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SAAB receives order for future options of Swedish Air Force Gripen C/D fighter aircraft.

| 2020

According to a press release published on December 22, 2020, Swedish company Saab has received an order from the Swedish Defence Material Administration (FMV) to define what is needed to meet Sweden’s requirements for the continued, effective operation and availability of Gripen C/D until 2035.

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SAAB receives order for future options of Swedish Air Force Gripen C D fighter aircraft 925 001 Saab JAS 39 Gripen of Swedish air Force at Kaivopuisto Air Show, June 2017 (Picture source Wikimedia)

The Gripen is a light single-engine multirole fighter aircraft manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab AB. According to the edition 2020 of the military balance, the Swedish Air Force has a total of six squadron of fighter aircraft including 71 JAS 39 Gripen C/D and 60 E variants were also ordered.

“Gripen C/D is the backbone of the Swedish Air Force and will be for many years to come. The result of the work will be that the customer has the ability to take different directions depending on their future needs. Saab’s expertise in developing advanced fighter technology gives Sweden the means to decide how Gripen C/D remains a formidable frontline fighter in the 2030s,” says Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President and head of Saab business area Aeronautics.

The Gripen has a delta wing and canard configuration with relaxed stability design and fly-by-wire flight controls. Various versions have been built and these are grouped as A-, C- and E-series.

The Gripen is compatible with a number of different armaments, beyond the aircraft's single 27 mm Mauser BK-27 cannon (omitted on the two-seat variants),[137] including air-to-air missiles such as the AIM-9 Sidewinder, air-to-ground missiles such as the AGM-65 Maverick, and anti-ship missiles such as the RBS-15.

In flight, the Gripen is typically capable of carrying up to 6,500 kg (14,330 lb) of assorted armaments and equipment.[110] Equipment includes external sensor pods for reconnaissance and target designation, such as Rafael's LITENING targeting pod, Saab's Modular Reconnaissance Pod System, or Thales' Digital Joint Reconnaissance Pod.[140] The Gripen has an advanced and integrated electronic warfare suite, capable of operating in an undetectable passive mode or to actively jam hostile radar; a missile approach warning system passively detects and tracks incoming missiles.

Gripen is in service with a number of air forces including Sweden, the Czech Republic, Hungary, South Africa and Thailand. The UK Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS) is operating Gripen as its platform for test pilot training. Sweden and Brazil have also respectively ordered 60 and 36 new Gripen fighter aircraft.

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