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Brazilian firm Embraer will co-develop and co-produce Gripen E fighters, due to be purchased by Brazil, with Saab as per a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two companies recently.

Under this agreement, Embraer will perform a leading role in the overall program performance as well as undertake an extensive share of work in the production and delivery of both the single and two-seat versions of the state-of-the-art Gripen NG aircraft for the Brazilian Air Force.

"We are happy to announce this partnership with Embraer. Not only do we share experience in the defense and aeronautical markets, but both organizations have a clear dedication to customer satisfaction. Through this partnership we will secure an excellent result for the Brazilian Air Force and we will establish solid ground for success with future business opportunities and customers," says Hakan Buskhe, Saab's president and CEO.

“The deal is part of a really strong technology transfer package. The plan will see Brazilian firm Embraer handle most of the development on a two seater Gripen F for the Brazilian airforce,” Buskhe said at the Farnborough International Airshow recently.

Embraer is a leading Brazilian aeronautical company based in Sao Paulo that produces commercial, military, executive and agricultural aircraft. The 40 year old company has been involved with design, development, manufacturing, sales and technical support for commercial, agricultural and executive aviation.

Read the full story: Embraer to partner with Saab In Joint Program Management For Brazil's FX2 Project

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Recently, there has been an increasing interest in Gripen across the globe. South East Asia, for example, represents an important market with huge partnership potential for Saab, Gripen’s parent company.

The interest in the Gripen fighter system has been triggered by an array of factors.  Kaj Rosander, Marketing Manager, Saab elaborates some of these factors in Spirit, a defence and security magazine.

According to Rosander, performance alone is not sufficient. There is an increasing cost consciousness and hence Gripen, with the perfect combination of performance and life cycle cost, holds an advantage.

Asian countries like Philippines and Malaysia currently own aircraft that are about tobecome obsolete, giving way to a large potential market.  Also, as a part of their currentpackages, these countries have obtained the aircraft and not the technology. Saab’s strategy includes true technology transfer. This helps the operators with efficient maintenance of the system as well as with building self sufficiency.

Among the South East Asian countries, Thailand is a proud owner of a complete air defence package provided by Saab. With the delivery of the first of a dozen Gripen C/D in 2011, Thailand took its first step towards building its defense system with technology that is modern, inter connected and information driven, writes Michael Miller of Spirit magazine.

As a part of the Gripen package, Thailand also received two Saab Erieye Airborne early Warning and Control (AEW&C) systems, based on the Saab 340  airframe. A number of interlinked ground stations around the country can receive ...

​Farnborough International Airshow has just taken place and Saab was of course there. 

This year, Saab’s presence was all about breaking the thought barrier- demonstrating Saab’s unique way of thinking, one that pushes the boundaries of innovation and anticipates tomorrow. As part of this, Saab has demonstrated its capabilities for air defence, with Gripen in the forefront.

During Farnborough, Saab has for the first time ever, unveiled a full scale replica of Gripen NG.​

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During the exhibition, Executive Vice President Lennart Sindahl held a Gripen press briefing. You can watch the press briefing here

In the video below, Gripen Test Pilot Richard Ljungberg, standing beside the full-scale replica of Gripen NG, talks about the MBDA Meteor missile which he says is a gamechanger for a fighter. Meteor will be in Swedish Air Force service next year.

Read more about Saab at Farnborough 2014 here​.

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UK’s Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS) has extended its contract with Saab to continue its use of a Gripen trainer for another four years.

“The original agreement has been in place since 1999 and, under the terms of the new framework, Saab will support ETPS from 2015 until 2018,” Saab says.

More than 70 test pilots have flown the type since the service with ETPS began, adds Saab, which cites a “100% on-time delivery”. More than 800 flying hours have been provided so far, from its Linköping site in Sweden.

For the last 15 years, ETPS has operated Gripen as its advanced fast jet platform for test pilots throughout the world. With the inclusion of Gripen in their test pilot training courses, ETPS students get an opportunity to know about advanced cockpit technology and learn systems integration more effectively and on the latest platforms.

ETPS is run as a partnership between the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and defence contractor QinetiQ, Europe’s largest science and technology solutions company. The School provides the UK MoD with fully qualified military test pilots and it also trains flight test engineers for QinetiQ, along with test pilots and engineers from Commonwealth and other friendly nations.

Read the full story:Saab And ETPS Sign New Multi-Year Agreement For Continued Gripen Training​

HU_fleet_formation_6000.jpgThe Hungarian government announced this year that it would allocate 2.8 billion forints to prepare the Gripen unit for close air support, reports Politics.hu.

The ministry’s ten-year army development concept aims at “developing the operational capability of the armed forces’ most modern arms system,” said a Defence Ministry statement.

“By ensuring the allocation for close air support, the government will considerably improve the armed forces’ defence capabilities within a short period of time, and at the same time demonstrate Hungary’s commitment towards its Visegrad Four partners (Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia)," the statement says.

