Daily Archives: April 27, 2017

Gripen C / D Multirole Fighter Aircraft

The Gripen multirole fighter aircraft, developed by Saab, was first flown in December 1988 and entered operational service with the Swedish Air Force in 1997. It is planned that the Gripen will replace all current variants of the Viggen and Draken combat aircraft.

Saab 35 Draken

saab-35-draken-wallpapersImage: hqpictures.net

A single-seat, single-engine interceptor/fighter for all-weather conditions, with low double delta wings, the Saab 35 Draken was developed in order to replace the Saab J29 Tunnan and the Saab J32 Lansen. Its first flight took place in 1955, being amongst the most advanced and remarkable fighters of its time. In 1960 it entered in service with the Flygvapnet.


The Draken is designed as a tailless middle double-delta wing fighter, with a single tail and a single engine (A Volvo Svenska Flygmotor RM6C, bestowing a maximum speed of 2125 km/h / 1,317 mph). Its double-delta wings allow good high and low speed performances. It also provided good fuel and armament capacity. The engine air inlets are located mid-wing at each side of the cockpit, featuring a characteristic egg shape.

Considered an easy-to-fly platform, yet not suitable for untrained pilots given the high sensibility controls, and being prone to ‘superstalls’ as a very stable platform with good low flight.

Although the avionics were in principle basic, the radar was a very sophisticated one – A PS-02/A based on the French radar Thompson-CSF Cyrano – integrated with an Ericsson version of a radar Thompson-CSF Cyrano S6 fire control system. It also incorporated VHF/UHF radio, a radio altimeter, a transponder, an IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) system, and the Swedish version of the Lear-14 autopilot. The seat of the pilot was reclined 30 degrees, similarly like the Viggen, to allow the pilot to resist G-forces. And the cockpit was fitted with air-conditioning and pressurization.

The engine in combination with the design, made the Draken a very manoeuvrable and fast fighter jet, with the braking parachute assisting the aircraft in the landing, reducing the distance required to reach a full stop. Earlier version of the Draken had two 30 mm Aden M/55 cannons, with later versions having only one cannon. Also some export versions kept the two cannons configuration.

f35drak_vlImage: combataircraft.com

Draken Specifications

Wingspan 9.42 m / 30 ft 10 in
Length 15.20 m / 49 ft 10 in
Height 3.8 m / 12 ft 7 in
Wing Area 49.22 m² / 529.8 ft²
Engine 1 Svenska Flygmotor Turbofan RM6B
Maximum Take-Off Weight 10,089 Kg / 22,200 lb
Empty Weight 6.590 kg / 14,500 lb
Loaded Weight 16,000 kg / 35,273 lb
Maximum Speed 1,900 km/h / 1,200 mph
Range 3,250 Km / 2,020 miles
Maximum Service Ceiling 18,000 m /59,100 ft
Climb Rate 200 m/s ( 12,000 m/min / 40,000 ft/min )
Crew 1 (pilot)
Armament • 1 Aden 30mm Cannon
• 6 hardpoints that could allow 1700 kg of payload. A pod for a 135mm Bofors M70 rockets; air-to-air Rb 24, Rb 27 or Rb 28; external fuel tank; iron bombs; cameras.

Saab 35 Draken data plane-encyclopedia.com

Saab S37 Viggen


The Saab Viggen is a single-seat, single-engine fighter with a low double delta wing and with two canards equipped with flaps, intended to replace the Saab J35 Draken. Its first flight took place in 1967. When it entered service in 1971 with the Flygvapnet, the Swedish Air Force, it was the most advanced fighter jet in Europe until the introduction of the Panavia Tornado (1981). It was also the first canard-designed aircraft to be produced in a large quantity.


The Viggen is designed as a low double delta wing fighter, with a single tail and a single engine (A Volvo Turbofan Flygmotor RM8B, the most powerful installed in a jet fighter upon its introduction, achieving a maximum speed of Mach 2. It has canards with flaps that provide lift for both flight and taking-off and landing. Assessed as a very stable platform with good low flight, the canards and the combination of the engine, the thrust reverser, the HUD, and the afterburner allows for STOL capabilities (Taking off: 400 mts/ 1310 ft; landing: 450-500 mts/1640 ft).

The wings were provided with dogtooth at the attack border, in order to improve stability at high incidence angles. The structure was built with aluminium with a honeycomb structure, with the rear being totally of aluminium, allowing the Viggen to withstand the stress of no-flare landings, while the vertical stabilizer, or tail, was made tall given the requirements the large anti-ship missiles existing back then imposed on the design. It has a “hump” on the dorsal area to reduce drag. An interesting feature of the tail is that it can be folded, so to enhance the storage in underground and/or smaller hangars. Earlier version of the Viggen did not have an internal cannon, as it was considered by the days a close-range combat was not necessary, an approach that also affected other designs, such as the American Phantom F4. Further variants incorporated an internal cannon. The pilot seat was angled by 19 degress so to allow the pilot to resist better G forces.

fja37_vlImage: combataircraft.com

Viggen Specifications

Wingspan 10.6 m / 34 ft 9 in
Length 16.40 m / 53 ft 9 in
Height 5.6 m / 18 ft 4 in
Wing Area 46 m² / 500 ft²
Engine 1 Volvo Flygmotor Turbofan RM8
Maximum Take-Off Weight 20,500 Kg / 45,194 lb
Empty Weight 11,800 kg / 26,014 lb
Loaded Weight 16,000 kg / 35,273 lb
Maximum Speed 2,125 km/h / 1,320 mph
Range 2000 Km / 1,242 miles
Maximum Service Ceiling 18,000 m /59,100 ft
Climb Rate 203 m/s ( 12,000 m/min / 40,026 ft/min )
Crew 1 (pilot)
Armament • 1 Oerlikon KCA 30mm cannon (JA 37)
• 7 hardpoints that could allow 6000 kg of payload. A pod for Aden 30 mm cannon; 135mm Bofors M70 rockets in pods for six rockets; air-to-air Saab 305/Rb 05, Rb71 Sky Flash, AMRAAM or Sidewinder missiles; air-to-surface or Maverick missiles; Anti-ship Saab 304; 120 kg iron bombs.

Saab Viggen data plane-encyclopedia.com

Gripen has been developed by an industrial consortium consisting of Saab, Saab Microwave Systems (formerly Ericsson), Volvo Aero Corporation, Saab Avitronics and FFV Aerotech. A joint venture company, Gripen International, has been set up by Saab and BAE Systems to market the Gripen for export markets. BAE Systems is building the main landing gear unit and wing attachment unit.

The Gripen demo aircraft achieved a supersonic speed level of above Mach 1.2 in January 2009 without using an afterburner, thus proving its higher range and fuel-savings advantages.

JAS 39A is the single-seater version of the Gripen. A two-seater JAS 39B operational trainer variant of Gripen is available. The JAS 39B is equipped with the same avionics and weapons suite as the JAS 39A, with the exception of the gun.


39_101_00384First production JAS 39A with Mk.82 bombs – Image: aeroflight.co.uk

A consortium named “IndustriGruppen JAS” was formed between SAAB-Scania, Volvo Flygmotor, Ericsson, and Foerenade Fabriksverken (now FFV Aerotech). The group’s proposal, with the company designation “SAAB 2110”, was accepted in the spring of 1982, with a contract signed in June for five prototypes featuring some modifications from the original proposal, plus an initial production batch of 30 aircraft and an option for 110 more.

* Work on the prototypes began in 1984, with a full-size mockup completed in early 1986. The program ran into technical problems, cost increases, and schedule slips, leading to political pressure for its cancellation and purchase of a foreign aircraft. However, the first single-seat “JAS 39A Gripen (Griffin)” prototype flew on 9 December 1988, with test pilot Stig Holmstroem at the controls, and the controversy faded. Design work on the “JAS 39B” two-seat version for operational conversion training began in 1989.

Unfortunately, the first JAS 39A prototype, the “39-1”, was lost on 2 February 1989 due to a software glitch in the flight-control system. The aircraft became unstable on landing and cartwheeled, with the pilot, Lars Raadstroem, suffering a broken arm. The whole ugly event was filmed and caused a bit of a public sensation. Work on cleaning up the software and fixing engine problems led to additional schedule slips. The problems were resolved, and the second prototype, “39-2”, took to the air on 4 May 1990. The third prototype to fly, which was actually designated “39-4” and featured operational avionics but no radar, performed its initial flight on 20 December 1990. The next prototype, the “39-3”, was fitted with radar and flew on 25 March 1991; followed by the last of the five prototypes, “39-5”, which was close to production spec, and flew on 23 October 1991.

By this time, the bugs had been largely ironed out. The Flygvapnet decided the Gripen had been worth the wait and trouble, since it easily exceeded many of its design specifications — and the fact that it was such a pretty aircraft didn’t hurt. In June 1992, SAAB got the go-ahead for building the two-seat JAS 39B, and the government formally signed off on the option for 110 more Gripens, which were to be built to an improved “Batch 2” standard. The new order included 96 JAS 39As and 14 JAS 39Bs.

The first production Gripen performed its maiden flight on 4 March 1993, with Raadstroem at the controls. The second production item was the first to be handed over formally to the Flygvapnet, with delivery on 8 June 1993. However, the first production machine crashed during a flight demonstration in Stockholm on 8 August 1993, Raadstroem ejecting without serious injury. Once again, the problem turned out to be a glitch in the flight control system software. All the Gripens were grounded until the bug was traced down and fixed.

The first JAS 39B was rolled out on 29 September 1995. It was actually a production-line modification of one of the 30 Batch-1 JAS 39As. The JAS 39A reached initial operational status in 1995 and full operational status in 1997. The first Batch 2 machine was delivered in December 1996, the same month that an order for 64 improved “Batch 3” machines was placed, including 50 single-seat “JAS 39Cs” and 14 two-seat “JAS 39Ds”. Source airvectors.net

892cb3ad72f9429c396db7ec80dcd792IRIS-T, MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile and the Boeing GBU-39 Small-Diameter Bomb

JAS 39C is the single seat batch 3 and export standard version, which was first delivered to the Swedish Air Force in September 2002.

JAS 39C has colour cockpit displays, an on-board oxygen generation system (OBOGS) and in-flight refuelling capabilty.

JAS 39D is upgraded similarly to the JAS 39C but is a two seater variant.

In-flight refuelling capabilty


The South African Air Force (SAAF) refuses to officially acknowledge it, but the Gripens it operates are equipped with a unique gravity refuelling capability that allows them to operate from airfields that lack fuel trucks or fuel pumps and to even be refuelled from drums if necessary.

Its presence can be verified by a visual examination of the SAAF’s aircraft. There are three discrete circles placed flush along the upper right fuselage, between the canards and the tail. A closer look reveals a small four-pointed star symbol, and the wording ‘NATO Code No. F-34’, alongside each. The star is the NATO-standard symbol for a refuelling port, while ‘F-34’ is an instruction that the aircraft uses JP-8, the military equivalent of Jet A-1 aviation fuel.

The circles are the caps of the gravity refuelling ports, each connected directly into one of the Gripen’s three main fuselage tanks, Tank 1, Tank 2 and Tank 3 respectively, as a backup to the aircraft’s standard pressurised refuelling port.

In this contrast-enhanced photograph the three gravity refuelling ports, marked with a four pointed star, are clearly visible. (ADR/Darren Olivier)In this contrast-enhanced photograph the three gravity refuelling ports, each marked with a four pointed star, are clearly visible. (ADR/Darren Olivier)

None of the other Gripens in service around the world have those ports, all feature smooth metal in the same locations. This is true not only for the Swedish-spec Gripens operated by Sweden, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, but also the export-spec models operated by Thailand.

A close-up view of one of the gravity refuelling ports. Note the lettering indicating JP-8 fuel. (ADR/Darren Olivier)A close-up view of one of the gravity refuelling ports. Although the ‘F-34’ code indicates JP-8 fuel, the Gripen can operate equally well on the similar Jet A-1 commercial fuel. (ADR/Darren Olivier)

The regular Gripen refuelling port, near the right-hand air intake, is a standard receptacle that requires a pressurised feed to function, so either a fuel truck or a ground fuel pump must be present. This means that SAAF Gripens have the unique ability to be refuelled at any location that lacks a pressure fuelling system, or even to be refuelled from fuel drums if necessary, allowing them to operate either from austere locations or completely independently of airport resources.

The specific reason for including this requirement in the Project Ukhozi specification, under which the Gripens were acquired, has not been made public and the SAAF is not willing to elaborate. However, an examination of SAAF doctrine and tactics implies that the original intention may have been to allow for dispersed operation into either deep rural areas, or semi-prepared airstrips close to the front line, if the country was to go to war.

In practice though it’s rare for any fighter aircraft to deploy to a location that does not have a pressure fuelling system, as nearly all airports have fuel trucks or ground pumps with that capability and the SAAF’s Gripens are in any case always deployed alongside a small technical team, equipped with a Sprinter van and custom-designed trailer from Desert Wolf, that includes all the necessary ground support equipment. In fact, despite the SAAF having deployed its Gripens to airfields and airports all over the country over the years, including a rapid combat deployment to Ndola, Zambia and Kinshasa, DRC in 2013, it has not yet had any need to use the gravity refuelling system.

The main reason for this is that gravity refuelling has two major disadvantages over the standard pressure refuelling approach: It is a much slower process and it can’t be performed while the aircraft is running and the fuel system pressurised.

With the regular single-point pressure refuelling system and a suitable fuel pump, the Gripen can have all of its internal tanks and three drop tanks refilled within an impressive ten minutes, at a rate of around 600+ litres per minute. The onboard systems automatically handle the rerouting of the fuel into each tank in turn. Gravity refuelling, on the hand, is limited by the rate that fuel can be moved from its source without being boosted. If using drums and regularly-sized flexible hoses, filling up the three main centre tanks alone might take over an hour.

It’s also unclear whether the Gripen’s systems support refilling the wing tanks and drop tanks from gravity refuelling, as it would likely require the transfer pump next to the Forward Refuelling Transfer Unit to be used and the system would be unpressurised.

To understand why these limitations exist, it’s important to first describe in brief how the Gripen fuel system works.

The location of the main fuel tanks on the Gripen C. The VT and NGT are excluded.The location of the main fuel tanks on the Gripen C. The VT and NGT are not shown.

The Gripen C has 11 fuel tanks: Tank 2 Fore (not present in the Gripen D), Tank 2 Aft, Tank 1 Fore, Tank 1 Aft, Tank 3, the Vent Tank, and the Negative G Tank all exist in the fuselage, while each wing has two tanks, Tank 4 and Tank 5. The included diagram shows the relative locations of the tanks, though for the sake of illustration it ignores the Vent Tank and Negative G Tank.

