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The Smart Fighter

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gripen ng 14.jpgGallium Nitride (GaN), probably the most important semiconductor material since silicon, will be used by Saab on the Gripen E aircraft, reports Defense News.

Gallium Nitride has long been seen as a powerful alternative to gallium arsenide which is currently popular for making modules for AESA radars.

The cost of Gallium Nitride has been a deterrent in its use in ground radars. However, with the demonstration of successful prototyping of Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) and Gallium Nitride (GaN) technologies by US firms like Raytheon, things are changing.

“The substance will be used in jammers and passive warning systems, boosting efficiency by 25 percent,” said Ulf Nilsson, the head of the Gripen program.

In addition to enabling future 360 sensor coverage, GaN technologies will also increase the defended area and decrease the time to detect, discriminate and engage threats.

According to Lennart Sindahl, Saab’s deputy CEO, Saab is now ahead of the curve on GaN.

“Our worst competitor said ‘you are now six years ahead of us,’” Sindahl said.

Read the full story: Gallium Nitride Gets Fighter Debut With Saab​

gripen ng16.jpgGripen NG has an array of advanced and enhanced features, one of which is that it offers extended range and can stay in the air for longer. 

Flying for longer missions requires more fuel. Gripen NG’s internal fuel tanks are approximately 40 per cent larger than Gripen C/D’s. With its powerful engine and smart design, this new generation aircraft can fly at supersonic speed without using its afterburner. This is called supercruise, and it means that less fuel is used, allowing the aircraft to remain in the air for longer.

Also, Gripen NG has 10 external hardpoints allowing it to carry more weapons, pods and additional fuel tanks, which means that during a mission, more fuel is available. Most of the increased volume has been made available in the fuselage by moving the landing gear from the fuselage of the aircraft out to the inner wings.

If Gripen NG needs to remain even longer in the air, it can be refueled in the air from a tanker plane as well.

Gripen NG is equipped to conduct air-to-air refueling via the NATO standard probe-and-drogue system. This ability increases its combat radius and/or time on station considerably – in fact, missions of up to eight hours or more can be flown.


Defence and security company Saab signed a contract with the Brazilian Federal Government (Ministry of Defense through the Aeronautics Command, COMAER) covering the development and production of 36 Gripen NG fighter aircraft for the Brazilian Air Force in Octobet this year. The total order value is approximately SEK 39.3 billion. Saab and COMAER have also signed an Industrial Co-operation contract to deliver substantial technology transfer from Saab to Brazilian industry.

On 18 December 2013 Brazil selected the Gripen NG to be its next-generation fighter aircraft, through the F-X2 evaluation programme. Since then all parties have negotiated to finalise a contract. Today’s announcement marks the successful conclusion of that process.

Saab and COMAER have signed a contract for the development and production of 36 Gripen NG fighter aircraft, plus related systems and equipment. The programme comprises 28 single-seat and eight two-seat Gripen NG. The total order value is approximately SEK 39.3 billion.

Saab and COMAER have also signed a contract for industrial co-operation projects, including technology transfer to Brazilian industry, to be performed over approximately ten years.

“We are proud to stand side-by-side with Brazil in this important programme. There is already a long and successful history of industrial co-operation between our two countries, and this historic agreement takes that partnership to a new level”, says Marcus Wallenberg, Chairman of Saab’s Board of Directors.

The contract with COMAER for Gripen NG and the associated Industrial Co-operation contract will come into effect once certain conditions have been fulfilled. These include, among others, ...

Gripen blog Dec 22.jpg

​A Gripen pilot took photographs of Russian military aircraft involved in exercises over the Baltic last week, reports the Expressen​.

The exercise is described by the Armed Forces as second to none and of a size not seen since the Cold War. The Swedish incident preparedness went up several times during the exercise.

Armed Forces identified planes that included a TU-95, strategic bomber capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

"This is the worst we have seen since Cold War days", says Göran Mårtensson, Director of Operations for the Swedish Armed Forces.

Read the full story: Här är JAS-piloternas bilder på ryska planen

Čáslav in the Czech Republic will host tri-annual exercise Lion Effort, starring the Gripen C/D in all roles, in 2015. Several Gripen operators will participate in the exercise.

Lion Effort presents a great opportunity for various Gripen operators to not just train together but to also share best practices and operational know-how with each other.

The first Lion Effort exercise was held in 2009 in Hungary, while the second was held in Sweden in 2012. In 2012, four of the five Gripen operating nations participated in the exercise. Royal Thai Air Force Gripen were not present but observers from the Air Force attended the exercise.

Lion Effort consists of various planned and unplanned missions followed by brainstorming sessions during which participants raise questions and suggest ways of refining the plan. The exercise provides a platform for testing the operational deployment ability of the Gripen and training of air and ground crews in multinational operations.​

Image Coutesy: Peter Liander​

Recently, Saab received three development and maintenance orders from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV).

