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Next-generation version of the Gripen to fly next year

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posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 10:37 AM
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Recent export successes seem to have induced a "next generation" version of the Gripen.


The new engine and airframe modifications will fly on a demonstrator in 2008, jointly funded by the Swedish government, Saab, Ericsson, Volvo and GE. An active electronically scanned array radar will fly on the demonstrator in 2009. Other new avionics will be tested on ground rigs to ensure that the latest possible technology will be used. To reduce costs, Saab intends to separate mission avionics from flight-critical systems, so that non-certifiable software can be used for mission applications.


- Janes

From what i read, the demonstrator is intended to be showcased for the upcoming Norwagian fighter contest and will perhaps be called the Gripen N

Features (speculative):


• Increased Range
– More Internal Fuel, New Landing Gear
• Increased Payload
– Centerline pylon is complemented by two pylons for heavy stores
– New main landing gear (Increased take-off and landing masses)
• Increased Thrust
– New Engine
• AESA (Active Electronic Scanning Array) radar
• Communications
– Advanced data communication with FAC and other ground units
– Satellite comms
• Electronic Warfare
– Enhanced MAW
• JSM (NSM), SDB…
• Cockpit enhancements
• Avionics Structure Enhancements
– New computers
– Advanced internal communications
• Structural improvements
- New fuel tank 6, in existing landing gear compartment
- New main landing gear, repositioned



The new AESA radar :

Ericsson’s future airborne radar is Not Only a Radar, NORA,
but also a complete electronic warfare system including jamming and data communication. The new radar will use an Active Electronically Scanned Array, AESA, built up with approximately 1000 individual transmit/receive modules. The antenna, mounted on a single-axis platform, will give well over 200˚ coverage in azimuth. NORA will offer superior performance by virtue of a number of core capabilities at Ericsson – beam agility, beam widening, multi-channel processing, target-specific waveforms and low radar cross-section.





The new engine :
The GE F414 (22,000 lbs of thrust) replaces the current RM12 (read GE F404 - 18,000 lbs of thrust)



Here's an informative slide:




posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 10:40 AM
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I want one! Pick Me! Gimme!



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 03:53 PM
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Love the arial view of it. Looks space-age to me.



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 09:03 PM
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Originally posted by AlphaAnuOmega
I want one! Pick Me! Gimme!


What he said.


There's not a whole lot else to say other than "looks good, hope to see it soon". Current JAS-39 designs are pretty impressive for a country like Sweden that we wouldn't normally think as a country for warfare, but all things considered it's a really cool project.



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 10:47 PM
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Contrary to popular belief, Sweden has been in the top 5 arms producers for many a decade now.
Note that being neutral during the Cold War has induced Sweden to develop its own tech, and not be driven into supply complacency and technical stagnation due to some pact adherence with one superpower or the other.
A bit like France IMO..
Though France was formally under NATO and opposed to Soviet communism, it maintained more cordial relations with the CCCP as compared to other NATO members.



posted on Feb, 17 2007 @ 06:44 AM
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Stealth Spy:

This post from you are not news. SAAB/BAC planed this project one year ago, condition of running this project is must being a customer order



posted on Feb, 17 2007 @ 11:22 AM
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Nice version, but isn't this the proposed "Norway Model"?


-Rant-
Oh, and daedalus, do you know why Sweden has been neutral for so long?
Simple answer their tactic is used to to fight until the last Finn. They stopped fighting wars at 1809 when they would have had to use their own youth in the front lines... cowards, i really despise their army, allways hiding behind Finnish men when SHTF.
-End of Rant-
No offence to any swedes reading this, i've got nothing against you, just some history bugs me



posted on Feb, 17 2007 @ 11:32 AM
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Originally posted by northwolf
Nice version, but isn't this the proposed "Norway Model"?
doen't noway use nato equipment?

-Rant-
Oh, and daedalus, do you know why Sweden has been neutral for so long?
Simple answer their tactic is used to to fight until the last Finn. They stopped fighting wars at 1809 when they would have had to use their own youth in the front lines... cowards, i really despise their army, allways hiding behind Finnish men when SHTF.
-End of Rant-
No offence to any swedes reading this, i've got nothing against you, just some history bugs me

Is any of this relevent?



posted on Feb, 17 2007 @ 11:39 AM
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It was an off topic rant, but there was a point in the first line. And it just puts the swedish, being so goody good neutral country into a little perspective. The money to sustain their welfare and weapons developement originally came from ripping of the neighbouring countries and doing dirty deals with the Nazis.

