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​Two Swedish Air Force JAS-39 Gripen-Ds arrived in Bangalore on Monday for the field evaluation trials (FET) under the Indian Medium Multirole Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) competition. The Gripens begin their trials at the Aircraft Systems & Testing Establishment (ASTE) in Bangalore this week. The Gripen-Ds are being flown by Saab test pilots and Swedish air force pilots.

The IAF test pilots have already undergone intensive training on the aircraft and the aircraft have already undergone the first stage of trials in Linkoping last November. The IAF evaluation has included flight performance, logistics capability, weapons systems, advanced sensors and weapons firing.

The participation of the Gripen Demo aircraft – on which the Gripen IN is based- in the FET is, however, not taking place just yet. The Demo is a development vehicle to which the IAF will have complete access. Gripen NG capabilities have been demonstrated during the evaluation trials in November 2009 when the Indian evaluation team was in Sweden.

“We plan to further engage the IAF on satisfying all its requirements and are looking forward to the remaining time of the trials,” says Eddy de la Motte, Director India, Gripen Marketing, Saab AB

The Gripen Demo, according to reports, is undergoing improvements as per the requirements of the Swedish Air Force.

India’s Business Standard on Monday quoted Gripen International’s Director India, Eddy de la Motte as saying that, “The Gripen NG prototype cannot come just yet to India as it is required in Sweden for testing and evaluation by ...


The Geo Political Scene

The end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union created a uni-polar world with the USA playing the role of the world’s policeman in the Yugoslav and Kosovo conflicts in the mid 1990’s. The situation changed with the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the USA and the commencement of the War on Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq. These wars, which have drained the US exchequer, and the economic crisis of September  2008 have greatly limited the ability of the USA to police the world. India now has the economic muscle to increase its military power and protect its vital interests especially those relating to energy security. The Indian Armed Forces now have to have the capability to operate well beyond national borders to protect sea lanes of communication from the Straits of Hormuz in Iran to the Malacca Straits in Malaysia. Protection of its island territories in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea also require attention. Continuing its long tradition of not getting involved in ‘power block ‘ politics India has to maintain its strategic independence .

What the IAF Needs

Having decided to induct the Sukhoi 30 in large numbers what the IAF needs is a state of the art multi role fighter in the 15-20 ton class. The debate over two engines vs one engine has never been satisfactorily resolved but what is certain is that the life cycle cost of ownership of a twin ...

fourteen.jpgA contender for the MMRCA deal, the Gripen’s multi-role fighter capability, operational dominance and its air-to-air superiority has been getting attention from the Indian media. Indian Aerospace and Defence review magazine Vayu’s Managing Editor Vikramjit S. Chopra was in Linkoping, Sweden during mid-January 2010 for a full briefing on the aircraft and its development program.

During the several briefings that Vikramjit Chopra attended, he says that the theme of independent choice was repeated, indeed emphasized during the visit. Chopra says that the Saab team was of the view that with the Industrial Cooperation programme, Gripen’s programme for the IAF, Indian defence and industrial establishments will make India completely independent of the need to purchase combat aircraft from other countries and in fact become an exporter of aircraft, like Sweden.

 “There will be smooth transition into operational services with the IAF. If selected, initial deliveries will be time phased in accordance with operational requirements, i.e. deliveries from 2013. The Gripen is a perfect match with the Su-30MKI and a true force multiplier using Tactical Data Link”, Eddy de la Motte, Director India, Gripen International, told the visiting journalist.

Jonas Harma, Deputy Director, has said that “Saab is willing and able to provide ToT that exceeds the requirements of the Indian Government. The level of ToT will enable India to manage all aspects of the life cycle including design. We are giving access to all levels of technology and Saab is willing to enter a joint venture with Indian aerospace industry ...

akesvensson_saab1-300x199.jpgSaab is gradually moving away from its reliance on the Swedish market and expanding its international business. Saab is increasingly active in areas such as UAVs, where it is developing sense-and-avoid technology, and underwater maritime systems, in which the European Defence Agency (EDA) has expressed an interest.

Saab President and CEO  Ake Svennson discussing about Saab and its future plans for the global market in an interview published​pointed out thatSaab has gradually increased its international export business, with around 5 percent annual growth every year for the last 10 years. Currently, about two-thirds of its business is made up of exports, and the rest in Sweden.

On the question whether Saab will be knocked out of the fighter market if it doesn’t win contracts for its Gripen from Brazil and India,he said the Swedish Air Force and government made it very clear last year that they see the Gripen as a core component of the long-term future of the Swedish defense forces.

SeaGripen_032_landb copy.jpgA story filed in theStratpostby Saurabh Joshi reports that Gripen has made presentations of its Sea Gripen fighter aircraft to the Indian Navy last week. India and Brazil have both shown interest in a naval variant of the Gripen.

