SAAB JAS 39 Gripen Multi Role 4th Generation Lightweight Combat Aircraft of Sweden – Best 4th Generation Aircraft

SAAB JAS 39 Gripen (griffin) is a single engine multirole fighter aircraft manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab. It has a top speed of Mach 2.

SAAB JAS 39 Gripen
SAAB JAS 39 Gripen

Designed to replace the Viggen in a variety of roles, the SAAB JAS 39 Gripen (griffin) will form the core of Swedish air power well into the 21st century. Also this multi-role fighter received some export orders.

   Developed by SAAB Military Aircraft and marketed jointly by SAAB and BAE Systems, the Gripen is a fourth-generation lightweight multi-role combat aircraft that features a delta-canard configuration coupled with a digital fly-by-wire control system. Power is provided by a modified version of the proven F404J turbofan, developed and produced by Volvo Glygmotor and fitted with a new afterburner.

   Unlike the Viggen, the JAS 39A lacks a thrust reverser but still possess excellent short-field capability. Ericsson developed the SAAB JAS 39 Gripen’s advanced multi-mode, pulse-Doppler PS-05/A radar. Gripen also features a wide-angle holographic HUD and a podded FLIR for attack and reconnaissance missions.

SAAB JAS 39 Gripen Prototypes And Order

   Five prototypes and 30 production aircraft were initially ordered, the first prototype making its maiden flight in 1988. In June 1992 a second batch of 110 aircraft, including 14 SAAB JAS 39B two-seaters, was ordered. Problems with the flight control software resulted in the loss of two prototypes and the first production JAS 39A, with consequent delays to in-service date while software upgrades were developed. Eventually, 2 Divisionen of F7 at Satenas was declared combat-ready on the JAS 39A in late 1997.

   Swedish defence cuts in 2000 have reduced the final number of Gripen Divisionen (squadrons) to eight, distributed with four wings. All were partially re-equipped with the Gripen by 2004. To date, Flygvapnet fully combat-capable two-seaters.

Flygvapnet has already announced that the third production batch will be to SAAB JAS 39C and JAS 39D standard, with features including helmet-mounted sights, IR-OTIS IRST and improved electronic warfare systems. These planned improvements are also being retrofitted to earlier JAS 39A/Bs. 28 Gripens were exported to South Africa; these carry a range of indigenous weapons. They are also operated by Hungarian and Czech air forces.

   In 2013 an improved Gripen NG was selected by Brazil. A total of 36 aircraft are planned to be delivered until 2023.

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