But in the deepest sense it was just a way not to post a oneliner



posted on Feb, 17 2007 @ 11:58 AM
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S2,

>>
Recent export successes seem to have induced a "next generation" version of the Gripen.
>>

Snicker, what, /three/ customers now? How many of those are new vs. leased and what are the total numbers involved?

This is a money pit project where you hope that after you 'fix the final flaw' someone will want it without realizing that everytime you acknowledge that the current standard IS poorly done, you increase the psychology of perception by which any possible customer (including existing ones) looks at it as WIPed-to-death horse.

>>
From what i read, the demonstrator is intended to be showcased for the upcoming Norwagian fighter contest and will perhaps be called the Gripen N
>>

Norway can no more hope to afford essentially a single-variant new program start than Sweden can. If you want to sell this, you need to license produce it in India as an LCA/Bison followon or Saudi to replace the F-5E. The (financial) model for the Gripen's continued development should be the F-16E and that's one heckuva customer credit rating to pull down, purely on the basis of a microbuy which does nobody any real commercial or scalar-economics good.

>>
Features (speculative):


• Increased Range
– More Internal Fuel, New Landing Gear
>>

So you steal the F-35 landing gear design, do you also 'borrow' all the lapjoint problems they bought into?

>>
• Increased Payload
– Centerline pylon is complemented by two pylons for heavy stores
– New main landing gear (Increased take-off and landing masses)
>>

>>
• Increased Thrust
– New Engine
>>

Which is the same as admitting that the Gripen is grotesquely underpowered and by the time it reaches thrust parity, has burned it's way through half it's 5,500lbs of internal gas. We call that a 'CAP the airfield beacon' or 'Bingo As Judy' condition.

Mind you, the F414 is not a given. First because of the export restrictions that will come with it. Something the Swedes should well know given that we blocked the sale of Viggens for the JT8D-as-RM8B factor and would have done the same to the AJ-37X offered for NATO.

But also because it's just a lot bigger carcass mass with a higher rated mass flow which means 'rather more' than hogging out the ring frames and changing the access doors to get the thing rebalanced and feeding correctly.

There is also a significant reason to think that '138% of 5,500 (7,980lbs) is gonna vanish in the SFC of a simply bigger engine.

>>
• AESA (Active Electronic Scanning Array) radar
>>

Yup, must keep up with the Jones'. Even though, not two years ago, the PS-05 was 'more than adequate' as a fast mechanical array in the basic A2A modes, not least because it was _silent_ 90% of the time as it took NCW feeds from the Argus or other offboard sources.

Of course multimode, interleaved, funcitonality is not all that important to the typical F-5E user as an A2A system, simply because they often lack the BVR to need the deepXwide volume scan. And their primary DCA mission set doesn't require them to map for IAM or cruise missile offset route entry points at the same time they maintain basic air search for 'self defense' purposes. Indeed, without serious LRAAM, 'self defense' is better done, _nose cold_.

>>
• Communications
– Advanced data communication with FAC and other ground units
– Satellite comms
>>

Here the Swedes have always had a fairly decent integration ability within the STRIL system so I trust I know what they are doing. Even as I doubt if a lot of other countries will be able to afford it. Or /trust/ it if they can. Because too many outside players can sample or spoof the signal. Plane
lane LANing as smart-IFDL is better, especially when you don't have a big-cabinet jet to act as central router for a JTIDS/MIDS type (L16) architecture.

>>
• Electronic Warfare
– Enhanced MAW
>>

Well, they're on their second or third generation internal suite with towed decoys, an 'optional pod' and a bunch of other stuff, so I imagine a switch from a radar to an optical MLDS is a given. Yet it doesn't change the fact that the basic suite exists because this aircraft is not LO. Nor does it make it more affordable to those who would like to have a survivable air force but simply cannot get the sheckles together.

