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Saab Sea Gripen: The Future of Naval Air Power

Saab Group | 27 January 2017


Saab Sea Gripen | © Copyright Saab Group


Sea Gripen will be an ideal solution for maritime nations seeking to augment, replace or generate new carrier-based fighter fleets. Very low maintenance requirements plus high availability offer the command an exceptional all-weather multi-role fighter. Sea Gripen is very well-suited for the high tempo flying cycles demanded by embarked operations, and its small footprint will allow it to operate from all aircraft carriers in service today – and tomorrow. Saab is establishing Sea Gripen as its new generation carrier-based fighter for the future. Featuring all the capabilities of the Gripen NG, it will be the world’s most technologically advanced fighter in this category.

Sea Gripen will have high agility, extended reach, carefree manoeuvring, supercruise and full net-centric capabilities. An advanced data link and extensive electronic warfare self-protection suite can be readily adapted to meet specific user requirements. Sea Gripen will also have the latest generation Selex Raven AESA radar and superior sensor fusion, Infra-Red Search and Track, plus a revolutionary avionics architecture including ultra-fast data buses and Ethernet. The platform offers easy integration of advanced weapon systems, and the overall avionic architecture will allow for maximum future growth. This exceptional combination of avionic technologies means that Gripen is the only latest generation fighter capable of performing full integration trials for the METEOR missile.

To date, this aircraft is the only fighter in the air with full clearance to operate this game-changing BVR capability. The long-term Swedish Air Force philosophy of regular road-based operations has resulted in Gripen’s robust airframe and landing gear. In addition, the constant speed/constant Angle of Approach (AoA) and no-flare landing is identical to that employed in a carrier approach into the wires. Rapid pitch and roll authority as well as precision glide slope control will give Sea Gripen pilots an ideal platform for safe and steady deck landings.


Intended for both CATOBAR and STOBAR operations, the Sea Gripen size and flight/ hangar deck manoeuvrability will offer a simple and robust fighter in terms of all embarked operations. Its small logistics footprint and reduced spares inventory will make it significantly more maintainable and require far fewer personnel than existing fleet fighters. Sea Gripen is easy to maintain – an engine change can be fully completed in less than one hour. With a highly affordable operational cost per flight hour the Sea Gripen is an ideal match for naval requirements. The most efficient latest generation fighter available today, the rugged Sea Gripen will allow for 30 years of operational service. In addition, the incremental software update programme will ensure that Sea Gripen remains at the leading edge of capabilities in all roles for its full service life.


Sea Gripen will meet or exceed all operational requirements for maritime nations throughout the world. The fighter can operate in high humidity and is designed to withstand the corrosive effect of salt water ingress. The GE 414G engine is fully marinised for embarked operations. Equipped with 10 weapon stations, Sea Gripen can be armed with the RBS15 air-to-surface missile system, as well as the METEOR Beyond Visual Range (BVR). The extensive international weapon clearances to date will offer a very wide choice of capability in all roles. Additionally, any specific weapons required by the user nation can be easily integrated onto Sea Gripen.


Sea Gripen will benefit from the same reliability, maintainability and testability as existing versions of the aircraft. This will mean fewer failures, reduced downtime, short turnaround times, low lifecycle support costs and maximised availability for the aircraft’s operators. The support system has been designed to optimise all key functions including maintenance, training, supply and support resources. This support system is extremely flexible and can be customised to each customer’s specific requirements. It will enable re-evaluation of support and maintenance concepts for aircraft carrier operations, allowing users to save costs and increase availability.





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