Skip to comments.Gripen flies with passive targeting sensor
Posted on 04/04/2014 7:33:25 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
Saab has successfully test flown a key passive detection capability for its in-development Gripen E fighter, using dedicated test aircraft 39-7.
Developed by Selex ESs Airborne & Space Systems division, the Skyward-G infrared search and track (IRST) sensor will give the combat aircraft a long-range means of detecting and identifying potential airborne threats, without the need to first switch on its active electronically scanned array radar. Secondary applications include the ability to act as a navigation and landing aid during darkness.
The first flight in the Gripen E test aircraft with IRST has been performed with very good results, says Hans Einerth, wing commander flying at Saabs Linköping production and test site in Sweden. Multiple targets were detected, tracked and identified, and the system works perfectly.
Skyward-G comprises a sensor head unit installed in front of the fighters cockpit, and an associated processor unit box, which is stowed in the nose avionics bay. The entire system weighs less than 40kg (88lb), says Selex.
The [IRST] integration and development work is progressing according to schedule, says Saab. The company is producing three dedicated E-model test aircraft, with its current 39-7 asset being a modified D-model Gripen. The new-generation version should enter use in 2018, with operators expected to include Sweden, plus export customers Brazil and Switzerland; both have yet to finalise planned orders.
Mounted ahead of the windscreen, the Skyward-G IRST unit for the Gripen E made its first flight on the Gripen NG technology demonstrator on 31 March. (Saab)
It’s a nice-looking aircraft, but there doesn’t seem to be much room for fuel tanks ....
In stark contrast to my ‘88 Saab 9000, which had electrical problems and a penchant for overheating.
It’s interesting to note the latest European fighters are delta-winged models.
what’s that zit in front of the cockpit for?
did u read the article?
of course not!
I almost said that was the first Saab I had ever seen without canards. Then I looked closer.
IIRC, the old F-106 had an IR passive tracking/targeting sensor too, same with the MiG-29 and in the case of the F-106 it was way back in 1960 or so.
You are right. At an airshow once I asked a F-106 what was the little blister mounted in front of the canopy. He said it was a liquid nitrogen. The extreme low temperature of the liquid nitrogen was used to detect the heat exhaust of another aircraft. Advantage was that it was passive, did not emit any trackable emissions and could not be jammed. Disadvantage was that it could only give a rough bearing and no distance information.
The liquid nitrogen was used to cool the sensor.
Thanks, I thought the liquid nitrogen itself was the sensor.
An early batch of F-14A had IRST as well. It was dropped, then the Television Camera Set (TCS) added to most As and Bs. The F-14D had BOTH TCS and IRST.
Some foreign F-15Es have IRST, but the USAF hasn’t adopted it yet, except for some Aggressor F-16s to simulate MiG-29s etc. The Navy’s playing around with a centerline fuel tank equipped IRST for the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G fleet.