English name: Griffin
TYPE: Multirole fighter.
PROGRAMME: Funded definition and development began June 1980; initial proposals submitted 3 June 1981; government approved programme 6 May 1982; initial FMV development contract 30 June 1982 for five prototypes and 30 production aircraft, with options for next 110; overall go-ahead confirmed second quarter 1983; first test runs of RM12 engine January 1985; Gripen HUD first flown in Viggen testbed February 1987; study for two-seat JAS 39B authorised July 1989.
First of five single-seat prototypes (39-1) rolled out 26 April 1987; made first flight 9 December 1988 but lost in landing accident after fly-by-wire problem 2 February 1989; only six sorties flown. Subsequent first flights 4 May 1990 (39-2), 20 December 1990 (39-4), 25 March 1991 (39-3) and 23 October 1991 (39-5); the 2,000th Gripen sortie was flown (by 39-4) on 22 December 1995; modified Viggen (37-51) retired at end of 1991 after assisting with avionics trials (nearly 250 flights); two single-seat fatigue test airframes (39-51 discarded 1993; 39-52 began 16,000 hour programme, August 1993 and achieved 8,000 hours in early 1996). Second production batch (Lot 2: 110 aircraft) approved 3 June 1992; first production Gripen (39101) made first flight 10 September 1992 and joined test programme in lieu of 39-1; flight test programme in 1995-96, included high-AoA (at least 28o achieved) and spin trials by 39-2 and trials of an APU (for Lot 2 production) by 39-4. All development work in the original (Lot 1) contract had been completed by late 1996; total programme was over 1,800 hours in 2,300 sorties by six aircraft. By 1996 had demonstrated M1.08 cruise without reheat. Follow-on trials with mockup aerial refuelling probe conducted by 39-4 on eight sorties between 2 and 17 November 1998 from RAF VC10 K.Mk 4. Captive flight of two KEPD 150 Taurus SOMs on inner wing pylons of 39145 of F7 conducted on 27 August 1998. Live Raytheon AIM-120 AMRAAM firings by 39-5 in April 1998.
Initial production aircraft for Swedish Air Force (39102) made first flight 4 March 1993 and was handed over to FMV 8 June 1993; flight control software modified following loss of 39102 in crash on 8 August 1993 and installed from December 1994; further software upgrade to new-generation P11 standard (introducing 11 filters to prevent pilot-induced oscillations) first flown 22 March 1995 in trials aircraft and installed in test Gripens from late 1995; in production aircraft (known then R11) built after early 1996 (and retrofitted from 1997 as R11:9); modified control stick introduced with production aircraft 39108 (first flight 11 April 1995). R12:3 flight control software under trial by late 1999, bringing Gripen up to original design goals; installed during following year as R12:4. Next stage is R14, increasing MTOW by some 1,000 kg (2,205 lb).
PP12 display processor for Lot 2 colour displays first flown August 1995. Thrust-vectoring under consideration for Gripen; first stage is proposed participation in further trials programme of Rockwell/DASA X-31. JAS 39B prototype rolled out 29 September 1995; first flight 29 April 1996.
Initial 30 production JAS 39As delivered 1993-96 (five in 1994; six in 1995, comprising 39108 to 112 and 120; and last of balance - 39129 - on 13 December 1996); by 2002, these all upgraded to Lot 2 standard; deliveries of second lot of 110 began 19 December 1996, and completed in 2003; Swedish Parliament authorised third batch of 64 on 13 December 1996; contract formally placed on 26 June 1997; deliveries between 2003 and 2007. Saab contracted on 24 November 1999 to supply new EWS 39 defensive aids suite, designed by Ericsson Saab Avionics and with substantial CelsiusTech content. In same month, Gripen made first flight with FADEC, as destined for Lot 3 aircraft.
