|Posted by Omar Bilonashvili on May 22, 2016 at 2:20 PM|
Saab has unveiled its next-generation multi-role fighter. The Gripen E prototype 39-8 "Smart Fighter" is the latest product of the Swedish/Brazilian fighter program and is aimed at markets not cleared to purchase the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. According to Saab, the single-seater E is a major advance over previous Gripens with greater range and endurance, as well as more advanced weaponry and electronic warfare capability.
The sixth variant of the Gripen line, the first of which entered active service in 1997, the Gripen E carries on with the basic design of a lightweight, agile multi-role fighter with a fast-turnaround time and the ability to operate from small airfields or even motorways. It's designed for low maintenance and a service life of 50 years. In addition, it has very flexible hardware and avionics, plus a large number of hardpoints designed to carry almost any weapon in the current inventory.
The Gripen E retains the delta wing and canard configuration and fly-by-wire flight avionics, but differs from previous versions in that it has more fuel capacity, a General Electric F414G jet engine for 20 percent more thrust, more pylons, and increased takeoff weight. It also has in-flight refueling capability and is NATO compatible.