Fighter aircraft fuel systems are highly-complex and designed with multiple failsafes because they have to reliably feed a huge volume of fuel to jet engines in any possible stage of flight, whether the aircraft is flying straight and level, pulling up to +9 g or -3 g, or inverted. The Gripen system uses a combination of a collector tank, boost and jet pumps, and pressurisation to solve the problem.

The collector tank consists of Tank 1 A, Tank 1 F, and the Negative G Tank below both acting in concert and is the only one from which fuel is taken for the engine. A high-power boost pump sits inside the Negative G Tank, which in turn communicates with Tank 1 A/F via a one-way feed. When the aircraft is straight and level or under positive g, the Negative G Tank effectively forms the bottom of Tank 1 A/F so it’s as though the pump is pulling from Tank 1 A/F. When the aircraft is flying inverted or under negative g conditions, the one-way feed of the Negative G Tank ensures that fuel is kept inside it even as the surrounding fuel in Tank 1 A/F is pushed away. However, as the Negative G Tank only stores a limited quantity of fuel, this limits how long the aircraft can fly inverted or while under negative g.

As Tank 1 A/F and the Negative G Tank are the only ones that the engine draws fuel from, the fuel system keeps them topped up by transferring fuel from the other tanks. This is done via the Forward Refuelling Transfer Unit and Aft Refuelling Transfer Unit, a series of small jet pumps, and the main transfer pump, along with the assistance provided by pressurising the other tanks.

The order in which the tanks are transferred into Tank 1 A/F is the following: Drop tanks first (left and right together, then centre), then the combined Tank 2 A/F tank down to 200 kg, then the wing tanks, and finally Tank 3 and the remainder of Tank 2 A/F. As mentioned earlier, Tank 2 F does not exist on the two-seater Gripen D, as the space is taken up by the second seat, but the same process applies. When under high g loads and certain flight angles, the order changes, and the drop tanks are not emptied until the aircraft returns to normal flight.

For the fuel tank pressurisation system a powerful compressor and an intricate web of piping takes bleed air from the engine or APU, runs it past a heat exchanger to cool it down, and pumps it into the fuel tanks. The system is capable of pressurising the tanks to a high enough level that they can self-feed into the transfer pipes, providing a backup in case the jet pumps or transfer pump fail. In normal operations all tanks except for Tank 1 A/F and the Negative G Tank are pressurised, in order to help with fuel transfer, but the onboard computer can adjust the levels as needed to cope with different g loads. Importantly, the aircraft is capable of pressurising tanks during refuelling, helping to speed up the transfer from the refuelling port into the various tanks.

Given all this complexity, designing and testing a fuel system on a fighter aircraft like the Gripen is an expensive, long, and painstaking process. It’s therefore notable that Saab was willing to comply with the SAAF’s requirement to add gravity refuelling as an option, even though it’s a niche capability.

What’s more, the gravity refuelling system on the SAAF Gripens is just one of the more than a dozen changes and modifications that distinguish South Africa’s fleet from that of other Gripen operators. These include South African components such as the ACR500 radio (equipped with the Link-ZA datalink), the GUS-1000 audio management system, and a custom identification friend or foe (IFF) transponder, as well as broad changes to the navigation system, avionics symbology, mission planning tools, and a customised electronic warfare system which appears to have additional support from the on-board fluid cooling circuit. As the accompanying diagram shows, this circuit cools the radar, the avionics bay behind the cockpit, and the electronic warfare jammer installed in the Forward Pod Unit at the top of the tail fin.

A simplified diagram of the cooling circuit in the Gripen, which uses fuel and ram air to cool an polyalphaolefin fluid called Kylvätska 039 via heat exchangers.

All these changes are possible as a result of the South African Air Force both joining the Gripen programme while the final details of what was then called the Export Baseline Standard were being defined and having a very clear idea via its comprehensive User Requirement Specification of what capabilities it wanted its new fighter to have. This is an important factor, because it’s doubtful that similar alterations would’ve been accommodated in an in-production aircraft for an order as small as the SAAF’s. It’s to be hoped that the SAAF and SANDF might before long become less reticent about the unique systems on board their Gripens and, within reason, inform the South African public the impact that they have.

Because despite the limitations of the gravity refuelling option, it gives South African military commanders one more useful tool on the battlefield which may one day make the difference between a mission succeeding or failing. Source africandefence.net

Gripen NG next-generation upgrade programme

gripen-demo-fighter-jets-airforce-sea-wing-1920x1080-70477Gripen NG

A new version of the Gripen aircraft, the Gripen next generation (NG), has also been developed by Saab. The Gripen NG comes with several attractive features including its full interoperability with Nato, high operational tempo, a fully digital cockpit with advanced features, network connectivity with multifrequency datalink and a modern avionic mission system.

In October 2007, the Swedish government placed a contract with Saab for a Gripen demonstrator programme to develop an upgraded version of the JAS 39C. Saab has selected the GE Aviation / Volvo Aero F414G engine to power the demonstrator. The F414G has 96kN (22,000lb) thrust and will be fitted with full authority digital electronic control (FADEC). Saab Microwave Systems and Thales are developing an active electronically scanned radar (AESA) for the programme. The demonstrator, also known as Gripen NG, will be a flying testbed for further development of the Gripen and made its first flight in May 2008.

GE Aviation / Volvo Aero F414G engine

F414G has 96kN (22,000lb) thrust

Manufacturer: General Electric Co.

Thrust: 22,000 pounds
Overall Pressure Ratio at Maximum Power: 30
Thrust-to-Weight Ratio: 9
Compressor: Two-spool, axial flow, three-stage fan
LP-HP Compressor Stages: 0-7
HP-LP Turbine Stages: 1-1
Combustor Type: Annular
Engine Control: FADEC
Length: 154 in (3.91 m)
Diameter: 35 in (88.9 cm)
Dry Weight: 2,445 lbs (1,109 kg)
Source fi-powerweb.com

Saab and Selex Galileo reached an initial agreement for the AESA in March 2009. With high operational tempo, agility, improved sensor fusion and fully digital cockpit, the new generation aircraft will be a fully Nato interoperable multirole fighter designed for the future net-centric warfare (NCW) environment, Saab claims.

In September 2007, the Swedish Government approved the upgrade of 31 JAS 39A aircraft to the JAS 39C/D configuration. The upgraded aircraft successfully completed its first flight in February 2009.

The Gripen next generation fighter aircraft made its first international debut in July 2010 at Farnborough International Air Show held in UK. Gripen NG has significantly increased combat range and endurance, increased payload and super-cruise capability.

Saab has offered Gripen IN, an Indian version of the Gripen NG, to the Indian Air Force. The offer was made in April 2008 in response to the proposal made by the Indian Ministry of Defence for 126 medium multirole combat aircraft. The company has also submitted a proposal to the Brazilian Air Force for 36 Gripen NG aircraft. Saab plans to manufacture these aircraft in Brazil, if it wins the contract.

Saab Gripen E: Details

Gripen IN Indian Air Force Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA)

The JAS 39 Gripen was submitted by Saab for the Indian Air Force Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA), competing against the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, Europfighter Typhoon, F-16 and MiG-35 for India’s largest ever defence deal at $16.36bn.

After showcasing the aircraft at the Aero India show Saab launched its collaborative aeronautical partnership project ‘Aeronautical Design and Development Centre’ with the India-based TATA Consultancy Services (TCS). The design centre’s first contract is to take part in the future design and development of the Gripen.

The competition was awarded to the Rafale in 2012.

Gripen international orders

In November 1998, the South African Air Force ordered 28 Gripen multi-role aircraft (19 single-seat and nine dual-seat). Denel Aviation of South Africa will produce part of the centre fuselage. The first flight was in November 2005 and deliveries began in April 2008 and will conclude in 2012. Four aircraft were officially handed over to the SAAF in September 2008. The fifth aircraft was delivered in November 2008.


In November 2001, Hungary signed a memorandum of understanding for the lease of 14 aircraft – 12 JAS 39A single-seat and two JAS 39B. In February 2003, Sweden and Hungary signed an amendment to the lease contract and both the single-seated and the twin-seated aircraft were upgraded to C and D standard. The amendment also stated that Hungary will purchase the aircraft after the lease period. The first five were delivered in March 2006 and deliveries concluded in December 2007.

In June 2004, the Czech Republic signed a leasing agreement with the Swedish Government for 14 new Gripen (12 single-seat JAS 39C and two two-seat JAS 39D) for a period of ten years. The aircraft were delivered between April and August 2005.

In October 2007, Thailand selected the Gripen, with a requirement for 12 aircraft to replace F-5B/E fighters. An agreement to buy the first six Gripen (four 39C and two 39D aircraft was signed in February 2008. The Thai Government approved the remaining six Gripens in February 2009. The aircraft are to be delivered in 2011.

In August 2010, Thai Government released THB170bn ($5.4bn) from the 2011 fiscal year defence budget to purchase a second Gripen batch for the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF).

Saab will provide product maintenance, technical support to Gripen as part of the Skr230m ($29m) contract awarded by Sweden in June 2010. As part of the contract, it will also offer basic operations which include test flying, rigs and simulators. Work will be carried out from the second half of 2010.

Saab looking at Thailand to set up MRO hub: Here


Saab Automobile AB, a Swedish manufacturer of fighter jets, among other products, has expressed interest in investing in a production and maintenance hub in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), says Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana.

Saab will develop an advanced avionics systems for the Swedish Armed Forces’ Gripen fighter aircraft as part of the two year Skr450m ($56m) contract awarded in May 2010. The avionics system will include computer systems and displays. The first aircraft upgraded with new avionics system will enter into service in 2020.

Bulgarian Air Force is being offered to buy Gripen fighter jets at the price of second-hand US F-16 planes in April 2010. Bulgaria unveiled a decision to buy new multipurpose fighter jets rather than second-hand ones. The government, however, has not made final decision on the acquisition.

Saab group was awarded a four year contract worth Skr2bn ($280m) by Swedish Air Force in March 2010 for upgrading the countermeasures and communication systems of the Gripen. The upgrade will also encompass incorporation of advanced weapons and new improved radar systems with increased range to its entire fleet.

Swedish Defence Material Administration awarded SEK 600m worth contract to Saab on 30 March 2010 for providing continuous maintenance services to Gripen. The maintenance will be carried out during 2010 and 2011.

SAAB Presents Gripen Aggressor: Here


Defence and security company Saab presents a new variant of Gripen, Gripen Aggressor. Gripen Aggressor is based on the proven Gripen C-series and is the ultimate platform for the adversary air combat training market. Gripen Aggressor brings a unique mix of high performance, mission flexibility and availability combined with a low life cycle cost.

Gripen cockpit

Björn Hellenius

The cockpit is equipped with a Saab Avitronics EP-17 electronic display suite, with three multifunction displays and a wide-angle, 22×28 degree diffraction head-up display. The central head-down display provides tactical data superimposed on a computer-generated map. The displays on the left and right provide the flight data and the target data from the sensor suites.


BAE Systems and Saab Aerospace, with Denel Cumulus of South Africa, have developed an integrated helmet-mounted display (IHMD) system for the Gripen, known as Cobra. The IHMD is a development of the Striker helmet developed for the Eurofighter Typhoon. Cobra is fitted on the Gripen for South Africa. The Swedish Air Force also placed an order for the system in October 2007.


The time-critical systems controls (for example, weapons and communications) are grouped on the throttle and control stick for hands-on throttle and stick (HOTAS) operation.

The flight control system is a triplex digital fly-by-wire system from BAE Astronics and Lockheed Martin.

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. Source defenseissues.wordpress.com

UTuihnkNote 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 

360 video with Gripen pilot

Mk10 seat


Operating Ceiling 50000+ ft (15,250m)
Minimum height/Speed Zero/zero in near level attitude
Crew boarding mass range 69.2 – 112.2 kg
Crew size range 3rd to 99th percentile
Maximum Speed for ejection 630 KIAS
Parachute type GQ Type 1000 Mk 2
Parachute deployment Drogue assisted
Drogue parachute type 5ft and 22 in.
Drogue deployment Drogue gun. Initiated by trip rod
Harness type Integrated
Ejection seat operation type Ejection gun and multi-tube rocket pack
Ejection gun Single, two stage
Gun stroke length 72 in.
Ejection initiation Handle on seat pan initiates gas operated seat firing system
Electronic Sequencer No
Barostatic time-release unit Yes, with 2 sec delay to give time for speed to decrease. Trip rod initiated.
Automatic back-up unit No
Manual override handle Yes
Guillotine Yes, early variant
Timers 0.50 second Drogue Gun Delay Timer, and a BTRU (barostatic time release unit)
Seat adjustment Up/down Actuator operated 28 Vdc
Arm restraints Yes
Leg restraints Yes, two garters
Oxygen supply Bottled emergency oxygen, Main oxygen system connection
Personal survival pack Yes, landscale, Liferaft option available
Aircrew services Personal Equipment Connector (PEC) provides connections for
– main oxygen
– back-up oxygen
– emergency oxygen
– anti-g suit
– mic/tel
Command ejection Yes
Canopy jettison No
Miniature detonating cord Yes
Miniature detonating cord Yes
Interseat sequencing system Yes, through command delay breech unit

Source martin-baker.com

Gripen and g-force

Fighter aircraft weapons

Jörgen Nilsson Photography

The Gripen has seven external hardpoints for carrying payloads: one at each wingtip, two under each wing and one on the fuselage centreline.

jas_39_gripen_saab_multirole_fighter_aircraft_sweden_swedish_details_armament_big_002Image: airrecognition.com

The Gripen’s built-in armament consists of a single Mauser BK-27 27 millimeter cannon, housed in a fairing on the aircraft’s belly, offset to left to the rear of the engine intake. Given the aircraft’s relatively small size, it generally carries guided weapons to ensure maximum combat effectiveness. Possible external stores include:

  • Air to air missiles (AAMs). The primary AAM is the Raytheon AIM-120 AMRAAM, and the Gripen’s PS-05A radar can guide four of these weapons simultaneously. Sweden is the only nation approved by the US to perform flight tests of AMRAAM, and Swedish AMRAAMs have minor modifications to fit Swedish specifications. Other possible AAM stores include the French Matra Mica; the British Aerospace Sky Flash, built in Sweden as the “Rb-71”; and the Anglo-French MBDA ramjet-powered Meteor BVRAAM or German BGT IRIS-T AAM, now in development. IRIS-T is a short-range heat-seeking AAM with “off-boresight” capability. The Flygvapnet intends to obtain the IRIS-T to replace Swedish-built Sidewinders.
  • Antiship missiles, such as the SAAB RBS-15 turbojet-powered sea-skimming missile. A precision land-attack version of the RBS-15 is now in development.
  • Air to surface missiles, such as the Raytheon AGM-65 Maverick, built in Sweden as the “Rb-75”, as well as the “BK (BombKapsel) 90 Mjoelnir” guided gliding submunitions dispenser, also known as “DWS-39”. The Mjoelnir was developed by Daimler-Benz Aerospace (now part of EADS), with the Gripen as the first intended flight platform. Of course, dumb bombs and unguided rocket pods have been qualified as well. Source craymond.no-ip.info
JAS_39_Gripen_Saab_Multirole_fighter_aircraft_Sweden_Swedish_details_armament_001Image: airrecognition.com

The air-to-air missiles include MBDA (formerly Matra BAe Dynamics) MICA, Raytheon AIM-120B AMRAAM and Lockheed Martin / Raytheon Sidewinder AIM-9L (Swedish Air Force Designation RB74).


