Articles

The Gripen E is Saab's attempt to outdo the F-35

A couple of weeks ago, Saab unveiled its next-generation fighter. Dubbed "The Smart Fighter," it's aimed at markets not yet cleared to buy the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, as reported by the Daily Mail.


Related: One of the F-35's most expensive features was made possible by flying saucers

With its fly-by-wire avionics and distinctive delta wing design, the Gripen E is similar to its predecessors. The difference is in its increased fuel capacity, 20 percent more thrust, extra pylons for carrying more weapons, and advanced electronics that feed tactical information to the pilot and co-op forces at all times. It's also designed for quick and efficient maintenance, Saab claims the turnaround time between missions is 10 minutes and that the entire engine can be replaced in an hour. 

Some other Saab Gripen E features:

The fighter's Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) antennas—called elements—work together or independently to track different targets.

Image: Saab

Its Infrared Search and Track (IRST) system looks for heat emissions from other aircraft, helicopters and from objects on the ground and sea surface without giving its position away.

Image: Saab

Its Electronic Warfare system alerts the pilot when it has been detected by radar, warns for incoming missiles, and used for electronic attacks.

Image: Saab

The pylons give it the flexibility to carry an array of weapons, making it deadlier than previous versions.

Image: Saab

The Gripen's multi-frequency data links provide situational awareness to other fighters.

Image: Saab

Its Radar Warning Receiver and Missile Approach Warning systems increase the Gripen's survivability in combat.

Image: Saab

At $85 million apiece, the Gripen E is significantly cheaper than the F-35, making it an attractive alternative for any military.

Now watch the fighter's unveiling on 360 video:

Saab, YouTube