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Gripen E.jpgDesigning a fighter aircraft is the fine art of making the right compromises, explained Björn Johansson, Chief Engineer Gripen E/F, in a presentation called “What is Gripen E” at a seminar earlier this year in Stockholm.

Johansson, who happens to be the first pilot to log more than 1000 hours on Gripen, started the presentation by talking about the Swedish Air Force’s requirements between 2020 and 2040. As compared to Gripen C/D, the Gripen E/F should have an extended range and increased weapon payload, Mil-Std 1760E cl. 2 weapon pylon inter face among other things, he says. 

There were two possible solutions to Sweden’s future requirements, Johansson pointed out: A new “white paper” project with technically no set limits/constraints could have been started. This would have involved extensive testing and would have been more expensive. Alternatively, the existing Gripen could be modified by reusing deigns and parts and this would be a less expensive and hence a better option.

Johansson said that the Gripen (NG) Demonstrator programme was able to show that the Gripen could be modified to meet customer requirements on range, payload, new sensor suite/weapons/electronic countermeasures. The Gripen NG Demo also demonstrated that it was possible to install an engine with higher thrust, an AESA-radar, a new avionics system and carry more internal fuel. Further, this approach reduced cost and lead time by 60%, thanks to new processes and new supplier strategy, MBD for airframe design, MBSE for systems development. Most important, the Gripen Demo significantly reduced risks involved in the development of the ...

​​Gripen presented an amazing flight display at the Kecskemét airshow held in the beginning of August this year. The Kecskemét International Air Show is a two-day long air show held since the early 1990s at the Kecskemét Air Base of the Hungarian Defence Force. This year, the airshow celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Hungarian Air Force.​ Over one hundred thousand people turned up to watch the displays during the two day event.

Czech Gripen2.jpg
“Gripen’s strongest asset is its cockpit layout,” says 2013 Czech Air Force display pilot Capt. Martin Spacek in an interview with Gareth Stringer of  Global Aviation Resource.

Spacek joined the Czech Air Force in 1997 and began his flight training in the year 2000 on the Zlín Z 142. He then trained on the L-29 Delfin and L-39 Albatros and finally on the L-159 ALCA. Spacek trained on the L-159 ALCA for about six years before getting his hands on the Gripen.

Spacek is now flying the Gripen for the last three years, completing around 300 hours on the Swedish fighter aircraft. He stresses that Gripen is very easy to fly and the quality of the pictures that pilots get on the radar is excellent.

“It is a very light aircraft, with just a single engine of course, and it is also very maneuverable, but I think its strongest asset is the cockpit layout. It is a very friendly layout for the pilot,” Spacek says.

According to Stringer, underneath that good looking exterior, the cockpit is dominated by a head-up display and three large multi-function displays, benefits from HOTAS (Hands On Throttle And Stick) technology and its PS-05/A pulse-doppler X-band radar. This was developed by Ericsson and GEC-Marconi and is based on the latter’s advanced Blue Vixen radar for the Sea Harrier FA2.

Read the full story:  Airshow exclusive – Interview​

Image Courtesy:  Armed Forces Of Czech Republic

Czech JAS-39C Gripen was the star of the international line-up at the RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day, a recent UK event held just a week after the big Royal Air Force show at RAF Waddington, reports  Flightline UK​.

According to the report, the Czech Gripen impressed Yeovilton with its incredible performance not only in terms of speed and acceleration, but also in terms of agility, keeping the display almost entirely within the airfield boundary.

What also impressed the visitors at the Yeovilton was the stunning artwork on the fin and the canards of the Czech Gripen. As the aircraft was carrying flares it had to be parked on the Southside before its display, away from the crowds, but it was a nice touch to see it taken over to the crowd side after its display so that people could get a close up view, the report adds

Air Day 2013 was one of UK’s spectacular events this year with an air show that offered a variety in the air with some great formations, unusual displays and stunning demonstrations of the Royal Navy's capabilities.

This was Czech JAS-39C Gripen’s first visit to the Yeovilton.

Read the full story: RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day

Image Courtesy:  211squadron​

Hakan1.jpg“The potential to sell Gripen is greater today than it was five years ago. This is because Gripen is cost-effective,” said Hakan Buskhe, President and CEO, Saab.

An SVD news report in June this year highlighted that with reduced defence budgets, the demand for economical fighter aircraft is bound to rise.

SVD quoted Hakan Buskhe saying "We are, in fact, the only ones who have broken the cost curve. Gripen C became cheaper than the Gripen A. Gripen E gets even cheaper.”

The report added that Saab is planning to sell more Gripen C aircraft during the current decade and is also aiming for the next big step:  to develop an unmanned aircraft.

Hakan Buskhe assured the Swiss taxpayers that they do not need to worry as the future costs will not be higher than what Saab and the State has agreed to.

“I deem the risk that costs would increase is equal to zero. I guarantee the price we signed on. It is actually unique for a company to give something like this in writing," said Håkan Buskhe.

