The Saab Gripen (Griffin) is a light single-engine multirole fighter aircraft manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab. Saab describes the Gripen as a “swing-role aircraft”, stating that it is capable of “instantly switching between roles at the push of a button”. The human/machine interface changes when switching between roles, being optimised by the computer in response to new situations and threats.The Gripen is also equipped to use a number of different communications standards and systems, including SATURN secure radio, Link-16, ROVER, and satellite uplinks. Equipment for performing long range missions, such as an aerial refuelling probe and onboard oxygen generation system (OBOGS), was integrated upon the Gripen C/D.
The Gripen is compatible with a number of different armaments, beyond the aircraft’s single 27 mm Mauser BK-27 cannon (omitted on the two-seat variants), including air-to-air missiles such as the AIM-9 Sidewinder, air-to-ground missiles such as the AGM-65 Maverick, and anti-ship missiles such as the RBS-15. In 2010, the Swedish Air Force’s Gripen fleet completed the MS19 upgrade process, enabling compatibility with a range of weapons, including the long-range MBDA Meteor missile, the short-range IRIS-T missile and the GBU-49 laser-guided bomb. Speaking on the Gripen’s selection of armaments, Saab’s campaign director for India Edvard de la Motte stated that: “If you buy Gripen, select where you want your weapons from. Israel, Sweden, Europe, US… South America. It’s up to the customer”.
In flight, the Gripen is typically capable of carrying up to 6,500 kg (14,330 lb) of assorted armaments and equipment. Equipment includes external sensor pods for reconnaissance and target designation, such as Rafael’s LITENING targeting pod, Saab’s Modular Reconnaissance Pod System, or Thales’ Digital Joint Reconnaissance Pod. The Gripen has an advanced and integrated electronic warfare suite, capable of operating in an undetectable passive mode or to actively jam hostile radar; a missile approach warning system passively detects and tracks incoming missiles In November 2013, it was announced that Saab will be the first to offer the BriteCloud expendable Active jammer developed by Selex ES. In June 2014, the Enhanced Survivability Technology Modular Self Protection Pod, a defensive missile countermeasure pod, performed its first flight on the Gripen