>>
• JSM (NSM), SDB…
>>

Blatant customer shopping. Which, given that this weapon is riding on Lunchmeats wallet as a Harpoon as much as Penguin followon for the F-35, I have to question the wisdom of assumptive availability. Furthermore, I think it is an anachronism in search of a Cold War mentality to buy it. 1,000lb weapons mean only one or at most two (very narrow finspan) on a VER. Which means that they had better come in really quick or really sneaky because they are ripe for knockdown by terminal defenses. At the same time, if you look at the weapon as a 'cheaper JASSM/KEPD' multirole munition, 'titanium or no'; the 500lb warhead class may not do much to a hard and/or buried target. While it is /entirely/ overkill on the typical Frigate and Below inshore targets that are typical for Penguin.
Indeed, given I was shooting at threats in the La Combattante thru Krivak classes (i.e. platforms with sub 10nm S2A defenses) I would _prefer_ a weapon more akin to the Swedish Hellfire or the JCM with a decent terminal speed, 25km standoff and enough shots to really play hob with inner zone defenses on purely a numbers basis. Alternatively, I might go with a turbine propulsion system in a supersonic platform like an armed MALD. But the days of heavy hitters simply for a 'bigger hammer' bragging rights sake are long gone and with them goes a lot of your justification for upgrading the JSF's landing gear and structure so radically.
Speaking of small weapons, I will believe in the GBU-39 'for independent export of competing airframes' when pigs fly.

>>
• Cockpit enhancements
>>

The cockpit is already pretty decent. They've upgraded the mission and display computers twice now and are into AMLCD. What they are missing (AFAIK) is still a decent ODIN to couple their IRIS-T to and preferrably the IR-OTIS to go with. Indeed, _given_ that there is a decent 'flight lead hangs back' capability to provide passive vectoring with one radar platform per fourship, there is no reason not to consider a decent EO aperture to in fact REPLACE the radar on a purely '2 vs 5' million dollar basis of FMS package costing. Indeed, I remember not too long ago, the FMV bragging that the IR-OTIS could detect targets farther than the PS-05, at altitude.

>>
• Avionics Structure Enhancements
– New computers
– Advanced internal communications
>>

Basic stuff, nothing to brag about here because it should already be in place. If forget what replaced the D80 series but I do recall that one of the 'demo trips' down to South America highlighted how easy it was to integrate weapons and sensor relays based on C-ommercial vice Ada driven software standards. i.e. It's old hat either way.

>>
• Structural improvements
- New fuel tank 6, in existing landing gear compartment
- New main landing gear, repositioned
>>



posted on Feb, 17 2007 @ 11:58 AM
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The only 'structural improvements' which might make the Gripen better would be the removal of the tail and reconfiguration of the basic airframe to something more akin to a the X-36 as a LO optimized planform. Since that is /never/ gonna happen, they should stick with plug'n'play upgrades that can be scabbed on for minimal cost to the existing airframe and continue _independent_ research on 'companion' UCAVs which can perform the high risk/high leverage mission as a Stealth Forward, Avionics Back type system. In this, they can obviously continue to increase the capabilities of what amounts to a combat controller mission platform with 'advances' in the following areas:

1. Larger (600 gallon class) tanks, with new shapes more suited to inboard wing carriage without compromising outboard stores carriage.
2. Escort Jamming pods and/or high capacity datalinkage for the centerline.
3. Micromunitions and/or Encapsulated Carriers. To effectively create a SUU-21 equivalent, possibly as part of a fuel tank. I would start with something the size of the
AGM-114, give it a microturbine and a 50-150lb modular plugin warhead section as a partial answer to the pricey AASM and the unpowered GBU-39.
4. Missionized Cockpit Architectures. Assuming they are not already doing so, making the JAS-39D into an F/A-18F if not F-15E equivalent could be important (if only
with more gas to support it).
5. Continued Emphasis on LRAAM and particularly multicarriage. Obviously the Meteor is the chief driver on this but new carriage modes (staggered or stacked and tip
rail qualification) are also a part of things and I would have a backup gel or turbine propulsion system 'in engineering development', just in case BVRAAM turns out to be
export restricted and/or cancelled/stretched beyond reasonable utility. Given the Nordic ironic emphasis on all things optical in traditionally RF systems design, it
would be interesting to see what they could do with Lidar or scanning imager to counter the stealth craze.
6. Smaller And Overhead. The Swedes are famous for their longterm love affair with the big rocket and this, combined with LCPK would give them a preeminent CAS
capability. Other options include a VSM drop-fire weapon and possibly a complimentary Silent Eyes or similar micro drone for the close in fight. Such weapons are
small and light enough to be ejected from cassete banks (ala the French Grenadelet system on the F-1) and would make for an easy-to-get-there multifire system to
exploit the LITENING with.

