Swedish SAAB Gripen C/D will get a newly renovated engine software

Sweden’s flagship SAAB JAS 39 Gripen C/D will receive a power system upgrade that should result in better performance at a lower cost. This was announced by the GKN Aerospace company, which manufactures the Volvo Aero RM12 engine powering the Swedish fighters.

Swedish SAAB Gripen C/D will get a newly renovated engine software
Photo credit: SAAB

GKN Aerospace has been awarded a contract to refine the RM12 engine for the JAS 39 Gripen C/D fighter aircraft by the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration [FMV], in cooperation with FMV and SAAB. The long-standing partnership between GKN Aerospace and the Swedish Air Force has led to this £2 million deal for total control over the RM12 engine, concluding a venture since 2019. 

In addition to engine modifications, the contract includes software updates, to be carried out by SAAB and GE Aerospace along with GKN Aerospace. The engine will be tested at GKN Aerospace’s facility in Trollhättan, Sweden, with flight trials managed by FMV and SAAB. The upgrades will enhance engine performance and decrease lifecycle costs, while also assisting in Sweden’s engine competence development and support for the future RM16 engine of the JAS 39 Gripen E/F. 

Give Ukraine a Gripen, the F-16 can't give what the Swede can
Photo credit: RSAF

GKN Aerospace Vice President Stefan Oscarsson voiced his pride in contributing to Swedish defense capabilities, and says this order will boost their handling of complex engine systems for future fighter planes.

RM12 engine

The engine is designed to provide high thrust and excellent performance in both subsonic and supersonic flight regimes. It is known for its reliability and efficiency, making it a popular choice for military aircraft.

The RM12 engine has several notable technical characteristics. It is a single-shaft engine with a low bypass ratio, which means that a significant portion of the air entering the engine is used for combustion rather than bypassing the engine core. This design allows for a compact and lightweight engine, ideal for fighter aircraft. The engine also features advanced technologies such as a digital engine control system, which ensures precise and efficient operation.

SAAB JAS 39 Gripen fighter jet
Photo by Sgt Müller Marin

RM12’s performance

In terms of performance, the RM12 engine is capable of producing a maximum thrust of approximately 18,000 pounds. It has a high thrust-to-weight ratio, enabling the Gripen aircraft to achieve impressive acceleration and maneuverability.

The engine also has a high altitude capability, allowing the aircraft to operate at altitudes above 50,000 feet. Additionally, the RM12 engine has a relatively low specific fuel consumption, contributing to the aircraft’s extended range and endurance.

EW systems, too

The Gripen’s engine software upgrade is just a fragment of a vast, meticulously planned blueprint aimed at cultivating a substantially advanced fighter jet. As per a report by BulgarianMilitary.com in the middle of September, FMV and Saab have collectively agreed upon implementing changes, focused particularly on the electronic warfare and intelligence systems, along with the communications technology.

A revised agreement between the Swedish Defense Material Administration [FMV] and Saab includes new functions and altered delivery schedules for the Gripen E and Gripen C/D military aircraft. This agreement supports the operational capacity of the Swedish armed forces. 

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Photo credit: SAAB

The plan aims for smooth development and delivery transitions, advancing the Gripen C/D beyond 2030. This process coincides with the upcoming launch of the next-generation fighter jet, the Gripen E.

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Follow us everywhere and at any time. BulgarianMilitary.com has responsive design and you can open the page from any computer, mobile devices or web browsers. For more up-to-date news, follow our Google News, YouTube, Reddit, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook pages. Our standards: Manifesto & ethical principles.