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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 ...

Did you know a human being can normally withstand only up to 5G without passing out? During a flight, blood is pushed down to the legs which can cause a lack of blood in the head. In the worst case, it may lead to unconsciousness.

But with some muscle and breathing training, and a G-suit, a fighter pilot is able to withstand up to 9G. Breathing exercises like an anti-G straining maneuver involves rapid breathing followed by holding a breath for several seconds and tightening leg and stomach muscles at the same time.ut it is the G-suit that plays the main role in pushing the blood back up to the heart and brain.  When the G forces increase, the G-suit inflates and adds 1 counter G. The inflation also adds pressure to the pilot’s body which acts as a reminder for the pilot to strain the muscles in the legs, abdomen, and chest area. The G-suit also inflates an air-pocket that adds pressure to the chest to ease breathing.

All this is to ensure that the pilot is able to maneuver the plane without losing sight or consciousness. 

Recently, a series of tests were conducted to verify if Gripen E's anti-g systems worked fine. The focus was to verify that the system gave the correct pressure to the oxygen mask and G-suit depending on the actual altitude.  

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. 


The start-up of production at Saab Aeronáutica Montagens (SAM) plant is fast approaching. In just over a year's time, production will be up and running, where some 60 people, including operators, management, warehouse personnel, and engineers will be manufacturing parts for the Brazilian Gripen E/F fighters. And now, thanks to 3D scanning and CATIA models, it is now possible to tour the plant located outside Sao Paulo by using VR goggles.

Ola Rosén, Assembly Engineer, Saab, and the project manager at SAM, says. ”The aim was to give people an idea of how much space we have allocated for the current work packages. Does the layout allow our operators to move appropriately? Can they move around trollies? We are doing this to ensure that we don’t build the plant and then realise later that it is unsuitable. It will be used as a basis for decision-making before the layout is finalised.” 

Read the full story here.

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Saab has taken another important step forward to expand its footprint and aerospace ecosystem in India by signing new Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with three of the country’s leading aerospace manufacturers; Dynamatic Technologies Limited, CIM Tools Private Limited and Sansera Engineering Limited.

The MoU with Dynamatic is a starting point to explore future joint opportunities in commercial and defence-related aerostructures work, including Gripen.

“The MoU with Dynamatic adds the capabilities of complex airframe assembly to Saab’s ‘Make in India’ offer for Gripen,”says Mats Palmberg, VP Industrial Partnerships and Head of Gripen for India. 

“Saab’s Aerostructures business unit has had a successful relationship with CIM Tools and Sansera for several years. Based on that experience, we see these two companies can add great value to our Gripen ‘Make in India’ offer,” Mats adds.

The new MoUs announced will enable Saab to work with these Indian companies to establish an indigenous, efficient, tailor-made manufacturing system that will develop, deliver, and support state-of-the-art Gripen fighters in India for the Indian Air Force.

Read the full story here​.

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Last year was a productive one for the Brazilian Gripen Programme, with several important milestones. Among other achievements, we can highlight the first Brazilian aircraft in final production in Linköping and the important results of the joint development of Gripen E and F in Linköping and at the Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN), in São Paulo State, Brazil.

Since the beginning of the Transfer of Technology Programme in October 2015, more than 120 Brazilian engineers have participated in theoretical and practical ‘on-the-job’ training in Sweden in several technical disciplines related to the development, production and maintenance of the aircraft. These engineers have returned to Brazil and most of them are currently working at the GDDN.

In total, more than 350 Brazilian specialists (engineers, technicians and assembly operators) will be trained in Sweden until the end of the Transfer of Technology Programme, which involves more than 60 offset projects. From now on, the ‘on-the-job training’ in Sweden will be focusing on flight test, verification and production.

Today, 115 Brazilian engineers and 18 expatriates from Sweden work at the GDDN. They are involved in Gripen E/F development work in areas such as vehicle systems, aeronautical engineering, airframe design, systems installation, system integration, avionics, human-machine interface and communications.

"The Gripen programme continues to progress according to schedule, and expectations are high since the first Brazilian aircraft will begin the flight test campaign in Linköping this year," says Mikael Franzén, head of business unit Gripen Brazil and vice ...

“Gripen is very easy to fly. And that helps the pilot to focus on the mission,” says Swedish Air Force Fighter pilot Henrik Björling, aka "Sunshine" about flying the fighter, at the Finnish Air Force' 100th anniversary celebration.

Much has been said about Gripen’s efficient maneuverability which is, among many, one of the most important reasons why it is considered to be a pilot’s fighter. But what is seldom discussed is the Human Machine Interface (HMI)

Gripen C/D’s cockpit is equipped with three large, full colour, Multi-Function Displays (MFDs) and a wide angle diffractive optics Head-Up Display (HUD) with a holographic combiner providing the pilot with a superior and outstanding situattional awareness.

As said during the training conducted by FAB (Brazilian Air Force) last year by Colonel Ricardo Rezende, the future Gripen pilots were able to effortlessly put theory into practice on the Gripen simulators. During the course of only one week, they had the opportunity to train different complex scenarios in simulators and learn basic combat technics, tactical datalinks, and situational awareness. “It is the outstanding Human Machine Interface (HMI) that makes Gripen easy for the pilot to use and maneuver,” said Colonel Ricardo Rezende.

Busy days in the Gripen factory. Another four Gripen E are soon ready to take to the skies!​

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