Read the full story:  Saabchefen förbereder förarlös version av Gripen​

"One of the most important advantages of Gripen going forward is its partitioned avionics core. I am ​extremely proud about how our engineers have developed this. It is about designing the system itself and splitting it and separating it into the flight critical parts and the tactical parts," said Lennart Sindhal, Head of Business Area Aeronautics, Saab in his presentation at the Paris Air Show 2013.

“Mixing the tactical and the flight critical parts can create problems for yourself and for your customers and by separating these two, we would be able to offer our customers a system that is easy to design and easy to develop over time and can adapt quickly, maybe overnight as the tactical parts can be altered without interfering with the flight critical parts,” Sindhal says.

Operation analyst and fighter pilot Bjorn Danielsson elaborated the benefit of the partitioned avionics with the help of the diagram below.

“The major advantage is that we can continue to add tactical functions, without testing over and over again to see if it has affected the flight critical performance of the aircraft,” Danielsson says.

“It enables us to make user applications. The smartphone in this picture is just to make you think about an app. What you have here is eight Gripens patrolling to defend against incoming cruise missiles. And the app here is about how to set up this pattern in a good way so that they cover a large area when they are looking for missiles. ...

 Visitors at the the recently held Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT)​ witnessed amazing flight displays by Gripens from both the Swedish and the Hungarian Air Forces.

Known as one of the largest military air-shows in the world, RIAT was held at RAF Fairford over the weekend of 20 and 21 July this year. Approximately 200,000 visitors attended the air show. 

Czech Gripen.jpg"The Czech Gripen Offset Programme is certainly among the most successful industrial cooperation programmes that Saab has executed,” Jerry Sigfeldt, Vice President Saab Industrial Cooperation, said while announcing the publication of the Czech Gripen Offset Programme annual performance report for the year ending December 31 2012.

The report, which was anounced in June this year says that the Czech Gripen Offset Programme has delivered 27.4 billion CZK to the Czech Republic as of December 31 2012.

The report highlights that 107 per cent of total offset obligation (130 per cent of the Gripen fighter lease contract value) has been delivered to the Czech Republic. In total, there were 49 registered Gripen offset transactions till December 2012.

“The Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic has approved the 2012 Annual Report for the Gripen Offset Programme. As of December 31 2012 the total percentage of fulfillment amounts to 107 per cent of the obligation. The Programme runs to our satisfaction and in accordance with the terms of the Offset Agreement," said Brigadier General Pavel Bulant, Director of the Armaments Office at the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic.

The Czech Gripen Offset Programme runs from June 14 2004 to December 31 2014.

Read the full story:  Gripen Offset Programme delivers 27.4 billion CZK to the Czech Republic​

​“The future is about the manned and the optionally manned and it is not about one aircraft any longer. It is about co-operation between several systems, manned or unmanned,” says Lennart Sindhal, Head of Business Area, Aeronautics at Saab describing Gripen’s future concepts in his  presentation ‘Gripen-The Crown Of Swedish Aviation Industry’.

Future Concepts_Gripen.jpg

Sindhal says the future is about sensors, sensor integration, sensor fusion, communications, sharing the same situational picture and all of this will be put into different designs for the future.

“It is also interesting that there are lots of new players coming in to the area here rather than the usual suspects and that adds an interesting approach on the market going ahead,” he points out.

“We are very happy from Saab’s side to be where we are. The 10 years, starting from thinking about the first thoughts of Gripen NG now has ended up in the first contract of Gripen E. We look really bright on the future,” Sindhal says.

Read the full presentation here.​

Czech3.jpgSaab’s vision is to have Gripen representing around 10 percent of the accessible market. The market reality however comes with its own set of challenges. Eddy De La Motte, Head of Gripen export, describes how Gripen is all geared up to meet these challenges head on, in a presentation "Gripen-Like No Other”.

Uncertain Threats

One of the biggest challenges is that of uncertain threats which include UAS becoming more expensive and a need for extended flight hours. To tackle such issues, Gripen is equipped with the best situational awareness of all. It is also designed to be upgraded which gives its customers the flexibility to add capabilities according to their customized needs.

Limited Budgets

Budget constraints play a vital role too. Today’s market demands a low life cycle cost and affordable upgrades (which are very important to cope with future requirements). Gripen provides the lowest acquisition and operational cost and it offers embedded training.


Airforces are looking for freedom and flexibility with technology. They demand true technology transfer. Gripen provides flexibility with several weapon providers, holistic view and a full mission cycle.


One of the major design criteria for Gripen has been its NATO interoperability. Gripen has STOL capability, small logistical footprint, NATO links etc. It is capable to operate on standard NATO radio frequencies for voice communication, uses standard NATO measurements like knots, feet, miles etc., can carry pylons with standard NATO connectors for armament, and can transmit data over standard NATO encrypted links.

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