Saab’s Growing Gripen FamilyTony Osborne
On May 18, Saab unveiled the latest version of its Gripen multirole fighter aircraft. The JAS-39E Gripen is a stockier, beefed up version, with a new engine, the General Electric F414, as well as capacity for 40% more fuel (thanks to a redesigned central fuselage) and additional weapon pylons. The company has also put significant emphasis on data fusion with information from a new active, electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, infrared search and track, electronic warfare systems and more advanced data links, building on the systems Saab has designed. With 60 on order from Sweden, 36 from Brazil and more and more countries looking at it, the latest version of the Gripen may have as bright a future as its predecessor.