern fighter aircraft in Asia when RTAF bring them into service as the first country on the continent, says a Saab release.

Technicians and aviation mechanics responsible for maintenance and support of the aircraft, have traveled to the Armed Force Technical School (Air Force) in Halmstad. Later this group will continue their training operational duties at Wing 7 in Såtenäs and Wing 17 in Ronneby. Såtenäs is also the Gripen Training Center for Swedish Air Force pilots, as well as for foreign Gripen pilots. Training of pilots, technicians and ground support staff is a vital part of RTAF’s preparations for Gripen and much of this education is taking place in Sweden.

RTAF selected 10 pilots for Gripen training in Sweden. The first group of four pilots – Wng Cdr. Jakkrit Thamvichai squadron leader, Wng Cdr. Charoen Watanasrimongkol, Wng Cdr. Nattawut Duang Sungngoen and Wng Cdr. Puttapong Polchiwin – train in Sweden from March 2010 to December 2010, following a curriculum for instructor pilots, while the second group, six pilots, follow soon for approximately 5 months training.

The latter six will receive further training in Thailand after all ten pilots return home in January 2011 together with the three first Gripen ...

decoy1.jpgSaab is continuing along the road to fully defining — and will soon make an important supplier decision on — its next-generation (NG) fighter’s self-protection suite, reports Aviation Week​.

The Gripen NG will have a fiber-optic towed decoy as a baseline subsystem to help defeat radar-guided missile threats. A towed decoy is only an option on the current model, but the supplier choice is pending for the subsystem on the NG, says Eddy de la Motte, a Gripen’s Campaign Director for India.

Meanwhile, Saab is currently trying out different cockpit concepts for what the avionics setup should look like. That process also is expected to wrap up soon. Having completed two trial periods with the Gripen NG demonstrator, the aircraft will now go into a layup period to be modified into an avionics testbed. The aircraft is expected to return to flight next year, de la Motte says. The demonstrator so far has logged 175 flight hours.

072110_defense_saab_gripen_3151.jpgWhether it is a show fest at the FIFA World Cup or taking off on roads, the Gripen’s prowess has been on display on global stages in the recent past, from the ferry flight to India for the successful Field Evaluation Trials in high altitude to the South African Air Force jets buzzing the stadium at the FIFA world cup. At Farnborough, the Gripen NG was the talk of town with high level Indian and Brazilian delegations checking it out.

According to a despatch “Pitching the Gripen with Football and Tailhooks” from Farnborough inDefense News​, Company officials hope their jet wins orders in Brazil and India on technical grounds – Gripen’s highly integrated sensors and low operating cost – but they’re leaving few potential selling points unmade.

Says the report, both Brazil and India operate aircraft carriers, and so Saab has looked into making a naval variant of the Gripen NG, the next-generation jet now under development, company officials said. They said an internal look at the concept concluded that it wouldn’t take much to turn the jet into a carrier-ready aircraft, thanks to a sturdy airframe that is built to land on roads, not just runways.

“We are the road-landing experts of the world,” said Eddy de la Motte, who is running Gripen’s marketing campaign in India. Nordic concepts of operations call for the possibility of refueling aircraft on roads in remote parts of the country.

The Gripen C/D needs just 900 meters of 9-meter-wide asphalt ...


In the photograph taken at the Farnborough Air Show 2010 alongside the Gripen NG are Gripen India Campaign Director, Eddy de la Motte (2nd from left), Commander of Swedish Air Force Gen Anders Silwer (3rd from left), Indian Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju (4th from left), Brazilian Air Force Commander Juniti Saito (5th from left), Secretary Defence Production R K Singh (6th from left) and Air Marshal Sumit Mukerji, AOC-in-C, Southern Air Command, Indian Air Force (7th from left).

missile_a-darter1.jpgSaab has successfully carried out an important stage in the A-Darter missile programme with the first test firing verifying the integration between the missile and the Gripen aircraft.

The tests were held at the SAAF (South African Air Force) test area at Overberg, in South Africa. Gripen was chosen as the platform for these integration tests and has completed them with outstanding results, says a Saab release.

“The test firing is an important milestone in the Gripen program. The A-Darter missile is a collaboration and development project within the missile area between local industry, Denel Dynamics, South Africa, and Brazil, where Saab has a leading role for the integration of complex future missile systems. Denel Dynamics is the OEM of the A-Darter missile and have contributed significantly to the integration effort”, says Ulf Nilsson responsible for the Gripen program within Aeronautics at Saab.

The A-Darter is a fifth-generation short-range air-to-air missile to be used during aerial combat with the new generation of fighter aircraft. In South Africa it will be operational on Gripen and in Brazil it is the weapon of choice for the future fighters of the F-X2 programme.

“The A-Darter and the Gripen aircraft have worked beyond our expectations and we are extremely pleased with the test firing results”, says Magnus Reineholm Project Manager for the integration of A-Darter at Saab.

Beside the A-Darter programme Saab is also taking part in the Meteor missile programme, which also is an international cooperation between leading aerospace companies in Europe. ...

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