Translated by BabelFish
Sweden, like France, is a country which for a long time associates defense and industrial self-sufficiency. In has testified the line to the hunters J 29 Tunnan, J 32 Lansen, J 35 Draken and J 37Viggen successively produced for a half-century by Saab for the specific needs for the Swedish royal air forces. The JAS 39 Gripen (Griffon) is the last floret of the group. Regarded as the first fighter multirôle ever conceived in Sweden, this apparatus of last generation is produced in series with Linkôping since 1993 by the Swedish airframe manufacturer in co-operation avecVolvo, Ericsson and FFV Aerotech, to gradually replace Viggen and the Draken last in service in the missions of interception (J), attack (A) and recognition (S); what explains its local designation JAS.
Small but powerful
Relativement small, very compact and able to take off on very short distances, the JAS 39 Gripen was developed in accordance with the national concept Base 90 which envisages, in the event of war, the maximum looseness of the means of aerial combat on rudimentary aerodromes dispersed on all the extent of the territory, that, while using, without preparation, of the portions of motorways. The prototype of Gripen accomplished its first flight on December 9, 1988. The first JAS 39A of series took its take-off on September 10, 1992. Two-seater JAS 39B, strongly redrawn, has for its part stolen the first time on April 29, 1996.
A characteristic of the JAS 39 is to call largely upon material "made in the USA" as well with regard to its systems, its avionics, its engine as its armament. Thus, that it acts of the electric orders of flight (Lockheed Martin), of the engine (General Electric) or of the armament (Amraam, Maverick, Sidewinder), of many elements of Gripen are of American origin. To that is added a part of the radar Ericsson PS-05 /A of English origin!II does not remain about it less than the integration of these components on Gripen is purely Swedish.
A very complete system
Doté of electric orders of flight to triple chains (which gave some nightmares to the engineers), the JAS 39 was entirely drawn around the pilot. Its orders are thus entirely gathered on the minis handle and the throttle lever according to concept HOTAS (Hands One ThrustAnd Stick).
In its initial version JAS 39A/B, the plane is propelled by a dual flow jet engine Volvo Aero RM 12, derived from the engine General Electric F404- GE-400. It gives a dry push of 54 YEAR and 80 kN with reheating. In spite of its small size Gripen has a maximum mass on the takeoff of approximately 13 T Its system of weapons is articulated around the radar Doppler Ericsson/ GECMarconi PS-05 /A. In air-to-air mode, this radar ensures a simultaneous continuation several targets and, in air-to-ground mode, it allows the cartography and tackles terrestrial and naval objectives.
A beautiful panoply of armaments
Le cockpit is equipped with a collimator high head (HUD) built in co-operation between Kaiser in the United States and Ericsson in Sweden. It comprises also three screens multifunction monochromic EP17 also produced by Ericsson. An encrypted data link (SATS) allows a formation of Gripen on mission of attack on the ground to receive information of day before radar directly since another plane and to remain thus perfectly discrete. Starting from model JAS 39C (and two-seater JAS 39D), Gripen has of color screens, a sight of helmet FFV Odin, of a navigation of follow-up of Ternav ground and a frontal detector of day before and infra-red continuation Saab Ir-Otis. Only the single-seater is armed with a gun assembled in gondole under the sleeve with left air. It shelters a gun Mauser Bk 27 of 27 Misters In operation, Gripen can carry more than 4 T of external loads on six points of fastener.
In air-to-air mode, it is armed with four missiles of interception to guidance active radar Amraam and of two missiles of aerial combat with homing head with infra-red Rb-74 (Sidewinder AIM-9L). For the attack, it carries air-to-ground missiles infra-red Rb-75 (Maverick), air-to-sea Saab Rb 15F with long range. The carrying of the cruise missile Taurus is envisaged since 2006, which will make it possible Gripen to strike targets 350 away.
The monotype Swedish
Le Swedish Parliament authorized the production of 204 JAS 39 divided into three sections from respectively 30, 110 and 64 apparatuses. The sections two and three include each one a batch of 14 two-seaters intended as well for the combat as with the operational drive. The first two sections are finished, the first deliveries of the third started in 2005. The planes of this last section present notable improvements. Sweden indeed decided not to carry out a renovation with semi-life of its planes but to gradually modernize them until 2010-2015. Thus the integration of the Taurus missiles and Irises-T is planned for 20052006 as well as a new helmet of designation. A new system of autonomous navigation (NINS) which must allow the autonomous landing the instruments is envisaged as well as the adaptation of the system of data transmission to standard NATO MIDS.
About 2008, it is envisaged to replace the current radar by an active antenna radar what will facilitate the use of long-range missiles very such as Meteor, which should join to the panoply of Gripen in 2009. Beyond, it is a question of increasing the lengthening-piece of the apparatus by the addition of two tanks in conformity and a more powerful engine.
The version export
Afin to promote the sales of Gripen to export, Saab and British Aero space (today BAE Systems) joined in 1996 to market "the future" JAS 39C. This version is characterized by a more international avionics and the assembly of a pole of in-flight refueling. The first success was gained in 1998 when South Africa chose Gripen to replace, since 2004, at the same time its hunters Mirage Fl and Cheetah as its light planes of Impala attack. The contract for 28 apparatuses was signed on December 3, 1999.
Gripen took part practically in all the open competitions these five last years, in particular in Poland, in Austria, in Hungary, in Tchéquie, in Chile and Brazil. For lack of sufficient finances, Hungary and the Czech Republic were satisfied to rent each one 14 Gripen. The first Czech apparatuses entered in service in 2005, as for Hungary, it must receive its planes as from April 2006. The two countries could in the long term convert these hirings into purchases.