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Category: GRIPEN NG

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Pilots and other personnel from the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) have participated in several operational exchange programmes so far to get an understanding of Gripen operations. For example, at a recent visit to Hungary, Major-Brigadier Jefson Borges learned about the latest Saab offerings for Gripen and interacted with Gripen operators as they shared their experiences of working in a combat environment from a tactical and logistical viewpoint.

Before that, Brazilian pilots attended the Lion Effort Exercise 2018 in October. Lion Effort was a great opportunity to see multiple Gripen operators train together, performing air-to-air and air-to-ground missions using BVR and Infrared missiles.

Currently, two FAB officials are travelling to Thailand for a three month training programme where they will understand in detail, the operational challenges, and get a brief on logistics, and support systems as well.

"The learning curve is very huge. In a short span of time, FAB has to be able to adapt to the new systems and use them for different mission scenarios," says Col. Aviador Ricardo Guerra Rezende, President of the Fox Group which is dedicated to the operational management of the Brazilian Gripen programme.

Read the full story here.

Image Source: FAB

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Last month, Saab successfully completed a test flight by a Gripen E aircraft with the Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) for the first time.  

The flight included two Meteor missiles and the Gripen E aircraft (designated 39-8) was operated from Saab’s airfield at Linköping, Sweden.

“The aircraft continues to perform as smoothly as we have seen throughout the whole flight test phase flying with external stores. I’m really looking forward to the upcoming steps in the flight test programme, taking us closer and closer to completing weapon integration. Meteor makes Gripen E extremely capable in the air dominance role”, says Robin Nordlander, Gripen experimental test pilot, Saab.

Read the full story here.

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Know your Gripen E fighter better with this infographic. 

For a larger layout, click here.​​

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When it comes to efficient development, Gripen E leads by examples. From model based development to segregated avionics, several prcendents have been set. And now, in an effort to make the Gripen E development even more fficient, Saab, the Swedish Armed Forces, and the Swedish Defence Material Administration (FMV) re now carrying out joint validation and verification of the combat aircraft system.

In the development of earlier versions of Gripen, validation and verification was generally carried out consecutively. To perform joint verification in which the three parties participate from the outset results in greater sophistication and efficiency in operations. The number of repeat tests is reduced and any measures that need to be implemented are recognised earlier.

- I am very happy over the enhanced co-operation between Saab, FMV and the Swedish Armed Forces. I believe this is the key to success and for delivery in time and in line with what is agreed with the customer. We will continue to develop and strengthen our co-operation for further efficiency in the programme, says Jonas Hjelm, head of Saab business area Aeronautics.

Sweden's most important industrial project?

"Joint testing affords us an opportunity to collaborate with industry at an even earlier stage of development. This reduces the risk of late and expensive reworking in the development programme. Moreover, this is perhaps Sweden's largest and most important industrial project, and it's at the cutting-edge of technology. And for this reason it is, of course, also very exciting ...

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The first Gripen E test aircraft, 39-8 jettisoned one external fuel drop tank and fired an IRIS-T air-to-air missile this month at Vidsel Test Range in the north of Sweden.

These tests are the latest steps in the Gripen E flight test programme preceded by the carriage trials in July and form part of the weapon integration work.

“As a pilot, flying with external stores such as drop tank and missiles is important to allow for evaluation of how the aircraft behaves with the stores attached. This test was also used to evaluate the effect of releasing and launching the stores on the aircraft. The highlight was of course to pull the trigger and watch the missile fire away. It also brings us closer to making the aircraft ready for its operational use”, says Marcus Wandt, Experimental Gripen Test Pilot at Saab.

Gripen E's first prototype flew its debut flight in June 2017. Since then, the Gripen programme is on track. In October 2017, Gripen E prototype went supersonic for the first time. The next two prototypes 39-9 and 39-10, have already left the production line at Linkoping, and are currently undergoing verification ahead of their first flights, which is scheduled for 2019.

Read the full story here.

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Saab's technology transfer programme is not special just for the Brazilian engineers, many Swedish engineers have also started feeling at home in Gavião Peixoto.

The way Sweden has been a different experience for the Brazilian engineers, in terms of weather and work culture, the Swedish professionals have had their enriching experiences as well. For example, Peter Kronkvit, a software architect at Saab, began to learn Portuguese before applying for the position in Brazil. He joined the GDDN team to help the new team understand the system and adapt the technologies. 

“I have been involved in Gripen much before the development of model E began. Our efforts are to implement the system information and data for professionals here in Brazil. In addition, we have developed the on-board computer system with the support and commitment of the AEL team. We are all very involved with this project and we know that we are dealing with very capable professionals, who do things very well and very quickly,” he says

The Brazilian Gripen programme began in 2013 when Brazil announced the selection of the Swedish fighter. The contract was signed in October 2014 and the technology transfer process began in 2015. The last Gripen fighter is scheduled to be delivered in 2024, and by then, more than 350 engineers and technicians from both countries would have experienced this exciting journey of learning and developing the smartest fighter in the world in a unique, collaborative manner. 

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Here is one more Gripen fun fact for you to chew on.​

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During a real life complex mission, every second counts. A pilot has to take split-second decisions on aircraft handling, approaching threats, deployment of his own counter-measures and a bunch of information coming in from sensors, radars and data feeds from other aircraft. The decisive difference is made by man-machine interface. A Gripen E  pilot is provided with suggestions ranging from weapon selection to aircraft handling while getting an optimized overview of the battle space along with tactical information presented in a user-friendly manner. The pilot will see only what he needs and nothing else.​

“A good human machine interface is hardly noticed by the user. The interaction between the pilot and the fighter comes naturally," says Karinna Wandt, Technical Manager for HMI at Saab.

“The Human Machine Interface has evolved over the years. Today, a two year old, without any training, can easily interact with a tablet. With technology, we have access to a large amount of data, both user and system generated. By using machine learning techniques, we can cluster and analyse this data and turn it into valuable information.”

According to Karinna, the major challenge is to identify the exact information the user needs from the system and vice versa. "I am sure there are many missions that can be handled by an aircraft without any assistance of a pilot. But we shouldn't underestimate the power of a human mind. A computer is fantastic to calculate and to react and handle large data. A human ...

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“If the Indian Government chooses Gripen, it will also choose Saab's partnering companies for industrial cooperation in the country,” says Swedish Air Force Chief Maj Gen Mats Eric Helgesson.

On being asked if the US made GE F414 afterburning turbofan engine may not come under the transfer of technology promise, Helgesson assures that it will. "Whatever is promised under the Gripen offer, will be delivered," he says.

The Indian Air Force had issued a Request For Information (RFI) in April this year for acquisition of 110 fighters, out of which 85% should be built under the Make in India programme. 

Saab believes that Gripen E will be the perfect fit for the Indian Air Force. The fighter has been designed to provide operational dominance and flexibility with superior mission survivability. It offers an enviable 10-minute operational turnaround time, and is compatible with the latest weapons, sensors and mission systems.

Sweden’s Gripen offer to India includes a true transfer of technology programme that will pave way to solid industrial cooperation between the two countries. Saab proposes to establish the world’s most modern fighter aircraft manufacturing capability in India.  

Read the full story here.

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