SAAB GRIPEN

The Saab JAS 39 Gripen.

 

 

Would you ever imagine a car builder building a jet fighter plane? No you wouldn’t because Saab is an aircraft builder who used to make cars… In fact Saab Automotives went bankrupt in early 2012.

 

The Saab Gripen ("Giffin" or "Catching Bird" in English), is a lightweight

single-engine multirole fighter. It was designed to replace the Saab 35 Draken and 37 Viggen in the Swedish Air Force.

 

It is powered by the Volvo-Flygmotor RM12 engine, a derivative of the General Electric F404, and has a top speed of Mach 2.

 

The Gripen has a delta wing and canard configuration fly-by-wire technology.

 

Canards are smaller (mostly delta) wings placed in front of the major wings of the aircraf. They make sure the plane stays maneuverable even at speeds higher than the speed of sound ( > Mach 1). The Eurofighter Typhoon and the French Dassault Mirage also have a delta wing and canard configuration.

 

 

 

Role

Manufacturer

 

First Flight

 

Introduction

 

Status

 

Primary users

 

 

 

 

Produced

 

Number built

Multirole fighter

 

Saab AB/Saab Group

 

December 1988

 

November 1997

 

Operational

 

South African Air Force

Czech Air Force

Hungarian Air Force

Swedish Air Force

 

1987–present

 

235

Other great advantage of the Gripen's canards : Since it needs only 650 meters to land and due to it's relatively small size compared to other jets, the JAS-39 is able to land on "normal roads". This makes it very hard to find for an eventual enemie when it's not airborne since it virtually doesn’t need a Airbase or Airport.