Jörgen Nilsson Photography

The AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile) is one of the most modern, powerful, and widely used air-to-air missiles in the entire world. After it entered limited service in 1991, this missile has been exported to about 35 countries around the world, where it has certainly been proven with over 3 900 test shots and 10 combat victories.

By the 1980s, the US deemed its current stock of air-to-air missiles, particularly the medium-range AIM-7 Sparrow, were obsolete, or at least not as capable as the latest Soviet missiles of the time. While the Sparrow was effective, with about 60 kills, it was not effective enough. In particular, it had one crushing fault—it was not fire-and-forget, meaning that the pilot was forced to remain on the scene and in danger until the missile reached its target. So, development of the AIM-120 AMRAAM began, along with European development of a short-range missile, resulting in the ASRAAM. In 1991, the AMRAAM entered limited service in the US Air Force. Two years later, it was fully operational there as well as the US Navy, while other countries started to show considerable interest.

ord_aim-120a_amraam_vs_aim-7_engagement_envelopes_lgImage: defenceindustrydaily.com
Country of origin United States
Entered service 1991
Missile length 3.66 m
Missile diameter 0.18 m
Fin span 0.53 m
Missile launch weight 150.75 kg
Warhead weight 22.7 kg
Warhead type HE blast-fragmentation
Range of fire up to 75 km
Guidance active radar homing

Source military-today.com

AIM-9L Sidewinder

The Lima was followed in production in 1982 by the AIM-9M, which is essentially an improved AIM-9L. The Mike has improved background rejection, counter-countermeasures capability and a low smoke motor to reduce the visual signature of the inbound weapon. The AIM-9M has the all-aspect capability of the AIM-9L model, but provides all-around higher performance. The M model has infra-red countermeasures, enhanced background discrimination capability, and a reduced-smoke rocket motor. Deliveries of the initial AIM-9M-1 began in 1982. The only changes from the AIM-9L to the AIM-9M were related to the Raytheon Guidance Control Section (GCS). Several models were introduced in pairs with even numbers designating US Navy versions and odd for US Air Force. All AIM-9M GCS are comprised of three major assemblies; a seeker assembly for detecting and tracking the target; an electronics assembly for processing detected target information; and a servo assembly that transforms electrical tracking signals to mechanical movement of the fins. An umbilical cable assembly provides electrical interface between the missile GCS and the aircraft launcher. The umbilical I-3 cable also allows the flow of coolant from the LAU-7 to the missile GCS. AIM-9M GCS versions include the WGU-4A/B used in the AIM-9M-1 and AIM-9M-3, the WGU-4C/B used in the AIM-9M-4, the WGU-4D/B used in the AIM-9M-6, and the WGU-4E/B GCS used in the AIM-9M-8. The WGU-4E/B GCS uses advanced technology that has evolved through the WGU-4D/B development, while expanding the potential of the IRCM detection circuitry and improving the missile’s capability with respect to tactical IRCM deployment. Source scramble.nl

Sidewinder, mounted on the wingtips, is an all-aspect attack, short-range missile for enhanced dogfight capability. Air-to-surface missiles include the radar-guided Saab RBS15F anti-ship missile and Raytheon Maverick missile. In July 2008, the Hungarian Air Force’s Gripen fighters successfully test fired Sidewinder air-to-air missile.

Saab RBS15F anti-ship missile

Björn Hellenius

The RBS-15 was adapted for air launch as the “RBS-15F”, entering service in 1989. Such RB-04s as remained in service after that time were passed on to the training role.

The RBS-15F is Flygvapnet JAS-39 Gripen and was carried on the AJS-37 Viggen fighter. The missile’s advanced navigation system can store a large number of map “waypoints” to allow it to maneuver through complicated flight profiles, and it can even perform “feints”, closing in on one target and then veering off abruptly to hit another at the very last moment.

SAAB is now working on a land-attack derivative of the RBS-15F with a “stealthy” radar system, infrared terminal seeker, and new warhead, for introduction no earlier than 2004.



Spec Metric English
Wingspan 1.4 meters 4 feet 7 inches
Length 4.45 meters 14 feet 7 inches
Total weight 600 kilograms 1,320 pounds
Warhead weight 300 kilograms 660 pounds
Speed high subsonic
Range at altitude 200 kilometers 125 MI / 110 NMI

Source craymond.no-ip.info

Saab to upgrade RBS-15 system with enhanced combat range and an upgraded target seeker: Here


Saab has been contracted by the Swedish Defense Material Administration to develop and produce a new generation anti-ship missile system, the company announced on Friday.

The new system, a major upgrade of the RBS-15 system, will be for both air-launched and ship-launched missiles and will be integrated on the new Gripen E fighters and in Sweden’s Visby-class corvettes.

Maverick air-to-surface missile

The AGM-65 Maverick is a tactical, air-to-surface guided missile designed for close air support, interdiction and defense suppression mission. It provides stand-off capability and high probability of strike against a wide range of tactical targets, including armor, air defenses, ships, transportation equipment and fuel storage facilities. Maverick was used during Operation Desert Storm and, according to the Air Force, hit 85 percent of its targets.

The Maverick has a cylindrical body, and either a rounded glass nose for electro-optical imaging, or a zinc sulfide nose for imaging infrared. It has long-chord delta wings and tail control surfaces mounted close to the trailing edge of the wing of the aircraft using it. The warhead is in the missile’s center section. A cone-shaped warhead, one of two types carried by the Maverick missile, is fired by a contact fuse in the nose. The other is a delayed-fuse penetrator, a heavyweight warhead that penetrates the target with its kinetic energy before firing. The latter is very effective against large, hard targets. The propulsion system for both types is a solid-rocket motor behind the warhead.

The Maverick variants include electro-optical/television (A and B), imaging infrared (D, F, and G), or laser guidance (E). The Air Force developed the Maverick, and the Navy procured the imaging infrared and the laser guided versions. The AGM-65 has two types of warheads, one with a contact fuse in the nose, the other a heavyweight warhead with a delayed fuse, which penetrates the target with its kinetic energy before firing. The latter is very effective against large, hard targets. The propulsion system for both types is a solid-rocket motor behind the warhead.


Primary Function: Air-to-surface guided missile
Contractors: Hughes Aircraft Co., Raytheon Co.
Power Plant: Thiokol TX-481 solid-propellant rocket motor
Autopilot Proportional Navigation
Stabilizer Wings/Flippers
Propulsion Boost Sustain
Variant AGM-65A/B AGM-65D AGM-65G AGM-65E AGM-65F
Service Air Force Marine Corps Navy
Launch Weight: 462 lbs(207.90 kg) 485 lbs(218.25 kg) 670 lbs(301.50 kg) 630 lbs(286 kg) 670 lbs(301.50 kg)
Diameter: 1 foot (30.48 centimeters)
Wingspan: 2 feet, 4 inches (71.12 centimeters)
Range: 17+ miles (12 nautical miles/27 km)
Speed: 1150 km/h
Guidance System: electro-optical television imaging infrared Laser infrared homing
Warhead: 125 pounds(56.25 kilograms)cone shaped 300 pounds(135 kilograms)delayed-fuse penetrator, heavyweight 125 pounds(56.25 kilograms)cone shaped 300 pounds(135 kilograms)delayed-fuse penetrator, heavyweight
Explosive 86 lbs. Comp B 80 lbs. PBX(AF)-108
Fuse Contact FMU-135/B
COSTS Air ForceAGM-65D/G NavyAGM-65E/F
Date Deployed: August 1972 February 1986 1989
Aircraft: A-10, F-15E and F-16 F/A-18 F/A-18 and AV-8B

AGM-65 Maverick data fas.org

Later versions of the aircraft for Sweden will be armed with the short-range Diehl BGT Defence IRIS-T air-to-air missile and the MBDA Meteor beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air missile. Deliveries of IRIS-T began in December 2005.

IRIS-T air-to-air missile


The IRIS-T, InfraRed Imaging System – Tail/Thrust Vector Controlled, is an International initiative to replace current AIM-9L/M Sidewinder short-range, air-to-air missiles. The missile combines advanced aerodynamics and thrust vector control in a tail controlled airframe to achieve outstanding performance.


It utilizes a solid-propellant rocket motor. IRIS-T features a roll-pitch (128×128) IR seeker with �90� look angle for high off-boresight angle missile engagements. Engagements against targets in the rear hemisphere can be done successfully with the missile locked-on target after launch. IRIS-T outstanding agility is the key to successfully engage highly maneuverable advanced aircraft.


Overall, IRIS-T delivers increased agility, target acquisition range, hit accuracy, a more effective warhead and considerably improved protection against countermeasures compared with the Sidewinder missile. The mass, length, diameter and interface of the IRIS-T missile are very close to its predecessor achieving a high degree of compatibility which is a must for the IRIS-T program. During the flight tests, the IRIS-T achieved direct impact on the target even with IRCM (IR countermeasures) presence. The highly maneuverable IRIS-T missile will be integrated onto Typhoon, Gripen, F-16, Tornado, and F/A-18 aircraft. Dhiel BGT is the prime contractor for the program and Germany is the lead nation. Source deagel.com

General data:
Type: Guided Weapon Weight: 87 kg
Length: 2.94 m Span: 0.45 m
Diameter: 0.13 Generation: None
Properties: Anti-Air Dogfight (High Off-Boresight), Capable vs Seaskimmer
Targets: Aircraft, Helicopter, Missile
Sensors / EW:
IIR Seeker – (IRIS-T) Infrared
Weapon Seeker, Imaging IR
Max Range: 18.5 km
RB 98 IRIS-T [AIM-2000A] – (2009) Guided Weapon
Air Max: 27.8 km.

source cmano-db.com

MBDA Meteor (BVR) air-to-air missile

Meteor is a next generation, active radar-guided, beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) system. The missile is being developed by MBDA Systems for six European nations.

The Meteor BVRAAM can be integrated on Eurofighter Typhoon, Saab Gripen and Dassault Rafale aircraft. The Meteor missile can also be installed on Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

The missile, being designed as a complete unit, requires no assembly and maintenance immediately before loading. This arrangement reduces its overall life logistic support cost.

Meteor can be launched as a stealth missile. It is equipped with enhanced kinematics features. It is capable of striking different types of targets simultaneously in almost any weather.

The Meteor has a length of 3.65m and diameter of 0.178m. It is designed to be compatible with AIM-120 type rail and eject launcher systems.

The Meteor missile is equipped with a blast-fragmentation warhead, supplied by TDW of Germany. The warhead is designed as a structural component of the missile. The missile integrates proximity and impact fuses.

The Meteor is equipped with a two way datalink, which allows the launch platform to provide updates on targets or re-targeting when the missile is in flight. The datalink is capable of transmitting information such as kinematic status. It also notifies target acquisition by the seeker.

The Meteor is installed with an active radar target seeker, offering high reliability in detection, tracking and classification of targets. The missile also integrates inertial measurement system (IMS) supplied by Litef.

The missile has a range in excess of 100km. It is designed for a speed greater than Mach 4. The missile has a large no escape zone.

The Meteor missile is powered by a solid fuel variable flow ducted rocket (ramjet) supplied by Bayern-Chemie. The ramjet provides the Meteor missile with a capability to maintain consistent high speeds. This ability helps the missile to chase and destroy fast moving flexible targets.

The Meteor includes an electronics and propulsion control unit (EPCU). The EPCU adjusts the rocket’s air intake and duct covers based on the cruise speed and the target’s altitude.

The EPCU observes the distance and fuel level in the rocket and adjusts the throttle of the rocket. This feature of the EPCU helps the missile to manage its fuel system. Source airforce-technology.com

peter_brauns_aviation @IG

The Swedish Defence Material Administration awarded an Skr312m ($42m) contract to Saab in September 2010 for incorporating the active radar guided beyond visual range (BVR) missile, meteor as well as radar and displays on Gripen Fighters. Saab will execute test flight and test firing as part of the contract. The aircraft will also be equipped with support and maintenance systems such as simulators and planning computers.

The Saab Bofors / MBDA Taurus KEPD 350 long-range stand-off missile, with a range of 350km, has been successfully flight tested on the Gripen.

Taurus KEPD 350


Main features

  • Designed to penetrate dense air defences
  • Intended to neutralize high-value stationary and semi-stationary targets
  • Day-and-night all-weather capabilities
  • Only stand-off missle capable of being programmed for effect at a specific pre-selected floor


The TAURUS KEPD 350 is an MTCR category 2 weapon, designed to penetrate dense air defences by means of a very low level terrain following flight.

The TAURUS KEPD 350 is intended to neutralize high-value stationary and semi-stationary targets through its highly effective 481 kg dual stage warhead system MEPHISTO.

It combines outstanding penetration capabilities for hard and deeply buried targets (HDBT), as well as blast and fragmentation capabilities against high-value point and area targets (e.g. air defences), as well as an exceptional bridge- and runway-target kill capacity.

The TAURUS KEPD 350 remains the only stand-off missile capable of being programmed for effect at a specific pre-selected floor. This extraordinary feature is achieved by applying layer counting and void sensing-technology. It also has day-and-night all-weather capabilities.


Range +500 km
Weight 1400 kg
Length 5 m
Warhead 481 kg   (Tandem warheads)
Velocity M 0.6-0.95
Approach Low Level Terrain Following Navigation Tre-Tec

(IMU aided by Image-based Terrain Reference navigation and GPS)

Propulsion Turbojet

Source saab.com

TAURUS KEPD 350 on both wings – Image: saab.com

In May 2008, South Africa placed an order for the IRIS-T air-to-air missile to equip its Gripen fleet until the indigenous Denel A Darter missile enters service.