Read the full story: Govt allocates HUF 2.8 billion to prepare Gripen fleet for close air support​

Gripen NG31.jpgFor an untrainded eye, Gripen E might look similar to Gripen C externally, but a closer look at its detailed design says that it will have many enhanced capabilities and will beat the development and operational cost performance of the latter, says Flightglobal.

According to the report, Gripen E will not retain any of Gripen C/D’s airframe but will reuse parts of its fuel and air systems, plus its ejection seat, windshield, canopy and outer wing elevons.

Gripen E will have five through-fuselage, aluminium-lithium frames at the heart of its structure, which will support its airframe through to its inner-wing weapons pylons. Its tail section has been redesigned to accommodate the General Electric F414G-39E turbofan engine, and a new intake has been added at the base of the tail for a second environmental control system, which is needed to cool its Selex ES Raven ES-05 active electronically scanned array radar and electronic warfare equipment.

The Gripen’s air intake design has also been enlarged, and new landing gear installed. The latter includes a larger, single nose wheel and main gear which retracts into the wing, freeing fuselage space and enabling a 40% increase in internal fuel capacity. Two additional weapon stations have also been introduced beneath the fuselage.

Lennart Sindahl, Senior Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Aeronautics at Saab vouches for the Gripen E’s sensor configuration which includes the Selex Skyward-G infrared search and track (IRST) turret and an advanced interrogation friend-or-foe suite. 

“It will be ...

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Selex.jpgThe new generation Gripen will be equipped with sensors that can detect low-radar-cross-section (RCS) targets, and will provide the pilots in a Gripen formation with a new level of situational awareness, says Bob Mason, Selex-ES marketing director for advanced sensors.

According to a report in the Aviation Week, Gripen E will have three Selex-ES sensors and a new identification friend-or-foe (IFF) system with three electronically steerable antenna arrays, which matches the radar's range and field of view.

Mason describes that the IRST is capable of detecting low-RCS targets at distances compatible with a beyond-visual-range missile launch.  Confirming that the Selex IRSTs have tracked low-RCS targets, he says, “We have seen them.” 

The report adds that Selex IRSTs have undergone a lot of changes, the most important one is the development of algorithms, based on operational experience and the analysis of real-world imagery, that look at IR signatures in detail, including variations of color and brightness within the target, in order to filter out false alarms caused by everything from birds to barbecue grills.

“The IRST can give the radar a very accurate azimuth and elevation to the target, which allows it to focus its energy and increase the probability of achieving detection and track on a low-RCS target,” Mason says.

Read the full story: Gripen Sensors Claim Counter-Stealth Performance

Read more about the AESA Radar here.

Production of the new Gripen is done primarily in Linköping and work is already in full swing. Test flights, where critical subsystems and their interoperability are tested to minimise risk, are already well underway. First delivery is planned for 2018. As previously reported, development is proceeding according to plan and contracts have been signed with all major subcontractors.

One of our engineers tells her story.​

Gripen-IRST-001 (2).jpgSaab successfully performed the first flight with the new sensor IRST (Infra Red Search and Track) which will feature in Gripen E, according to schedule this year. The IRST does not emit a signal and can, without revealing the aircraft’s own position, silently detect, track and identify all types of targets.

The IRST for Gripen E is produced by Selex in Scotland and is called Skyward G. It is a passive sensor: it does not emit any energy but only listens for energy coming from other sources.

“The first flight in the Gripen E test aircraft with IRST has been performed with very good results. Multiple targets were detected, tracked and identified and the system works perfectly as expected. IRST is a new sensor on Gripen, which allows pilots to see great distances in several directions,” says Saab’s Wing Commander Flying Hans Einerth.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Stefan Kalm​​

Frans Dely.jpgSaab plans to continue developing new systems to offer the existing Gripen operators options to enhance Gripen C/D's capabilities, reports IHS Jane's.  

"We will continue to develop systems, such as the PS-05/A radar, to improve capability and to satisfy future customer needs. The current international Gripen users will be operating the C/D long after Sweden has moved on to the Gripen E and we need to look after them," says Lennart Sindahl, Senior Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Aeronautics at Saab.

According to the IHS Jane’s report, the Swedish Air Force will soon be upgrading its JAS 39 Gripen C/D fleet with the MS 20 block upgrade, which will be the last before the Gripen E begins to enter service from 2018. The upgradation process includes integration of the MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile and Boeing GBU-39 Small-Diameter Bomb; improved radar modes; a digital close air support capability; increased Link 16 connectivity; civil navigation enhancements; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) protection for the pilot; night-capable operations using the SPK 39 Modular Reconnaissance Pod II; and a ground collision avoidance system (GCAS).

Sindahl said that MS 20 was last planned for the Gripen C/D and the new Gripen E will be of MS 21 standard. Therefore, the additional Gripen C/D upgrades in future may be classified as MS 20++ or something like that.

Read the full report:  Saab to offer Gripen C/D upgrades, pushes exports​

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