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Gripen - Red Flag

This is a discussion on Gripen - Red Flag within the Air Force & Aviation forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Does anyone know how the Gripen got on at Red Flag in Alaska? I'm really quite curious how the aircraft ...


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Old September 6th, 2006   #1
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Gripen - Red Flag

Does anyone know how the Gripen got on at Red Flag in Alaska?
I'm really quite curious how the aircraft got on and what the americans thought of it.
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Old September 7th, 2006   #2
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CH,

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrishorne
Does anyone know how the Gripen got on at Red Flag in Alaska?
I'm really quite curious how the aircraft got on and what the americans thought of it.
The gripen is a conventional signature, 2-pylon, airframe. It can drop GBU-16 with the LITENING pods now but it can't carry an ARM or indeed more than 2 AMRAAM period while doing so. Even the U-95 pod is not serviced (or carriageable with the LITENING onboard) and the internal jammer, if it was ever installed, is just a pulse-repeater rather than a fullup deception/noise system like the ASPJ was.

If they were realistically gassed up with 400 gallon tanks on each of the inboard wing pylons to exploit the full depth of the Alaskan range space, the are probably down to a single 500-700lb store (i.e. GBU-12) on the outboards and the fact that that munition is SALH instead of PTOD makes for a lot closer approach to the target than might be considered 'useful' to the modern USAF strike doctrine (meaning we get to pay for your close approach onto a D1/R1 airfield type target).

Much of what makes the Gripen special is inherent to it's proprietary electronics suite interface with both the air and ground environment and specific pods. Given the C/D is just the Swede version of the Xport/International, it is in fact many steps back from that standard with bootstrap solutions to the current airframe to make it 'compatible with STANAG'. When in fact NATO standards are less capable than the Swedish baseline (as an example, Gripens are now compatible with an ACMI pod. But they have always had 'rangeless' ACMI inherent to their own datalink facilities).

As regards the exercise specifically: As I recall, the Swedes spent the better part of a month predeployment training up at the Vidsel weapons ranges and created a provisional 'Tango Red' squadron composed of 20 odd stick monkeys and 7 jets (two of them JAS-39Ds with presumably less operational electronics and/or fuel). Supported by two C-130H. This is not a terribly impressive logistical feat even as it suggests that the aircrew may well be picked pros in the 1,500-2,000hrs on type, 'instructor grade'.

There ARE elements of the Gripen which could be nifty. The IRIS-T (if it came with ODIN) and the BK-90/KEDP-350 (if the range space is cleared for a glide weapon) but I doubt if they will clear the cost barrier to a real leveraged use and frankly a fourship with a ramp spare is not going to be-

>>
Lt Col Ken Lindberg. “Gripen is going to be seen in every role,” including leading composite air packages with other participating nations, he says.Lt Col Ken Lindberg. “Gripen is going to be seen in every role,” including leading composite air packages with other participating nations, he says.
>>

http://www.flightglobal.com/Articles...st+Swedes.html

Simply because they don't contribute enough (numerically) to the gameplan in an airframe with enough strike warfare aptitudes to be worth the effort.

Of course I am also frankly against-

>>
“This is the most extensive and complex exercise the Swedish Air Force has been involved in to date with the JAS 39 Gripen,” Ken Lindberg explains. “Taking part will give us extremely important experience ahead of potential international missions in the future.”
>>

http://www.gripen.com/en/MediaRelati...t_red_flag.htm

Since this is effectively teaching your enemy your doctrines and where this is particularly relevant to NCW, we don't need to be handing out freebies to people who think of RF as an excercise in-

>>
The exercise also provides a good opportunity to demonstrate the Gripen and its capabilities to interested parties internationally.
>>

http://www.gripen.com/en/MediaRelati...t_red_flag.htm

Because frankly Sweden was never more than a silent partner in NATO and the Alliance itself is little more than an excuse for backstabbing and 'host fees' now that the Russian threat has gone and militarism is a Vae Victis Vickers business-in-booming.

The U.S. technically fights better alone than with anyone else and with the increase in COE tactics inherent to BVR, DEWS and Glide-IAM, I'm afraid I find much of the 'jointness' inherent to multiforce excersizes to have no point as either a propoganda (against who?) effort or a _secure_ training forum.

