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The Smart Fighter

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​The decision to acquire a fighter aircraft is based on multiple requirements of an air force. For a nation like India, with a large expanse of sea and land boundaries, one of the major requirements is 24*7 availability of its fighters.

Saab believes that a fighter does not belong in the hangars instead it is meant to spend as much time as possible in the air. And this is why Gripen has been designed to deliver high operational readiness.​ This is why Gripen has been designed to deliver high operational readiness. 

For Gripen, an operational turnaround for a typical air-to-air mission takes ten minutes using as less as six personnel and minimum support equipment. And this includes refueling and rearming time. A typical hot engine change can for instance be done in an takes less than an hour and a repair takes an hour.

Gripen also features STOL (Short Take-off and Landing) capabilities which means it can take-off and land on regular roads and not just runways. Capable to be operated out of road bases, a Gripen fleet can be at the ready all the time to guard the long borders in India.

Besides these features, Gripen is also equipped to conduct air-to-air refueling via the NATO standard probe-and-drogue system. Aerial refueling ensures that missions of up to eight or more hours can be flown.

Saab believes that in the end it is the practical applications that count the most, which is exactly why ...

From the new generation Gripen to ground combat weapons, Saab is exhibiting it all at the DefExpo 2018 starting today.

Saab will display, for the first time in India, the Gripen Cockpit Simulator with its new Wide Angle Display (WAD). Besides Gripen, Saab products on display include RBS 70 NG VSHORAD, BAMSE SRSAM, Carl Gustaf M4 and AT4 with ammunitions.


DefExpo 2018 is being held at Tiruvidanthal in Kancheepuram district near Chennai between 11-14 April. Saab is exhibiting its products in Hall 3, Stand 2.1A.

Know more about Saab’s participation at DefExpo 2018 here.

Last month, a delegation of engineers and logistics experts from Saab paid a visit to the future Gripen facilities in Ala 2 in Anápolis. The objective of the visit was to check the facilities of the 1st Air Defence Group (1st GDA – Grupo de Defesa Aérea) that will operate Gripen from 2021, and understand how the Brazilian Air Force operates its fighters.

"This time we focused on training pilots and technicians, and checking some maintenance functions. We also checked the facilities as they need to be adapted as per the requirements of the new fighters. We are looking for the best solution to align these requirements with the setup of the facilities. This is the right time to do so as we are at a building and designing phase. We have to make sure all preparations are done before the first fighter arrives,” says the Program Logistics Director, Magnus Hultin.

Visitors also included six fighter pilots, and members from Coordinating Committee of the Combat Aircraft Program, Brazil, the body responsible for aircraft acquisition and modernization projects at FAB.

“Gripen is a system, and not just an airplane. We are working to make sure everything is ready for the arrival of Gripen,” says Captain Ramon Lincoln Santos Fórneas, one of the first two pilots who were sent to Sweden for Gripen conversion training.

Read the full story here.

AEL Sistemas, one of Saab's Brazilian partners, is exhibiting Wide Area Display (WAD) at the ongoing aerospace, defence and security exhibition FIDAE in Santiago, Chile. 

"Participating in the 20th edition of FIDAE is an opportunity to demonstrate and strengthen national capacity to develop innovative technologies for defence and security," says Sergio Horta, President, AEL Sistemas.

WAD is a multi-purpose display system with full-colour, large-screen (19 x 8 in), continuous image presentation and the state-of-the-art touch-screen controls capability. WAD's advanced software applications have been designed to support pilots in making fast, sound decisions through data fusion, and increase view of the combat arena (ground and air targets).

Saab is also present at the event with a full-scale Gripen model at static outdoor pavilion E. The visitors can sit in the Gripen cockpit and get to know about the capabilities of the fighter. Besides Gripen, Saab is also exhibiting products like GlobalEye, RBS 70 NG, Air Traffic Management, 9 AIR TOCCS, and 9LV naval combat system

FIDAE will be held till 8 April.

Read the full story here​.

The future of air combat is going to be far more complex and technologically advanced than it is today. So, it is imperative to create air power that is adaptable in the future. It is not enough to integrate the latest technology and the best software that the market can provide today, but the fighters have to be ready for the technology of tomorrow as well. Technology that will enable the fighters to adapt to circumstances and get ahead of the enemy, will be the winner of tomorrow’s air combat. 

Traditionally, aircraft are operated for 10-15 years before being sent for a mid-life upgrade. However, with reconfigurable avionics platforms in Gripen C and E series, new applications can be added without having to requalify them. In fact, the hardware can be upgraded without affecting the overall application layer. This makes both these fighters relevant for a longer period of time and remain updated with the latest technology. 

Read the full story here.

What began as a thesis project for Saab has turned out to be a Life Support Rig to minimize the risks of untoward incidents during flight tests. A new basic aircraft rig to test the life support systems in Gripen E was unveiled recently at Saab’s facilities in Linköping.

According to Dan Kärvell, Test Techniques Manager for Life Support Systems, the testing will confirm the safety and comfort of the system even in the most demanding situations, such as flying at high altitudes and performing extreme manoeuvres. 

The initial testing is being done with the help of a test dummy that is connected to a respiratory simulator. This respiratory system is meant to be an alternative to the more complex options available in the market currently. To improve the system further, eventually pilots will be involved in the testing which will add a new perspective through subjective assessments.  

Read the full story here​.​

Gripen calendar image of the month – April

Extreme versatility.

At high and low altitudes, over land and water, day and night, Gripen is at home in all conditions. 

“Gripen will be a revolution,” says Brazilian Senator Ana Amélia Lemos on her recent visit to the FAB office.

"Even though I was a layman, I was able to recognise a key criteria in the choice of the Swedish plane: technology transfer. People often do not understand the importance of technological development in defence, but we should,” she said.

In October 2014, Saab signed a contract with Brazil to develop 36 Gripen E/F fighters for the Brazilian Air Force. And the most decisive factor for Brazil to go with Saab was its transfer of technology (ToT) offer. The ToT program currently is divided into 50 projects and covers theoretical training, research, and technology programmes. It also includes on-the-job training in Sweden, and production and development work. 

Read the full story here

​The partnership between Saab and Akaer began in the year 2008 when the leading Brazilian aerospace company was contracted by Saab to develop the rear fuselage of the Gripen NG fighters. This was long before Brazil selected the former to deliver 36 Gripen fighters for the Brazilian Air Force (FAB). 

Once the Gripen Brazil programme was announced, Akaer's role in it increased. In 2012, a group of five engineers from the company went to Sweden to monitor the production of parts to be developed in Brazil and start planning for the next phase of the central fuselage design of Gripen. They also began working on the central and armament fuselage of Gripen after completion of the rear fuselage.

As of now, more than 100 professionals from Akaer have worked on various projects under the Gripen programme and the company has logged in more than half a million hours in the project.  Saab also holds 25% stakes in Akaer and, since 2012, is a part of the company’s Advisory Board. 

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