JAS 39C Gripen
Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
SEK367 million (USD$40 million)
Also Known As: Gripen C, Gripen N and JAS 39A Gripen
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Description: The JAS 39 Gripen is a supersonic, multi-role fighter combining high performance, high maneuverability, and fully integrated information and weapon systems. It is being developed by Saab and to date Sweden (204), South Africa (28) and Hungary (14?) have selected the Gripen multi-role fighter for their Air Forces.
The Gripen aircraft employs an advanced delta wing and canard fore planes aerodynamic configuration which ensures maneuverability at all speeds, altitudes and weapon loads. In addition, the flight control system ensures that the aircraft is easier and safer to fly than previous generation fighters. Its radar provides look-down shoot-sown capability and the IR-OTIS sensor provides Infrared search and track capability.
The Gripen can be armed with AIM-9 Sidewinder or IRIS-T missiles for short range air-to-air engagements, for multiple medium range engagements the AMRAAM missile can be employed. RBS-15, Maverick and DWS 39 weapons are available for air-to-surface missions. In addition, the Brimstone, Taurus and Meteor missiles, as well as new avionics and equipment, could be integrated within years enhancing the Gripen mission options and roles.
The Gripen also features lower costs of ownership than other similar aircraft and ease of operation as well as high availability and reliability.
The JAS 39C Gripen was introduced in 2002 featuring some improvements such as air refueling, color displays, oxygen generators, strengthened wing structures, software improvements and new external hard-point types. The new standard is specially aimed at the export market. All new production single-seater Gripens to be delivered to the Swedish Air Force from 2002 will be C models.
On 14 June, 2004, Saab and the Czech Republic government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the lease of 14 new production C-standard Gripen fighters for a 10-year period. The first aircraft will be delivered to the Czech Air Force in 2005 with Saab assuming full responsibility for maintenance services of Czech Gripens during the lease period.
On October 18, 2004, the maiden flight of the first Gripen intended for the export market occurred at Satenas Air Force Base, western central Sweden. The aircraft, a single-seat JAS 39C, was marked with Czech colors and will be delivered to the Czech Air Force in April 2005.
On 30 March 2006 Saab handed over the first five Gripen aircraft (3C + 2D) from a lease and purchase agreement on 12 single-seat Gripen C and 2 dual-seat Gripen D to the Hungarian Air Force at the Kecskémet air base. The remaining nine Gripen C single-seat aircraft were expected to be delivered progressively until December 2007.
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