The Gripen philosophy laid out by Gideon Singer, Technical Director, Gripen Export, Saab Aeronautics, ahead of Saab's participation at the International Fighter Conference being held between November 6-8 in London draws attention to key facets of the development of the aircraft over the years.
‘Gripen: When Logic is a Part of the Equation’ lays out how Saab approaches the manufacture and upgrades of the Gripen with a logical and cost-effective ethos. Singer's presentation provides an overview to help the fighter community understand how the aircraft offers substantial benefits as it is designed from the start to accommodate long-term updates.
Singer points out that the Gripen approach of continuous development and customer shared costs takes away the huge disadvantage of the traditional approach of mid-life upgrades which are essentially "catch up" upgrades from the time of acquisition are result in a capability gap and high upgrade costs.
The overview draws attention to the study by IHS Jane which estimates the Flight Hour Cost of the Gripen at $4,700 per hour (2012 USD), with
its closest competitor being the Block 40/50 F-16s at an estimated $7,000 per
Also, a look at the comparison of Gripen’s Cost
(operational, maintenance, production and development) and Operational Effect
shows that for more than a decade now, the Cost has been declining even as the
Operational Effect has increased consistently.
The Saab approach stresses on cost being a part of the early design requirement on par in priority with
operational and technical design goals. Other reasons behind breaking the cost
trend include a modern diagnostics system which aims at substantially reducing
time, personnel and equipment needed for fault localization and ensures high
reliability, availability and maintainability.