CONCLUSION:
IMO, the Swedes are looking for a free kudo on an airframe that is less competent overall (nm per pylon) than the F-16. Rather than indulge in fantasies like this-

>>
Saab-led Gripen International is studying future development options for its Gripen multirole fighter, including the possible installation of a more powerful engine, increasing the type’s overall size and maximum take-off weight, and the potential availability of a carrierborne strike variant.
Intended to boost the long-term export prospects for the single-engined Gripen – as competition increases from rival types over the next decade – the enhancements could result in a modification package similar to the Super Hornet enhancement to Boeing’s baseline F/A-18, say industry sources.
>>

http://www.flightglobal.com/Articles...d+by+Saab.html

And this-

http://www.patricksaviation.com/uplo...images/598.jpg

They need to start over again, exploiting their SHARC database to create something truly new and cheap enough/enduring enough to be worth the cost, particularly in ops other than war. Once they do this, their vaunted neutrality posture will go right out the window of course but if you want to export death in a wide world, you'd better be able to do it to the tune of the other customers operational issues and the first order of business there is massively cheaper than the U.S. can provide and vastly more capable of BEING THERE when a fisheries violation, smuggling or guerilla threat issue raises a nail to be hammered. While their DCO numbers are pretty good (around 2,500 dollars per flight hour with about 10-20MMH:FH), the JAS-39 just doesn't bring enough of it's literally _owned_ capabilities to the table to be competitive with anyone who can buy upmarket into a twin. Or the U.S. ordnance and total support package deals.


KPl.
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Old September 9th, 2006   #3
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So...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt Plummer
CH,



The gripen is a conventional signature, 2-pylon, airframe. It can drop GBU-16 with the LITENING pods now but it can't carry an ARM or indeed more than 2 AMRAAM period while doing so. Even the U-95 pod is not serviced (or carriageable with the LITENING onboard) and the internal jammer, if it was ever installed, is just a pulse-repeater rather than a fullup deception/noise system like the ASPJ was.

If they were realistically gassed up with 400 gallon tanks on each of the inboard wing pylons to exploit the full depth of the Alaskan range space, the are probably down to a single 500-700lb store (i.e. GBU-12) on the outboards and the fact that that munition is SALH instead of PTOD makes for a lot closer approach to the target than might be considered 'useful' to the modern USAF strike doctrine (meaning we get to pay for your close approach onto a D1/R1 airfield type target).

Much of what makes the Gripen special is inherent to it's proprietary electronics suite interface with both the air and ground environment and specific pods. Given the C/D is just the Swede version of the Xport/International, it is in fact many steps back from that standard with bootstrap solutions to the current airframe to make it 'compatible with STANAG'. When in fact NATO standards are less capable than the Swedish baseline (as an example, Gripens are now compatible with an ACMI pod. But they have always had 'rangeless' ACMI inherent to their own datalink facilities).

As regards the exercise specifically: As I recall, the Swedes spent the better part of a month predeployment training up at the Vidsel weapons ranges and created a provisional 'Tango Red' squadron composed of 20 odd stick monkeys and 7 jets (two of them JAS-39Ds with presumably less operational electronics and/or fuel). Supported by two C-130H. This is not a terribly impressive logistical feat even as it suggests that the aircrew may well be picked pros in the 1,500-2,000hrs on type, 'instructor grade'.

There ARE elements of the Gripen which could be nifty. The IRIS-T (if it came with ODIN) and the BK-90/KEDP-350 (if the range space is cleared for a glide weapon) but I doubt if they will clear the cost barrier to a real leveraged use and frankly a fourship with a ramp spare is not going to be-

>>
Lt Col Ken Lindberg. “Gripen is going to be seen in every role,” including leading composite air packages with other participating nations, he says.Lt Col Ken Lindberg. “Gripen is going to be seen in every role,” including leading composite air packages with other participating nations, he says.
>>

http://www.flightglobal.com/Articles...st+Swedes.html

Simply because they don't contribute enough (numerically) to the gameplan in an airframe with enough strike warfare aptitudes to be worth the effort.

Of course I am also frankly against-

>>
“This is the most extensive and complex exercise the Swedish Air Force has been involved in to date with the JAS 39 Gripen,” Ken Lindberg explains. “Taking part will give us extremely important experience ahead of potential international missions in the future.”
>>

http://www.gripen.com/en/MediaRelati...t_red_flag.htm

Since this is effectively teaching your enemy your doctrines and where this is particularly relevant to NCW, we don't need to be handing out freebies to people who think of RF as an excercise in-

>>
The exercise also provides a good opportunity to demonstrate the Gripen and its capabilities to interested parties internationally.
>>

http://www.gripen.com/en/MediaRelati...t_red_flag.htm

Because frankly Sweden was never more than a silent partner in NATO and the Alliance itself is little more than an excuse for backstabbing and 'host fees' now that the Russian threat has gone and militarism is a Vae Victis Vickers business-in-booming.

The U.S. technically fights better alone than with anyone else and with the increase in COE tactics inherent to BVR, DEWS and Glide-IAM, I'm afraid I find much of the 'jointness' inherent to multiforce excersizes to have no point as either a propoganda (against who?) effort or a _secure_ training forum.

