Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Swiss Pilots Test Fly Saab JAS 39 Gripen F / NG Demonstrator in Sweden

Swiss pilots have successfully test flown in Sweden a Saab JAS 39 Gripen F two-seat demonstrator aircraft, equipped with a new Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar.

The radar is a test version, manufactured by Selex Galileo from the United Kingdom, to help verify the following features:
  • Assembly 
  • Radar cooling
  • Electrical power supply
  • Data exchange between the radar and the mission computer

The Gripen aircraft used is derived from a modified Gripen D airframe and an intermediate version between the Gripen C/D currently in service and the future Gripen E/F or Gripen NG.

The demonstrator is used to test subsystems of the Gripen E/F and made its first flight on May 27, 2008, and has accumulated over 250 flight hours. It is powered by a General Electric (GE) F414G engine from the United States.

The Gripen E/F will feature the following improvements over the Gripen C/D:
  • More powerful engine, the F414G
  • Greater payload and internal fuel capacity 
  • Two additional under-fuselage hard-points 
  • New landing gear 
  • New AESA radar
  • Passive Infrared search and tracking sensor 
  • New cockpit and avionics
  • New electronic warfare (EW) suite

Specifications of the Gripen C/D:

Crew: 1 (2 for JAS 39D)
Payload: 5,300 kg
Length: 14.1 m, two-seater: 14.8 m
Wingspan: 8.4 m
Height: 4.5 m
Wing area: 30.0 m²
Empty weight: 6,800 kg
Loaded weight: 8,500 kg
Maximum takeoff weight: 14,000 kg

Engine: 1 × Volvo Aero RM12 afterburning turbofan derived from GE F404
Dry thrust: 54 kN (12,100 lbf)
Thrust with afterburner: 80.5 kN (18,100 lbf)
Maximum speed: Mach 2 (2,204 km/h) at altitude
Combat radius: 800 km
Ferry range: 3,200 km with drop tanks
Service ceiling: 15,240 m
Wing loading: 283 kg/m²
Thrust/weight: 0.97

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