First unit was F7 Wing at Satenas; maintenance training begun May 1994 at Linkoping; conversion scheduled to begin 1 October 1995 but postponed to 1996, with pilot training centre as Satenas officially opened 9 June 1996; Gripen IOC achieved September 1997, following three-week field exercise by 2/F7 Squadron. Last of F7's previous Viggens withdrawn in October 1998. By mid-2002 SwAF Gripens had flown 34,000 sorties and 25,000 hours. SwAF received 100th Gripen on 12 March 2001 and 113 by 31 December that year. Final JAS 39A (and first JAS 39C) delivered 6 September 2002.
Gripen being promoted in several fighter competitions, as described in Customers section. On 18 November 1998, it was announced that the aircraft had been selected for purchase by the South African Air Force and this was confirmed by contract signature on 3 December 1999. In connection with SAAF requirement, Gripen completed initial series of trials with helmet-mounted display (Thales Optronics Guardian) in February 2001.
CURRENT VERSIONS: JAS 39A: Standard single-seater. Final aircraft delivered 6 September 2002.
Description applies to JAS 39A except where indicated.
JAS 39B: Two-seater with 0.655 m (2 ft 1¾ in) fuselage plug and lengthened cockpit canopy. Primary roles conversion and tactical training, but also combat-capable. Not used for instruction until January 2002, when first students from pilot training began conversion. Avionics essentially as for JAS 39A and both cockpits identical, except no HUD in rear; instead, HUD image from front seat can be presented on flight data display in rear cockpit. Boosted environmental control system (ventral air intake replaces twin scoops on fuselage sides); inflatable airbag protects rear occupant during pre-ejection canopy fracturing. Reduced internal fuel; no internal gun.
Prototype entered final assembly 1 September 1994; first flight (39800) 29 April 1996; first production two-seater (39801) completed final assembly on 29 February 1996 and flew on 22 November; production deliveries began with 39802 on 19 May 1998.
Fatigue test specimen (39-71) also built; began a simulated 16,000 hour programme in February 1996.
JAS 39C and D: New features warrant revised designations for JAS 39A and B; improvements include full-colour displays, FADEC, helmet-mounted sight, new (Modular Airborne Computer System) processor for PS-05/A radar, SAAB Dynamics IR-OTIS IR search and tracking system, in-flight refuelling probe and enhanced EW systems. IR-OTIS tested on SAAB Viggen in 1997.
Originally planned for introduction at start of Lot 3, but final 19 Lot 2 aircraft (plus one testbed, 39207/39-6, first flown 29 April 2002) completed to interim standards with refuelling probes and upgraded computers and designated JAS 39C. First production aircraft (39208) flown 14 August 2002 and to FMV for service trials 6 September 2002.
An electronically scanned radar antenna is under development for a potential Gripen MLU in 2010. By 2000, plans in hand to deliver all 14 Lot 3 two-seat Gripens in JAS 39D C2 configuration with entirely redesigned rear cockpit for command and control duties.
JAS 39X: Baseline export version; developed by Saab and BAE Systems; likely to include improvements considered for Swedish Lot 3 aircraft such as colour cockpit displays, integrated EW suite, NATO standard radios, air-to-air refuelling probe (above port air intake trunk), OBOGS, uprated environmental control system and NATO pylons.
JAS 39 EBS HU: Export basic standard, Hungary, Ordered February 2003 in form of remanufactured JAS 39A/Bs.
Enhanced Gripen: Envisaged for 2010: first details mid-2001. Could include improved EW systems with laser warning, missile approach warning linked to towed decoys and EW function incorporated in electronically scanned radar. Range enhanced by standardisation on two-seat airframe, with fuel in place of rear cockpit, and/or conformal tanks; new engine, possibly EJ200, M88 or F414, under consideration. Navalised Gripen reportedly under consideration by India in 2002.
CUSTOMERS: Swedish Air Force requirement was originally 280, to equip 16 squadrons, second eight replacing JA and AJS Viggens; this reduced when third batch authorisation (December 1996) covered only four squadrons, thus amending requirement to 204 (including 28 JAS 39B two-seat versions); however, prototype JAS 39B added to first batch as conversion of aircraft under production, further amending contracts to 175 single-seat and 29 two-seat. By 2002, funding assigned for only 160 aircraft for eight squadrons, although 204 aircraft officially remained on order.
