GE Aviation will deliver the first flight test F414-400 for a single-engine application for the Gripen E to Saab later this year, reports Aviation Week.
GE vice president and general manager of its Aviation’s military systems, Jean Lydon-Rodgers confirmed the delivery schedule last week, adding that the production of the F414-400 engine will begin in 2017.
We will have 90 engines on order by the end of this summer for Gripen fighters for Sweden and Brazil,” he says. “And we expect that to increase as the Swedish order grows.”
The F414 fighter engine offers 35 percent more thrust and significant improvements in aircraft performance, survivability and payload as compared to its predecessor F404. The engine not only gives Gripen supercruise but also plays an important role in reducing the fighter’s life cycle cost.
The engine boasts of features like Full Authority Digital Electronic Control (FADEC) that improve its operational characteristics. The F414 fan also provides 16 percent more airflow than the F404 fan with improved bird strike and foreign object damage resistance features.
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"Before Brazil, Gripen was an aircraft looking for a market. Now it is a market looking for Gripen. And we can see that in many ways — it has really changed with Brazil. It is more global. It has changed the way we communicate," says Ulf Nilsson, head of Saab aeronautics, at a recent Press Tour.
According to a Defense News report, the FX2 programme reached a new level after Saab’s announcement of jointly producing most of Gripen NG parts in Brazil with the Brazilian manufacturer Embraer under a technology transfer agreement.
Mr. Nilsson mentions that Saab’s order backlog is at an all-time high. Starting this year, Saab will also offer the MS20 upgrade to Gripen C/D operators, which includes capabilities like MBDA Meteor air-to-air missile.
"The addition of Meteor air-to-air capability makes Gripen the most formidable counter-air platform in service," says Jerker Ahlqvist, Saab Gripen's vice president for business area aeronautics. The missile will become operational with Swedish Air Force Gripens in 2016.
Last month, Saab came up with MK4, a technologically advanced version of the renowned PS-05/A radar which gives Gripen C/D an improved performance and operating range.
Saab is also developing the naval version of Gripen NG: Sea Gripen.
"Sea Gripen is part of the technology transfer agreement with Brazil," Nilsson said, and a study will be done. "We're in early discussions for Sea Gripen, but we'll have to see where it goes. It will probably be about 2025 before the Brazilians decide what to ...
This year, Czech Republic celebrated 10 years of its Gripen programme. The country will operate Gripen fighters for another 12 years as per a deal extension signed last year and recently, they scheduled to upgrade and enhance their fleet as well.
Till now, the Czech Gripen use Saab’s MS19 Block 3 software standard. However, by 2017 or 2018, the Gripen fighters will be upgraded to the MS20 configuration, reports Flightglobal.
MS 20 upgrade includes integration of 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.
“The need for the LDP is really strong, and right now there is a negotiation,” 211 Sqn pilot Capt Jiri Cermak said at Saab’s Linköping production facility in Sweden last month. The payload will assist pilots with the visual identification of aircraft at night, he adds.
According to the report, the Swedish Air Force will have its Gripen C/D fleet enhanced with the MS 20 block upgrade later this year. New air to air capability and air to ground capabilities like precision guided bombs against small targets will be introduced as well.
Read the full report here.
In May this year, a fly past of 10 Czech, Hungarian and Swedish Gripen over the Czech Air Force’s 21st Tactical Air Base at Čáslav marked the celebration of 10 years of the fighter in service in the Czech Republic, reports Afbcaslav.cz.
Amongst those present at the ceremony were Czech Defence Minister Martin Stropnický, Air Force Commander Brigadier General Libor Štefánik and representatives from the air forces of Sweden, Hungary and Croatia.
The Czech Defence Minister, in his speech, said that Gripen is a reliable aircraft and the Czech Air Force pilots are very satisfied with it, adding that they have logged in 20,000 flight hours during the last 10 years. The Minister also announced that NATO has requested for the deployment of the Czech Gripen in Iceland this summer.
General Libor Štefánik, who also addressed the audience, thanked all the people associated with the program, especially the Swedish team for their training of specialists and support during the last ten years.
"The introduction of Gripen has significantly changed our approach to the tasks of the Air Force. Gripen is not a just modern aircraft with different combat capabilities, but an important impetus for new missions and a huge motivation for all who are involved in the project," said General Štefánik.
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When it comes to fighter development, at Saab we have our own philosophy. Using technology and a different way of thinking, we have redefined what a fighter aircraft can be.
We call it Gripen. Speed, strength and intelligence are its key components.
In this way, it is perfectly balanced.
Threat scenarios are changing everyday, giving ample reason for the operational requirements to change as well. Users no longer want a specific aircraft for each operational role. They look for a system that can undertake all roles.
Gripen is the first of the new generation, multi-role fighter aircraft to enter operational service. Gripen can perform an extensive range of air-to-air, air-to-surface and reconnaissance missions employing the latest weapons.
