Warplanes: April 28, 2001

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Sweden has ordered 240 JAS39 Gryphon (Gripen) fighters. Of these, 140 (Batch 1 and part of Batch 2) have been delivered. Another 50 Batch-2 Gryphons and at least 50 Batch-3 Gryphons are on order. The Batch-3 Gryphons are designed as NATO-compatible expeditionary aircraft which might join international peacekeeping missions. The first Batch-3s will be delivered in 2003 and the first wing of 24 will be in service (and available to multi-national missions) in 2004. Batch-3 Gryphons will have NATO-standard Datalink-16 systems, pylons able to carry NATO-standard weapons, air-to-air refueling probes, a new identification friend-or-foe system, GPS navigation, color multifunction displays, an onboard oxygen generator, and English-language instruments. The Batch-3 Gryphons are being offered for export, the assumption being that they would reach a broader market than the domestic Batch-1 and Batch-2 Gryphons. Some two-seat Batch-3 Gryphons will be configured for Suppression of Enemy Air Defense missions. The Gryphons will receive an upgrade starting in 2010 with a new engine (the EuroJet-200 or the General Electric F414), conformal fuel tanks, and perhaps other upgrades including active electronically-scanned radar, infrared search-and-track, and a new electronic warfare suite with better range and 360-degree coverage. The new Electronic Warfare system would have a passive monitoring radar warning receiver, electronic support measures (the ability to analyze and react to enemy radars), intelligence gathering, a self-protection jammer, towed decoys, laser warning receivers, and a missile approach warning system. A new navigation system will fuse data from GPS, inertial, and terrain reference systems. The new upgrade will be able to use the IRIS-T short-range dogfight missile, the Meteor beyond-visual-range missile, the Joint Direct Attack Munition, Joint Stand-off Weapon, and Taurus KEPD cruise missile.--Stephen V Cole 

 


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