First 30 ordered with prototypes and full-scale development 30 June 1982; next 110 (of which first - 39131 - flew on 20 August 1996) include 14 JAS 39Bs and 20 JAS 39Cs; black radomes on 39109 to 39127; low-visibility markings from 39128, augmented by light grey (previously medium grey) radomes from 39131. Third lot of 64 (also including 14 two-seaters) for delivery between 2003 and 2007 are to JAS 39C/D standard.
Some Lot 3 improvements incorporated early in final 20 lot 2 aircraft, (which redesignated JAS 39C), comprising refuelling probe and substantially improved computer (unofficially known as 'Mk 3') including D96 (MACS) processor to simplify possible later upgrade to colour displays.
Total 120 (including two-seat) delivered by July 2002. First operational squadron was 2/F7. September 1997, followed by 1/F7 12 months later. F10 at Angelholm followed in 1999-2000, conversion of pilots (by F7) having begun on 11 March 1999, followed by arrival of first two aircraft on 30 September 1999; first squadron (2/F10) operational September 2000, with second following in mid-2001. However, F10 disbanded by 31 December 2002 and transferred its equipment to F17 at Kallinge, latter being inaugurated as Gripen unit on 14 June 2002. F4 at Froson-Ostersund to convert in 2004, while F21 at Lulea received first two Gripens on 17 January 2002 (although its second squadron will not become operational until 2005). From 1 January 2004, 2/F17 ('172 Squadron') is Swedish Air Force Rapid Reaction Unit, for worldwide deployment at 30 days' notice, equipped with eight JAS 39As.
Exports of some 250 anticipated over 20 years from 1996; by then, Saab and BAE engaged in 12 export campaigns; presentations made to Austria, Brazil, Czech Republic, Chile and Poland in 1996-97. Promotion in Philippines, Slovenia and South Africa, 1997. Details of competitions summarised below.
Australian Air 6000 requirement received Gripen response on 1 February 2002, but Lockheed Martin F-35 selected June 2002.
Austrian RFP received October 2001 for up to 30 new fighters; Gripen proposal delivered 22 January 2002, based on either 24 single- and four two-seat aircraft for early delivery; or 12 leased aircraft as lead-in to later delivery of 24 plus six new-build Gripens. Revised proposals, delivered to Austria on 30 April 2002, envisaged accelerated delivery between mid-2005 and mid-2007, but Eurofighter Typhoon eventually selected by parliament on 2 July 2002, although almost immediately suspended.
Brazilian RFP received August 2001 for potential 24 aircraft. Revised proposals delivered to Brazil on 3 May 2002. Programme suspended 2003.
Czech Republic RFP issued 27 December 2000; invitation to tender for new fighter issued 9 January 2001; Saab response delivered 31 May 2001 for 24 or 36 aircraft with 150 per cent offsets. Plan officially confirmed on 10 December 2001 for 24 Gripens valued at Kcs50 billion, including spares and training; first squadron to be operational in 2005 and second and final in 2008. Formal approval given 22 April 2002, contract signing due before end year, but programme was abandoned in November 2002 and replaced by quest for 12 to 14 aircraft, with Gripen still among contenders.
Hungary received Gripen proposal on 30 November 2000, this amended on 9 February 2001 with lease proposal; selected Gripen for air defence role on 10 September 2001, initially with lease of 14 aircraft (including two tandem-seat) for 10 years at cost of Ft130 billion to Ft140 billion. MoU signed 23 November 2001 and agreement finalised 20 December 2001 requiring initial deliveries in fourth quarter of 2004 and last in June 2005. However, negotiations reopened on 3 September 2002, following election of new Hungarian government. Parliamentary authorisation granted 10 March 2003, formalising agreement signed with Swedish Defence Material Administration on 3 February 2003 for lease/purchase of 12 single-seat and two tandem-seat aircraft with increased (multirole) capabilities, but at penalty of 2006 start to deliveries. Aircraft are remanufactured Swedish JAS 39A/Bs, designated JAS 39 EBS HU; lease is 10 years, with purchase option. Modifications from Swedish standard include NATO standard communications, retractable refuelling probe, strengthened wings for LGB carriage and instrument calibration in Imperial units. Operating unit based at Kecskemet.
