Gripen Demo Aircraft Revealed

April 30, 2008 by  
Filed under Features

The exciting new Gripen Demo aircraft was recently unveiled at a ceremony that took place at the Saab Linkping site. The new aircraft has got a lot of people excited and the unveiling revealed a few new facts about the Gripen Demo aircraft.

Those who have been keeping an eye on the future capabilities demonstration Gripen Demo aircraft will be happy to know that it was officially confirmed that the new aircraft will make use of an active, electronically-scanned array radar. The radar is still going to be developed through a collaboration between Saab Microwave Systems and a French manufacturer called Thales. But this was just one small advancement worth noting. Also under discussion at the unveiling was the development and integration of the new AESA system, the use of a newer and more powerful engine and new landing gear.

Though the much talked about AESA system is still under development, it is Saab that is taking the lead in the development and integration of this new system. The back end of the Gripen, which is currently fitted with a PS05 sensor, will eventually hold the new AESA system. It shouldn’t be long before the capabilities of this system can be more fully explored in flight. The new engine is an F414G engine that was developed by Volvo Aero and General Electric. The entire project was prepared under a program that included manufactures Honeywell, Terma and Meggitt. The new engine will replace the RM12 power plant that is currently used in the Gripen, giving it 20% more thrust and increasing the maximum take-off weight of the aircraft.

The new landing gear will have a significant impact on the aircraft, as it will enable the Gripen Demo to carry more internal fuel. The landing gear has been moved into the aircraft’s win root, creating more space inside the plane’s body for fuel. The change has also enabled two precision-guided bombs to be fitted to the new centerline stores pylons. The unveiling had the press and those in the industry abuzz and the new changes are very exciting. If things work out according to Saab’s plans, the first Gripen Demo aircraft flight should take place later this year.

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