The Gripen is a multi-role fighter aircraft, intended to be a lightweight and agile aerial platform incorporating advanced, highly-adaptable avionics. It has canard control surfaces which contributes a positive lift force at all speeds, while the generous lift from the delta wing compensates for the rear stabilizer producing negative lift at high speeds, increasing induced drag. Being intentionally unstable and employing digital fly-by-wire flight controls to maintain stability removes many flight restrictions, improves maneuverability, and reduces drag. The Gripen also has good short takeoff performance, being able to maintain a high sink rate and strengthened to withstand the stresses of short landings. A pair of air brakes are located on the sides of the rear fuselage; the canards also angle downward to act as air brakes and decrease landing distance. It is capable of flying at a 70-80 degrees angle of attack.
Canard control surfaces
In order to enable the Gripen to have a long service life, projected to be roughly 50 years, the aircraft was designed to have low maintenance requirements; major systems such as the RM12 engine and PS-05/A radar are of a modular type to reduce operating cost and increase reliability. The Gripen was designed to be flexible as it had been anticipated that newly developed sensors, computers, and armaments would need to be integrated as technology advances.
Avionics and sensors
All of the Gripen’s avionics are fully integrated using total of five MIL-STD-1553B digital data buses, described as “sensor fusion”. The total integration of the avionics makes the Gripen a “programmable” aircraft, allowing software updates to be introduced over time to increase performance and allow for additional operational roles and equipment.
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Much of the data generated from the onboard sensors and by cockpit activity is digitally recorded throughout the length of an entire mission. This information can be replayed in the cockpit or easily extracted for detailed post-mission analysis using a data transfer unit that can also be used to insert mission data to the aircraft. The Gripen, like the Viggen, was designed to operate as one component of a networked national defence system, which allows for automatic exchange of information in real-time between Gripen aircraft and ground facilities. According to Saab, the Gripen features “the world’s most highly developed data link”. The Gripen’s Ternav tactical navigation system combines information from multiple onboard systems such as the air data computer, radar altimeter, and GPS to continuously calculate the Gripen’s location.
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The Gripen entered service using the PS-05/A pulse-Doppler X band multi-mode radar, developed by Ericsson and GEC-Marconi, which is based on the latter’s advanced Blue Vixen radar for the Sea Harrier that also served as the basis for the Eurofighter’s CAPTOR radar. The all-weather radar is capable of locating and identifying targets 120 km (74 mi) away, and automatically tracking multiple targets in the upper and lower spheres, on the ground and sea or in the air. The Mark 4 version has a 150% increase in high-altitude air-to-air detection ranges, detection and tracking of smaller targets at current ranges, 140% improvement in air-to-air mode at low altitude, and full integration of modern weapons such as the AIM-120C-7 AMRAAM, AIM-9X Sidewinder, and MBDA Meteor missiles.
See Details of PS-05/A Mark 4
The upgraded radar, designated PS-05/A Mk4, features a new hardware and software, with the primary changes being in the system’s ‘back end’.Datalinks and communications – Flygvapnet pioneered the use of datalinks in the combat aircraft, fielding first versions on SAAB 35 Draken in mid 1960s. Gripen is equipped with four high-bandwidth, two-way data links, with range of around 500 kilometers. This allows for exchange of targeting information and other data, even when one of aircraft is on the ground. One Gripen can provide data for four other aircraft, as well as get access to ground C&C systems and SAAB-Ericsson 340B Erieye “mini-AWACs” aircraft. It can also allow fighters to quickly and accurately lock on to target by triangulation of data from several radars. Annother possibility includes one fighter jamming the target while another tracks it, or several fighters using different frequencies at the same time to penetrate jamming easier. (defenseissues.wordpress.com)Note lower right switch show “PEACE” and “WAR” setting it is said that the WAR setting boast the Gripen performance by 30% and it could attain +12 G
The primary flight controls are compatible with the HOTAS control principle – the centrally mounted stick, in addition to flying the aircraft, also controls the cockpit displays and weapon systems. A triplex, digital fly-by-wire system is employed on the Gripen’s flight controls, with a mechanical backup for the throttle. The Gripen includes the EP-17 cockpit display system, developed by Saab to provide pilots with a high level of situational awareness and reduces pilot workload through intelligent information management. The Gripen features a sensor fusion capability, information from onboard sensors and databases is combined, automatically analysed, and useful data is presented to the pilot via a wide field-of-view head-up display, three large multi-function colour displays, and optionally a helmet mounted display system (HMDS).
Gripen helmet mounted display system (HMDS)
Of the three multi-function displays (MFD), the central display is for navigational and mission data, the display to the left of the center shows aircraft status and electronic warfare information, and the display to the right of the center has sensory and fire control information. In two-seat variants, the rear seat’s displays can be operated independently of the pilot’s own display arrangement in the forward seat, Saab has promoted this capability as being useful during electronic warfare and reconnaissance missions, and while carrying out command and control activities.