Polish negotiations begun September 2001 in search for 60 new fighters. Final assembly of required 44 to 60 Polish Gripens would have been by PZL Aircraft Factory, under 1997 agreement, as covered by June 1999 proposal; however, revised offer of January 2001 restricted to five-year lease of 16 aircraft, including two trainers. Poland ordered Lockheed Martin F-16s in December 2002.
South Africa selected Gripen on 18 November 1998 for planned purchase of 28; order placed 15 September 1999 for nine two-seat Gripens, with option on further 19 of single-seat version; formal signature 3 December 1999, but first deliveries postponed at that time from 2002 to mid-2006. However, only one two-seat Gripen due in that year for trials, followed by remaining eight between November 2007 and September 2009. Single-seat Gripens due between November 2009 and late 2011.
COSTS: Planned cost of SEK25.7 billion in 1982, increased to SEK48.5 billion in 1991 by inflation; FMV has reported total cost increase of SEK9.3 billion for period 1982-2001; total budget SEK60.2 billion decided by Swedish Parliament 1993. SEK22.7 billion spent by 1 July 1993, including SEK14.5 billion to IG JAS. Up to SEK300 million approved late 1991 for JAS 39B development. Costs for 300-aircraft programme (subsequently reduced to 204) estimated in 1994 as SEK15 billion for development and SEK48 billion for production. South African purchase of 28 estimated programme cost R10.9 billion (US$1.9 billion) (1998).
DESIGN FEATURES: Intended to replace AJ/SH/SF/JA/AJS versions of Saab Viggen, in that order, and remaining J35 Drakens; to operate from 800 m (2,625 ft) Swedish V90 road strips; simplified maintenance and quick turnround with ground crew comprising one technician and five conscripts.
By 2000, Gripen demonstrating 12 mmh/fh; 7.6 hours MTBF readiness rate; and 10 minute turnround in fighter configuration, 20 minutes in attack role. Targets are 10 mmh/fh and 9.0 hours MTBF.
Mid-mounted delta wing, with squared tips for missile rails, has three-section leading-edge, of which inboard and outboard sections sweptback at 55o and centre at 52o; foreplanes, independently movable, have leading-edge sweep of approximately 58o. Sweptback fin carries various antennas. Moderately high cockpit. Near-rectangular engine air intakes, each with splitter plate.
FLYING CONTROLS: BAE Systems (Lot 1) or Lockheed Martin SA11 (Lot 2) triplex fly-by-wire system with Moog electrically signalled servo valves on powered control units; Saab Combitech aircraft motion sensors and throttle actuator; mini-stick and HOTAS controls.
Leading-edge with dog-tooth and automatic flaps (one inboard/one outboard of dog-tooth, inner one outboard of canard) on Lucas Aerospace 'geared hinge' rotary actuators; two elevon surfaces at each trailing-edge; individual all-moving foreplanes, which also 'snowplough' for aerodynamic braking after landing; airbrake each side of rear fuselage.
STRUCTURE: Airframe is 60 per cent aluminium by weight, 6 per cent titanium and 5 per cent other metals; most of remainder is carbon fibre. First 3½ carbon fibre wing sets produced by BAE; all subsequent carbon fibre parts made by Saab, including wing boxes, foreplanes, fin and all major doors and hatches. BAE produces landing gear and, from 1999, responsible for assembly of centre fuselage for two-seat version, with single-seat to follow. Denel of South Africa contracted in 2000 to design and produce stores pylons for export Gripens. PZL-Mielec of Poland began delivering tailcones in late 2000. By 2002, late production JAS 39As had received additional 200 kg (441 lb) of strengthening to landing gear and wings for MTOW increase to 14,000 kg (30,864 lb) and service life increase from 3,000 to 4,000 hours.