>>
The new AESA radar :

Ericsson’s future airborne radar is Not Only a Radar, NORA,
but also a complete electronic warfare system including jamming and data communication. The new radar will use an Active Electronically Scanned Array, AESA, built up with approximately 1000 individual transmit/receive modules. The antenna, mounted on a single-axis platform, will give well over 200˚ coverage in azimuth. NORA will offer superior performance by virtue of a number of core capabilities at Ericsson – beam agility, beam widening, multi-channel processing, target-specific waveforms and low radar cross-section.
>>

Ya and if they decide to DO SOMETHING USEFUL WITH IT (continuing SHARC rather than 'awaiting the pleasure of EADS') they might actually be able to justify it. As is, there are a lot of new AESAs coming online from FIAR and Elta and I expect even some of the latest Russian junk may be halfway worthwhile. The problem with the technology is that if you don't do it right you end up with a lot of failure modes (thermal and G and S/Nr driven) which don't show up right away and if you don't make it scaleable you have a hard time justifying the upfront costs for a limited installational application. Indeed, even the notion of retrofit to /existing/ fleets gets tricky because of the changes in plumbing and power and RF seal you have to accomodate.

What Europe needs is their own RTIP program so that, instead of a bunch of independent pride-engineering efforts all hoping to vamp 'whatever the U.S. eventually fields'; with our enormous lead in RF systems techbase and R&D, they can approach the AESA field methodically with scaleable architecture and a range of preplanned installational envelopes already mapped out as a guaranteed commercial product base for 'conditional export' (you want X, you buy Y on which it comes). Unfortunately, this leads to too many turf wars for them to diplomatically handle and so they are always second best sled dog looking up leads ass.

In any case, I will wait to see if the NORA effort yields anything worthwhile for the existing (shrunken) Swedish C/D inventory before I believe that it is going to be developed to a productionizable level for 'just one customer'. Again, there just are not a lot of HAL type, 'factory owned so we set the price' combines out there and those that are are all in areas which are either under 'serious study' for U.S. platform release. Or part of political power blocks that make them effectively unsellable to (South Africa being an example of how 'times can change'...).


KPl.



posted on Feb, 17 2007 @ 12:17 PM
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Originally posted by northwolf
Nice version, but isn't this the proposed "Norway Model"?


...

No offence to any swedes reading this, i've got nothing against you, just some history bugs me

Yeah, as I have understood it is just the Norway model. There is a Gripen DK too I think? (Denmark)

Complain on Swedish warfare when YOU have invaded Russia a dozen times. We only went "neutral" because we got a tad tired after 400 years of constant warfare and loosing more men than Swedens population.

[edit on 17-2-2007 by merka]



posted on Feb, 17 2007 @ 02:01 PM
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Total offtopic

Tell me when Finland has attacked Russia unprovoked or without a good reason?



posted on Feb, 17 2007 @ 07:41 PM
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Originally posted by emile
Stealth Spy:

This post from you are not news. SAAB/BAC planed this project one year ago, condition of running this project is must being a customer order


www.abovetopsecret.com...

already covered



posted on Feb, 17 2007 @ 11:54 PM
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Errmmm.. I didn't mean to go an initiate a Scandanavian Scandal here!!
Maybe we should just stick on topic..
Why doesn't Finland go the Swede neutral way??
I think self sufficiency is he key to regional prowess



posted on Feb, 18 2007 @ 02:53 AM
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Originally posted by Jezza

Originally posted by emile
Stealth Spy:

This post from you are not news. SAAB/BAC planed this project one year ago, condition of running this project is must being a customer order


www.abovetopsecret.com...

already covered


Yes, I knew, so unless the JAS39 will be refitted DSI, nothing more to go super gripen.



posted on Feb, 18 2007 @ 03:52 AM
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This topic has already been covered



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