Here are some of the important things you ought to know about the most capable cost-effective, new generation, true multi-role fighter available today.
Gripen is fully interoperable with NATO standard systems and facilities including:
• Weapon pylon systems
• Ground support equipment
• A range of NATO weapons
• NATO-compatible identification and communication systems
Gripen also includes:
• Worldwide environmental clearance
• On-Board Oxygen Generation System (OBOGS)
• English-language displays and documentation
• Colour displays
• Integrated Instrument Landing System (ILS)
• Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system
• Night Vision Goggle (NVG) compatibility
• Fully integrated Electronic Warfare (EW) system
• 8,000 flight hours Service Life / 30 Years
• Fully integrated functions for:
– FLIR pods
– Twin store carrier
– Optional Air-to-Air refuelling probe installation
Gripen has available:
• Helmet Mounted Display (HMD)
• Reconnaissance pods
• Laser Designator Pod (LDP)
• Jammer pod
• Link 16
The two-seater incorporates the following major modifications to the basic single-seat structure:
• A 0.65 m extension of the fuselage to accommodate the rear cockpit.
• The gun and its installation ...
Training of the test pilot students of today is as complex as it gets. The warfare scenarios are advanced and hence the ability to face them requires hands on training on an aircraft that is equally advanced, integrated with latest technology and gives an unsurpassed performance experience.
During the last sixteen years, Gripen has proved to be a reliable training platform for more than 100 Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS) Instructor Pilots and test pilot students from around the world. The inclusion of Gripen in their training programme allows the Pilot School to teach systems integration more effectively and on the newest platforms.
Saab provides ETPS with Gripen aircraft, supervisory pilots, logistics, ground support and facilities along with additional Saab SK 60 aircraft which act as radar targets during live training. Flight operations are undertaken from Saab’s facility in Linköping using two to three Gripen fighters. All instructors have to go through a 9 G-test to qualify for Gripen.
The first contract between ETPS and Saab was signed in 1999, followed by many training campaigns. In 2006, Saab signed a new agreement with ETPS which involved an increased number of students, increased number of flights per student, the training of a third ETPS Instructor Pilot (IP) and the inclusion of Flight Test Engineer students within a refined syllabus.
In 2011, Saab and ETPS agreed on a five-week training campaign to be conducted each year. Last year, ETPS and Saab signed a new, multi-year framework agreement for the provision and use ...
"We are looking forward to welcoming Brazilian engineers to Sweden," says Lennart Sindahl, Deputy CEO, Saab at the recently held LAAD 2015.
The Brazil Gripen deal includes extensive industrial cooperation, particularly when it comes to technology transfer, and autumn 2015 marks the beginning of this cooperation when approximately 350 Brazilians will be coming to Saab’s facility in Linköping, Sweden for an on-the-job training.
The training includes practical experience in Gripen development, training and production, and will continue for a number of years, after which the Brazilian experts will return to their homeland gradually. During this phase, Saab employees will accompany them to build up operations in Brazil.
Throwing some light on the technology transfer commitment, Göran Almquist, deputy programme manager for Gripen in Brazil says that it includes development, production and maintenance.
“The main aim is to train up Brazil’s own industry so that it will eventually be able to maintain its own fleet of Gripen aircraft and also develop its own future technology,” Almquist says.
Saab continues to work on improvements and upgradation of Gripen C/D. Last month, Ulf Nilsson, the new head of Saab’s aeronautics division, stressed that Gripen C will play an important role for years to come. Among the many upgrade options for Gripen C/D, the latest is MK4, a technologically advanced version of the renowned PS-05/A radar.
MK4 gives Gripen C/D an improved performance and operating range. The upgraded radar comes with a new hardware configuration and a complete new radar back-end, giving significantly improved radar performance and operational range, enhancing the Gripen Weapon System capabilities and offering full AMRAAM and Meteor integration. The MK4 also equips Gripen C/D to successfully counter the challenging and advanced threats in the coming years.
“The Mk4 is a world-class multifunction radar, with excellent ECCM performance, growth capability and with very low life cycle cost,” says Lars Tossman, Head of Airborne Surveillance Systems at Saab business area Electronic Defence Systems.
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Image Courtesy: Søren Augustesen, Saab
"Saab will continue to work on improvements and upgradation of Gripen C, even after the launch of Gripen E," says Ulf Nilsson, the new head of the company's aeronautics division.
According to a report in Svd.se, while the first Gripen E is still in the development phase at the Saab plant at Linköping, the Swedish Defence and Security Company continues to develop systems for Gripen C, providing upgrade options to existing operators to enhance the fighter’s capabilities.
“The development (of Gripen E) is proceeding according to plan. We are flying at full speed right now and are testing the radar system and the new avionics. Everything indicates that we can handle the deliveries on time,” says Ulf Nilsson.
Development of the C/D platform will continue along side that of the Gripen E. In practice, one can say that there will be two Gripen models. Although they have much in common, yet they are two different planes, the report adds.
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