Saab has received an order to provide maintenance of technical system support and spare parts for Gripen during 2015 on behalf of the Swedish armed forces. The contract value is approx. SEK 385 million.

The order confirms previous option of services to be provided during 2015 and includes technical system support for the Swedish armed forces and FMV in the form of operational and technical support, equipment follow-up, proposed modifications, environmental technology plus warehouse operations for replacement units.

The second order received by Saab is to provide maintenance, operational support and continuing development work for Gripen during 2015. The order is valued at SEK 355 million. It includes the operation of rigs, simulators and test aircraft for the verification and validation of the Gripen C/D and Gripen E fighter aircraft systems, plus operational support for Gripen C/D.

Saab has also received a development order for Gripen E from the FMV.  This order is part of the Gripen E framework agreement from 2013 and is valued at SEK 385 million.

Besides these three orders,Saab and the Brazilian Ministry of Defence, through the Air Force Aeronautics Command (COMAER), have signed a contract for Gripen NG contractor logistics support (CLS). The total order value is SEK 548 million. The order is expected to be booked by Saab in 2021.​

Read the full story here.

Hungarian Air Force Gripen recently practiced familiarization flights in Estonia and getting ready to participate in a future NATO mission, which is to protect the airspace over the Baltic countries.

Hungarian ambassador to Helsinki and designated ambassador to Estonia Kristóf Forrai, attended the visit of the two Hungarian Gripen fighters on 10 December.

According to a press release, Ambassador Forrai expressed the firm commitment of Hungary to take part in the NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission. He stressed that Hungary considers the security and peace of Estonia and the entire Baltic region extremely important.

Ambassador Forrai met the Chief of Staff of Estonian Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Riivo Valge and the Commander of Ämari Air Base Lieutenant Colonel Rauno Sirk.

“Estonia is glad that the South European part of NATO is participating in the NATO mission in Northern Europe. We appreciate that the Hungarians are aware of the threats in the recently changed security situation in Europe and that they care for our problems,” Lieutenant Colonel Riivo Valge said.

The Hungarian Air Force team participating in this mission consists of four Gripen and 90 personnel.  The Hungarian Air Force Gripen will patrol the Baltic sky for four months in 2015 and will be stationed at Zokniai Air Base, Lithuania.

Read the full story: Visit of Hungarian Gripen fighters in Estonia​

​It is a Swedish Air Force Flight School tradition to send a Christmas greeting from above, by flying in a Christmas tree formation. 

Normally twelve SK 60 training aircraft take to the skies and make a formation that looks like a Christmas tree. This year, for the first time, the SK 60s will have company as two Gripen fighters may join, reports Corren.

christmas1.jpg12.jpgThe formation will fly at a speed of 375 km/h, at an altitude of about 400 meters, with five meters between each plane. Flight instructors will fly the aircraft with students as passengers. 

According to the report, the only threat to the planned flight can be the weather.

“If the cloud base gets too low, we will have to cancel,” says Michael Rosenquist, deputy manager of Flight School at Malmen.

Read the full story: Gripen dekorerar granen

Photo Courtesy: Jan Basilius/Försvarsmakten (The images and video are of the previous year and hence do not include Gripen)

​Gripen pilots from Swedish Air Force Wing F21 practiced with laser guided bombs in an exercise last week, reports Forsvarsmakten.

According to the report, the annual defense budget increase has given the Armed Forces possibility to increase the amount of flight hours, strengthen the incident standby capacity and to practice more.

Fighter Squadron at F21 has therefore been able to drop laser guided bombs over Vidsel firing range- there were two ship formations of Gripen who dropped one bomb each.

“With advanced systems, we need to practice a lot. So this extra training session is particularly welcome,” says division manager Tobhias Wikström.

Read the full story: Precision i målet

Defence and security company Saab has received an order from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) for the extended lease of Gripen from Sweden to the Czech Republic. This agreement provides for the continuing support and upgrade of the Czech aircraft for a further 12 years. The order is valued at approx. SEK 576 million.

Gripen has been in service with the Czech Republic since 2005. In May 2014 a new agreement between Sweden and the Czech Republic extended this partnership for a further 12 years. As a result, the Czech Republic will continue to operate 14 Gripen C/D aircraft until at least 2027. Under the terms of this government-to-government agreement Saab acts as a supplier to FMV, which in turn provides the aircraft to the Czech Republic.

“The Czech Republic’s decision is further evidence of Gripen's high capability and great cost-efficiency. It proves again how well the aircraft stands up in global competition. As we develop the next generation of Gripen for Sweden and Brazil, we continue to see great international interest in Gripen C/D”, says Lennart Sindahl, Deputy CEO and Head of Saab’s business area Aeronautics.

Read the full story here​.

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