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"An air battle is all about getting inside your enemy's OODA (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) loop," says Stefan Engstrom, former Gripen Pilot and Director, Sales & Marketing, Gripen, Business Area Aeronautics.

During the Gripen seminar held on 14th Feb, 2019, New Delhi, India, Stefan explains how Gripen’s combat capability supports the OODA loop concept. The OODA loop is a cycle that was developed by military strategist and United States Air Force Colonel, John Boyd.

Observe

 “Gripen is packed with the latest technologies. With AESA radar, IRST and new EW sensors, a Gripen pilot will most likely be the first to detect an enemy. But you don’t work alone, you work together with other Gripens or other units. This allows you to form a network, leading to effective combat synergies. With all these systems together, you can see the unseen. After all, everything has a signature. Advanced sensors from air, ground, navy, and other systems can all be collaborated, making physical stealth irrelevant,” says Stefan.

Orient

Once the pilot has all the information, the next step is to be able to understand and use that information to win the battle. “All the accumulated information is of no use to me if I can't understand it. While operating a legacy aircraft, you will find that the information you have received, is all over the place. It's very difficult for the pilot to assimilate so much information in one single picture. But with Gripen’s smart HMI, ...


Gripen pilot Musa Mbhokota (a.k.a. Midnite), takes us through an extensive walk-through of Gripen E, explaining in detail its features, especially its weapon systems, at Aero India 2019.

Gripen E has a wide weapon carrying capacity- up to nine missiles and 16 bombs can be carried- making it a fighter that is always ready for operating in a network-centric scenario. Partly due to flexible avionics structure, a wide array of weapons- from guided glide bombs for precision engagement with low collateral damage, to long-range and agile air-to-air missiles and heavy anti-ship armaments- can be integrated to Gripen E. 

“What makes Gripen a really powerful fighter system is the Meteor. Meteor is one the best BVRAAMs (Beyond-Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile) available today. With Gripen, Sweden became the first country to integrate the Meteor missile and make it operational on a fighter plane. Meteor has been integrated to Gripen using two way data-link system, which enables you to monitor the mid-course status of missiles,” Musa says. 

Musa then elaborates on weapons like Rafael SPICE (Smart, Precise Impact, Cost-Effective) 250 which is a precision-guided stand-off glide munition, GBU 10 laser-guided bomb, and Tauras 350 long-range missiles.

"Taurus 350 does look like a very large weapon. But we can easily carry it on Gripen. It is an INS and GPs guided missile system. It is used for targets that are difficult to penetrate (dense air-defences on the ground) with small diameter ammunitions," he says.

Besides the weapon ...

The key to operational effect is to get fighters airborne when needed. That’s why Gripen is designed to make sure that availability is maximized at all times. For instance, Gripen can operate from a road strip of only 16 x 800 metres. In this film, you will get more information on what makes Gripen always combat ready.

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We oftentimes talk about the pace of technology that renders defence products less capable, if not obsolete, after every few years. But how does it actually work? Is there a fixed time after which upgrades become mandatory? How do research and development affect the potentiality of a system, especially a fighter system? 

During a Gripen seminar held on 14th Feb in New Delhi, India, Johan Segertoft, Project Manager, Gripen E Avionics, talks about the challenges that are faced by modern aircraft, and how Gripen’s avionics system is going to revolutionize the avionics industry.

Prof. Dr. Jan Bosch, a Dutch computer scientist and a professor of software engineering at the University of Groningen and at Chalmers University of Technology, had said that complexity of embedded systems grows approximately ten times every seven years. This means that complexity is growing at an exponential rate, and that is one of the major reasons why it takes a long time to develop modern aircrafts.

“It took us seven years to figure out how to develop a revolutionary avionics platform. We had to change software tool three times, because the tools we used became obsolete. So complexity puts an enormous pressure on engineers to learn and re-learn,” says Johan Segertoft.

