Thursday, November 15, 2012

JAS-39 Gripen Lightweight Multirole Fighter

JAS-39 Gripen is a canard-winged successor to the Saab-37 Viggen (Thunderbolt (1971-2005). It's designed as 4th generation fighters (lightweight fighter) aircraft. Gripen can category in world class performance & economics operational cost.

Development Progress

Swedish government initiated for initial contract to developed of JAS-39 in 1982. In 1988, the first flight of Gripen prototype was begin. The first Gripen delivered to Swedish Air Force (A/B model) was in 1993.
Swedish government signed a contract with IG JAS for development of Gripen C/D model.

The first export customer for JAS-39 C/D was South Africa Air Force, which purchase for 26 JAS-39 C/D. In 2001, Hungary leased 14 JAS-39 A/B Gripen which later amended it for lease-for-buy of JAS-39 C/D in 2003. Czech Republic leased for 14 JAS-39 C/D in 2004.

In 2007, Swedish FMV approves development of JAS-39 NG DEMO (E/F). In the same year, SAAB chose Thales RBE2 AA AESA radar for Gripen Demo. Later development saw Dassault buys a significant stake in Thales, which later terminate RBE2 AA AESA joint-development with SAAB for JAS-39 NG. SAAB later signed ES-05 Raven AESA radar partnership with SELEX Galileo for Gripen NG.
Gripen NG Demo roll out in 2008.

Thailand buys initial 6 unit of JAS-39 C/D in 2008. Thailand later exercise to buys 2nd set of 6 JAS-39 C/D Gripen in 2010.

In 2012, Swiss picked JAS-39 E/F (NG) with joint development with Swedish government.

Design Characteristic

JAS-39 Gripen is excellent lightweight fighter with attractive flyaway costs & great performance. It canard design allows for quick maneuvers allowing to take advantage of Helmet Mounted-Sight in combination with Short Range Air-Air Missiles. It's power to weight ratio is very good. PS-05 mechanically scanned radar used for C/D version.
It short take-off & landing capability ease for operational in any field / highways. Gripen also had very attractive lifetime operational costs.

Main Features

Gripen is powered by 1 x GE F-404 (C/D version) which similar with Boeing F/A-18 Hornet (A/B/C/D). It's also equipped with in-flight refueling probe for air-to-air refueling & 320 gallons drop tanks.

Weapons & Targeting Systems

Gripen can widely install with variety of weapons/missiles with integration of missiles / weapons from American / Europe / Israel / South Africa.

For air-to-air mission, AIM-9M Sidewinder ASRAAM / A-Darter SRAAM / IRIS-T SRAAM can fitted for short range air-to-air engagement. For medium range air-to-air engagement (BVR) it can be fitted with AIM-120 C5 AMRAAM. Meteor long-range air-air missiles still on testing period for long range mission.

In air-to-ground mission, GBU-10/12/16 Paveway laser-guided bombs (500 lbs - 2000 lbs), GBU-49 Enhanced Paveway with laser / GPS guided bombs, DWS39 Mjolner gliding submunition dispenser & GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb (in-progress).

AGM-65 Maverick short-range strike missiles, RBS-15 anti-ship missile & Taurus KEPD 350 stand-off missile can be use for surface / anti-ship / bunker.

For surveillance & targeting pods, LITENING-III surveillance & targeting pod can be fix. For reconnaissance mission, EDS/TERMA MRP 39 Reconnaissance pod, Thales DJRP Reconnaissance pod & ReeceLite reconnaissance pod can be used.

Export / Users Country

Beside Sweden, others countries that using JAS-39 C/D version is South Africa, Hungary, Czech Republic, Thailand & the latest country was Swiss that become the first customer for JAS-39 E/F upgraded version.

SAAB also extensively promoted JAS-39 NG @ E/F for country like India, Brazil, Poland, Malaysia etc.

Improved / Upgraded JAS-39 NG (E/F)

Upgraded version JAS-39 NG (E/F) incorporated new sensors set, avionics & mission computers. The new Gripen NG fitted with next-generation AESA ES-05 Raven radar which offers substantial improvements in detection, resolution, versatility & lowest maintenance costs. The new AESA radar incorporated an IFF (identified friend or foe), increasing total field of view & improving a lock, fire & leaves maneuvers.

For sensors, Skyward-G IRST system was fitted. It's can use against some ground targets & all aerial targets with low observable radar stealth aircraft. Skyward-G IRST can integrated with medium long-range infra-red guided missile like MICA-IR / NCADE. It can provide missile guidance without triggering radar warning receiver of target aircraft.

Link-16 situation awareness was upgrade with the ability to share data with other types of aircraft, air defense radars, ships etc.
EW / ECM is another component of situational awareness that was included in upgrading works.

Payloads for Gripen E/F also increase. 10 hard points compare to 8 hard points (Gripen C/D) to carry weapons and fuel. Maximum payload was increase to 6,000 kg from 5,000 kg (Gripen C/D).
Fuel loaded was increase to extend combat air patrol to 1,300 km & unrefueled range to 2,500 km. New 450 gallons under wing drop tanks ( units) can increase E/F variant range to 4,075 km.

New engines, more powerful GE F-414G uprated engines (Volvo Aero partnership with GE) used for Gripen E/F. It's a variant of the engines that used in Super Hornet which modified for single engine operation with Full Authority Digital Electronic Control (FADEC).

Gripen NG equipped with full loaded weapons, pods & fuel tanks

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