For Aero India
there will be 3 real operative Swedish Air force Gripen C/D at the show. The Gripen pavillion (which btw is 4 times larger than the stalls of Rafale and x2 as MIG and LM) will have both a full scale replica and a virtual cockpit simulator. The SAAB offer to india is based around full technological transfer, with the first Indian specific jet constructed in Sweden while the Indian assembly line is set up. After that all jets will be produced in India at HAL with local suppliers as much as possible. (i.e 125 of 126)
Exactly what will be included in a RFP is not known. Only that SAAB will include AESA if the RFP will allow for it. SAAB has opened up a permanent office in Bangalore that will stay there to explore partnerships even if Gripen is not selected.
Gripen info, the basic specs you all know so I don't bother with that: Today Gripen is a mature Swingrole jet
in all the A2A, A2G w/LGB/GPS/SAR, ASHm, RECON, EW aspects. Not just on paper like the other delayed or underfunded New Gen jets.
Retractable Refueling Probe and OBOGS
. Further upgrades next 30-40 yrs financed by Sweden. Spin-off tech from SAAB-Dassault UCAV partnership will also be transferred when applicable. Deliveries and offset agreements to all export customers has been met ahead of schedule.
The 39 of today can be modified for more weapons and fuel, it was planned to add two more fuselage pylons to the 39C but the SwAF didn't want them as they don't like baby-steps in development. (This is why they don't use AESA but instead directed more funds to the development of a more advanced M-AESA)
The SwAF often exercise with F/A-18, MIG-29 and F-16MLU's in Europe, in WVR and BVR fights the Gripens win almost always (no comments on specifics) due to the small RCS, strong radar and autonomous datalink which gives great situational awareness. No surprise really, those are old jets. Dogfights is a more equal fight but the Gripen can keep the momentum easily and the pilot doesn't need to focus on flying as much. At Red Flag Alaska with US, Canadian and Japanese F-16/F-15J/CF18 jets the new built-in EW system proved very effective against both aerial and ground threats (SAMs).
When a pilot mark a target it's lit up as booked on the autonomous datalink screen of the other jets. Even those on the ground 500km away if they have selected 'wide' view. Situational awareness is further enhanced with a Dual-Seat WSO. The cockpit has 3D-audio for virtual location of wingmen and voice recognition. The jet is self-correcting with a 5-layered FCS backup.
The MIG-29 and MIG-21 pilots in Hungary and the Czech Republic that now fly Gripen sound pretty happy about the Gripen. The Czechs have flown several live NATO Quick Reaction Alerts and have had 100% operational capability. The conversion training doesn't take long either. The difficult part is how to learn old horses how to use computers. Gripen is a training platform for the US Navy, French Air Force, the Australian and British Air force under the UK Ministry of Defence Empire Test pilot's School. And South Africa is testing out their first jet.
Since Sweden still use a conscript military the systems need to have a high degree of autonomy, self-diagnostics and care free jet with only 4 conscripts and 1 specialist needed for reload/rearm/repair, a engine change can be done in 45 minutes. Refuel in 5, refuel+rearm in 10-15min. In/Out of a 500m roadstrip.
The jet has been verified against 4 different engines (3 sources) and is built to be easily upgraded and components replaced from another source. As has been done with landing gear and APU. And actually the whole C-version is more or less new except for the aeronautical design and engine.
Sweden has since 2003 the highest defense cooperation agreement with the US, shared only with the UK and Australia. The only nation allowed to conduct AMRAAM tests outside of the US.
Global weapons package.
AIM-9L, AIM-9M8/9 Sidewinder, AIM-120B, AIM-120-C5 AMRAAM, AGM-65 Maverick, IRIS-T, Twin Store Carrier, KEPD-350 Taurus Cruise missile, DWS39 Stand Off Dispenser, RBS-15 AShm, GBU 10/12/16 LGB, MK 82/83/84 Bomb, LITENING III, Bofors Rocket pod, Reconnaissance pod, A/R/U-Darter (under integration), METEOR (live firing of ALD)
: AIM-9X, ASRAAM, Python 4, Python 5, Derby, MICA, SPICE, Lizard II and III, JDAM, JDAM-ER, JSOW, SDB, Brimstone, BOQ-X300 Jammer Pod, Kongsberg NSM
: SAAB IRST Optical sight, Cobra Helmet Mounted Display.
During Q4 2006 the Swedish military ordered further integration work on precision guided weapons and upgrades to the radar. And presented its 10 year RoadMap for enhanced attack capability. The Government is currently negotiating the deal for 31 new jets and Norway is negotiating their participation on the new Gripen NG (N/DK) (which is larger, new engine etc) Gripen is leading the integration work of the METEOR BVRAAM
with the current PS-05/A radar and datalink, being the only technologically mature platform in the EU for this work.
i.e Mature, Operational, Modern, In production, Financed upgrade path.
This was posted elsewhere, i dont know whether its an article, as i could not find a link, in anycase the credit is to davedogman. I think its an excellent article and that probably we are discounting the Gripen way too fast. And thinking that it will not be able to match the F/A-18E/F or the MiG 35.