And how does Saab tackle this problem? By building an avionics system that is less complicated and allows for easy modifications. Gripen avionics system separates 10% of core flight critical management codebase from 90% of tactical management code. This ...

Saab's Make in India proposal is a lot more than just transferring assembly lines to India. It is an offer to establish the world’s most modern fighter aircraft manufacturing capability in India.

A Gripen seminar held on 14th Feb, 2019 in New Delhi, India, included a detailed presentation by Mats Palmberg, Vice President, Industrial Partnerships, Saab, and head of Gripen India campaign, where he explains how Saab’s technology transfer offer looks at the big picture, the one in which India is self-sufficient in defence production.

“Our proposal keeps in mind that in future, India should not look abroad for technology. India also wants to be an exporter of defense systems. Our offer is intended to strengthen India’s position as a global leader in defence, without any strings attached. Together with our Indian and international partners, we will develop a complete ecosystem for production, maintenance and upgrade of Gripen in India,” Mats says. 

Gripen, with its flexible avionic architecture, offers an ease to integrate any weapon. "We have, in the past, integrated Israeli, U.S, Swedish, European, and South African weapons. We are prepared to do the same in India i.e. integrate Indian weapons,” he adds.

Saab is no stranger to transfer of technology. With its Brazilian Gripen programme, the Swedish defence & security company has already delivered on about 50% of the technology transfer projects. It is successfully collaborating with Brazilian companies like Embraer and Akaer to co-develop various Gripen E/F parts. The first Gripen ...

Flares may be released for defensive purposes, but one sure can’t deny how beautiful they look. Here is South African Air Forces' (SAAF) Gripen D releasing its flares across an illuminated night cityscape over a beach in Cape Town.

Hans Einerth, wing commander flying at Saab, demonstrates Gripen's STOL capabilities in a simulator environment at Aero India 2019.

Gripen is designed to take-off and land on regular roads (800 m long and 16 m wide). This allows for dispersed operations by the operating Air Force, resulting in better combat preparedness. 

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​The Airbase Blog takes a close look at how munitions are loaded on a Gripen fighter at MH 59, Szentgyörgyi Dezső Airbase, Kecskemét.

Right from day one, the Hungarian Gripen fighters had the capability to use NATO interoperable weapons including Laser Guided Bombs (LGBs) like GBU-12, and non-directional Mk 82 bombs.  

A lot of theoretical and practical training goes into how these bombs are supposed to be handled. First of all, based on the training needs of the pilot, it is decided which weapon will be integrated to Gripen. While moving a bomb, all the necessary documents are checked first. All important data is mentioned on a felt attached to the bomb. 

Thereafter, based on the training requirement at the Air Base, the bomb is assembled and prepared for integration.

Four trained personnel carry out the bomb suspension process in Hungary. One of these personnel is responsible for keeping a close watch on all the steps involved. He or she also makes sure no one is aboard the fighter during the suspension process, and that there is no one smoking in the area either. 

Before the bomb is brought near the plane, the right kind of suspension rack (normal or emergency) is placed in the pylon. Then, an adapter, customized for lifting different kinds of weapons, is also brought in. 

The bombs, in the meantime, are placed horizontally on a frame, all strapped and ready to be integrated to Gripen. Once brought ...

Abhay Ashvin, a 24 year-old student pilot from Bengaluru, was crowned the winner of the month-long Gripen Warriors contest that was held by Saab India right before Aero India 2019.

As the grand prize of the contest, Abhay, who is also a DGCA certified Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS) examiner, will be visiting Linköping in Sweden, the home of Gripen.

The Gripen Warrior challenge involved an online test of aviation knowledge and flight simulation. The contest had three difficulty stages- Amateur, Professional, and Ace. The contest drew nearly 2,000 participants across 27 states. In the final round of the Ace level, the five finalists got a chance to operate the Gripen Aircraft Cockpit Simulator at Aero India 2019. 

“The aircraft performed exactly as it was told,” says Abhay. “It was my first time on a fighter jet simulator and it was an amazing experience,” he adds. 


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