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The Smart Fighter

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According to Saab, a focus on realistic requirements has helped the Swedish industry and government teams integrate weapons on the Gripen faster and at lower cost than similar efforts elsewhere.

In an Aviation Week report, Bill Sweetman talks about the weapons from outside that have been successfully integrated with Gripen so far in a cost effective way.

The list includes the Raytheon GBU-49 Enhanced Paveway II laser-plus-GPS bomb and Diehl Iris-T infrared air-to-air missile (AAM), which were integrated in 2006-09 and the flight testing of Thales Digital Joint Reconnaissance Pod for South Africa's Gripens in 2011.

According to Gideon Singer, technical director for Gripen exports and Lisa Abom, head of the Saab project office for engineering and weapons, Saab devotes 14% of integration costs to planning and coordination.

“One lesson is to reach early agreement,” they said. This means defining and clearly interpreting requirements, limitations and the approach to testing. 

This year in June, Saab conducted its first test firing of the version of the Meteor radar-controlled air-to-air missile, developed for mass production.  The test firing demonstrated the separation from the aircraft and the link function between the aircraft and missile, as well as the missile's ability to lock in on the target. The test firing was also used to verify the command support that has been developed for the pilot.

Sweden will be the first air force to field the new missile, with the Gripen MS 20 package in 2015. That upgrade will also include the GBU-39 Small ...

Marcus Wallenberg.jpg"Gripen meets the Swiss requirements. It is at the forefront of technology and is also the most effective solution in terms of costs," says Saab Chairman Marcus Wallenberg in an interview with

Wallenberg says that while the Gripen was developed to deal with the threats of the cold war, the Gripen E has taken a technological leap over the previous versions in controlling costs.

“Saab's approach is to provide high value products at reasonable prices. However, technology is advancing. The landscape is not the same as it was ten years ago. Each manufacturer shall, to remain competitive, not only maintain a cutting edge technology but also be very attentive to the issue of costs,” Wallenberg says.

Talking about the division of the offset transactions between various parts of Switzerland, Wallenberg says, “Saab is committed to follow the directions of Armasuisse which is accountable for the distribution of the offset transaction. All cases must be concluded on a commercial basis.”

Read the full story:  Marcus Wallenberg: «Un "non" au Gripen ne mettrait pas Saab en péril»

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Saab has received an order from the Swedish Materiel Administration (FMV) to provide technical system support to the Swedish Armed Forces next year, reports the UPI​.

The order is a further option under a previously signed agreement with the FMV for performance-based support and maintenance of Gripen. This contract allowed additional orders until 2016.

The technical support package includes support for the Swedish Armed Forces and FMV in the form of operational and technical support, equipment follow-up, proposed modifications, continuous updates, environmental technology plus warehouse operations for replacement units.

"With this order, Saab contributes to an effective and accessible Gripen operation for Sweden in the coming year," says Lars-Erik Wige, head of Saab's Support and Services business area.

The order is worth SEK 107 million.

Read the full story:  Sweden extends Saab support for Gripens​

Image Courtesy: Frans Dely

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On Wednesday last week, Hungarian Air Force Gripen were sent alerts when an aircraft approaching from Austria failed to make any contact, reports, Blikk.

It was almost dinner time when the siren went off at the Kecskemét airbase. After dark, the first signal came that the alert would be an “alpha” one. The technicians quickly prepared two Gripen aircraft, and ten minutes later they were in the air to surround the “silent” plane, which was located at 30,000 feet. 

The plane violating the Hungarian air space was a Qatar Boeing-777. The pilot was informed that he should establish radio contact with the air control and the aircraft finally established contact. The two Gripens escorted the Boeing from a distance of 1-2 miles.

According to the Hungarian pilots, there used to be more such cases in the past, but in 2013 only two such incidents have taken place. 

“When the ‘prey’ is a passenger aircraft, people often take photographs of the Gripens from the windows. Sometimes when a smaller aircraft is chased, the pilot usually looks quite shocked as the Gripens pull up beside it”, the pilot said.

Read the full story:Ő tessékelte ki a katari repülőgépet​

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Defence & Security Company Saab has launched a new website dedicated to Gripen for Denmark.

Saab is a long-term partner to the Danish Armed Forces and has delivered several products and systems to the country including Draken Fighter Jets, Arthur Weapon Locating Systems and Double Eagle ROV – MCM.