CONCLUSION:
IMO, the Swedes are looking for a free kudo on an airframe that is less competent overall (nm per pylon) than the F-16. Rather than indulge in fantasies like this-

>>
Saab-led Gripen International is studying future development options for its Gripen multirole fighter, including the possible installation of a more powerful engine, increasing the type’s overall size and maximum take-off weight, and the potential availability of a carrierborne strike variant.
Intended to boost the long-term export prospects for the single-engined Gripen – as competition increases from rival types over the next decade – the enhancements could result in a modification package similar to the Super Hornet enhancement to Boeing’s baseline F/A-18, say industry sources.
>>

http://www.flightglobal.com/Articles...d+by+Saab.html

And this-

http://www.patricksaviation.com/uplo...images/598.jpg

They need to start over again, exploiting their SHARC database to create something truly new and cheap enough/enduring enough to be worth the cost, particularly in ops other than war. Once they do this, their vaunted neutrality posture will go right out the window of course but if you want to export death in a wide world, you'd better be able to do it to the tune of the other customers operational issues and the first order of business there is massively cheaper than the U.S. can provide and vastly more capable of BEING THERE when a fisheries violation, smuggling or guerilla threat issue raises a nail to be hammered. While their DCO numbers are pretty good (around 2,500 dollars per flight hour with about 10-20MMH:FH), the JAS-39 just doesn't bring enough of it's literally _owned_ capabilities to the table to be competitive with anyone who can buy upmarket into a twin. Or the U.S. ordnance and total support package deals.


KPl.
So.....
Anyone tell us how the Gripen did in Red Flag?
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Old September 9th, 2006   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt Plummer
CH,



The gripen is a conventional signature, 2-pylon, airframe. It can drop GBU-16 with the LITENING pods now but it can't carry an ARM or indeed more than 2 AMRAAM period while doing so. Even the U-95 pod is not serviced (or carriageable with the LITENING onboard) and the internal jammer, if it was ever installed, is just a pulse-repeater rather than a fullup deception/noise system like the ASPJ was.

If they were realistically gassed up with 400 gallon tanks on each of the inboard wing pylons to exploit the full depth of the Alaskan range space, the are probably down to a single 500-700lb store (i.e. GBU-12) on the outboards and the fact that that munition is SALH instead of PTOD makes for a lot closer approach to the target than might be considered 'useful' to the modern USAF strike doctrine (meaning we get to pay for your close approach onto a D1/R1 airfield type target).

Much of what makes the Gripen special is inherent to it's proprietary electronics suite interface with both the air and ground environment and specific pods. Given the C/D is just the Swede version of the Xport/International, it is in fact many steps back from that standard with bootstrap solutions to the current airframe to make it 'compatible with STANAG'. When in fact NATO standards are less capable than the Swedish baseline (as an example, Gripens are now compatible with an ACMI pod. But they have always had 'rangeless' ACMI inherent to their own datalink facilities).

As regards the exercise specifically: As I recall, the Swedes spent the better part of a month predeployment training up at the Vidsel weapons ranges and created a provisional 'Tango Red' squadron composed of 20 odd stick monkeys and 7 jets (two of them JAS-39Ds with presumably less operational electronics and/or fuel). Supported by two C-130H. This is not a terribly impressive logistical feat even as it suggests that the aircrew may well be picked pros in the 1,500-2,000hrs on type, 'instructor grade'.

There ARE elements of the Gripen which could be nifty. The IRIS-T (if it came with ODIN) and the BK-90/KEDP-350 (if the range space is cleared for a glide weapon) but I doubt if they will clear the cost barrier to a real leveraged use and frankly a fourship with a ramp spare is not going to be-

>>
Lt Col Ken Lindberg. “Gripen is going to be seen in every role,” including leading composite air packages with other participating nations, he says.Lt Col Ken Lindberg. “Gripen is going to be seen in every role,” including leading composite air packages with other participating nations, he says.
>>

http://www.flightglobal.com/Articles...st+Swedes.html

Simply because they don't contribute enough (numerically) to the gameplan in an airframe with enough strike warfare aptitudes to be worth the effort.

Of course I am also frankly against-

>>
“This is the most extensive and complex exercise the Swedish Air Force has been involved in to date with the JAS 39 Gripen,” Ken Lindberg explains. “Taking part will give us extremely important experience ahead of potential international missions in the future.”
>>

http://www.gripen.com/en/MediaRelati...t_red_flag.htm

Since this is effectively teaching your enemy your doctrines and where this is particularly relevant to NCW, we don't need to be handing out freebies to people who think of RF as an excercise in-

>>
The exercise also provides a good opportunity to demonstrate the Gripen and its capabilities to interested parties internationally.
>>

http://www.gripen.com/en/MediaRelati...t_red_flag.htm

Because frankly Sweden was never more than a silent partner in NATO and the Alliance itself is little more than an excuse for backstabbing and 'host fees' now that the Russian threat has gone and militarism is a Vae Victis Vickers business-in-booming.

