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Saab JAS 39 Gripen

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A Swedish Air Force JAS-39E Gripen in flight on patrol over the Baltic Sea.
The Saab JAS 39 Gripen (English: Griffin) is a lightweight single-engine multirole fighter manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab. It was designed to replace the Saab 35 Draken and 37 Viggen in the Swedish Air Force (Flygvapnet). The Gripen has a delta wing and canard configuration with relaxed stability design and fly-by-wire technology. It is powered by the Volvo-Flygmotor RM12 engine, a derivative of the General Electric F404, and has a top speed of Mach 2.

In 1979, the Swedish government began development studies for an aircraft capable of fighter, attack and reconnaissance missions to replace the Saab 35 Draken and 37 Viggen. A new design from Saab was selected and developed as the JAS 39. Comparatively small relative to similar fighters, the Gripen has eight hardpoints that allow it to carry various armaments and equipment. It is also fitted with a single 27 mm Mauser BK-27 cannon.

Beset by early problems with its avionics during flight testing, during which a prototype was lost, the aircraft entered service in 1997. Saab has since cooperated with other aerospace companies in marketing the aircraft internationally, and has achieved moderate success in Central Europe, South Africa and Southeast Asia. More than 240 Gripens have been delivered or ordered as of 2012.

Variants[edit]

  • JAS 39A: Initial version that entered service with the Swedish Air Force in 1996. A number have been upgraded to the C standard.
  • JAS 39B: Two-seat version of the 39A for training, specialised missions and type conversion. To fit the second crew member and life support systems, the internal cannon and an internal fuel tank were removed and the airframe lengthened 0.66 m (2 ft 2 in).
  • JAS 39C: NATO-compatible version of Gripen with extended capabilities in terms of armament, electronics, etc. Can be refueled in flight.
  • JAS 39D: Two-seat version of the 39C, with similar alterations as the 39B.
  • Gripen NG: Improved version following on from the Gripen Demo technology demonstrator. Changes from the JAS 39C/D include the more powerful F414G engine, Raven ES-05 AESA radar, increased fuel capacity and payload, two additional hardpoints, and other improvements. These improvements have reportedly increased the Gripen NG costs to an estimated 24,000 Swiss Francs (US$27,000) per hour, and increased the flyaway cost to 100 million Swiss Francs (US$113M).
  • JAS 39E: Single-seat production version developed from the Gripen NG program. Sweden and Brazil have ordered the variant. Brazil's designation for this variant is F-39E.
  • JAS 39F: Two-seat version of the E variant. Eight ordered by Brazil, to be developed and assembled there; planned for pilot training and combat, being optimized for back seat air battle management, with jamming, information warfare and network attack, besides weapon system officer and electronic warfare roles. Brazil's designation for the variant is F-39F.

Proposed Variants[edit]

  • Gripen CA: Carrier capable variant proposed for the Canadian Forces, lost out to the CF-16K Sea Viper.
  • Gripen EW: Proposed electronic warfare (EW) ‘Growler’ variant of the Gripen F.
  • Gripen M: Proposed carrier-based version based on the Gripen NG. As of 2011, its development was underway. As of 2013, Brazil and India were interested. This variant has also been named "Sea Gripen" or "Gripen Maritime". In July 2017 the Brazilian Navy began studying the Saab Gripen for naval purposes by sending an attaché to the Brazilian Air Force. The Brazilian Navy is looking to replace its fleet of Douglas A-4 Skyhawk aircraft.
  • Gripen UCAV: Proposed unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) variant of the Gripen E.

Users[edit]

Specifications (Gripen E/F)[edit]

  • General Specifications
    • Crew: 1 (Gripen E); 2 (Gripen F)
    • Length: 14.1 m (46 ft 3 in), two-seater: 14.76 m (48 ft 5 in)
    • Wingspan: 8.41 m (27 ft 7 in)
    • Height: 4.5 m (14 ft 9 in)
    • Wing Area: 30.0 m² (323 ft²)
    • Empty Weight: 7,121.4 kg (15,700 lbs)
    • Loaded Weight: 9,071.85 kg (20,000 lbs)
    • Maximum Takeoff Weight: 16,511 kg (36,400 lbs)
    • Power Plant: 1 x General Electric F414G afterburning turbofan
      • Dry Thrust: 15,600 lbf
      • Thrust with Afterburner: 22,000 lbf
    • Wheel Track: 2.39 m (7 ft 10 in)
  • Performance
    • Supercruise: Mach 1.2 (with 2 WVR and 2 BVR missiles)
    • Maximum Speed: Mach 2
    • Combat Radius: 1,300 kilometers
    • Ferry Range: 4,078 kilometers
    • Rate of Climb: 50,000ft/min
    • Service Ceiling: 50,000 feet
    • Wing Loading: 58lb/ft2
    • Internal Fuel: 3,311.2 kg (7,300 lbs)
    • External Fuel: 2,764.8 kg (8,300 lbs)
    • Thrust/Weight: 1.1
  • Armament
    • Guns: 1 x Mauser BK-27 27mm revolver cannon
    • Hardpoints: 10 (can carry up to 15,875 pounds of ordnance)
    • Missiles
      • Air-to-Air Missiles: AIM-9X Sidewinder, AIM-120C/D AMRAAM, AIM-132 ASRAAM, A-Darter, DERBY, IRIS-T, MBDA Mica, MBDA Meteor, Python 4/5, Skyflash
      • Air-to-Ground Missiles: AGM-65 Maverick, AGM-154 JSOM, Brimstone, DWS.39, CRV7 rockets, Taurus KEPD 350, RBS.15F,
    • Bombs: GBU-10/12/16 Paveway II, GBU-22/24 Paveway III, GBU-31/32/38 JDAM, GBU-39 SDB, Bk.90 cluster bomb, Lizard II/III smart bomb, Mark 82/83/84 bomb, SPICE smart bomb
  • Avionics
    • Raven AESA Radar
    • Skyward G IRST
    • Cobra HDMS
    • ECM pods
    • BOL advanced countermeasure dispenser
    • MAW (missile approach warner)
    • Laser Warning System, towed decoy
    • Internally mounted RF jammers.
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