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Gripen operational cost lowest of all western fighters: Jane’s
The operational cost of the Swedish Saab Gripen aircraft is the lowest among a flightline of modern fighters, confirmed a White Paper submitted by the respected international defense publishing group IHS Jane’s, in response to a study commissioned by Saab.
For the purpose of modeling to create a standard or benchmark, the study arrived at the ‘aircrafts’ fuel usage, hence cost, based on a theoretical one hour sortie at max dry thrust’, not ‘necessarily reflective of actual fuel consumption and hence fuel cost of a one hour sortie’.
As is evident, the modeled cost pattern is closest to the derived cost pattern in the case of the Gripen, F-16, Rafale, and Eurofighter. The research and the model digress in the case of the F-35 and the F/A-18.
In the case of the F-35, the study says the different ‘costs arise from the differing power and specific fuel consumptions of the A / C and B models. The B model is the top figure in both cases’. The study says, “The single P&W F-135 engine is relatively fuel efficient for its power, resulting in a lower fuel burn at maximum dry thrust than might be expected.” It adds that, although obviously, ‘accurate CPFH for in-service aircraft does not exist’, ‘the US and Australian forecast costs both suggest it will not offer lower CPFH than current aircraft’, considering ‘the aircraft itself is an extremely sophisticated design carrying a large number of new and unproven onboard systems’.
Specifications (JAS 39C/D Gripen)
- Crew: 1 (2 for JAS 39D)
- Payload: 5,300 kg (11,700 lb)
- Length: 14.1 m (46 ft 3 in); two-seater: 14.8 m (48 ft 5 in)
- Wingspan: 8.4 m (27 ft 7 in)
- Height: 4.5 m (14 ft 9 in)
- Wing area: 30.0 m² (323 ft²)
- Empty weight: 6,800 kg (14,990 lb)
- Loaded weight: 8,500 kg (18,700 lb)
- Max. takeoff weight: 14,000 kg (31,000 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × Volvo RM12 afterburning turbofan
- Dry thrust: 54 kN (12,100 lbf)
- Thrust with afterburner: 80.5 kN (18,100 lbf)
- Wheel track: 2.4 m (7 ft 10 in)
- Maximum speed: Mach 2 (2,204 km/h (1,190 kn; 1,370 mph)) at high altitude
- Combat radius: 800 km (497 mi, 432 nmi)
- Ferry range: 3,200 km (1,983 mi) with drop tanks
- Service ceiling: 15,240 m (50,000 ft)
- Wing loading: 283 kg/m² (58 lb/ft²)
- Thrust/weight: 0.97
- Maximum g-load: +9 g (+12 g emergency)
- Guns: 1× 27 mm Mauser BK-27 Revolver cannon with 120 rounds (single-seat models only)
- Hardpoints: 8 (three on each wing and two under fuselage) and provisions to carry combinations of:
- Rockets: 4× rocket pods, 13.5 cm rockets
- 6× AIM-9 Sidewinder (Rb.74) or IRIS-T (Rb 98)
- 4× AIM-120 AMRAAM (Rb.99) or MICA
- 4× Meteor (under development)
- 4× AGM-65 Maverick (Rb.75)
- 2× KEPD.350
- 2× Rbs.15F anti-ship missile
- 4× GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bomb
- 2× Bk.90 cluster bomb
- 8× Mark 82 bombs
Saab Gripen Flight Suit Saab Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Aircrew Protection for Gripen
IRIS-T (Rb 98), AIM-9 Sidewinder (Rb.74), Rbs.15F anti-ship missile (above)27 mm Mauser BK-27 Revolver cannonIRIST-T Anti-Aircraft Missile off bore sight capabilityAIM-9 Sidewinder (Rb.74) Anti-Aircraft Missile
Meteor Beyond-Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile, Meteor is air ramjet-powered missile with advanced seeker technology that can fly at sustained high speeds, over long ranges and with great agility to defeat air-to-air threats range 100-300 km at over Mach 4AIM-120 AMRAAM range 105-180 km at Mach 4The MBDA MICA is an anti-air multi-target, all weather, fire-and-forget short and medium-range missile system. It is intended for use both by air platforms as individual missiles as well as ground units and ships, which can be equipped with the rapid fire MICA Vertical Launch System. It is fitted with a thrust vector control (TVC) system Range Air-launched 0.2–50 km at Mach 4
RBS-15 (Robot system 15) is a long-range fire-and-forget surface-to-surface and air-to-surface, anti-ship missile. The later version Mk. III has the ability to attack land targets as well Range 250 km at subsonic speedTaurus KEPD 350 is a German/Swedish air-launched cruise missile, manufactured by Taurus Systems and used by Germany and Spain Range over 500 km at speed Mach 0.8 – 0.95GBU-10/12/16 Paveway II laser-guided bombGBU-22/24 Paveway III laser-guided bombGBU-31/32/38 JDAMBk.90 cluster bombMark 82/83 bombs
Source: wiki, Saab, Avia TAF
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