LANDING GEAR: AP Precision Hydraulics retractable tricycle gear, single mainwheels retracting hydraulically forward into fuselage; steerable twin-wheel nose unit retracts rearward. Goodyear wheels. Carbon disc brakes and ABS anti-skid units. Nosewheel braking. Entire gear designed for high rate of sink. Mainwheel tyres 25.5x8.0-14 (16 ply); nosewheel 14x5.5-6 (8 ply).
POWER PLANT: One General Electric/Volvo Flygmotor RM12 (F404-GE-400) turbofan, rated initially at approximately 54 kN (12,140 lb st) dry and 80.5 kN (18,100 lb st) with afterburning. RM12UP version, in Lot 3 aircraft, incorporates FADEC, improved flame holder and redesigned turbine. Fuel in integral tanks in fuselage and wings. Intertechnique fuel management system; Dowty fuel health monitoring system for emergency (leak/battle damage) conservancy management. Optional FRL telescopic, retractable, hydraulically actuated in-flight refuelling probe mounted in port engine air intake; available on export aircraft and fitted to Swedish single-seat aircraft from 39207 (106th) onwards.
ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only in JAS 39A/C, on Martin-Baker Mk 10L zero/zero ejection seat. Hinged canopy (opening sideways to port) and one-piece windscreen by Lucas Aerospace. Two seats in tandem in JAS 39B/D; command sequence in two-seat aircraft ejects rear occupant first, simultaneously inflating an airbag between the two cockpits to protect the rear pilot from Perspex splinters.
SYSTEMS: Hymatic environmental control system for cockpit air conditioning, pressurisation and avionics cooling, Hughes-Treitler heat exchanger. Two hydraulic systems, with Dowty equipment and Abex pumps. Hamilton Sundstrand main electrical power generating system (40 kVA constant speed, constant frequency at 400 Hz) comprises an integrated drive generator, generator control unit and current transformer assembly. Lucas Aerospace auxiliary and emergency power system, comprising gearbox-mounted turbine, hydraulic pump and 10 kVA AC generator, to provide auxiliary electric and hydraulic power in event of engine or main generator failure. In emergency role, the turbine is driven by engine bleed or APU air; if this is not available, the stored energy mode, using thermal batteries, is selected automatically. APU and air turbine starter for engine starting, cooling air and standby electrical power. Original APU was Microturbo TGA15-090; changed to TGA15-328 from 40th JAS 39A and retrofitted to all in early second batch; Hamilton Sundstrand APU from 106th production single-seat aircraft (39207) and will be retrofitted. Optional OBOGS on export aircraft. Lot 3 Gripens have single Ericsson Saab Avionics GECU general electronic control unit, replacing previous three controllers for air, fuel and hydraulic systems.
AVIONICS: Service entry with E11 avionics software; upgraded via E12, E12.5 and E14 to E15 in 2001 and E15.1 (full AMRAAM and additional air-to-ground models) in 2002.
Comms: CelsiusTech dual VHF/UHF transceivers and IFF in early aircraft; Rohde & Schwarz Series 6000 in third production lot and last 20 Lot 2 aircraft; option for installation in entire fleet; Series 6000 is element of tactical radio system (TARAS), providing secure communications via Data Link 39. Export aircraft to have Avitronics (Grintek) GUS 1000 audio management system.
Radar: Ericsson/BAE PS-05/A multimode pulse Doppler target search and acquisition (lookdown/shootdown) radar (weight 156 kg; 344 lb). For fighter missions, system provides fast target acquisition at long range; search and multitarget track-while-scan; quick scanning and lock-on at short ranges; and automatic fire control for missiles and cannon. In attack and reconnaissance roles, operating functions are search against sea and ground targets; mapping, with normal and high resolution; and navigation. Upgrade with electronically scanned antenna is intended in 2010.
