Skip to comments.Gripen: Long-Term, Cost Effective Multi-role Combat Aircraft
Posted on 03/08/2012 7:08:00 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki
Gripen: Long-Term, Cost Effective Multi-role Combat Aircraft
(Source: Bernama; published March 7, 2012)
BANGKOK --- As Malaysia listed the Swedish-made Gripen multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) as one of its possible choices for its new generation fighter jets, Saab, the manufacturer of the aircraft, is harping on its long-term cost effectiveness.
Saab media relations manager Peter Liander said the cost of the whole life cycle of its MRCA in terms of maintenance, operations and flying was more effective as compared to other MRCA of its class.
"Generally, potential buyers should not just look at the buying price only, but also the cost for its whole life cycle," he told Bernama at the Defense and Security 2012 exhibition here.
Malaysia is considering replacing its ageing 10 Russian-made MiG-29 aircraft of the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) as the service period of the fighter jet had ended and needed to be replaced.
Apart from Gripen, others such as European-made Eurofighter Typhoon, American-made FA-18 Super Hornet and Russian-made Sukhoi Su-35 were reported to be under the Malaysian Defence Ministry's radar for consideration, too.
Previously, Malaysian Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zahid Hamidi had mentioned that the purchase of the new fighter jet would depend on the government's financial capability.
Without disclosing the price of Gripen as it depends on the specification needs of the respective country, Liander said the company had succeeded in producing fighter jets with high performance at low cost.
Gripen is currently in the inventory of air forces of Sweden, South Africa, Hungary, Czech Republic and Thailand, as well as a test pilot school in the United Kingdom.
"Generally, they get what they need at competitive prices," said Liander.
Apart from Gripen, he said, Saab also provided a complete air defence package such as airborne early warning system and a dedicated command and control system, together with the fighter jet.
As Gripen had made its debut in this region through the procurement of the new generation fighter jets by Thailand, the company was eyeing to further spread its wings in this region.
"Thailand could be an important reference on Gripen in this region as the country took delivery of six aircrafts early last year, and another six next year," said Liander.
According to defence industry record, Asean's 10 south east Asian nations defence procurement totalled about US$25 billion (about RM75 billion) annually.
On the Thailand front, Liander said, the company was in partnership with a local manufacturer to produce data link systems as part of its technology transfer programme.
Nice looking aircraft isn’t it? Just one engine though. Guess that is enough over most land.
I have a probably 20 year old “Janes” which is abridged and just shows the modern (at that time) fighters. The photography is great tho.
I recall being surprised how highly they rated the Gripen. They basically said it was in the same class as sll the other top line fighters citing it’s strengths and weaknesses which I don’t remember.
That is probably a different model of the Gripen but it does look sort of like the older one.
If it sells for a lot less than the others then it just might be the one to choose.
Ahhhh ... the F-20 Tigershark returns.
REally? that’s what you see. In what universe is canard delta the same as straight wings?
I was thinking more of the single engine.
Yeah I totally get that.
Like peas in a pod.
F-16 has been doing OK with one engine.
Northrop had been wildly successful exporting the F-5 and the F-18 was in production.
When they went to design the F-20 as an export aircraft only (Jimmy Carter started that whole thing), the V-P of Engineering said Northrop would build a single engine aircraft over his dead body. There was a huge argument over single versus twin, especially in an export environment, and T.V. Jones (then CEO) overruled everyone.
Of course, they had missed the larger argument, that is, if the aircraft wasn't in the U.S. inventory, nobody was interested. Hence, the last ditch effort to get the Air National Guard to buy it in a paper fly-off with the F-16.
Every time I see a single engine jet fighter, it reminds me of the whole ordeal.
Sorry I didn't explain more fully earlier. Pretty busy.
I think I’ve heard of that airplane. Can you give me more details?
The whole saga began in the early 50s with the (single engined) N-102 Fang, Northrop's entry in the welterweight fighter competition won by Lockheed's Starfighter.
Having lost that, they turned to a lightweight fighter for the USN (because there was never going to be a carrier version of the F-104). But to get it onto the escort carriers (and to a lesser extent the SBC-27A Essex) it had to be smaller and lighter. Here's the first problem the N-102, like the F-104, used a single J-79, the size of which limited how physically small the aircraft could be. But the only smaller engine to the 40"d./10,000lbf J-79 was the 20"/2500lbf J-85. Even two of them meant either too lightweight, or slightly underpowered. So the resultant N-156/F-5 was a little too lightweight.
Not only an US problem. There were many promising lightweight fighter designs at the begining of the 60s just needing a 30"/7000lbf engine that didn't exist. The Brit Orpheus came close, but with only 5000lbf it was no improvement on twin J-85s.
That was the Tigershark's time, if it had been built then, with no F-16 competition, it would have been the export F-X.
As it was, 10 years later, the only likely launch customer was Taiwan, which neither the Carter or Reagan administrations were willing to deal with for fear of offending the PRC.
Right aircraft, wrong time
I’m sure your early history is correct, as I knew there had to be a reason for the strong aversion to a single engine (thanks for the lesson).
However, one reason that T.V. went single engine is because he didn’t want just another “F-5 looking” upgrade. Just another variant. The funny thing was that the F-20 (the three that were made) was made from the F-5 airframe with a different aft section for the single engine.
We were flying the F-16 and Jimmy didn’t want to export our premier front-line fighter, but Reagan didn’t mind selling it to our allies. After that, it became a tough sell.
After we lost the fly-off to General Dynamics and the F-16 (those sneaky bastards offered two different proposals to the Guard. If I recall correctly, one was a new F-16 variant, the F-16C? at 20 mil per copy to our 16 mil and an upgraded F-16B taken from current inventory (they had already been purchased by the gov) at only 2.2 mil per upgrade - numbers may not be exact) a general in the Air Force told T.V. Jones, “Don’t come to the party if you weren’t invited.”
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