A-Darter short range, air-to-air missile (SRAAM)

A-Darter, also known as V3E Agile Darter, is a fifth-generation short range, air-to-air missile (SRAAM) developed in South Africa. The AAM is designed to meet the challenges which may come from conflict against future air combat fighters.

The missile system completed several successful test launches in January 2012. It entered the final qualification phase in March 2012 and is expected to be ready for production by 2013.

The missile will enter service with the South African Air Force (SAAF) and Brazilian Air Force (FAB) in 2014.

The SAAF is planning to equip the missile on its 26 Saab Gripen fighter jets and 24 Hawk Mk120 fleet. The FAB is expected to integrate it on Northrop’s F-5E/F Tiger II, F-5A/B Freedom Fighter and future F-X2 fighters.

High explosive (HE) warhead and systems of the A-Darter SRAAM

The A-Darter is 2.98m (9.78ft) long and 0.16m (0.52ft) in diameter. It has four fixed delta control fins at the rear and two strakes along the sides. The missile weighs 90kg.

It carries a high explosive (HE) warhead and has a range of ten kilometres. It is powered by a solid propulsion system. The missile has a track rate of 120°/s and a seeker angle of 180° for countermeasure resistance. It also features lock-on after launch and memory tracking for higher range intercepts, and is compatible with Sidewinder stations.

The tail-controlled AAM is powered by a boost-sustain rocket motor and uses thrust vector flight control. Its wingless airframe and low drag enable the A-Darter to have a higher range than the traditional SRAAMs. The missile system is designed with a highly agile airframe for close combat in electronic countermeasures (ECM) environments.

It is guided by two-colour thermal imaging infrared homing with laser fuse. It features a multimode electronic counter countermeasures (ECCM) suite for higher view angles.

The SiIMU02, an inertial measurement unit (IMU) from Atlantic Inertial Systems (formerly BAE Systems), provides the mid-course guidance for the missile. Solid-state technology of the IMU provides accurate measurement of angular rate and acceleration range of up to ±9,000°/s, ±500°/s and ±500°/s in R, P and Y-axes respectively. It has a linear acceleration range of up to ±30g.

When integrated, the missile can interface with the aircraft using LAU-7 type launcher mechanical rails and MIL-STD-1760 / 1553 avionics bus system. It can be designated to a target using autonomous scan feature of the missile, helmet sight or aircraft’s radar. Source airforce-technology.com

a-darter-tiro-2-580x387Gripen firing A-Darter AAM illustration – Image: Gripen blog

Technical Data

  • Length : 2 980 mm
  • Diameter : 166 mm
  • Mass : 93 kg

Source deneldynamics.co.za

GBU-12D/B Paveway II LGB

GBU-49/B Paveway II GPS/LGB

Boeing GBU-39 Small-Diameter Bomb

SDB_6Boeing GBU-39 GPS-guided 113kg (250lb) small diameter bomb

The Laser Small Diameter Bomb (Laser SDB) system is the next generation of affordable and low-collateral-damage precision strike weapons, which builds on the success of the same Semi-active Laser (SAL) sensor currently used by Boeing’s Laser JDAM.  A Laser SDB increases mission effectiveness in several ways:

By using already-proven laser sensor technology, Laser SDB offers the flexibility to prosecute targets of opportunity, including moving targets. With the BRU-61 Carriage System, these optimized munitions offer increased load-out for each weapons station to prosecute multiple targets per sortie. As a 250-lb. class weapon, Laser SDB’s smaller size and High Performance Wing Assembly allow it to glide for extended ranges.

Besides providing a safer standoff distance for pilots at greater than 60 nautical miles, Laser SDB target coordinates can be updated after weapon release by illuminating the target with standard Laser designation procedures. Laser SDB also retains a smaller warhead that provides reduced collateral damage, and offers ultra-low fragmentation with the composite focused lethality munition (FLM) variant. Source boeing.ca

GBU-39/B Weapon:

•  Dimensions: (L x W): 70.8″ x 7.5″ (1.8 m x 19 cm)
•  Weapon Weight: 285 pounds (130 kg)
•  Warhead: 206 lb. (93 kg) penetrating blast fragmentation
•  Warhead penetration: >3 feet of steel reinforced concrete
•  Fuze: electronic safe/arm fuze
•  Standoff maximum range: more than 60 nautical miles
•  Precision inertial navigation system/GPS
•  Anti-jam GPS and selective-ability anti-spoofing module

BRU-61/A Carriage System:

•  Payload capacity: four weapons
•  Weight: 320 pounds (145 kg) empty, 1,460 pounds (664 kg) loaded
•  Dimensions (L x W x H): 143″ x 16″ x 16″ (3.6 m x 40.6 cm x 40.6 cm)
•  Fits nearly all delivery platforms

The internally mounted 27mm Mauser high-energy gun can operate in an automatic radar-guided aiming mode. The stand-off dispenser is the DWF39 from EADS (formerly DaimlerChrysler Aerospace) and Bofors. The Bofors ARAK 70 rocket pod is cleared for carriage on the Gripen.

27mm Mauser high-energy gun


This 27mm cannon is a single barrel, gas-operated lightweight single barrel revolver cannon that fires electrically primed 27×145 mm ammunition at 1 700 rounds per minute.

Developed by Mauser-Werke Oberndorf of Germany, it’s features include low volume, low system weight, high fire power in target (air/air, air/ground), low time of flight projectile and a long stand-off range.

The cannon is relatively lightweight at only around 100 kg including barrel, but with a natural rate of fire of approximately 1700 rounds per minute (instantaneous time to rate), the relatively large shell (260g) and the high muzzle velocity of just over 1 km/s (v0) it packs a punch. The cartridge is ignited electrically and fed to the cylinder through linked belts or, in the case of the Eurofighter, through a linkless conveyor belt ammunition feed system, the first such system for revolver guns. Linkless systems (which are a staple in modern Gatling-type cannons) are less prone to stoppage and the ammunition uses considerably less space.

The different types of ammunition all have the same internal and external ballistic properties allowing for the use of belts with mixed ammunition for greater flexibility.

Ammunition types:
High explosive

Armour piercing
Armour piercing high explosive

All purpose
Semi Armour Piercing High Explosive

Target Practice Target Practice Frangible Projectile
Target Practice Tracer

Used by:
Gripen (fuselage x 1)

Source saairforce.co.za

air_jas-39_gripen_in_winter_lgGripen C armed with BK 90 Mjolner Mk1

Mjölner, gliding stand off submunition dispenser

Series delivery to the Swedish Air Force has now of a gliding bomblet dispenser weapon system for Gripen and Viggen. Its official designation is Bombkapsel m/90, BK90, but is also named Mjölner, after the Norse god Thor’s warhammer, which he could throw hard, far and accurately.

As it is designed by DASA, formerly MBB, some details are similar to their MW1 dispenser for Tornado. DASA designation is DWS 24 (Dispenser Weapon System, 24 dispenser tubes), but it has also been referred to as DWS 39, as it was intended for JAS 39 Gripen.

Other dispensers in the same familiy includes:

  • DWS 16, approx  400 kg
  • DWS 40, approx 1000 kg
  • DWS 60, approx 1400 kg

The Swedish Air Force wanted a weapon that could be released at high speed and very low altitude very close to the target, as well as having a stand off range in cases where target position is known.

Dispensers such as MW1 and JP 233 always require you to overfly the target. Powered stand off dispensers do have longer range, but they have to be launched at higher altitudes and cannot be used at very close ranges. (They are also more expensive.) Source x-plane.org

BK 90 Mjolner Mk1 [72 x MJ1 Anti-Personnel] (DWS.39)

Type: Guided Weapon Weight: 600 kg
Length: 3.5 m Span: 1.0 m
Diameter: 0.63 Generation: None
Properties: Weapon – INS Navigation
Targets: Land Structure – Soft, Land Structure – Hardened, Mobile Target – Soft, Mobile Target – Hardened
BK 90 Mjolner Mk1 [72 x MJ1 Anti-Personnel] – (DWS.39) Guided Weapon
Land Max: 14.8 km.
Type: Guided Weapon Weight: 600 kg
Length: 3.5 m Span: 1.0 m
Diameter: 0.63 Generation: None
Properties: Weapon – INS Navigation
Targets: Land Structure – Soft, Land Structure – Hardened, Mobile Target – Soft, Mobile Target – Hardened
BK 90 Mjolner Mk2 [24 x MJ2 Anti-Tank] – (DWS.39) Guided Weapon
Land Max: 14.8 km.

Source cmano-db.com

Bofors ARAK 70 rocket pod


M70 135mm Rocket

Illustration purpose only
General data:
Type: Rocket Weight: 45 kg
Length: 2.16 m Span: 1.5 m
Diameter: 1.35 Generation: None
Targets: Surface Vessel, Land Structure – Soft, Land Structure – Hardened, Mobile Target – Soft, Mobile Target – Hardened
M/70 135mm Rocket – (Sweden) Rocket
Surface Max: 3.7 km. Land Max: 3.7 km.

Source cmano-db.com

Countermeasures suite

Saab Avitronics is responsible for the EWS 39 electronic warfare suite, which has been ordered by the Swedish Air Force. EWS 39 is an integrated EW system that provides radar warning, electronic support measures and chaff and flare decoy dispensers.

EW suite is built around AR-830 Radar Warning Receiver, with receiveing antennas at front and back of missile launch rails. BOL dispensers are bult into ends of missile launch rails and have capacity of 160 chaff packs or flares; BOP/C dispensers are built into the fuselage, and BOP/B into end of the wing pylons. Lattermost can trail BO2D towed repeater RF decoy, which can be used at supersonic speeds. Source defenseissues.net


EWS 39 electronic warfare suite

The improved “EWS-30” EW system, built around the new Saab Avionics “BOW-21” RWR, capable of recognizing a wider range of threats and targeting them more accurately. The EWS-30 includes an onboard, automatic active jammer, and can support improved towed decoys.  Source airvectors.net


General data:
Type: ESM Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 222.2 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0 km Generation: Late 2000s
Sensors / EW:
BOW-21 – (Gripen Batch 3, EWS-39) ESM
Role: RWR, Radar Warning Receiver
Max Range: 222.2 km

Source cmano-db.com

BO2D Towed Decoy

CelsiusTech Electronicas has designed the BO2D towed diverter to protect missile fighters with active radar (ARH) or semi-active (SARH) search head.

The sniper is ejected by pyrotechnics from a standard 55mm chaff / flare launcher as the BOZ / BOP disperser and weighs less than 2kg. Installation is simple and inexpensive. The cartridge has a tow cable and a stop mechanism, which is 10cm longer than a standard flare cartridge. Loading and operation are similar to flare cartridges.

The aerodynamic vehicle is a high gain, wide band repeater (H, I and J – 8-20GHz band), multimode with frequency modulation capability. It uses internal battery and communicates with aircraft by Kevlar reinforced towing cable.

RF transmissions can be switched on and off and different countermeasure modes can be selected while the diverter is towed. This allows the pilot to launch the dispatcher without transmitting while approaching a threat. The pilot can launch BO2D without transmitting and calling when it threatens to appear. After use the cable is cut. The system is disposable and maintenance free. Handling is also easy.

As it was designed specifically for fighter jets, it can be launched and used during supersonic flight.

The BO2D is a low-cost protection system that had the development started in the early 1990s in a contract from the Swedish Air Force to equip the JA-37 Viggen and JAS-39. It was qualified for production in 98 and is already in use. It will be launched from the BOP and BOZ dispersers.

The system has been of interest to several countries such as South Africa, Italy, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

The BO2D is towed 100 meters behind the aircraft and creates an RCS of 200 m2. It is effective against Pulse-Doppler radars.

The BOP / B launcher installed on the outer wing hangers of the JAS-39 Gripen takes chaff, flare and the BO2D sniper. Can also be installed in BOL and BOP / C cocoons. Translated by google – Source sistemasdearmas.com.br


Image: saab.com

BOL’s high payload-to-volume ratio, non-pyrotechnic release mechanism and effective dispersion gives the dispenser superior performance for both chaff and IR payloads. The latter allows covert dispensing of a special material that has proved highly effective against advanced IR missiles.


Covert infrared decoys have been greatly improved thanks to new IR materials and methods of tactical deployment. Break-lock from hostile tracking radar can be further facilitated by synchronising chaff dispensing with aircraft manoeuvres and the use of jammers.


The ingenious design of BOL has revolutionised the dispensing of chaff and IR payloads. An elongated shape houses a long stack of payload packs (160). An electromechanical drive mechanism feeds the packs towards the aft of the dispenser where one pack at a time is separated from the stack and released into the airstream. The high-capacity of the dispensers gives pilots the sustained defensive capability needed to successfully accomplish missions.


The BOL internal vortex generators (airscoops) and vortex fields behind the aircraft, used with the specially designed IR payloads, make the air-stream rapidly build up a large radiating IR decoy cloud.

With dispensers on each wing, the spatial separation of payload clouds significantly increases radar cross-section (if used with chaff) or the extension of the IR radiating source (if used with IR payload). BOL systems are thus usually mounted in a symmetrical twin or quadruple configuration on the wings.

Image: saab.com


BOL offers numerous installation alternatives for new aircraft and for retrofits. It is currently operational on several different fighter aircraft, and interest for transport and bomber aircraft is growing significantly. The elongated shape of BOL lends itself to installation in elongated cavities in the aircraft structure, missile launchers and pylons.

Installation has been achieved without interfering with weapon load or flight performance. BOL has been successfully integrated with a range of missile launchers including the LAU-7 Sidewinder launcher, the LAU-127/128/129 family of AMRAAM launchers, and the CRL and MPRL launchers.

BOL payload – Image: saab.com


Weight, empty, LAU-128: 59 kg
Conformal dispenser: 15.9 kg
Dispenser only: 11.9 kg
Payload weight: 6.9 – 9 kg depending on type
Payload capacity: 160 packs
Reload time: Less than 1 min
Control signals: RS-485 serial data link or MIL-1553B data bus. Up to three +28V discrete signals.
Power supply: 115 V, 400 Hz single phase

Source saab.com

BOL countermeasure dispenser for chaff and flares

ESTL, Enhanced Survivability Technology, is an effective self-protection system

In its basic form ESTL consist of:

  • BOL, an electro-mechanical launcher, containing 160 decoys that are launched to prevent missiles from locking on to the target. The packs, containing a spontaneously combustible material, disintegrate as they are dispersed into the air to form a cloud of infra-red energy greater than that of the aircraft. For the missile, the decoy becomes more enticing than the intended target.
  • BOP is a pyrotechnic dispenser that can launch rocket-powered flares. Gases from the flare provide sufficient energy to propel the flare forward.
  • MAW, a missile warning system consisting of a number of sensors, which together detect threats in the airspace.

