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


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.


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

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.


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

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:

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

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

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)

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

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


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.


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

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.

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


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

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


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

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

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.


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

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


TAURUS KEPD 350 on both wings – Image:

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

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


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

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)


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

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.


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.


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


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


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


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



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.



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:


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


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.



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.


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

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:


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  

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

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.


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:

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.


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


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

Thales Digital Joint Reconnaissance Pod

Thales Digital Joint Reconnaissance Pod Seen here on JAS 39C – Image:

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


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)


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

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

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

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

“The operational cost of the Swedish Saab Gripen aircraft is the lowest among a flightline of modern fighters, confirmed a White Paper submitted by the respected international defense publishing group IHS Jane’s, in response to a study commissioned by Saab.


For the purpose of modeling to create a standard or benchmark, the study arrived at the ‘aircrafts’ fuel usage, hence cost, based on a theoretical one hour sortie at max dry thrust’, not ‘necessarily reflective of actual fuel consumption and hence fuel cost of a one hour sortie’.

As is evident, the modeled cost pattern is closest to the derived cost pattern in the case of the Gripen, F-16, Rafale, and Eurofighter. The research and the model digress in the case of the F-35 and the F/A-18.

In the case of the F-35, the study says the different ‘costs arise from the differing power and specific fuel consumptions of the A / C and B models. The B model is the top figure in both cases’. The study says, “The single P&W F-135 engine is relatively fuel efficient for its power, resulting in a lower fuel burn at maximum dry thrust than might be expected.” It adds that, although obviously, ‘accurate CPFH for in-service aircraft does not exist’, ‘the US and Australian forecast costs both suggest it will not offer lower CPFH than current aircraft’, considering ‘the aircraft itself is an extremely sophisticated design carrying a large number of new and unproven onboard systems’.” Source



  • 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


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


Images are from public domain unless otherwise stated

Main image by Jörgen Nilsson Photography

Updated Jan 03, 2020

8 thoughts on “Gripen C / D Multirole Fighter Aircraft

  1. Gripen Fan

    It’s just unfortunate that the RMAF has selected either the Typhoon or the Rafale as the new MRCA acquisition.


    Malaysia has always been big on showing off but nothing to show for especially with the Migs and Sukhois.

    Now going to repeat the same mistake by buying over expensive jets and will cost a bomb to maintain and operate.

    Thailand, Spore and Indo made very sensible acquisitions.

    If only RMAF would accept the 16 leased Gripens.


    1. nonothai Post author

      Sorry for the late reply I was really busy. Anyway I hope RMAF chose wisely as from what the Russian say it seems RMAF have very little flying time for the pilots. If they keep going for expensive planes these trend is unlikely to change. Usually shiny clean planes is a dead giveaway that they are not flown often. If you look at the RTAF their planes look worn that’s because they fly nearly non-stop training only when there is a lull in training do they get a nice wash. see link


      1. Gripen Fan


        Yes I have read the link you gave but I disagree. I feel Malaysia should just sell off its Migs and Sukhois and lease the Gripens and buy 2nd hand F-16s and F-18s.

        You are right. Malaysian jet pilots lack the experience and flying hours needed because the cost to fly the Russian jets were stupidly expensive.

        I like your RTAF has some legacy F-16 Falcons and the F-5s that are used extensively for practice.


      2. nonothai Post author

        Thanks for the comment.
        But your fleet also operate F-18D which is also very expensive including the Su-30MKM that is why I hope RMAF make the right choice. But from what I understand the MiG-29 is not that expensive to operate.

        The RTAF F-16 and F-5 have always been upgraded you can find them in the earlier post. However, there are I think 2 squadrons of F-16s that have not been upgraded to Block 50/52 which I think they will be retired. There are rumors that RTAF might buy Su-30SM but I prefer the Su-35s.


    1. nonothai Post author

      Why not but I guess it’s up to your government and maybe behind the scenes politics. Going Gripen would save you billions and in the long term very cheap to operate.


      1. Gripen Fan

        Btw bro kap kun kap for an awesome website you have. I love reading it! ^^

        Kap, I also don’t understand why Msia is still wanting to choose the Rafale or the Typhoon when the country has no money! Both are super expensive to buy and maintain!!!!

        Gripen obviously is low cost to fly and operate and it’s awesome Saab wants to lease to Msia 16 Gripens to replace the Mig 29 squadron.

        Another possible acquisition if Msia willing to buy some Gripens from South Africa since the SAAF are struggling to operate all 26 of their jets.

        So lease 16 plus buy 12 ex SAAF = 28 Gripens for Msia.

        You agree? Would like to know your point of view.

        Kap kun kap.


      2. nonothai Post author

        Thanks glad you enjoyed it.
        Agree that it will be cheaper than Rafale or Typhoon and it would benefit your pilots with more flying time.
        I don’t know about the SAAF as they may not want to sell them or else they would have already have done that by now.


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