Saab has formally unveiled the Gripen E, an upgraded version of its Gripen combat aircraft. Compared with previous versions of the Swedish single-engine fighter, Gripen E features upgraded avionics and a more powerful GE F414G engine offering improved range and an enhanced weapons load capability.
The new Gripen features a maximum takeoff weight of 16.5t — compared to 14t for the Gripen C — an empty weight of 8t and an internal fuel load of 3.4t. It can carry three underslung tanks.
The Gripen E sensor suite includes a Selex ES-05 Raven Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, a nose-mounted Infra Red Search and Track (IRST) unit (also from Selex), Electronic Warfare (EW) suite, and datalink technology.
The aircraft offers nine hardpoints. Air-to-air superiority is achieved with Meteor, AMRAAM, IRIS-T and AIM-9 missile capability and supercruise. Air-to-surface capability is assured through the use of the latest-generation precision weapons and targeting sensors. The Gripen E is also equipped with a 27mm Mauser BK27 gun.
In addition to Sweden (which has committed for 60 aircraft), the new Gripen has been ordered by Brazil, under the designation Gripen NG (36 aircraft).