The U.S. technically fights better alone than with anyone else and with the increase in COE tactics inherent to BVR, DEWS and Glide-IAM, I'm afraid I find much of the 'jointness' inherent to multiforce excersizes to have no point as either a propoganda (against who?) effort or a _secure_ training forum.

CONCLUSION:
IMO, the Swedes are looking for a free kudo on an airframe that is less competent overall (nm per pylon) than the F-16. Rather than indulge in fantasies like this-

>>
Saab-led Gripen International is studying future development options for its Gripen multirole fighter, including the possible installation of a more powerful engine, increasing the type’s overall size and maximum take-off weight, and the potential availability of a carrierborne strike variant.
Intended to boost the long-term export prospects for the single-engined Gripen – as competition increases from rival types over the next decade – the enhancements could result in a modification package similar to the Super Hornet enhancement to Boeing’s baseline F/A-18, say industry sources.
>>

http://www.flightglobal.com/Articles...d+by+Saab.html

And this-

http://www.patricksaviation.com/uplo...images/598.jpg

They need to start over again, exploiting their SHARC database to create something truly new and cheap enough/enduring enough to be worth the cost, particularly in ops other than war. Once they do this, their vaunted neutrality posture will go right out the window of course but if you want to export death in a wide world, you'd better be able to do it to the tune of the other customers operational issues and the first order of business there is massively cheaper than the U.S. can provide and vastly more capable of BEING THERE when a fisheries violation, smuggling or guerilla threat issue raises a nail to be hammered. While their DCO numbers are pretty good (around 2,500 dollars per flight hour with about 10-20MMH:FH), the JAS-39 just doesn't bring enough of it's literally _owned_ capabilities to the table to be competitive with anyone who can buy upmarket into a twin. Or the U.S. ordnance and total support package deals.


KPl.
If the U.S technically fights better alone,then why the co- oh forget it Kurt,i cant be bothererd reading your long winded irrelevant reply anyway....
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Old September 11th, 2006   #5
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somehow Kurt can turn almost any discussions into "I am the US, I do not need you. We are the super power. All you other 'little wretches' are stabbing us in the back. If you dont like us or our technology, go die". Well done KPI
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Old September 11th, 2006   #6
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They need to start over again, exploiting their SHARC database to create something truly new and cheap enough/enduring enough to be worth the cost, particularly in ops other than war. Once they do this, their vaunted neutrality posture will go right out the window of course but if you want to export death in a wide world, you'd better be able to do it to the tune of the other customers operational issues and the first order of business there is massively cheaper than the U.S. can provide and vastly more capable of BEING THERE when a fisheries violation, smuggling or guerilla threat issue raises a nail to be hammered. While their DCO numbers are pretty good (around 2,500 dollars per flight hour with about 10-20MMH:FH), the JAS-39 just doesn't bring enough of it's literally _owned_ capabilities to the table to be competitive with anyone who can buy upmarket into a twin. Or the U.S. ordnance and total support package deals.
makes sense, there trying to export a home defence fighter to balance the books. I wish countrys would stop trying to make a quick buck off weapons systems. Why anyone would want to sell years of investment to a potental compeditor is behond me.
Weapons are there to kill people not to be traded like commodites.

anyway this is besides the point, was'ent this a question about Red Flag?
I bet you could never answer the questions on the exam paper.
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Old September 11th, 2006   #7
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Originally Posted by Ding
somehow Kurt can turn almost any discussions into "I am the US, I do not need you. We are the super power. All you other 'little wretches' are stabbing us in the back. If you dont like us or our technology, go die". Well done KPI
The best thing the Swedes bring to the table is their netcentric operating architecture (which they admittedly pioneered to a fairly high standard through the Draken and Viggen generations) and a couple indigenous standoff weapons.

The former is something that you never want to advertise the specific thumbprint signal characteristics of, 'even between friends'. The latter is too expensive to show off with as a shootex demonstration of just how fast an IADS dies when struck by saturating SOW's.

The System 39 LINK is also likely inoperable within the NATO spectrum use and data formats, meaning that the Gripens may or may not be able to talk to MIDS/IDM equipped allied aircraft, fighter:fighter intraflight LINKage constricting the ability to do ROE upgrade in BVR realm because it is not 'everybody on the same network' inclusive.

