Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Saab to LockMart: "U MAD BRO?"

It would seem as though Saab AB is taking advantage of the JSF's no-show appearance at RIAT and Farnborough.

While engine reliability issues grounded the F-35, Saab AB wasted no time reminding everybody about the Gripen's history of trouble-free service combined with lower costs.

While most of these statements did not mention the F-35 by name, it should be very clear what they are referring to...

Then again, some of it was not exactly subtle:

Check out the last lines in each column.  Two very different uses of the work "Unbelievable".  


  1. Actually a Gripen was lost when its engine caught fire on the ground (sound familiar?)

    In fact the one in the video above was lost when the flight computer/FBW failed (I thought this was common knowledge but apparently not):

    The four prototypes were joined by the first production Gripen (39-101) on 4 March 1993, upon its maiden flight. The second production aircraft was delivered to the FMV for service testing on 8 June 1993. However, the Gripen’s problems were not over, and on 18 August 1993, 39-102 crashed during an air display over Stockholm after the pilot had lost control and ejected. A further revision of the FCS software was required, and this caused flight testing to be suspended until 29 December 1993 when the necessary software updates were available

    FBW was later revised. So it was a pilot error that they fixed the FBW for. Makes sense.

    In the mean time Saab has yet to produce a single NG prototype.

    Its cool though bro, I know things are getting desperate and its not about something beating the JSF so much as hoping the JSF fails and something winning by default.

    Hey did you and Eric break up or something?

    Wasn't very nice of him

  2. Obvious troll is obvious.

  3. So I was I incorrect on the engine issue that led to the loss of the Gripen? Or were you wrong?

  4. Flight control software and pilot error. The only incident even involving the engine was a static test where the engine was started at max throttle.

  5. According to the magazine Svensk Flyghistorisk Tidskrift issue 6 2013 in an article by Emil Lindberg about Gripen 25 years in the air he says that the front body of the runaway Gripen during the static engine test is since autum 2012 a test rig for the avionics for Gripen NG. The Gripen individual is 39828 in the numbering system.

  6. After 9 years of development, four prototypes and three production aircraft, the gripen became operational in 1997. Only 3 accidents, 2 cause by pilot error and one by a faulty ejection seat. Perfect safety record since 2007, no engine of system mishap.

    Next year two NG prototypes will roll out and in 2016 a production aircraft. 2018 operational. Saab had always delivered on time.

    F35 on the other hand has been in development since 1996. 17 years passed by with more than a 100 production aircrafts and the bugs just keep coming out like the plagues of Egypt.
    Overbudget, overdelayed, overpriced, over the horizon operational cost, more than a handful of mishaps, questionable capability.

    Need I say more?

  7. I'll ask the Swiss if I have any more questions.

    Also worth pointing out that the NG is a growth of the original Gripen, in development since the 1980s But who is counting?

    Gripen is a light fighter. Low bars are easily reached.

    Double standards are fun.

  8. Also we havn't had the chance to have a Gripen NG mishap. they have to be built and flying for that to happen. Lets have you build over 100 and then we can compare.

    More good news:

  9. Lets review (feel free to correct me if I am wrong)

    Original proposal date:
    JAS (what became Gripen) 1979/1980

    JSF (what became F-35) 1996

    First flight of prototype:
    Gripen 1988 (after 18 month delay) 8 years after proposal

    JSF 2000 (X-32/X-35. after competition F-35 AA-1 2006) 4 years/ 10 years after proposal

    Operational service entry date
    Gripen 1997 -- 9 years after first flight

    JSF 2015 (projected F-35B, 2016 projected F-35A) -- 9,10 years after first flight

    After only 8 years of Gripen in service, Saab Proposes Gripen NG concept in 2005. First Gripen NG set to fly in 2016 (11 years after concept), and Operational in 2018 (13 years later). 38 years after 1980 JAS proposal. Original Gripen being replaced after only 21 years in service.

    Gripen NG envisions 3 versions: Single seat, twin seat, and Naval variant. Naval and twin variant have been scrapped until funds become available. JSF 3 variants: F-35A, B and C all of which are being developed simultaneously and being brought to service. All 3 types flying by 2008. Gripen NG no variant save for single seat prototype until 2016.

    This isn't trolling. These are facts. If I am incorrect on anything feel free to tell me I am wrong. If I got the dates wrong please fix me.

    Before we go throwing too many stones, we may want to check our glass houses

  10. Maybe I shall quote the magazine Svensk Flyghistorisk Tidskrift issue 6 2013 in and the article by Emil Lindberg about Gripen 25 years in the air again.

    Contract between FMV and Industrigruppen JAS 30 June 1982 about develepment of the JAS 39-project, 5 protypes and the first series of 30 Gripen A. In April 1983 the parliament approves the order.

    26 April 1987 is the roll-out and first flight is 9 December 1988 time 12.22.

    First delivery to FMV 8 June 1993, which was the one that crasched in your linked video two month later 8 August 1993. After that there is a delay to sort out the 2 crashes. So FMV can start there test flying with a delivered Gripen forst in Mars 1995.

    Official introduction inti SwAF 9 June 1996 and declared operational in October 1997.

    Hope it covers some of the questions I will let you do yur own calculations.

  11. Facts and figures are solid, interpretation is the problem. It is always possible to maneuver your argument in favor of your favorite or against an opponent.

    My interpretation is much different then yours.
    I see the Gripen as the true successor of the F16. Lightweight, low cost highly maneuverable. Like the F16 it is continuously being developed further, which will lead to the E/F versions and possibly beyond. If this plane had been American, or even a joint European project ( and still as cost-effective) it would have sold like hotcakes. It is held back by its origins, not by design, capabilities or cost.

    Now, you are right comparisons are not of equals. The F35 is a different thing, has more demands on it and is bigger and as such logically more expensive.. but this much?
    Lets assume, for arguments sake that the F35 is not a lemon and will soon do all it was ever expected to do then still I ask most potential users: why buy F35's at a rate of 1 for every 3 Gripens you can get? What capability does it have that justifies this?

    If you say 'stealth' then I ask : why do air forces that now fly light weight F16's, F18's and that have not and likely won't lead the attack on a heavily fortified enemy need this top tier replacement?

    What it comes down to is one thing you can not argue against:
    Affordability vs capabilities.

    No one in their right mind can argue having 37 F35's that you can afford to fly a few days of the week are a better deal then 85 Gripens that you can fly daily . ( Dutch airforce options) .

    This makes all the posturing, from both sides about accidents, delays, development schedules and performance numbers irrelevant.