Saab Unveils Gripen E

Gripen E

SHAH ALAM: SWEDISH defence company, Saab unveiled the latest version of its Gripen fighter jet – the E – at a ceremony in Linkoping, Sweden, yesterday. The revamped Gripen E – dubbed the Gripen NG previously – was unveiled at the its fighter plant to an audience of several hundred suppliers, media and customers.

It is yet unclear whether Malaysians were at the unveiling ceremony though its likely that Deftech officials – Saab industrial partner for the AEW/MRCA programme – were present.

Gripen E
Gripen E

RMAF had stated previously the Gripen NG was among the four aircraft shortlisted for the MRCA programme though recent developments had indicated that it had been eliminated.

Gripen E at the unveiling ceremony. Saab
Gripen E at the unveiling ceremony. Saab

At DSA 2016, it was reported that Saab was promoting the GlobalEye AEW together with the Gripen C/D model for the RMAF. It is likely that they had chosen the C/D model to compensate for the higher cost of the new GlobalEye AEW. Previously the NG was offered with the Saab 2000/340 AEW aircraft.

Saab GlobalEye AEW aircraft.
Saab GlobalEye AEW aircraft.

The company had also offered a couple of Saab MSA for free if Malaysia choose the Gripen/AEW combo.

So whats so special about the Echo model compared to the older Gripens? According to Reuters, the latest Gripen is designed to carry more weapons further, and to track multiple threats using the latest type of radar.

Gripen evolution.
Gripen evolution.

As for Saab: “Over previous versions of the Gripen, Gripen E has a significantly improved avionics system. The capability to carry more weapons and the improved range performance, is possible by a more powerful engine and the ability to carry more fuel.

Gripen E possible weapons and sensors load.
Gripen E possible weapons and sensors load.

Gripen E is equipped with a highly integrated and sophisticated sensor suite including an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, Infra Red Search and Track (IRST), Electronic Warfare (EW) suite, and datalink technology, which, when combined gives the pilot, and co-operating forces exactly the information needed at all times.

Gripen E
Gripen E

The Gripen E have been ordered by Sweden and Brazil. Switzerland had selected the aircraft to replace its F-5 fighters but it was turned down by voters in a referendum. Saab is looking for opportunity to export the E globally with Asia Pacific as its main target.

Reuters quoted Francis Tusa, editor of Defence Analysis as saying that the “The Gripen E ensures that Gripen as a brand keeps going against the Rafale, Typhoon and F-35

Selling for about $85 million excluding arms, the Gripen E is slightly cheaper than Rafale or Typhoon and significantly cheaper than the single-engined F-35, which is marketed for stealth, he added”.

— Malaysian Defence

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5 Comments

  1. Significantly cheaper than the f-35? The rafale and typhoon is much more expensive than the f-35a version.

    Ps. Many of my posting is gone missing again

    Reply
    I checked my spam and trash bins, no comments from you. Just send me comments via email then.

  2. I wish it can replace our F-5 as rafale @ typhoon will be d replacement for our Mig. This will certainly be a good step for us to standardize our fighter jets towards delta wing concept. Again, this is just a decent opinion on the cosmetic aspect.

  3. Can we even get litening or sniper pods?

    There are other targeting pods out there (French damocles and another newer variant as well as turks’ aselpod) but integrating them would cost extra

    Reply
    Yes we can but it might be the export version.

  4. Irsa,

    why do we need a different fighter to replace the F-5s and a different fighter to replace the MiGs when a single type can replace both? For the foreseeable future, anything that doesn’t call for an MKM or a Typhoon/Rafale can be performed by the Hawks. We should aim at reducing – far as possible – the number of types operated; not increasing them.

    With regards to costs; what we should be concerned about is not the unit – one time – costs of the various aircraft but the long term operating and maintenance costs; including the appreciation of spares and support costs over the aircraft’s projected lifespan.

    Given that the Gripen, Rafale and Typhoon have much more electronics and other high tech systems on board; compared to the Hornet and MKM; they will be more expensive to operate per hour of flight. A few years ago, my hunch was that Thailand’s selection of Gripen had killed whatever chance Saab had of selling it to Malaysia. Coming events might prove me right.

  5. Assalamualaikum n hi to all friend..
    It’s just a simple question, is it possible if our gov buy super Tucson or AMX from Brazil for light attack, counter insurgency (COIN), close air support, aerial reconnaissance missions in low threat environments, as well as providing pilot training. Sorry if out of topic and not about MRCA project just my humble opinion and question to add firepower to our beloved RMAF. Thanks.

    Reply
    Yes they could but we are not looking to buy COIN aircraft at the moment

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