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ESTL on Gripen - Liander_940_528.jpg
Thanks to the fast paced development in the field of defense technology, missiles are becoming increasingly smart. Today’s air forces therefore need a solution that equips them with the capability to counter the latest in missile technology.

Enhanced Survivability Technology (ESTL), whose maiden flight on Gripen was carried out in June this year, offers effective missile approach warning to counter RF and IR threats of the future.

ESTL provides covert sustainable pre-emptive dispensing, missile warning, forward firing of flares and cocktail dispensing. All these capabilities have been incorporated into the form-factor of a missile utilizing the well established AIM-9 Sidewinder and AIM-120 AMRAAM interfaces and characteristics for lean aircraft integration.

ESTL which can handle up to eight threats at a time, brings together several components from Saab's countermeasures portfolio, including BOL and BOP dispensers, integrated defensive aids system (IDAS) system as well as the defensive aids control unit.

“ESTL offers enhanced survivability in combat and conflict situations. Traditional Countermeasures may encounter difficulties with the latest generation of AAMs and SAMs, but the ESTL concept includes a module of forward firing flares. This, together with the missile approach warning sensors and an optional chaff capability, makes ESTL a powerful shield against the latest missile developments,” says Carl-Johan Bergholm, Head of Business Unit Electronic Warfare Systems at Saab. 

Read more about ESTL here

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Gallium Nitride (GaN), probably the most important semiconductor material since silicon, will be used by Saab on the Gripen E aircraft, reports Defense News.

Gallium Nitride has long been seen as a powerful alternative to gallium arsenide which is currently popular for making modules for AESA radars.

The cost of Gallium Nitride has been a deterrent in its use in ground radars. However, with the demonstration of successful prototyping of Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) and Gallium Nitride (GaN) technologies by US firms like Raytheon, things are changing.

“The substance will be used in jammers and passive warning systems, boosting efficiency by 25 percent,” said Ulf Nilsson, the head of the Gripen program.

In addition to enabling future 360 sensor coverage, GaN technologies will also increase the defended area and decrease the time to detect, discriminate and engage threats.

According to Lennart Sindahl, Saab’s deputy CEO, Saab is now ahead of the curve on GaN.

“Our worst competitor said ‘you are now six years ahead of us,’” Sindahl said.

Read the full story: Gallium Nitride Gets Fighter Debut With Saab​

Swedish Air Force Gripen presented a terrific show for the visitors at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) 2014, held at RAF Fairford last month.

RIAT is acknowledged as the world's largest military airshow. This year, 240 aircraft from 31 air arms representing 25 countries participated in the event.

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A few days ahead of the Farnborough International Airshow 2014, Head of the Hungarian Air Force, Brigadier General Albert Sáfár announced that Hungary is looking to acquire air-to-ground weapons for Gripen, according to a news report in IHS Jane’s

Hungarian Air Force intends to beef up its equipment portfolio in order to fulfill its commitment to support the Visegrad Four (V4) European Union battlegroup, the report says. 

Sáfár said that as a part of the EU plan, Hungary is expected to provide the 3,000 strong battlegroup with its air-to-ground close air support capability. To meet the targets of the plan, the Hungarian Air Force would be required to invest in capabilities like laser and GPS guided bombs, training weapons, night vision goggles, and ROVER terminals for forward air controllers to download video imagery from the Hungarian Gripen's existing Rafael Litening advanced targeting pods.

Read the full story: Hungary seeks air-to-ground weapons for Gripen

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Gripen E’s development is in full swing and Saab is showcasing the fighter aircraft at various events across the globe. The interest in Gripen has been unprecedented. However, this has not slackened Saab’s efforts for the continued upgradation process of Gripen C/D, reports Flightglobal.

Saab maintains that any customer that buys Gripen today will be able to upgrade and enhance their aircraft when needed. Gripen aircraft has been developed on the principle of ‘Designed to be Upgraded’. Also, instead of building an aircraft and then conducting a major and very costly mid-life upgrade, Saab makes smaller critical improvements every two to three years. 

With Gripen, one can adapt and shift focus when desired, Saab says. The upgrades, called as Materiel System or MS, can be adapted to emerging requirements. The Swedish defense and security company has completed "edition 20" of its updates for the C/D models, which will become operational in 2015. 

MS 20 block upgrade includes improved radar modes; a digital close air support capability; increased Link 16 connectivity; civil navigation enhancements; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) protection for the pilot, night-capable operations using the SPK 39 Modular Reconnaissance Pod II; and a ground collision avoidance system (GCAS).

At the recently held Farnborough International air show 2014, Lennart Sindahl, head of aeronautics, Saab said, “This is an aircraft that will fly until 2030 at least. The Gripen C/D is not something of the past, it is something of the future and we foresee more customers coming ...

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The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has dispatched six of its twelve Gripen fighter aircraft to Pitch Black 2014 in Australia, beginning 1 August and ending 22 August, held in a vast area in Northern Australia with Royal Australia Air Force (RAAF) Base Tindal as the main base together with RAAF Base Darwin. 