Source saabgroup.com


ESTL is an intelligent system solution that can counter RF and IR threats – decisively and effectively.

The Missile Approach Warning system (MAW)provides rapid, accurate detection and tracking data of approaching missiles.

The ESTL is installed in place of a missile on a mission

ESTL requires a minimum of integration, thus representing a cost effective solution for adding advanced decoy dispensing and MAW capability

ESTL configuration as mounted on a Gripen ESTL-300 with MAW, the BOP forward firing and the aft BOL CM dispensers.




  • ESTL can be integrated with aircraft having an interface for AIM-9 or AIM-120.


  • Imaging UV Missile Approach Warning sensors.
  • Can handle up to eight threats simultaneously.


  • Electro-mechanically dispensed pyrophoric decoys using the world renowned BOL dispenser and forward firing of pyrotechnically dispensed flares.


  • To be installed onto existing missile launchers.
  • Weighs approximately the same as an AIM-9.


  • All aircraft capable of firing AIM-9 missiles.


  • The ESTL has a high level of modularity for ease of maintenance and cross platform availability.

Source saab.com

Saab’s Arexis family of EW products in final development: Here

Photo courtesy of Saab


Saab Defense reported Wednesday that it is in the final stages of development of a new family of Electronic Warfare self-protection systems.

The systems include a new advanced electronic attack jammer pod, Saab said in a press release. It can protect aircraft strike formations from low-frequency radars is on display at a defense and security exhibition in Britain.

BriteCloud decoy system

BriteCloud Expendable Active Decoy (EAD) is a compact, DRFM-based active RF countermeasure that has the capability to defeat the majority of RF-guided surface-to-air and air-to-air threat systems. BriteCloud is designed to be dispensed from standard chaff/flare dispensers and therefore requires minimal platform integration. Utilising advanced techniques it is effective against active and semi-active RF seekers, and fire control radars. Source leonardocompany.com

Technical Specifications

Frequency Band H-J

Shelf Life 5 years minimum

Size 55mm format available now. 218 format available in 2016

Weight 1.1kg when loaded in flare tube

Details PDF: Here

Gripen sensors

The Ericsson PS-05 long-range multi-purpose pulse Doppler radar has air-to air operating modes covering long-range search, multi-target track-while-scan, multiple priority target tracking, air combat quick search modes, raid assessment and beyond visual range (BVR) missile mid-course updates.

The air-to-surface modes include long-range search/target identification, multiple priority target tracking, high-resolution, real beam mapping, air-to-surface ranging and Doppler beam sharpening (DBS).

Ericsson PS-05 long-range multi-purpose pulse Doppler radar

PS05Mk4The upgraded radar, designated PS-05/A Mk4, features a new hardware and software, with the primary changes being in the system’s ‘back end’.
Gripen-C-back-end-radar-PS-05A-mk4-imagem-Saab – Image: aereo.jor.br


Radar functions

Air-to-Air modes
  • Long and medium range look-up and look-down detection
  • Low probability of intercept
  • Multiple target Track-While Search
  • Short range auto acquisition and tracking
  • BVRAMRAAM and Meteor missile data link
  • Non cooperative target recognition (NCTR)
  • ECM immunity
  • Passive operation
Air-to-Surface modes
  • Mapping. Real beam and high resolution SAR
  • Ground Moving Target Indication (GMTI)
  • Ground Moving Target Tracking (GMTT)
  • Sea surface search and tracking
  • Air-to-ground ranging
  • ECM immunity
  • Weather Mapping mode

Technical data

  • General: Pulse Doppler, X band radar, monopulse
  • Sub-units: 4 Rack mounted units + antenna unit and waveguide parts
  • Weight: 150 kg
  • Antenna (ANT): 60 cm, Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) dipoles
  • Power Amplifier Unit (PAU). Transmitter: Travelling-Wave Tube (TWT), liquid cooled, peak power >10 kW
  • Transmitter AuxilliaryAuxiliary Unit (TAU)
  • High-FrequencyExciter Receiver Unit (EXRHFU): Narrowband and wideband receivers, digital pulse compression, state-of-the-art spectral purity and noise figures
  • Signal and data processorRadar Processing Unit (RPUSDP): Saab airborne Modular Avionic Computer System (MACS) computer system and parallel COTS based multiprocessor cluster, solid state discs for recording
  • Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF): 250 400 hours in airborne operation

Technical data – Source saab

The new processor includes a high-capacity, solid-state data recorder and is based on commercial off-the-shelf components. It supports new processing algorithms derived from Saab’s family of Giraffe ground-based radars, including sub-meter-resolution synthetic aperture radar modes and non-cooperative target recognition features. The claimed performance improvement – up to 150 % range increase, or the ability to detect a target with an RCS of 0.1 square meters at the same range at which the Mk. 3 can see a 4-sq.-meter target – points to the use of multi-hypothesis or track-before-detect algorithms to pull targets out of clutter.

Saab decided not to use an active electronically scanned array (AESA) because its cooling requirements would require substantial changes to the Gripen. The company is in talks with the Swedish air force about retrofitting the service’s 100-strong JAS 39C/D force, which will not be fully replaced by the new JAS 39E before 2025. Saab’s perception is that the Swedish air force is viewing upgrades of the C/D more favorably in view of Russia’s regional aggression, and the longer-range radar is a good match for the MBDA Meteor air-to-air missile. A Swedish buy of the Mk. 4 will pave the way for upgrades and new export sales, Saab believes.

The new radar is part of Saab’s strategy to continue selling the C/D version into the mid-2020s, as the first E/F versions will not be available for export beyond Sweden and Brazil until 2022. The final C/D on order was delivered to the Swedish air force in February, but Saab’s flexible production line will be able to meet new orders either with all-new aircraft or (at a lower price) Gripen C/Ds produced by modifying Sweden’s inventory of low-time JAS 39A/Bs.

Slovakia, which has selected the Gripen and still is negotiating a contract, is looking at updated A/B versions. Croatia is expected to select a new fighter in early 2016 and Hungary and the Czech Republic are both looking at exercising options to expand their leased Gripen fleets. Source AviationWeek.com  

The aircraft is equipped with a forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor and will have the Saab IR-Otis infrared search and track system (IRST).

Saab IR-Otis infrared search and track system (IRST)


1992 July 02

Since at least a year, Saab has been developing and testing an electro-optical targeting system, called OTIS, on a fighter Viggen. The trial installation is a ball similar to those on Su-27:s and MiG-29:s just in front of the canopy, slightly offset to port and about 20 cm in diameter.

In function, however, it is not similar. The Russian systems are non-imaging (like we’ve had on some of our Drakens since the 1960’s) and have a laser range-finder. The OTIS is totally passive, and gives images useful for identification of the targets. The display will be a “HLI” Head Level Indicator (I take this to be mounted rather high, and collimated on infinity (*) like a French system).


The OTIS will be pointable by a helmet system (as well as the radar), or external sources like ground control or other aircraft. It will also have an autonomous search program and tracking function. The information will be storable for evaluation and comparation with radar information, and also as video for later use.

This is a trial installation only, things like suitable zoom optics have not been decided upon yet, and there is no commitment to equip or retrofit any aircraft as of yet.

From the Swedish Air Force magazine “Flygvapennytt” 2/92 (*) Or _practical_ infinity, as I gather the curved windshield tends to bring objects optically closer than infinity. Source x-plane.org

General data:
Type: Guided Weapon Weight: 87 kg
Length: 2.94 m Span: 0.45 m
Diameter: 0.13 Generation: None
Properties: Anti-Air Dogfight (High Off-Boresight), Capable vs Seaskimmer
Targets: Aircraft, Helicopter, Missile
Sensors / EW:
IIR Seeker – (IRIS-T) Infrared
Weapon Seeker, Imaging IR
Max Range: 18.5 km
RB 98 IRIS-T [AIM-2000A] – (2009) Guided Weapon
Air Max: 27.8 km.

Source cmano-db.com

Nine Swedish Air Force Gripens have been fitted with the Saab Avitronics modular reconnaissance pod, which includes a recon / optical CA270 infrared sensor. The system entered service in 2006.

Swedish Defence Material Administration awarded a four year SEK 400m contract to Saab in April 2010 for developing modular reconnaissance pod system (MRPS) which will be fitted in the Gripen fighter aircraft.

Saab awarded a Skr55m ($7.4m) sub-contract to Terma in August 2010 for upgrading and manufacturing new modular reconnaissance pod system (MRPS) for the Swedish Air Force’s Gripen fighter aircraft. Software and equipment required for the reconnaissance pod system upgrade programme will be supplied by Terma as part of the contract.

Modular Reconnaissance Pod System (MRPS)

1225548723Image: Swedish FMV

Modern day multirole combat aircraft undertake the tactical reconnaissance (RECCE) role using a podded reconnaissance solution that can be shared amongst the aircraft type it is designed for.

In that context, Terma has developed the Modular Reconnaissance Pod System (MRPS) in cooperation with Saab, equipped with an advanced RECCE suite, certified for the JAS 39 C/D fighter aircraft, and compatible with various other aircraft. The MRPS is conceptually based on the Terma F-16 Modular Reconnaissance Pod (MRP).

Terma is responsible for design, development, and delivery of the MRPS mechanics, MRPS management and control units, Environmental Control System (ECS), Rotating Window Module (RWM), and integration of the MRPS Line Replaceable Units (LRU).

Saab is responsible for the electro optical/infra red sensor handling, recording of RECCE data. and integration in the aircraft and Ground Station.

jas-mrp_introGripen (image courtesy: Saab)

The MRPS is designed and certified by Saab for the JAS 39 C/D, MS18/MS20 fighter aircraft and operational by the Swedish Air Force (SwAF).

The MRPS provides a maximum of flexibility in tailoring the sensor suite to operational requirements for airborne tactical reconnaissance. It is easily integrated into the aircraft avionics, and the pod is designed for autonomous operation with the integrated Environmental Control System (ECS).

The reconnaissance payload can include a sensor or a combination of sensors and is housed in three main compartments and a rotating window section. The rotating window mid-section can accommodate advanced sensors, suitable for missions at any altitude.

The Reconnaissance Management System in conjunction with the ECS, both delivered by Terma, ensure a stable temperature and humidity within the pod structure and allows reconnaissance missions to be flown at low, medium, or high altitudes any place in the world.

jas_benefitClose up of SPK39  – Image: terma.com

Besides the pod structure, the MRPS consists of three major components delivered by Terma, namely the Reconnaissance Management System (RMS), the Environmental Control System (ECS), and the Rotating Window Module (RWM), each with different roles and functions to perform an aerial tactical reconnaissance mission.



Reconnaissance Management System: 

  • The MRPS is controlled by the pilot via the RMS that consists of a modular software architecture which makes it easy to integrate new sensors or Line Replaceable Units (LRU) with the existing system
  • The RMS ensures intelligent power control of LRUs via a Smart Power Distribution Unit (SPDU). This is necessary due to the limited power available on the JAS 39 C/D centerline station, but on the other hand, it allows carriage of more power consuming sensor systems within the MRPS structure
  • Further, it offers built-in-test functionality integrated with cockpit master caution panel and displays.

ECS unit

Environmental Control System: 

  • The main ECS unit is a Ram Air Turbine Environmental Control Unit (ECU) with high performance in the air and with a low power consumption
  • The ECS is controlled by the RMS and follows a pre-programmed temperature profile and allows missions to be performed in harsh environments
  • The ECS circulates conditioned air within the MRPS and prevents misting on transparent surfaces and development of condensation.

Close up of SPK39

Rotating Window Module:

  • The RWM is controlled autonomously from the RMS during RECCE missions, and its design allows different sensor suites to be fitted
  • The RWM is equipped with a 360º rotating profile allowing horizon-to-horizon coverage and is in a stowed position during take-off and landing to protect the glass surface
  • The RWM is slaved to the sensor when approaching a target and follows the sensor during its imaging profile with a high angular velocity
  • The RWM is designed to operate anywhere in the world with the ability to rotate at temperature extremes during RECCE missions.

Source terma.com

Rafael’s Litening III Laser Designation Pod (LDP)


Litening Airborne Day/Night Navigation & Targeting Pod provides precision strike capability to every fighter aircraft.

  • reduces pilot workload during the process of targeting maintenance target
  • Sighting system of high accuracy and reliability
  • reduces operational limitations
  • simple maintenance and support
  • low maintenance cost
  • potential upgrade
  • upgrades available for aircraft with multi-mission capability
  • Adaptable on most aircraft
  • detection, recognition, identification, laser designation of targets on land or sea
  • Release accurate ammunition laser-guided enema and general purpose weapons.
  • identification of air targets beyond visual range (BRV)
  • option for data link and long-range video


The evolution of the Litening pod continued with the Litening III version, which utilized a more capable Gen III (3-5micron) FLIR, with a 640×480 digital detectors array. This system is also equipped with a target marker, which improves the coordination of ground and air forces, by designation of targets by day or night. Litening III system is also equipped with a dual-wavelength diode-pumped laser, which is compatible with training (eyesafe) and wartime operational modes. The system also employs electronic image stabilization, to provide cleaner images of targets, acquired at long standoff range.

Logistically, the integration of the pod is easy and straightforward; it can fit the centerline or E/O pod mounts available with most modern aircraft and require no structural changes in the aircraft. Pods can also be installed on different aircraft, in support of specific missions. For example, the US Reserves currently field eight pods per wing. The pod requires minimal maintenance and technical support on the flight line. It is self boresighting in flight, therefore requires no alignment prior to the mission and improved accuracy during operations.


The Israeli targeting pod was procured by 14 air forces, including the US Air Force Reserve’s and Air National Guards for their F-16 Block 25/30/32 Fighting Falcon. Other air forces operating the system include the US Marine Corps (AV-8B), Israeli air Force (F-16), Spanish and Italian Navy (AV-8B) and Spanish air force (F/A-18), German Air Force (Tornado IDS), and the Venezuela (F-16A/B). The pods were also selected for South Africa’s Grippens, India’s Mirage 2000, MiG-27 and Jaguar. The most recent inquiry for the pods came in March, for a planned procurement of F-16s by Austria. The pod is also fully integrated in the Eurofighter, F-5E, MiG-21 and other types. Testing are underway to integrate the pod with Boeing F-15I operated by the Israel Air Force.

