Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Saab starts building the first Gripen E!

Saab has started building the first pre-production Gripen E.

This will be the first "NG" Gripen built from the ground up and the first single seat Gripen with the more powerful F414 engine, AESA radar, repositioned landing gear, extra fuel, and IRST.

Saab has already secured orders from Sweden.  Switzerland is (hopefully) shortly behind, and the Gripen is a front runner in the competition for Brazil's next fighter.


  1. I wonder if SAAB regrets (politically) using an American engine on the Gripen. Its a shame that they couldn't use the Eurofighter engine. With BAE cooperation the two could have made a formidable export pair. A mixed fleet of these two may have been a great team for Canada.

  2. It is up to the customer to choose either engine.
    SAAB has constructed the Gripen (gryphon) to be compatible with either the Eurojet EJ200, the Snecma M88 and of course the GE F414G.
    I'm guessing that the price tag is more favourable towards the GE, and the GE engine seems to be the lightest of the alternatives.

  3. How about offering the Grippen as an interm solution as well as a replacement for the CT-144, let the Snow Birds fly them as an assessment.

    1. Why not a SAAB sk60W (SAAB 105).... Beautiful plane...

      But in reality most air forces are moving towards using turboprop planes as trainers. Much cheaper.

      A pilot of today is spending much more time in a simulator then in an actual plane.

  4. An excerpt from a Janes Defence site dated July 9, 2013.

    Saab is examining the potential to develop an optionally manned version of its Gripen E multirole aircraft. Following 10 years of experience of developing unmanned aerial systems(UAS), including the Sharc, Skeldar V-200, and most recently, the nEUROn technology demonstartor, an optionally manned Gripen is on Saab's
    horizon. According to Saab CEO Hakan Buskhe: "this is about finding a cost-effective solution to enable decisions regarding whether a plane should fly with or without a pilot on various missions." Saab senior executive vice-president and head of aeronautics, Lennart Sindahl, told IHS Jane's that a future optionally manned Gripen was prompted by the Swedish Air Force's experience during Operation 'Unified Protector' over Libya in 2011. The primary role of the Swedish Gripens was reconnaissance, but their reach was limited by the range of NATO's combat search-and-rescue assets. This meant that large areas of the country, which is twice the size of France, could not be reached by manned reconnaissance aircraft, but an unmanned aircraft would have no
    such constraints. Other applications could include the provision of a deep, 'hard kill' suppression of enemy air defences capability. Sindahl said that the development track would begin with altitude hold and waypoint navigation, already fitted in the Gripen NG, followed by basic air traffic manoeuvres, take-off and landing, formation with manned leader aircraft, aerobatic manoeuvres including roll, loop, barrel role, hi yo-yo, tactical turns, and beyond visual range combat manoeuvres that include crank, beam, and pump. This is a Saab initiative and will have to wait for a prospective customer before the concept is fully developed, but according to Sindahl, the future battlespace will require the co-operation between several manned and unmanned systems.