Earlier this year, Denmark had announced that it had reopened the type selection process for a new fighter aircraft and Gripen was one of the options it was looking at. Last month, a Danish delegation led by the Minister of Defence Nicolai Wammen met officials at FXM to see the production process of the Gripen.

Saab plans to deliver offset transactions valued at 100 percent of the Gripen contract value, creating huge business opportunities for the Danish industry.

​To know more about Saab’s industrial cooperation package for Denmark, and about Gripen E, please visit Gripen For Denmark​

The site is launched in both English and Danish language.

How do you build a super computer in a biscuit box? That about sums up the challenge of creating super small, super tough and super sensitive radar systems such as the ES-05 Raven radar for the Gripen E being produced by Selex ES.

“The great challenge of a radar system is that it combines the mechanical challenges, electrical challenges, software challenges and physical challenges of all types, all in a very small volume, in a very demanding environment. And you have to basically build a super computer in a biscuit box,” Mark Smith, VP of technology at Selex ESW says.


Gripen is one of the several options that Colombia is looking at in order to replace its existing fleet of fighter aircraft, reports

Brigadier General Carlos Bueno, Air Operations Commander, FAC, says that the fighter selection process will take almost 3-4 years and the options include Lockheed Martin, Russian Sukhoi Su-30, Dassault, Rafale, Mirage 2000 and Gripen.

According to IHS Jane’s​, Colombia is already working on replacing its aging Cessna A-37 Dragonfly and Rockwell OV-10 Bronco ground attack platforms. 

Read the full story:Colombia intresserat av Gripen

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Fabio Antognini, "Fanta" for short, is one of the few Swiss military pilots to have already flown the Gripen. The 51 year-old tells us about his experiences with the fighter jet.  

Mr. Antognini, you have been able to fly the Gripen again over the last few days from the military airfield in Payerne. What missions have you flown?

Last Friday and Monday we did training flights for the Axalp flight demo we are doing this Wednesday and Thursday. We took off from Payerne military airfield and did a dry run on the first flight i.e. we flew the approach several times exactly as we would in a real mission in order to get used to the challenging geography and the plane. Then for the hot run we used the aircraft guns to shoot at the targets on the slope. This isn't a test but a demonstration of the Gripen's ability to deploy the guns in our difficult terrain. The Axalp demo is a perfect opportunity to do this. 

You have flown the jet a lot. Do you now know it inside out? 

I know the Gripen well technically, and I've had solid flight experience with the fighter jet. I had the opportunity to do training in Sweden this September, including an introduction to using the guns. This included theory, simulator practice and two-seater flights. And then I did about 10 flight missions in Sweden as solo pilot of the Gripen C. 

How is it different to the Tiger and ...

"It is awesome to know that there is so much technology behind Gripen’s simplicity," says Johannes, winner of Saab's 'Did You Know' contest. 

Johannes who got an opportunity to visit Saab's plant in Linköping and to fly the Gripen Simulator as a prize for winning the contest, was impressed with the technology behind Gripen.

“First and foremost, it is so easy to fly the Gripen, although the aircraft is so tactically organized. It is awesome to know that there is so much technology behind this simplicity. As a pilot I also get a lot of information on the displays that are automatically generated by a sophisticated computer system – very impressive”, Johannes says.

Even before the contest, Johannes was closely following Saab online.

“I had a good knowledge of Saab and I knew quite a lot about it before the competition. I follow Saab on twitter and I also share the news spread there. Aviation and technology are a major area of interest for me and I have always seen Saab as a leading company in the aerospace, defense, and technology sector,” he says.

Talking more about Gripen, Johannes says, “Gripen symbolizes everything good with Sweden. It symbolizes innovation, independence and engineering excellence, and it proves that Sweden is not only capable, but is also leading the way.”

Read the full story:Gripen-symboliserar-allt-bra-med-Sverige​

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Saab is displaying its solutions across the aerospace domain, covering defence, surveillance, traffic management and training at the Dubai Airshow 2013.

Saab is exhibiting at stand no. 2324 and static display no. 25. Besides Gripen, Saab is also displaying products like RBS 70 NG, BAMSE, ESTL, IDAS and CAMPS at the event. Visitors at the event showed great interest in Saab 340 MSA on Monday.

The Dubai Airshow is Middle East's leading aerospace event. It was first held in 1986 as a small civil aviation trade show organized at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Over the years, the Airshow has shown rapid growth with participation of around 890 exhibitors from 47 countries now. 

The Dubai Airshow 2013 will be held till 21 November.

Please click here to view Saab’s various products on display at the event.

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