Litening III specifications:
length: 220 cm
diameter: 406 mm
total weight: 440 lb
Operating altitude: +40,000
IR sensor: 640×480 FPA Mid-IR wavelength
Day sensor: CCDTV
Wide FOV: 18.4 x 24.1
medium FOV: 3.5×3.5
Narrow field of view: 1×1
Field of regard: +45 / -150
Roll: +/- 400
Laser: Diode pumped laser designator, dual wavelength

Source military.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Rafael’s Litening III Laser Designation Pod (LDP) on Gripen 39C

RecceLite reconnaissande pod 

Close-up photo of RecceLite reconnaissande pod mounted on JAS 39D

The RecceLite is a self-contained self-cooled multi-sensor tactical reconnaissance system, consisting of an airborne pod based on the Litening Targeting and Navigation Pod and a ground exploitation station.

The RecceLite simultaneously collects Infra-Red (IR) and Visual (VIS and near IR) digital images within a very wide field of regard, in accordance with an automatic mission plan and/or manual operation. The images and the data annotation are recorded on a solid state recorder and transmitted to the exploitation station via the RecceLite data link. The Images are then interpreted at the ground exploitation station. Source virtualmarket.ila-berlin.de

Thales Digital Joint Reconnaissance Pod

Thales Digital Joint Reconnaissance Pod Seen here on JAS 39C – Image: saairforce.co.za

Digital joint reconnaissance pod

  • Pod mounted high resolution EO imagery and horizon-to-horizon IR coverage
  • High speed/high altitude image collection, fulfilling all air tactical IMINT tasks
  • Vertical, oblique & stand-off for reconnaissance, border patrol, BDA, foliage penetration, route clearance
  • Flight envelope compatible with 4th Gen aircraft, MUAV and commercial aircraft

Source Thales

Thales Digital Joint Reconnaissance Pod – Purchased for use on the Gripen, the British-built Thales Digital Joint Reconnaissance Pod provides a wide-area reconnaissance capability in a pod operating with electro-optical and infrared sensors. The Digital Joint Reconnaissance Pod (DJRP) provides Day/Night, low to medium level and real time recce capability.



The aircraft has VHF / UHF transmitters and receivers from Saab Avitronics, and a Thales TSC 2000 identification friend or foe (IFF) system. An air-to-air data link allows real-time exchange of tactical data within and between cooperating air units.

Thales TSC 2000 identification friend or foe (IFF) system

  • Modes 1, 2, 3/A, C, 4, NSM
  • Mode S up to level 3 (ELS, EHS)
  • Mode 5 level 1 and 2
  • COMSEC appliqué or external (KIV77 – QRTK3NG)
  • Interface TCAS 7.1 compliant
  • Reverse IFF capable
  • MIL-STD-1553B, DIGIBUS, ARINC 485, ARINC 429 interfaces
  • Antenna Diversity
  • Mode 4/5 or National Secure Modes
  • Stanag 4193, ICAO Annex 10 (Amndt 85), DoD AIMS 97-1000 and DoD AIMS 03-1000B compliant
  • ADS-B OUT, DO260B compliant
  • MIDS compatible

TSC 2000 IFF Transponder


  • Standard French and German IFF transponder
  • Remote unit
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 124x194x318 mm (1/2 ATR short)
  • Weight: 6.8 kg

Source thalesgroup.com

In the attack and reconnaissance role, the data link allows radar-derived surface data to be transferred from one Gripen to a group of radar-silent attacking aircraft.

Data link

Gripen-NG-data-link (1)aereo.jor.br


Neil Bates

The RM12 engine, supplied by Volvo Aero, is a development of the GE F404 engine from General Electric. A digital engine control system automatically monitors the engine parameters and switches on the back-up systems if required. A condition monitoring system registers the flight data.

Sundstrand T-62T-46LC-1 APU

Notice the distinct bulge, and the flaps for the intake and exhaust – Image: kitreview.comAPU intake and exhaust flaps open

The Gripen features an auxiliary power unit (APU) to reduce its dependence on ground systems, and the fighter’s onboard digital systems include “built-in self-test” capabilities that can download diagnostic data to a tech’s laptop computer. Service doors to critical systems are at head level or lower, allowing easy access by technicians. Flygvapnet experience shows that the Gripen requires 40% less maintenance work-hours and only half the fuel of the Viggen.

After obtaining initial production machines, the Flygvapnet moved on to deliveries of Batch 2 Gripens, which featured a Sundstrand APU, replacing the older Microturbo APU, which was too noisy and not reliable enough. Source airvectors.net

Image: Gripen C RTAF

RM12 engine


The RM12 engine was developed by GE Aircraft Engines and Volvo Aero Corporation to power Swedish JAS-39 Gripen fighter. RM12, specially designed for single-engine use has a few different characteristic compared to it’ father F404-GE-400. First of all the fan has been strengthen to sustain a hit of 0.5 kg bird, the airflow was highten by 10% and the turbine was made of modern materials to stand higher temperatures. All of this increased the overall performance by 10-20%. Engine has FADEC with hydromachanical backup and backup ignition system. The RM12 has fast power setting response, unlimited number of power cycles, smooth to-afterburner transition and is very reliable. .










Maximal diameter



Inlet diameter



Bypass ratio


Fan pressure ratio


Overall pressure ratio





Temperature – max turbine inlet


– max turbine outlet


Thrust – maximal (SLS)



– with afterburner (SLS)



SFC – maximal thrust (SLS)



  – afterburner (SLS)



RM12 data leteckemotory.cz

Emergency engine shut down on Gripen C RTAF 

The air-to-air refuelling probe is retracted into the aircraft to retain the aerodynamic profile. The longer flight times achieved by using air-to-air refuelling results in the pilot needing a larger oxygen supply, so an on-board oxygen generating system (OBOGS) has been installed.


The Gripen can fly at a maximum speed of 2,470km/h. The combat radius and ferry range of the aircraft are 800km and 3,200km respectively. Its service ceiling is 15,240m. The aircraft weighs around 5,700kg and its maximum take-off weight is 14,000kg.

Main material source airforce-technology.com

Gripen operational cost lowest of all western fighters: Jane’s

screenshot-www.stratpost.com-2018.11.19-22-49-21Image: stratpost.com

“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.

Image: stratpost.com

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’.” Source stratpost.com



  • JAS 39A – The basic and first version entering in service with the Flygvapnet, later upgraded to the C version.
  • JAS 39B – The two-seated variant of the JAS39A, purposed for training, specialised missions and flight conversion, with the cannon and the internal fuel tank removed to allow the second crew member and life support systems.
  • JAS 39C – A NATO-compatible version with overall enhanced capabilities, as well as in-flight refuel.
  • JAS 39D – The two-seat version of the JAS 39C.
  • JAS NG – An improved version of the Gripen, having a new engine (The General Electric F414-400), a new radar (RAVEN ES-05 AESA), and increased payload and fuel capacity. Its development was undertaken through a partnership with Switzerland. A product of the changes brought by the end of the Cold War, as airbases were closed with fighter units being reduced, as well as the closure of the road base system for take offs and landings. But it is also a product of the new assessed threat Sweden could be facing, which required a new fighter with extended range, increased weapons, enhanced electronics, fighter communications (with satellite) and Electronic Warfare (EW) capability.
  • JAS 39E– Single seat version derived from the JAS NG.
  • JAS 39F – Two-seat version derived from the JAS 39E.
  • Sea Gripen – Proposed carrier version of the NG.
  • Gripen UCAV – Proposed unmanned combat version of the JAS 39E.
  • Gripen EW – Proposed electronic warfare version derived from the JAS 39F.

Gripen Specifications

Wingspan  8.4 m / 27 ft 7 in
Length  14.10 m / 46 ft 3 in
Height  4.7 m / 14 ft 9 in
Wing Area 30 m² / 323 ft²
Engine 1 Volvo Flygmotor turbofan RM12
Maximum Take-Off Weight 14000 Kg / 30,900 lb
Empty Weight 6800 kg / 15,000 lb
Loaded Weight 8500 kg / 18,700 lb
Maximum Speed 2450 km/h / 1522 mph
Range 3250 KM / 1,983 miles (with external drop fuel tanks)
Maximum Service Ceiling 16000 m /52,500 ft
Climb Rate 100 s from brake release to 10 km altitude / 180 s approx to 14 km
Crew 1 or 2
Armament • 1 Mauser BK 27 27mm cannon
• 6 hardpoints that could allow 6 air-to-air missiles, 4 air-to-radar missiles, 4 air-to-surface missiles, 5 smart bombs, 2 anti-ship missiles, 5 bombs, 2 stand-off weapons, 2 ECM Pods, 2 recce Pods, 1 FLIR/LDP Pod, 2 AACMI Pods, and 3 fuel tanks

Technical data plane-encyclopedia.com


Length (excl. pitot tube):

14.1 meters

Wing span (including launchers):

8.4 meters

Maximum take-off weight:

14000 kg

Empty weight:

6800 kg

Total load capacity:

5300 kg

Internal fuel:

 >2000 kg

Combat turnaround air-to-air:

10 minutes


Length (excl. pitot tube): 14.8 meters
Wing span (including launchers): 8.4 meters
Maximum take-off weight: 14000 kg
Empty weight: 7100 kg
Total load capacity: 5300 kg
Internal fuel:  >2000 kg
Combat turnaround air-to-air: 10 minutes

Source saab.com

Images are from public domain unless otherwise stated

Main image by Jörgen Nilsson Photography

Updated Jan 03, 2020

FTI / Belharra Medium-Size Frigates, France

A prototype of the export variant (designated BELH@RRA) of the French Navy’s future FTI (Frégate de Taille Intermédiaire) medium-size frigates was unveiled during the Euronaval trade show held in Paris in October.

The French Navy version is being developed by naval shipbuilding company DCNS in collaboration with the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA), under the FTI medium-size frigate programme.

Thales has been contracted to supply latest-generation navigation and communications equipment for the frigates.

The heavily armed frigates can be deployed in a wide range of missions such as anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, anti-aircraft warfare, patrol, maritime security, control of exclusive economic zone (EEZ), asymmetric warfare, and special forces activities.

The French Navy plans to order up to five units with deliveries, beginning 2023.

French Navy orders 5 intermediate-sized frigates: Here


April 25 (UPI) — Five intermediate-sized frigates are to be constructed for the French Navy by DCNS under contract from the French defense procurement agency, DGA.

The ships are to be developed and built using the company’s new BELH@RRA frigate. The French version of the ships will enter into active service in 2025, the company said.

France starts construction of five FTI frigates

French Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian on Friday authorized shipbuilder DCNS to start the construction of five FTI (Fregate de Taille Intermediaire) medium-size frigates for the French Navy.

The 4,000-tonne front-line frigates, equipped for anti-submarine warfare with widened self-defence and commando-projection capacities, are set to start deliveries in 2023.

The first FTI frigate is expected to be commissioned in 2025.

DCNS’ partner in the construction, Thales, will be equipping the frigates with on-board equipment including their Sea Fire radar and the Captas variable depth sonar.

The new frigates, with an inverted bow design for greater stability at high speeds, are positioned between the 6,000-tonne FREMM multi-mission frigate and the 2,500- to 3,000-tonne Gowind corvettes. The FTIs are expected to replace the insufficiently armed La Fayette-class light frigates. Source navaltoday.com

French Navy’s FTI frigate design and features

Image:  DGA

The FTI medium-size frigate will feature modular design with increased self-defence and long-range capabilities.

Overall length and midship beams of the ship are 122m and 17.7m respectively. With a displacement of approximately 4,200t, the frigate will carry up to 150 personnel, including 110 crew and 15 for helicopter detachment.

The ship will incorporate digital technologies for data processing and detection of evolving threats. Its wheelhouse will be positioned in the middle section.

A hangar and flight deck located at the stern will of the frigate will allow for the operation of a single unmanned rotorcraft system and / or NH-90 medium class military helicopter equipped with FLASH-based dipping sonar and MU90 lightweight anti-submarine torpedoes.

Single unmanned rotorcraft system and / or NH-90 medium class military helicopter

NH90 multi-role helicopter: Details

FLASH-based dipping sonar

Compact FLASH, which has been specifically developed for the AgustaWestland Super Lynx 300 and AW159 naval helicopters, uses the same FLASH Submersible Unit, Transmitter/Receiver unit and acoustic processing as installed in larger Anti-Submarine Warfare helicopters thus providing the same unrivalled ASW capability to smaller 5-6 tonne class helicopters.

Also under production in the Thales Brest facility is Compact FLASH Sonics, which integrates Compact FLASH with sonobuoy processing, it is also under contract with AgustaWestland for installation in the AW159 ASW helicopter being manufactured in Yeovil for the Republic of Korea Navy. Source navyrecognition.com

The medium-size frigate will additionally carry rigid hulled inflatable boats for patrolling and transportation.

Anti-aircraft and anti-submarine armament

The FTI will be armed with a variety of anti-aircraft and anti-submarine armament to attack aircraft and submarines and their crew.

An Oto Melara 76mm or 127mm naval gun will be mounted in a gun turret located in the bow deck to fight against enemy aircraft, submarines, missiles and ground-based threats.

Oto Melara 76/62 Stealth Shield


Technical data:

Caliber: 3 inches / 76,2 mm
Barrel lenght: 186 inches / 4,72 meters (= 62 caliber)
Weight: 7900kg, empty (Super Rapid)
Shell: 76 x 900 mm / 12,34 kilograms
Elevation: – 15° to + 85°
Traverse: 360°
Rate of fire: Compact: 85 rpm / Super Rapid: selectable from single shot up to 120 rpm
Muzzle Velocity: 925 m/s (1100 m/s – DART)
Magazine: Compact: 80 rounds / SR: 85 rounds
16 kilometers with standard ammunition
20 km with extended range ammunition
up to 40 km with VULCANO ammunition

Le barillet de la tourelle de 76mm (© MER ET MARINE – VINCENT GROIZELEAU) – Image: meretmarine.com

HE (high explosive) – 6,296kg / Range 16km / effective range 8km (4km vs. air targets at elev. 85°)
MOM (multi-role OTO munition)
PFF (pre-formed fragmentation) – anti-missile ammunition
SAPOM (semi-armored piercing OTO munition) – 6,35kg / Range 16km
SAPOMER (semi-armored piercing OTO munition, extended range) – Range 20km
DART (driven ammunition reduced time of flight) – sub-calibre guided ammunition against multiple targets
(missiles and maneuvering targets at sea) 4,2kg in barrel / 3,5kg in flight / 660mm lenght / effective range >8km
VULCANO (76mm unguided and guided extended range ammunition) – under development

DART (driven ammunition reduced time of flight)

Source seaforces.org

FTI Mid Size Frigate French Navy Marine Nationale naval gun 2Close up view of the FTI’s bow on the French MoD stand. Note the 76mm main gun, 16x VLS and the Narwhal 20mm RWS (right next to the bridge) – Image: navyrecognition.com

Otobreda 127 mm Vulcano

f-125_frigate_baden-wurttemberg_german_navy_marine_127mmOtobreda 127 mm Vulcano main gun F-125 Frigate Baden-Wurttemberg 

The upcoming Oto-Melara (now OtoBreda) 127/64 Lightweight (LW) naval gun is a rapid fire gun mount suitable for installation on large and medium size ships, intended for surface fire and naval gunfire support as main role and anti-aircraft fire as secondary role. The compactness of the gun feeding system makes possible the installation on narrow section crafts.

