By Bijan Razzaghi
The Saab Gripen E which was displayed at the 2018 Faranbough Airshow will give Air Forces a cost effective platform that features 5th generation electronics including AESA radar, IRST and a sophisticated electronic warfare package. So far the Brazilian Air Force has signed a contract for 78 Gripen Es. Sweden’s Air Force also intends to introduce the platform.
The ES-05 AESA radar allows the Gripen E to track multiple air threats in real time. The updates in the radar allow the pilot to help prioritize particular threats and provide data to other friendly aircraft. The IRST further assist the aircraft in being able to track stealthy aircraft via exhaust and other heat sources.
The EW system on the Gripen E is considered to be designed to evade BVR missiles and confuse advanced radars such as the Irbis-E used on the Su-35. The system can also protect the Grippen E from surface to air missiles.
Do to the Gripen Es lack of stealth technology the aircraft will utilize stand off air to ground missiles as well as its electronic warfare system to counter threats posed by surface to air missiles. Missiles such as the MBDA Storm Shadow could be used for this role.
Saab is likely to secure major contracts fron Air Forces already operating the Gripen C and costumers looking to retire older 4th generation platforms.