All six RTAF Gripen left their base Wing 7 at Surat Thani on July 29 with scheduled stops in Singapore and Bali before their arrival at RAAF Base Darwin on July 30. 

Seven countries are taking part in the exercise; the host RAAF, Royal New Zealand Air Force, the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), the United States Air Force(USAF), RTAF, United Arab Emirates Air Force and the French Armed Forces in New Caledonia.

Over 110 aircraft are participating in the exercise. The RTAF Gripen are joined by F-18 A Hornet and F-18 F Super Hornet from RAAF, F/A 16 from USAF, F-16 Falcon and F-15 SG Eagle from RSAF and Mirage 2000-9 from the United Arab Emirates Air Force. 

Besides fighter aircraft, several support aircraft like the KC-135 Stratotanker and KC-30 Multirole Tanker also play important roles at Pitch Black. 

During the exercise, participants will conduct Offensive Counter Air and Defensive Counter Air missions, launched from RAAF Bases Darwin and Tindal. Exercise participants will utilise the Delamere Range Facility and Bradshaw Field Training Area.

Mission scenarios will progressively become larger and more complicated through the course of the Exercise, requiring mission commanders to factor in a variety of air combat roles.

You can read more about the exercise at its official website here​.

Image ...

Sometimes we all take the simple things in life, like our Monday morning routine, for granted. But when you think of it, a boring Monday morning could mean everything is as it should be. Normal. Safe.

In today’s complex and turbulent world, Saab is constantly working to anticipate and respond, to keep you and your society safe. All week long. Our way of thinking protects your way of life.

Actor in this movie is Jakob, a Gripen pilot at Saab. In his world, a boring Monday morning means that the world is doing all right, it’s safe. He makes it his job to keep these mornings rituals the way they are, and he just so happens do it at 1000 miles per hour.​​

Pilot2.jpgPilots have their own set of jargons and expressions. Here are some of the common terms used by top guns.

Hands On Throttle And Stick

Modern fighters have every imaginable control function mounted on either the stick (right hand) or the throttle quadrant (left hand), so that the pilot need not fumble around in the cockpit.

Head-Up Display

A transparent screen mounted on the dashboard on which pertinent data from flight instruments and weapons systems are projected. The HUD eliminates the need to look down into the cockpit to read instruments.

Identification Friend or Foe

An electronic means of identifying aircraft, part of the military's transponder system that tells other jets and ground crews if a dude is a good guy or a bad guy.

Read the full story to learn more about the lingo: Pilot Language​

Gripen pilot3.jpgIt's not just that today's fighter pilots are more skilled and can do more tasks, it takes more knowledge, says Carl-Fredrik Edström, division manager at the 212th fighter division at F 21, in a Forsvarsmakten​ report. 

In the 1990s, it was completely different times. While one pilot was a fighter pilot, another was attack or reconnaissance pilot. Today it is more complex. A Gripen pilot must be capable of undertaking all the roles - fighter, attack and reconnaissance - both in a national and in an international context.

Today's advanced and efficient Gripen system requires a pilot to have a wider range of skills and be well prepared for the tasks to be performed. For example, to manage all systems and sensors, pilots must have a wider range of skills in all roles, explains Edström.

Edström who has flown Viggen in the 90s, says that the way pilots fly a fighter aircraft now is different from before. “In the 90s, I used to sit in the plane and fly, getting information continuously during the mission. I can fly in the same fashion today, but then, I would not be extracting the maximum capability out of the Gripen system,” he says.

Today, a pilot sits with a thick block on his knees that is filled with information to carry out the mission. Even the smallest detail is co-ordinated. Today, the threat is higher and the excercises are more complex. The pilots also need to interact with air, naval and ground forces. ...

Gripen4.jpgGripen E represents that rarest of capability improvements, one that does not come with a correspondingly hefty price tag, says Angad Singh in an exclusive report on the fighter aircraft which featured as the cover story “The Gripen Forges Ahead In Super Mode“ for the May-June issue of Vayu magazine.​.

Gripen E development, right from the start has been focused on producing an aircraft that combines high performance and low cost. For example, GE F414 engine, with its high performance and reliability was the obvious choice for the new generation aircraft. Also, sensor development for Gripen E focuses on leveraging a mix of innovative solutions and proven technologies which eventually keep the cost down.

Gripen E would have sensors that are enhanced, not just in comparison to its earlier variants, but also to contemporary fighters worldwide. It would also feature GaN-based EW suite that provides tremendous situational awareness and BriteCloud which is an onboard active decoy from Selex.

All this, according to the report, results in an aircraft that looks much the same – and feels much the same – but brings a quantum leap in performance and combat ability to the type.

Saab has not only drawn on its experience from the Gripen A/B to C/D conversion programme, but also on industry best practices acquired from manufacturing work done for Airbus and Boeing commercial products.

More emphasis on pre-production design work has led to reduced parts count for the new airframe, and shorter component manufacturing times, making each aircraft less ...

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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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