Flight: Ericsson SDS 80 central computing system (D80 computer, Pascal/D80 high-order language and programming support environment; upgraded D80E computer flown mid-1994 and introduced from 39108; D96 computer from 92nd single-seat aircraft, 39193); three MIL-STD-1553B databusses, one of which links flight data, navigation, flight control, engine control and main systems; Honeywell laser INS and radar altimeter; Nordmicro air data computer. BAE three-axis strapdown gyromagnetic unit provides standby attitude and heading information. Navigation data fusion in prospect via NINS (new integrated navigation system), under development by 1998; this to be followed by NILS (new integrated landing system) for autonomous Cat. I landing capability.
Instrumentation: Ericsson EP-17 electronic display system, incorporating Kaiser (Hughes in Lot 1) wide-angle HUD and using advanced diffraction optics to combine symbology and video images; display processor (replacing PP1 and PP2 in Lot 1) makes colour imagery possible; this facility is not required on Swedish Lot 2 aircraft, but colour capability introduced from 106th single-seat, 39207 (which will be regarded as sixth 'prototype' 39-6); three Ericsson CRT HDDs, each 120 x 150 mm (4¾ x 6 in), but 152 x 203 mm (6 x 8 in) MFID 68 active matrix LCDs in Lot 3. Left-hand (flight data) HDD normally replaces all conventional flight instruments; central display shows computer-generated map of area surrounding aircraft with tactical information superimposed; right-hand CRT is a multisensor display showing information on targets acquired by radar, FLIR and weapon sensors. Minimum of conventional analogue instruments for back-up only. Thales Guardian helmet-mounted display undertook compatibility trials at Linkoping in early 2001.
Mission: Rafael/Zeiss Optronik Litening targeting and navigation pod (Swedish designation PWS 39) under development in 2000 for carriage under starboard air intake trunk, forward of wing leading-edge, providing heat picture of target on right-hand HDD; first test flight, February 2003. IR-OTIS (a combined TRST and FLIR) under development by Saab Avionics for installation ahead of windscreen, slightly offset to port. CelsiusTech datalink shares information with up to four aircraft simultaneously. Contract for SEK600 million awarded to Saab in late 2001, for Modular Airborne Reconnaissance System 39 pods to be delivered from 2004 onwards and become operational in 2005.
Vinten Vicon 70 Srs 72C modular reconnaissance pod available for export aircraft.
Self-defence: CelsiusTech RWR in early aircraft replaced by second-generation (Gen 2) version in 2000. CelsiusTech countermeasures, including chaff/flare and jamming. Saab EWS 39 electronic warfare suite ordered 1999 to replace existing system in Swedish aircraft, and is similar to export equipment; includes BOL 500 (BO2D) towed radar decoy under port wing, two pylon-mounted BOP 402 (BOP B) dispensers, laser warning system and missile approach warning.
ARMANENT: Internally mounted 27 mm Mauser BK27 automatic cannon in port side of lower front fuselage and two wingtip-mounted Rb74 (AIM-9L) Sidewinder IR AAMs standard. (No internal gun in JAS 39B.) Six other external hardpoints (two under each wing, one on centreline and one below starboard air intake trunk) for short- and medium-range air-to-air missiles such as Rb74, MICA or Rb99 (AIM-120) AMRAAM; air-to-surface missiles such as Rb75 (Maverick); anti-shipping missiles such as Saab RBS 15F; DWS 39 (BK 90) munitions dispenser; KEPD 150 and KEPD 350 SOMs; conventional or retarded bombs; air-to-surface rockets; or external fuel tanks. Swedish MoD contract of October 2001 covers integration of GBU-16 and GBU-24 LGBs. IRIS-T AAM being integrated for 2004 IOC with Swedish AF. New weapons under consideration for integration include Brimstone and Meteor. MUPSOW standoff weapon and V-3E A-Darter AAM for South Africa. Agreement of June 2001 adda Rafael weapons to potential armoury, initially Python 4 AAM and Spice guided bomb.