Gripen, the fighter jet that faced the threat of the powerful Russian Sukhoi fighters

At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet Union positioned more than 4,000 aircraft within 15 minutes of entering the attack range against Sweden. And although Sweden at that time had one of the largest air forces in the world with 660 fighter jets, they were far outnumbered. Since then, Swedish fighter jets have had to turn to technology to develop a credible deterrent against Russia.

The increased activity of the Russian armed forces in the Baltic states has prompted Sweden to reactivate facilities built in the mid-20th century to counter threats from the Soviet Union. This increased activity has also tightened requirements on the Saab Gripen E, which is currently being developed for the delivery of a fleet of 60 aircraft to the Swedish Air Force.

In various statements to the media, General Mats Helgesson, former commander of the Swedish Air Force, assured that the Gripen, particularly the E-model, was supposed to kill Sukhois. Clarify later: I meant that when we develop our aircraft like Gripen and its predecessors Viggen and Draken, we always pay attention to the threats we have in our neighborhood. We look to the future and predict what threat we will encounter. In our case, we should look at the Russian planes that can face each other in the air. With this in mind, Gripen was developed to face the Sukhoi.

This statement is based on the full confidence of the Swedish Air Force in this fighter aircraft, particularly in the Electronic Warfare (EW) system, which is the main component to measure the grip in a confrontation with Russian fighters. The Gripen is considered one of the fighters with the highest EW ability on the market and an extremely respectable disruptive ability. Detecting and analyzing potential threats to the Gripen E / F in combat conditions, as well as evasive action or countermeasures, are the primary objectives of the aircraft’s electronic warfare system. Thanks to the high speed with which the multifunctional electronic warfare system (MFS-EW) processes and merges large amounts of data, the pilot has an overall vision of his surroundings and knows where and how surveillance radars and surveillance systems are arranged. Air defense, ships, air defense fighters, early warning aircraft and friendly forces. In complex scenarios, knowledge and information are the key to the success of any mission.

Gripen was the first fighter to incorporate the Meteor, Beyond Visual Range’s most advanced air-to-air missile in the world that is resistant to Russian jammers. When an advanced AESA radar, high EW capacity and the Meteor are combined, the Gripen’s combat performance is more than remarkable.

Former Swedish Air Force flight engineer Stefan Englund explains: “Gripen first competed in the 2006 Red Flag with Gripen A, he was assigned to the red team. The Gripen connected their data link and became aware of the necessary battlefield and everyone Avoiding ground defenses, they scored 10 kills on the first day. With no casualties they went undetected. Englung argues that it was obvious that Gripen’s abilities needed to be reassessed. A Gripen pilot shot down five F-16s. Block 50+ during hand-to-hand combat in Red Flag Alaska. And they never lost any aerial encounters or missed their mission objectives. It was the only fighter to do all of the scheduled missions, he says.

This attack force has been upgraded between the version of the Gripen A and the Gripen E recently acquired by Brazil and Sweden, which is offered to several countries including Canada, Finland and Colombia. In the picture at the end of this text, an attack force of three Gripen is observed. One of them searches for targets with the radar, while another searches with the IRST Skyward-G system (infrared search). A third platform activates the Electronic Countermeasure System (ECM), which confuses enemy sensors. With this series of measurements, the three planes are more difficult to see. When an enemy fires a missile, the fighter can use chaff and torches to avoid it.

The Raven ES-05, an active electronic scanning radar (AESA), consists of small electronic modules that track targets in different directions, in the air, on land or at sea at different frequencies simultaneously without having to change the frequency. Position of the antenna. The Raven ES-05 radar is also resistant to electronic interference, has high availability of services and a field of view of more than 200.

The Gripen E / F is also equipped with the IRST (Skyward-G Infrared Search and Track) sensor. Unlike radar, which is active and emits waves to determine the enemy’s location, IRST is passive and uses the target’s heat emissions to locate it. The Skyward-G can be used in combination with the Raven ES-05 or independently of each other, which reduces the probability of detection of the hunter.

Gripen E has an increased payload of chaff and torches as well as new dispensers and offers the option of using the expandable active decoy BriteCloud from Leonardo.

Leonardo describes the BriteCloud as a self-contained digital high-frequency memory blocker designed to protect a fighter aircraft from threats such as RF guided missiles and fire control radars. After manually or automatically ejecting a dispenser, BriteCloud detects the RF emissions and compares them with its pre-programmed threat library. Once a match is found, the decoy uses advanced algorithms and sends out a deception signal to defeat the enemy radar and the incoming missile.

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