As a weapons platform, nothing that System JAS does is better than what the F-16 was able to provide as long ago as 1991. Half the heavyweight pylons. 1/3rd the external fuel (their 400 gallon tank is also poorly shaped for adjacent ordnance carriage when hauled on the wings) when configured for strike. No BVR tip store. And 25% less internal gas.

Despite this, the JAS takes off /in the A2A configuration/ with a less than 1:1 T/Wr. The only 'Gen-4 Superfighter' to do so.

When combined with it's less than stellar arrangements for leveraging the PDI fuel fraction with external gas, this severely compromises it's ability to do even a 'wall of Eagles' styled supersonic leadsweep where the datalink could operate without compromise (mind you, without the Argus, I don't think the JAS is going to be worth much as a shooter:illuminator paired system anyway because 'all of 2' AMRAAM B doesn't pole out far enough to save the JAS from S2A engagement and subhorizoning the threat with shootup isn't easy when you are dependent on mechanical arrays to get the volume coverage.).

Speaking of which, JAS is equally: Without AESA. Without HMS/IRST. Without IAM. _Without ARM_. Without a noteworthy ICMS (MLDS + smart-toweds with internal offensive techniques, not just expendables).

And further likely to be critically dependent on U.S. export provisions for things like RB-74, RB-75, RB-99 and GBU-16. Probably even the RM-12.

Now throw in the fact that, as long ago as 1994 when Saab's VP for Gripen marketing did an AvLeak interview, the JAS-39 was stated to be a 42 million dollar platform while today it is usually listed as a 60 million dollar one.

Comparitively, the F-16C.50 has been offered (admittedly to our own services after a long inventory build) for as low as 21 million each and is generally considered to be a 25-27 million dollar fighter 'before the option extras' of the .50+ standard and a fullup TAA support package.

It sucks to be you, but it's not just that we are better.

It is that the JAS specs are tailored for neutrality maintenance and/or a prolonged suicide in the northern Territories as a distracted WARPAC slugged it out on the Continental plains to the south. Knowing that they couldn't win and didn't have to so long as they lost slower than NATO did.

The Gripen, by size and mission package, lacks the ability to perform adequately as a sustained offensive strike warfare asset and so will always be something of a toy fighter.

If EU-rope wants to do better, they need to invest in a system package that is sized to win over radius. Rather than 'scrimmage' over instrumented ranges where bingo means a quick run to a friendly tanker or airfield, less than 50 miles from the MOA.

1 nation. 1 fighter design per mission. Try it someday. Amazing how much money will buy when it's not nationalized in a 3-way split of sportwar ego trip.

Of course a lot of this will further depend on the progression of DEWS and hunting weapons. IMO, the last manned fighter design generation (smaller than a 747) has already left the drawing boards if not the station in terms of relevance to the tactical scenario. And the Swedes, not being stupid, know it as well as anyone. They are just so desperate for sales that they continue to plan 'Gripen Mods out another 15 years' for an airframe that is (the most of any of the canard clones) already obsolescent today.

Look at the Gripen and look at the F-5E (if not the F-20). They are a repackaging of the same mission role with 40-45 million dollars inbetween them. Countries wanting a _warfighter_ just don't invest that kind of money into a 'lightweight'.


KPl.
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Old September 12th, 2006   #8
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KPI in defence of the Gripen i'll reply.

A smaller aircraft doesn't make it inferior. If you put the same level of avionics and weapons into a smaller aircraft that smaller aircraft will be very similar compared to the larger aircraft. The only bad point is the large reduction in range. Weapon load isn't that smaller as we are moving towards lighter more accurate weapons. Maintenance is lower and the airframe cost is lower, though most of the cost is in the avionics these days so the cost reduction wont be that huge.

You only need long range if you want to strike neighbouring countries with fuel to spare. The Gripen was never designed for this role and Sweden does not need this. The Gripen is for air defence and its strike role is a defensive one destroying close range enemy targets. You only need long range if your attacking targets 1000kms away, when defending you wait until the enemy comes to you. Sweden has a completely different mindset to the US, the Gripen is perfect for them. Look at the interceptors over the years they are small and short ranged. The gripen is a multi role interceptor than a long range strike fighter.

Its short range also takes into account it can land on short runways to refuel so it doesn't need the long legs to return to a large rearward air base.

In defence of the Gripens lower thrust to weight ratio, frankly it doesn't need alot of power. The aerodynamics of the airframe is very good, the wing is designed to have a transonic cruise speed. A wing designed for subsonic cruising requires more thrust to maintain supersonic speeds than a wing designed for supersonic speeds. The Hornets are a perfect example as they have wings optimised for subsonic speeds, the Gripen will be able to maintain a much higher speed without afterburner than a hornet can in air to air config.