The gun can fire all standard 5 inch (127mm) ammunition including the new Vulcano long range guided ammunition.

Modular automatic feeding magazines allow the firing of up to four different and immediately selectable types of ammunition; the magazines (four drums, each with one shell ready to fire) can be reloaded while the mount is in operation.

An ammunition manipulator system is available to transport projectiles and propelling charges from the main ammunition store to the feeding magazines, which are automatically reloaded. Ammunition flow is reversible. Rounds can be automatically unloaded from the gun. Digital and Analog interfaces are available for any Combat Management System, also according to Corba protocol. The 127/64 LW Naval Gun Mounts includes a Vulcano module, which acts twofold:

– Programmer for ammunition’s fuse and guidance system.
– Mission Planning and Execution for Naval Fire Support Action (firing solutions, selection of ammunition, definition of trajectories and firing sequences, ballistic computations accounting for ammunition type, etc.), as a standalone or in interaction with ship’s Network Centric System.

wnit_5-64_lw_vulcano_sabot_picVulcano unguided projectile. Note how the projectile is carried down in the propelling cartridge. This will allow it to be used in the 54-caliber barrel. Picture courtesy of Ministero della Difesa. – Image: navweaps.comwnit_5-64_lw_vulcano_gps_picFuture Vulcano Projectile with Inertial and GPS guidance. Picture courtesy of Ministero della Difesa. – Image: navweaps.com

Technical data:
Caliber: 5 inches / 127 mm
Barrel lenght: 320 inches / 8,128 meters (= 64 caliber)
Weight: 33000 kg (without ammunition)
Elevation: -12° / +70°
Traverse: +/- 155°
Rate of fire: 32 rounds per minute
Range: 23000 meters, max. / 15000 meters effective / 8600 meters AA / up to 100 km with Vulcano ER/LR ammunition
Ammunition stowage: 56 rounds ready to fire in 4 loader drums / 500-600 in magazine
Ammunition: all standard 5-inch ammunition including the new Vulcano extended range / long range guided ammunition

OTO-Melara 127/64 LW source seaforces.org

FTI Mid Size Frigate French Navy Marine Nationale naval gun 3Close up view of the Belh@arra frigate’s bow on DCNS stand. Note the 127mm main gun, 16x VLS andthe Narwhal 20mm RWS (right next to the bridge) – Image: navyrecognition.com

Defence against littoral and coastal land threats will be provided by eight Exocet MM40 Block 3 all-weather weapon systems, installed amidships.

Exocet MM40 Block 3



The MM40 Block 3 missile, complete with a Microturbo TRI 40 turbojet engine, began development 2004 and was first tested from a ship in 2010. Improvements to the MM40 Block 3 include internal navigation and GPS upgrades. These updates, combined with a frequency modulated continuous wave radar altimeter, allows for control of the missile’s altitude over various types of terrain. This missile is armed with a 160 kg high explosive/semi-armour piercing warhead and an active radar terminal seeker 9 Additional upgrades include increased evasive capabilities such as the ability to make a 180 degree turn post-launch, allowing the MM40 to evade defense missile systems. These upgraded missiles will be both ship- and ground-launched and will be deployed first onto Forbin (Horizon)-class destroyers and then to La Fayette-class frigates.

Originated From: France
Possessed By: Numerous (see table below)
Class: Anti-ship Cruise Missile
Basing: Sea/Air/Ground/Submarine
Length: 4.69- 5.95 m
Diameter: 350 mm
Launch Weight: 655-870 kg
Payload: Single warhead
Warhead: 165 kg HE fragmentation or semi-armor piercing
Propulsion: Solid fueled (MM40 Block 3 uses a Microturbo TRI 40 turbojet)
Range: 40-180 km
Status: Operational
In Service: 1975


Variant MM40 MM40 Block 2 MM40 Block 3
Basing Ship-, Ground-launched Ship-, Ground-launched Ship-, Ground-launched
Range 70 km 70 km 180 km
Warhead 165 kg HE frag. 165 kg HE frag. 160 kg HE frag.
Status Operational Operational Operational
Users Argentina, Bahrain, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Colombia, Cyprus, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, Iraq, Ivory Coast, South Korea, Kuwait, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay Brazil, Greece,    Indonesia, Malaysia,  Morocco,   South Africa Greece, Indonesia,   Morocco, UAE, Vietnam

Source missilethreat.csis.org

MM40 Block 3 missile are installed at midship

The frigate will also be fitted with two eight-cell A-50 type Sylver vertical launch systems for Aster 15 surface-to-air missiles in the bow, two 20mm remotely-operated weapons at the rear, 2×2 deck-mounted torpedo tubes for MU90, and an anti-ship missile decoy launching system.

2 x eight-cell A-50 type Sylver vertical launch systems

The Sylver (SYstème de Lancement VERtical) is a vertical launching system (VLS) designed by DCNS. The launcher comes in several variants, each distinguished by their height. A-35 and A-43 were developed for launching short range surface-to-air missiles, the A-50 for the long-range PAAMS air defense system, and the A-70 launcher for larger missiles such as the SCALP Naval land attack cruise missile. The numbers refer to the approximate length of the missile which can be accommodated, in decimetres, i.e. the A-43 can hold missiles which are up to 4.3 metres long whilst the A-70 can accommodate missiles up to 7 metres long.

The launchers come in eight-cell modules, except A-35 available in four-cell modules, with each eight-cell module occupying six square metres of deck space. Inner size cell is 60 cm long and 56 cm wide, and each cell has its own exhaust vent. Crotale NG (VT1) missiles can be quad-packed in one cell.
The primary application of the launcher has been the MBDA Aster missile. The Sylver, together with the Aster, is the primary component of the PAAMS naval anti-air warfare system. Using PAAMS, up to eight missiles can be launched in 10 seconds.

The French Navy has initiated studies to convert the SCALP EG missile to be capable of launch from the Sylver. This missile, the SCALP Naval, would give France a land attack capability in the mould of the U.S. Tomahawk missile. It would also be attractive to the British Royal Navy, whose Type 45 destroyers will be equipped with the Sylver launcher, although the A50 type cannot take this missile at present.

The basic unit of Sylver VLS is an eight-cell module fitted with two rows of 22-inch missile cells surrounding the uptake for exhaust gas.

Models / Measures:
Sylver A-35 (lenght = 2,6 meters / width = 2,3 meters / height = 3,5 meters)
Sylver A-43 (lenght = 2,6 meters / width = 2,3 meters / height = 4,3 meters)
Sylver A-50 (lenght = 2,6 meters / width = 2,3 meters / height = 5 meters)
Sylver A-70 (lenght = 2,6 meters / width = 2,3 meters / height = 7 meters)

Source seaforces.org

Aster 15 and 30 surface-to-air missiles


The ASTER 15 is a short range missile intended for self-defense (point defense) purposes against highly maneuverable threats. The ASTER 15 is integrated on the SAAM and beginning in 2006 in the PAAMS system. The SAAM is installed on French-built frigates and the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier. The PAAMS will be provided to the Horizon frigates (France and Italy) and the Type 45 destroyers (United Kingdom).

Diameter: 180 millimeter (7.09 inch)
Length: 4.20 meter (165 inch)
Max Range: 30,000 meter (16.2 nautical mile)
Min Range: 1,700 meter (0.92 nautical mile)
Target’s Max Altitude: 13,000 meter (8.08 mile)
Top Speed: 1,000 mps (3,601 kph)
Weight: 310 kilogram (683 pound)

ASTER 15 data deagel.com



Number of Stages: 2
Diameter: 180 millimeter (7.09 inch)
Length: 4.90 meter (193 inch)
Max Range: 120 kilometer (65 nautical mile)
Min Range: 3,000 meter (1.62 nautical mile)
Target’s Max Altitude: 20,000 meter (12.4 mile)
Top Speed: 1,494 mps (5,380 kph)
Weight: 450 kilogram (992 pound)

ASTER 30 data deagel.com

2 x 20mm remotely-operated weapons at the rear

Nexter 20mm Narwhal remote weapon systems (© MER ET MARINE – VINCENT GROIZELEAU) – Image: meretmarine.com

NARWHAL® combines the impressive firepower of Nexter’s 20M621 20mm gun – used by more than 25 countries – with a set of high-performance day/night electro-optic cameras and a moving target monitoring function. It is the ideal system for a broad range of critical missions. It is perfectly suited to surveillance and maritime police operations, but also interception and self-defence operations in the face of constantly evolving asymmetric threats.

NARWHAL® provides short-range self-defence for French and Egyptian FREMM frigates, for French MISTRALclass vessels and for Lebanese navy patrol boats. It will be also in service on patrol boats (Guyanese PLG light patrol craft) and on the HORIZON class frigates of the French Navy. Source nexter-group.fr

2 x 2 deck-mounted torpedo tubes for MU90


The MU90/IMPACT Advanced Lightweight Torpedo is the leader of the 3rd generation of LWTs. Designed and built with the most advanced technology, the weapon is of fire-and-forget type conceived to cope with any-task any-environment capability requirements and meet the ASW operational needs of the 21st century.

The weapon has been designed to counter any type of nuclear or conventional submarine, acoustically coated, deep and fast-evasive, deploying active or passive anti-torpedo effectors


Main Dynamic Features
Linearly Variable speed …………………… 29 to >> 50 kts**
Range …………………… >10,000 m at max. speed**
> 23,000m at min. speed**
Minimum depth for launching …………………… < 25 m
Max. operating depth …………………… >> 1000 m**
Agility and manoeuvrability ……………………. Extreme
Diameter (NATO Standard) …………………… 323,7 mm
Length …………………… 2850 mm
Weight …………………… 304 kg
Main Acoustic Features
Operational bandwidth …………………… >>10KHz
Acoustic coverage …………………… 120°H x 70°V
Simultaneous targets …………………… Up to 10
Main Counter-Counter Measures
Stationary target detection capability
Decoy classification
Anti-Jammer tactics

(**) = real value classified

Source eurotorp.com

FTI Naval Gun System – EURONAVAL 2016

FTI Mid Size Frigate French Navy Marine Nationale naval gun 5The FTI mid-size frigate scale model on the French MoD stand at Euronaval 2016  – Image: navyrecognition.com

The Euronaval FTI scale model is representative of the FTI design being currently proposed by the French defense procurement agency (DGA) to the French Navy (Marine Nationale) but Navy Recognition learned from a number of sources that several systems are still being debated, one of these systems being the main naval guns.

The FTI model at Euronaval featured a 76mm by Leonardo (formerly known as Oto Melara). This solution makes perfect sense since this gun type is already fitted on the two Horizon destroyers and the Aquitaine-class FREMM frigates. However, as we’ve reported before, some sailors in the French Navy have been (and are still) advocating a larger gun system able to provide longer range and increased lethality. This need could be answered by a 127mm main gun. Two companies have such a gun in their portfolio: The 127/64 by Leonardo-Finmeccanica’s Defence Systems Division of Italy and the Mark 45 Mod 4 by BAE Systems Inc. from the United States.

The FTI was designed to accommodate the 127mm gun (from both companies): At the show, DCNS was showcasing a scale model of the export variant of the FTI, the Belh@rra, with a 127mm gun. Both the 127/54 and the Mark 45 Mod 4 can deploy smart, precision munitions (the Vulcano ammunition for the Italian gun, and the Hyper Velocity Projectile and Standard Guided Projectile for the American gun) which is of interest to the French Navy as well.

A key factor will be the whole life cost of the system. We learned at the show that this is the reason why the Bofors 57mm Mk 3 has recently started to be considered as well. In addition to being more affordable than a 127mm or 76mm gun, the 57mm offers other advantages: While this gun doesn’t offer the range and lethality of the 127mm guns, some of its performances are comparable to the 76mm. This is particularly true when you take factors such as the rate of fire and the amount of explosive per shell into account (the Bofors gun achieves a higher amount of “explosive fired per second” compared to the 76mm. This is explained in more details in this video). In addition, the 57mm shells being smaller, a greater number may be stored aboard the ship. Finally, we believe that a smaller main gun (such as the 57mm) because of its lighter weight could allow the installation of larger remote weapon stations (than the 20mm Narwhal). This is pure speculation on our end, but an FTI fitted with a 57mm main gun at the bow and two Thales RAPIDSeaGuardian 40mm CIWS on top of the helicopter hangar at the stern (for a 360° coverage) could make sense. The gun comes with smart ammunition as well: The 3P all-target programmable ammunition and the ORKA “one shot one kill” round currently under development.

The area around the bridge of the FTI may still evolve. Our understanding is that it looks the way it is right now mainly because of a requirement to fit a Narwhal remote weapon station just forward of the bridge (with another one on top of the helicopter hangar for 360° coverage).

We also learned that space provisions have already been set on and in the foredeck for future growth. While the French Navy FTI is shown with 16x A50 VLS (for MBDA Aster 30 SAM), there is a requirement to increase this number to a total of 32x VLS “if the need arises some time in the future”. We could not learn the reason behind this requirement, however our wild guess is that it could have something to do with the Future Cruise and Anti-Ship Weapon (FCASW) (known as Future Missile Antinavire/Future Missile de Croisière in France). It is intended to replace the Exocet anti-ship missile in the far future (as well as the air launched SCALP/Storm Shadow) and it may well be vertically launched from surface vessels. Source navyrecognition.com

Exclusive Video Interview: DCNS BELH@RRA front-line digital frigate: Here

Belh@rra weapon and sensor systems

Detailed analysis by D-Mitch of the weapon and sensor systems fitted aboard Naval Group’s Belh@rra

Anti-ship missile decoy launching system

Navigation and communication systems aboard FTI


The frigate will be equipped with efficient countermeasures, navigation and communications equipment manufactured by Thales.

They include Sea Fire 500 multi-function active fixed-array antenna radar, Kingklip Mark II hull-mounted sonar, Aquilon integrated naval communication system, radar and communications electronic support measures for electronic warfare, jammers, and a compact version of the combined active passive towed array sonar (CAPTAS-4).