Earlier reports said Saab AB had received a Request For Information (RFI) from the Indian Navy for the supply of carrier-borne fighter aircraft. The company, which received the RFI earlier this month, is pitching a naval variant of its Gripen NG fighter, called the Sea Gripen. India’s RfI was released to bidders over recent weeks and seeks detailed information on a common aircraft design for conventional aircraft carrier operations and short take-off but arrested recovery (STOBAR) operations, says Jane’s

According to Stratpost, Tony Ogilvy, Vice President, International Marketing for Gripen informed StratPost that his company had made presentations to the navy last week and said the response was ‘very good’.

Ogilvy said the ‘inherent design characteristics’ of the Gripen aircraft make it ‘very similar to a deck based aircraft’.

He said that in the two-hour presentation, which took place last Friday, Sea Gripen’s salt water protection characteristics and maritime operational engine and its ability to operate off both CATOBAR and STOBAR carriers were some of the features highlighted.

According to Ogilvy, the Sea Gripen is being especially pitched to nations which are looking for compact carriers and are not necessarily interested in global force projection capabilities. The aircraft is said to have a very small footprint and is very ...

​The first pair of the Gripen JAS 39 C, 3910 and 3110 for delivery to SAAF arrived by sea at the Table Harbour on February 10. According to a story on the the unofficial SAAF, the first two Gripen C single-seat fighters destined for the SAAF were towed to AFB Ysterplaat.

The first Gripen C was initially due for delivery in late October/early November last year, but was delayed by South Africa so that the two aircraft could be shipped together.

Gripen India had earlier reported that  the SAAF has received nine Gripen D dual seater aircraft and the SAAF is preparing for the imminent arrival of the first single-seat Gripen C. The SAAF has 26 Gripens on order, comprising 17 single-seaters and nine two-seaters. The first Gripen D was accepted by the SAAF in April 2008, with deliveries continuing at regular intervals until the final Gripen C is delivered in 2012.

Says the SAAF forum, once serviceable, the two aircraft will be flown to the SAAF’s Test Flight Development Centre (TFDC) in the Southern Cape. They will remain there for approximately two weeks before flying to AFB Makhado near the town of Louis Trichardt, were they will join 2 Squadron.

It was announced in November 1998 that as part of the new defence equipment package, the SAAF would acquire the Saab-BAE Systems supplied Gripen new generation fighter aircraft, customised to meet specific South African requirements, to fulfil the role of an Advanced Light Fighter Aircraft.The original order ...

​Saab has selected the Infrared Search and Track (IRST) system SKYWARD-G to equip Saab’s Gripen Next Generation (NG) fighter, according to an announcement bySELEX Galileo​.

IRST provides similar functionality to a radar without giving out electromagnetic radiation and can therefore provide full operational search and track functionality with a stealth capability. IRST can operate in highly cluttered environments to track single and multiple targets, and can also operate in slaved acquisition mode.

SKYWARD-G is a product of SELEX Galileo’s extensive experience in the field of infrared search and track airborne and naval systems and is the latest addition to the Company’s proven record in delivering innovative technology to customers. The selection of the SKYWARD-G system follows the agreement signed in March 2009 between Saab and SELEX Galileo for the development of the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar Raven ES-05 for the Gripen Next Generation.

SELEX Galileo is a key provider of leading edge sensors for the most advanced fighters. 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.

img_72461-300x212.jpgThailand’s first single-seater Gripen has completed its maiden flight in Linköping.

In September, Thailand’s twin-seat Gripen completed its maiden flight and on 6th February it was time for the first single-seater to take to the skies.

In 2008, Thailand ordered a complete aircraft and command and control system from FMV, the Swedish Defence Material Administration, with Saab consequently receiving an order from FMV worth SEK 2 billion. The order includes six Gripen aircraft with associated equipment and service, one Saab 340 aircraft equipped with Erieye radar, a Saab 340 for transport and training plus an integrated command and control system with data links.

“Thailand is an extremely important customer for us, and is a region that we have a lot of faith in. It therefore feels satisfying to be able to prove that we stick to our promises. Three out of the six Thai Gripen aircraft are now flying and we have reached all of the milestones in the contract so far,” says Lennart Sindahl, Head of the Aeronautics Business Area.

football2010fifaworldcupsouthafrica1.jpgThe inaugural game of the 2010 Soccer World Cup kicks off in South Africa in about four months time and the South African Air Force is confident it, and the Gripen, is ready.

The SAAF is required to protect and safeguard the airspace around the 2010 Soccer World Cup venues. Under Operation Kgwele, the SANDF’s World Cup support plan, the SAAF will have an array of aircraft on duty for the event, including the missile and cannon armed Saab Gripen fighters, cannon-fitted BAE Systems Hawk Mk120 advanced trainers and gun-toting Denel CSH2A Rooivalk attack helicopters, supported by the Pilatus MkII Astra trainer and Denel M1 Oryx as well as Agusta A109M helicopters.

The SAAF contingent, numbering around 2500 personnel, consist of aircrew, technicians, mobile radar mission controllers and many others who will be deployed to support the aircraft and radars. With respect to the various Shield exercises, Gagniano says: “A number of lessons were learnt in the process, not the least of these being how the Gripen, with its sophisticated radar system, adds a new dimension to Air Force operational strategy.”
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