The Gripen needs less thrust to cruise at high speed, however high thrust is needed for sustained high G turning so the gripen will not be in this department. Overall its airframe is no where near obsolete, the Gripens speed and agility would be similar to that of the Super hornet and upcoming JSF.

Regarding future improvements of the Gripen: Personally i think putting a larger engine (F414) in the Gripen and enlarging the aircraft defeats the pupose of the original design spec. This is one of the worst things you can do as it just bloats the original design. Its like putting a 500kg 1000hp V8 into a lotus elise you've just stuffed the overall package of the car and the extra weight would actually reduce performance in some area's. The best performance upgrade in the car racing world is weight reduction, reducing the Gripens overall weight by 10% would see HUGE improvements in performance across the board. Lighter computers, radar, screens, canopy. You could shave 10-20% off most components quite easily.

Adding 1000kg extra in engine and extra sensors is worst thing they could do to the gripen.
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Old September 12th, 2006   #9
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And he did it again - this is almost comical...

If anyone does have any info on how Gripen and the Swedes did during the exercise, I will also be very interested to hear about it.
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Old September 12th, 2006   #10
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I feel that I have to ask this question. For the fourth time in this thread. Scratch that, fifth time, Oryx slipped a reply in before I finished typing mine.

How did the Gripen do at Red Flag in Alaska?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe this question requires a dissertation on the characteristics of the Gripen. Or for that matter the business practices of Saab or the cost of an F-16.

Did it perform well? Yes or No
Did it perform better or worse than expected? Better or Worse or As Expected
Did the Swedes think the exercise was valuable to them? Yes or No
Did the other participants find the Gripen inclusion valuable? Yes or No

Once these questions are answered, then perhaps a discussion could be made about the performance of the Gripen during the exercise. But first let's answer the initial question of how it performed during the exercise.
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Old September 12th, 2006   #11
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RJMaz,

>>
A smaller aircraft doesn't make it inferior. If you put the same level of avionics and weapons into a smaller aircraft that smaller aircraft will be very similar compared to the larger aircraft. The only bad point is the large reduction in range. Weapon load isn't that smaller as we are moving towards lighter more accurate weapons. Maintenance is lower and the airframe cost is lower, though most of the cost is in the avionics these days so the cost reduction wont be that huge.
>>

Which is fine if you treat the JAS-39 as a PDI like a MiG-21. But when you use Red Flag specifically to illustrate the types' capabilities for 'international interest' AND your method for doing so is by laying claim to the types functionality as a multirole aircraft via "We do all the missions, including leading strike packages..." you are using U.S. range time to promulgate a _lie_ as to the airframes real capabilities. The Gripen would never integrate with our strike package system because not only it's range but it's networking abilities and indeed the very ability to _defend itself_ through weapons load variability and density are all compromised by the 'small fighter, big dreams' design point.
>>
You only need long range if you want to strike neighbouring countries with fuel to spare. The Gripen was never designed for this role and Sweden does not need this. The Gripen is for air defence and its strike role is a defensive one destroying close range enemy targets. You only need long range if your attacking targets 1000kms away, when defending you wait until the enemy comes to you. Sweden has a completely different mindset to the US, the Gripen is perfect for them. Look at the interceptors over the years they are small and short ranged. The gripen is a multi role interceptor than a long range strike fighter.
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Read the articles whose links I put in there _for a reason_. The Swedes are trying to sell the Gripen /specifically/ as an 'all doing' aircraft and particularly with the F-16C.50+ and F-16E still on the market, we should not be their "Look, even the USAF accepts us!" free advertising billboard. In reality that is what the original poster was asking for you know. Endorsement by default. Not an honest evaluation of what the Gripen could do in a _real war scenario_.
This is one of the problems inherent to mixing up the definitions of the region-specific exercises like Cope Thunder (which used to be operational area specific to the local threats and capabilities of the nations involved) and Red Flag which has always had an element of stage show drama inherent to forcing 'NATO commonality' down everyone's throats at the expense of training to fight with the best of a specific mix of airframes.
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Its short range also takes into account it can land on short runways to refuel so it doesn't need the long legs to return to a large rearward air base.
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Which is silly because it's not using that capability in Alaska and 2,500ft is not enough to protect you from TBM/Cruise targetings _most especially when_ it takes MORE logistics prep to sustain a field dispersed force than it does to put your eggs in a basket and then either make sure the basket is a long ways away from the threat missile overlap. Or is well guarded by layered S2A. Mind you, most nations may not be facing the kinds of missile systems which bypass the conventional air defense capabilities _of the fighter_ which should itself concentrate on exploiting a sophisticated ADGE and _massing_ to meet the enemy at the border and work him over all the way to the threshold point where fixed-sight=fixed defenses systems can take over.
With the above in mind, look at the nations where the Gripen has been marketed. Flying out 'just to the border' is not a simple task when you are outside the microstates of Europe. Chile, Brazil, the PI, South Africa. All of these have HUGE landed territories. Which means you either face a threat with individual sections of aircraft (and die or lose defended assets when the odds stack). Or you mass centrally and run CAPs (with tanking) outward. This doesn't work well with an airframe that is:

A. 'Defensively oriented only' (limited payload and no ability to go chasing Breyr Rabbit into the Bryar Patch).
B. Short Legged.