Sea Fire 500 multi-function active fixed-array antenna radar

Naval Group and by Luca Peruzzi via edrmagazine.eu

The Thales Sea Fire 500 is a new family of multifunction radars relying on a solid-state four-panel phase array antenna and smart management of radar resources to fit into large surface combatants. It consists of four solid-state active fixed panels that can be located at different points on the vessel. Each panel offers high power, 90-degree coverage and high detection and tracking performance. Working together for four panels offer 360-degree coverage in azimuth and 90-degree coverage in elevation. The Sea Fire 500 leverages the knowledge gained during the Herakles radar development and is being designed to meet evolving naval mission profiles and threats. It is a multifunction radar capable of performing missile fire control and guidance as well as target detection, identification and tracking. The modular architecture of the new radar family and different antenna sizes will enable to fit into a variety of ships and perform several mission types. Thales launched the Sea Fire 500 multifunctional radar at Euronaval exhibition in October 2014.

Naval Group and by Luca Peruzzi via edrmagazine.eu

Thales expects the Sea Fire 500 radar to conduct ship self-defense and extended air defense missions against fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft and missiles. Besides, it will provide protection against emerging asymmetric threats such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and anti-ship ballistic missiles even in heavy clutter and jamming scenarios as well as the complex conditions of the littoral environment. Source deagel.com


ASEO XLR electro-optical FCS


Warships in littoral waters increasingly operate in close proximity to a variety of vessels among which potential threats may hide. From self-defense operations to ship protection at anchor, PASEO XLR electro-optical FCS provides crystal clear images of the environment, day or night, even in poor weather conditions, to ensure long-range identification & tracking. Source safran-electronics-defense.com


Kingklip Mark II hull-mounted sonar


KINGKLIP is particularly efficient to detect submarines in rough sea states and coastal/littoral waters, where difficult reverberation conditions prevail.
It complements a CAPTAS Variable Depth Sonar to provide good coverage above & below the thermal layer.



System features:

  • Designed for medium size Surface Combatant
  • Cylindrical array installed inside an acoustically transparent dome (keel mounted)
  • ASW all-round surveillance
  • Several transmit configurations allowing operation with two ships in the same area
  • Integrated On-Board-Training capability
  • Embedded bathythermograph & performance prediction function for sonar optimisation

• Comprehensive Built-in Test capability


  • Can be operated either from CMS consoles or stand-alone
  • Directional/sectorial transmission
  • Underwater telephone capability
  • Powerful ASW Sonar Suite when integrated with CAPTAS VDS and sonobuoys


Array (Weight/Height/Diameter): (1.4t / 0.7m / 1.2m)
Active frequency range: 5250 to 8000 Hz
Pulse types: Hyperbolic FM, CW and COMBO
Pulse length: 60 ms to 4 s
Range scale: 1 to 72 kYds
Active modes:
– ASW: all-round surveillance
– Obstacle Avoidance: ± 90° off the ship’s bow
FM bandwidth: Wide bandwidth (2 kHz) against reverberation effect
Passive frequency range: 1000 to 8000 Hz.
Passive functions: All around broadband surveillance, LOFAR, DEMON & audio channels

Source thalesgroup.com

Aquilon integrated naval communication system

schema_aquilon_0Image: thalesgroup.com

Fully Integrated Communication System (FICS)

  • Already deployed on all class on naval platforms from fast attack craft to aircraft carrier and conventional or nuclear submarines
  • IP open architecture
  • Full range of services: voice, intercom, conference calls, data links, databases…
  • Centralized communication management
  • Full range of communications:
– Internal communications
– External communications
  • Naval network enabling capabilities
  • Local user connectivity via secure high speed IP backbone (NGIN, focon IP)
  • Interconnection with external communications (radio, modems, satcom terminals, public network, telephone…)
  • Security, survivability, reliability, interoperability
  • Scalable, flexible and modular design, standard interfaces
  • Communication management (PARTNER):
– Security management
– User management
– Radio management

Source thalesgroup.com


An unrivalled performance against quiet submarines to achieve any anti-submarine warfare missions including escort, area sanitization and own force protection.

  • Ultra long range
    Capable of very large detection in every environmental condition.
  • Reduced operator workload
    The only large VDS to provide automated deployment and recovery procedures without operator on aft deck.
    The lowest operating and training manpower for this class of system.
  • Cooperative asset
    Very accurate target positioning to prosecute and engage distant submarines with airborne assets.
    Multi-static capability with virtually all low frequency sonar in operation world-wide.
    Minimising interference with other VDS and BMS
  • Embedded torpedo defence
    Permanent self defence capability.
  • Mammals safe
    Adjustable source level & noise monitoring for sea mammal protection.
  • Low Life Cycle Cost

Large installed base and continuous evolutions for Inherent customer’s long term support

CAPTAS family

  • The only LFA VDS in service in NATO countries
  • More than 40 CAPTAS systems already ordered
  • 2 installation variants for CAPTAS 4:
    • T23 UK frigate
    • FREMM frigate


A rugged design for sea operations which allows the ASW units to transmit and receive at the right depth with two separate arrays and maximize the detection of extremely quiet submarines.
The system is designed to independently deploy the arrays at optimum depth to continuously survey 360 degrees with a well covered water column, thus overcoming harsh propagation conditions and surface-layer problems inherent to Hull Mounted Sonar.


Active Frequencies: below 2kHz
Bandwidth: Wide FM
Pulse lengths: up to 16s
Pulse Modes: FM, CW and COMBO
Operational limits: Up to sea state 6
Operating depth: Up to 230m depth, e.g. 180 m at 12knts
Detection performance: Up to second oceanic Convergence Zone
A non-rotating IFF (identification friend or foe) antenna system will equip the frigate to provide surveillance and monitoring at sea.



ALTESSE-H, the new naval communications electronic warfare solution from Thales, identifies up to 2,000 targets in real time. With its TRC 6460 ultra-high-frequency interceptor and direction finder, advanced antenna system and operating software derived from the Keyobs suite, ALTESSE-H delivers real operational benefits, including faster response times and the ability to capture shorter signals at longer range and gather intelligence data at the same time. Source navyrecognition.com

Combat management system

The FTI frigate will be equipped with DCNS’ ship enhanced tactical information system (SETIS) combat management system, which provides the operator with improved decision-making and battle management capabilities.

Featuring man-machine interface, the SETIS system integrates onboard combat systems, command support modules and planning tools.

SETIS combat system

CO of Aquitaine (© MARINE NATIONALE) – Image: meretmarine.com

The combat system of the ships is the DCNS SETIS (Ship Enhanced Tactical information System), an integrated combat system for networked multi-mission operations. SETIS features advanced algorithms to detect, identify and react immediately to threats with the most appropriate weapon system. SETIS combines a large range of equipment, sensors and long-range weapons for detection, identification and engagements in extreme conditions such as multiple attacks. The Thales SIC21 is a Command and Control Information System. According to Thales, SIC21 is a mission management capability to support all types of naval operations. It increases interoperability & information security within operational Command & control in National, Joint & multinational environments. Sea and Land continuum with deployment on all naval platforms, whether equipped with a Combat Management System or not, and land-based command sites. Source navalanalyses.blogspot.com

Propulsion and performance of French medium-size frigates

Propulsion for the multi-mission frigate will be provided by a 32MW combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) propulsion system.

The mid-size frigate will have a maximum speed of 27kts and a range of 5,000nm at a speed of 15kt.

MTU 16V 8000 M91L engines

The Series 8000 now covers the power range from 7,200 to 10,000 kW. Like its 20-cylinder counterpart, the 16-cylinder engine excels with low overall operating costs, high power density and low environmental impact while meeting both IMO Tier II and EPA Tier II emissions limits, with the ability to meet other standards as required.

The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has awarded its Naval Vessel Rules (NVR) certificate to all models in the Series 8000 line-up, putting them among the first modern, ABS-certified engines in their power class. Another key factor in winning the FTI project was the engine’s extremely low structure-borne noise levels, as verified by MTU using a trial engine.

The FTI vessels are each to be powered by four 16V 8000 engines forming a combined diesel-and-diesel (CODAD) propulsion system, with two diesel engines connected to each of the ship’s dual prop shafts. The propulsion system will produce a total power output of 32 MW, powering the frigates up to speeds of 27 knots. The vessels will have a range of up to 5,000 nautical miles.

(CODAD) arrangement

General characteristics
Type: General purpose frigate
Displacement: 4250 tonnes
Length: 122 m (400 ft)
Beam: 17.7 m (58 ft)
Speed: Maximum: 27 knots (50.0 km/h; 31.1 mph)
Range: 5,000 nmi (9,300 km; 5,800 mi)
  • 110, excluding air crew detachment of approx. 15
  • air-detachment
Sensors and
processing systems:
Aircraft carried: 1 NH90 helicopter equipped with torpedoes, air-to-surface missiles, and/or heavy machine gun

Technical data wikipedia.org

Main material source naval-technology.com

Updated May 23, 2021

3M22 Zircon / SS-N-33 hypersonic maneuverable anti-ship missile

Zircon: the Russian missile that may render U.S. aircraft carriers obsolete

April 26, 2017 GLEB FEDOROV, RBTH

The news that Russia’s Zircon missile has attained unprecedented speed provoked alarming headlines in the Western media. RBTH summarizes what is known about one of Russia’s most classified military programs.

This month, Russia’s Zircon   reached the highest speed for any cruise missile in history. Citing sources close to the military, TASS said the missile, during trials, was able to fly at a speed that is eight times faster than speed of sound – the so-called Mach 8, which is approximately equal to 9,800 km/h.

With a possible range of around 400 km, it will be able to cover the entire distance in just two and a half minutes. Western media outlets fear that this will render much of NATO’s naval equipment obsolete.

According to The Independent, the Royal Navy’s Sea Ceptor system can only stop missiles travelling up to 3,700 km/h.

Tim Ripley, who covers defense issues for Jane’s Defence Weekly told dw.com that Zircon’s deployment “will greatly reduce the reaction time that they [Western military units] have to deploy their own defenses and counter-measures.”

Former commander of the Russian Navy Admiral Viktor Chirkov told Russian media outlets that by 2020 the Russian Navy is planning to create a “group of strategic non-nuclear deterrence” assets, equipped with high-precision long-range weapons. According to Kornev, this means that in three years time Zircon may already be deployed.

According to military expert Konstantin Sivkov, the adoption of the Zircon will lead to the weakening of the ability of the U.S. aircraft carrier forces to strike Russian targets as Moscow’s naval cruisers will be equipped with these missiles.

What is known about Zircon

All the available information about Zircon is based on rare comments from Russian officials and media leaks, which were not played down by the military and defense experts.

Dmitry Kornev, editor of Militaryrussia.ru, which collected the most complete profile on the Zircon missile, told RBTH that he believes the missiles were already launched from a Yasen-class attack submarine.

According to Kornev, this means that the engineers are close to successfully deploying the missiles on submarines, ships and on land.

The missile is reportedly going to be deployed in 2018 on a number of submarines and large-class ships, which will be upgraded to fit Zircon. It will also be deployed on Russia’s sole aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov (after its reconstruction), on Lider-class destroyers, and on the Husky 5th generation submarine.

The fact Zircon will be launched from the Agat 3S14 universal platform, which is also used for Klub cruise missiles, means that it can be deployed virtually on any platform.

According to Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who was the first high-ranking official to confirm the very fact of the missile’s ongoing tests, Zircon belongs to “a totally new generation of weapons” and is “guaranteed to bypass anti-missile defense systems.”

Original post rbth.com

screenshot-www.youtube.com-2018.10.22-01-11-38Милла Краевская

The 3M22 Zircon or the is a maneuvering anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile developed in Russia.[i] The Zircon’s estimated range is 500 km at a low level and up to 750 km at a semi-ballistic trajectory, but the state-owned media in Russia reports the range as 1,000 km.[ii] It’s a two-stage missile that uses solid fuel in the first stage and a scramjet motor in the second stage. This missile will be incorporated into the Kirov-class battlecruiser Admiral Nakhimov this year and the Pyotr Velikiy in 2022.[iii] Source missiledefenseadvocacy.org




General data:
Type: Guided Weapon Weight: 3500 kg
Length: 9.0 m Span: 1.5 m
Diameter: 0.8 Generation: None
Properties: Home On Jam (HOJ), Search Pattern, Bearing-Only Launch (BOL), Weapon – INS w/ GPS Navigation, Re-Attack Capability, Level Cruise Flight
Targets: Surface Vessel, Land Structure – Soft, Land Structure – Hardened, Runway
Active Radar Seeker – (ASM LR, Kh-32) Radar
Weapon Seeker, Active Radar
Max Range: 148.2 km
Passive Radar Seeker – (AS-21, SS-N-26) ESM
Weapon Seeker, Anti-Radiation
Max Range: 18.5 km
SS-N-33 [3M22 Zircon] – Guided Weapon
Surface Max: 1296.4 km. Land Max: 1296.4 km.

Source cmano-db.com


TTX missiles (Russian source):

Length – estimated from 8 to 10.5 m (a larger figure is more likely)
– 300-400 km ( source – the United States experienced , source )
– 800-1000 km (forecast)
– at least 4.5 M ( source )
– presumably 5-6 M ( source )
– 6 M ( source , 2016)
– up to 8 M ( source , 15.04.2017 city)

Source militaryrussia.ru


Ships and nuclear submarines, as well as aircraft and coastal mobile missile systems can be equipped with Zircon-type missiles. Taking into account the requirements for a hypersonic rocket, the range of the Zircon should exceed the range of the Onyx, which, according to open data, is about 500 km.

It is assumed that the Onyx and Zircon missiles will be involved in the implementation of the concept of strategic non-nuclear deterrence.

Strategic non-nuclear deterrence implies the possibility of hitting, if necessary, the critical military and economic targets of a potential enemy, without resorting to the use of nuclear weapons.

The former commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy, Admiral Viktor Chirkov, previously stated that a group of strategic non-nuclear deterrent forces, equipped with long-range precision weapons, should be created in the Russian Navy by 2020.

The basis of this grouping will be the nuclear submarine cruisers of the project 885M Yasen, the upgraded nuclear submarines of the project 949M, and the heavy nuclear missile cruisers of the project 1144. Source interfax.ru

Former commander of the Russian Navy Admiral Viktor Chirkov told Russian media outlets that by 2020 the Russian Navy is planning to create a “group of strategic non-nuclear deterrence” assets, equipped with high-precision long-range weapons. According to Kornev, this means that in three years time Zircon may already be deployed.

According to military expert Konstantin Sivkov, the adoption of the Zircon will lead to the weakening of the ability of the U.S. aircraft carrier forces to strike Russian targets as Moscow’s naval cruisers will be equipped with these missiles.

Related post

Russia’s hypersonic Zircon missile to go into serial production in 2018 — source