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In defence of the Gripens lower thrust to weight ratio, frankly it doesn't need alot of power. The aerodynamics of the airframe is very good, the wing is designed to have a transonic cruise speed. A wing designed for subsonic cruising requires more thrust to maintain supersonic speeds than a wing designed for supersonic speeds. The Hornets are a perfect example as they have wings optimised for subsonic speeds, the Gripen will be able to maintain a much higher speed without afterburner than a hornet can in air to air config.
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Which would be fine if you were only honest in comparing the aircraft to a MiG-29 or an Su-27. Or an F-16. Or an F-5 (which has stunning acceleration for it's T/Wr class, despite the 'hornet wing'). In any case, you are DEAD WRONG in stating that T/Wr doesn't matter. Because T/Wr says how high you can play and how many _effective_ shots you bring to the BVR envelope. If you are at sub 1:1 at sea level, you are really wheezing at 30K. For those nations (which is to say, nearly all) that cannot afford or will not be sold AMRAAM, T/Wr is also the basis by which you play up or down, without resorting to burner so as to keep the threat looking for the outside man above or below the sill in complicating HOBS engagements. EM may seem dated in the days of point and click missile warfare sir but I assure you it is not. If you want to beat the helmet threat, you have to defeat the gimbal that the HMDS is attached to. And that means /aggressive/ 3D play. Even as, when you DO make the superman commit, it also means at least staying in the same fight plane without burying the nose as you reaccelerate.
The Gripen has a small wing with a lot of draggy (close spaced) pylons and almost NO internal gas. This means it comes into the fight heavy with bagged fuel and light on missiles. To not have an aggressive ability to compensate for limited shots with dominant maneuver is putting a lot of weight on the shoulders of the pilot.

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The Gripen needs less thrust to cruise at high speed, however high thrust is needed for sustained high G turning so the gripen will not be in this department. Overall its airframe is no where near obsolete, the Gripens speed and agility would be similar to that of the Super hornet and upcoming JSF.
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The Gripen is likely superior to the Super Bug in aero performance. Claiming that you are better than this airframe is like saying you are smarter than the dumbest person you know. The sad part is that the Super Bug may well be less expensive than the JAS-39 which means that not only is it dominant in the fuel and weapons it brings to the fight (If the F-15K/S is anything to go by, the U.S. will sell AMRAAM and probably APG-79 to make the sale happen). But that it will be numbers advantaged. The Gripen IS dated in comparison with the F-35 because it's EM graphs are nowhere's /near/ the those of the JSF which, with 2/3rds fuel, will still have twice as much as the Gripen. And performance levels equal to those of the F-15C. More importantly, you cannot deny-by-ignoring the FQLO factor since this effectively gives the JSF first shot _all the time_. Indeed the only two variables which the JAS brings to the fight are specifically: lower cost and more shots for the given signature level. If you triple the number of JAS in the fight but give the JSF AIM-120C7/D on the wings, the JSF _still_ wins because it has the volume coverage of an AESA. And the specific network ability to gain the ROE upgrade and support shooter:illuminator styled remote midcourse.

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Regarding future improvements of the Gripen: Personally i think putting a larger engine (F414) in the Gripen and enlarging the aircraft defeats the pupose of the original design spec. This is one of the worst things you can do as it just bloats the original design. Its like putting a 500kg 1000hp V8 into a lotus elise you've just stuffed the overall package of the car and the extra weight would actually reduce performance in some area's. The best performance upgrade in the car racing world is weight reduction, reducing the Gripens overall weight by 10% would see HUGE improvements in performance across the board. Lighter computers, radar, screens, canopy. You could shave 10-20% off most components quite easily.
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First off, don't believe the Gripen numbers for an 18,700-19,200lb takeoff weight, even 'typical' (winnable) A2A.
14,600lbs (EEW) + 5,500lbs (internal gas) ALONE brings your numbers up to 20,100lbs.
+ 3,020lbs (300lb 400 gallon tank filled with JP-8) + 1,864lbs (4X 366lb AIM-120C + four LAU-128 equivalent rails or integral rail pylons) + 400lb (IRIS-T) = 25,384lbs.
The RM-12 puts out about 18,100lbst. That's a T/Wr of approximately .71. Worse than a Tomcat. Shave 10% off that weight. 22,846lbs. Thrust to weight ratio goes up to .79. About equal with a Tomcat.
Now let's shift to the twin cab as the only 'useful' version out there. And while your gas takes another hit, your EEW /starts out/ at 17,635lbs. Why is this approach 'better' you say? Because if I only have two AMRAAM (Derby, MICA, yadda de yadda yadda) per airframe per mission for 100 missions, I damn well want to fire every single one from Rne. And why /expose/ a 60 million dollar aircraft with _conventional signatures_ to the HUGE likelihood of a counter shot if I can send along a stealthy weapons cabinet 30-50nm off my nose (10nm off his) to smack him in the teeth where I know it's gonna connect?
Takes two people to row the boat and shoot the ducks.
Which of course brings us to the JAS-39C/D argument. You do realize don't you that the JAS-39C/D follows the norm of aircraft design in gaining weight with age? Indeed, between the heavier weight landing gear. The improved structure margin for maneuvering with larger payloads. The provisions for IFR and the 500lb targeting pod this jet is as likely to GAIN 10% as lost it?
Myself, whether the engine is the F414 (good luck getting a license) or the EJ200 (ditto) you are never going to get around the internal fuel problem or the fact that you are bringing a dated design to a modern warfare context table. The Swedes have already declared 70 of their JAS-39As 'secondary to needs' and yet _noone is buying them_. Why do you think that is? Call a spade a spade dude. It ain't a diamond in the rough. It sure as heck ain't a war club.
It's an airshow sextoy pretending to do what a UAV could do better (The whole deal with the JAS-39 demo in Brazil where they took a JAS-39 out to the border, shot SAR snaps across the fence and relayed the imagery back to a van on the airfield. Whoopee.), cheaper and longer. Because it can't stand the competition with _warfighters_ (furthest, fustest, mostest) that are designed from the ground up to bring ARH missiles, functional EW, gas, targeting pods and _IAMs_ to the fight, in one platform.
Even ignoring the traditional "We don't talk out of church..." blanket rule in effect regarding specific players in Red Flag, the Swedes made a terrible mistake when they replaced a 40,000lb class fighter with a 20,000lb followon. And they know it. And we shouldn't give their jet free advertising carte blanche` just because they came they saw, they participated in whatever _small_ way they could.

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Adding 1000kg extra in engine and extra sensors is worst thing they could do to the gripen.
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I suppose. If all's you want is a DACM toy for the flyboys to 'my other car is' joust about with.

KPl.
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Old September 13th, 2006   #12
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And he did it again - this is almost comical...

If anyone does have any info on how Gripen and the Swedes did during the exercise, I will also be very interested to hear about it.
Just a tip, but I've found image searches to be the best to get the latest info on red flag exercises as you get lots of aviation buffs trying to get shots of the aircraft participating.

cheers

W
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Old September 13th, 2006   #13
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Just a tip, but I've found image searches to be the best to get the latest info on red flag exercises as you get lots of aviation buffs trying to get shots of the aircraft participating.

cheers

W
Thanks Wooki, but I (and I presume the other posters) was looking for something a bit more official than that. There is no way that those aviation buffs you mention could know what the missions were and how the participants performed. I think Todjaeger summarised pretty well the type of information the original poster was looking for.
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Old September 13th, 2006   #14
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I think Todjaeger summarised pretty well the type of information the original poster was looking for.
Indeed.

Unfortunately, I suspect we'll have to wait until one of the trade magazines (Flight International or whatever) writes it up, which will probably be in October or so, given that RF only finished in August. Everyone keep a lookout in your own country, and if you see anything interesting, post it.
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Old September 16th, 2006   #15
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Indeed.

Unfortunately, I suspect we'll have to wait until one of the trade magazines (Flight International or whatever) writes it up, which will probably be in October or so, given that RF only finished in August. Everyone keep a lookout in your own country, and if you see anything interesting, post it.
I have just red an article about Red Flag Alaska in the Swedish Armed Forces magazine. The swedish ground crew in red flag did very well, the americans were very impressed by the swedes weapon handling. The swedish commanders were very pleased by the performance of the exercise. Everything went just fine.

But the but is that they didn't write anything about the flights.... well, they did mention that the Gripens dropped some "inerts", practiced with live ammo, attacked the ground with the autocannon, had some dogfights against F-16s and F-15s, escorted transport planes, practiced CAS, was attacked by "Smokey Sams" and that not a single Gripen got "shot down".

BTW, they just mentioned this...
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