STOCKHOLM, Sweden, (BulgarianMilitary.com) – Recently, at a presentation in Finland, the Commander of the Swedish Air Force, Mats Helgesson, stated that the SAAB Gripen E fighter had the capabilities to beat the Russian Sukhoi jets in a dogfight, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
As Business Insider reports the legendary status that Russia’s Sukhoi fighters have is achieved via their ability to out-maneuver the U.S. fighter jets in aerial battles, as well as, to pull off aggressive and dangerous stunts in the air. In response, the U.S. Air Force has turned to the expensive stealth aircraft.
According to Justin Bronk, an aerial-combat expert at the Royal United Services Institute, cited by the online edition, on the other hand, SAAB’s approach to combat Russia’s fighters and missiles is much more different and cheaper, adding that it is focused on electronic attack, which gives them an advantage over stealth because the software can be evolved without a ground-up rebuild. Bronk added that SAAB intends, in every two years, to update the Gripen E software, making it more flexible to meet the evolving challenges.
The expert states that that similar to the A-10 Warthog, which was built around a massive cannon, the Gripen was built around electronic warfare. In fact, all modern fighters conduct some degree of electronic warfare, but the Gripen E beats the others, due to the jet’s jamming.
Bronk said “Several years ago the Gripen pilots got tired of being made fun of by German Typhoon pilots and came to play with their wartime electronic warfare and gave them a hell of a hard time. One of the Gripens was “reportedly able to appear on the left wing of a Typhoon without being detected” by using its “extremely respected” jamming ability.”
In his words the assumption that Gripen is one of the most capable electronic warfighters, would be fair, further specifing that the Gripens baffled the Typhoons were of the C/D series the electronic-warfare capabilities of which were much less powerful than those the Gripens of E series have.
The Gripen E fighters are designed to “operate in Swedish territory, take advantage of all sorts of uneven terrain under cover of friendly surface-to-air missiles with a superb EW suite which should in theory keep it safe from the majority of Russian missiles and air to air threats,” firing almost any missile made in the US or Europe.
The aerial-combat expert concludes that if the most effective longest range air-to-air missile, which is resistant against Russia’s jammers is coupled with a very effective radar with excellent EW, then “there’s no reason not to assume it wouldn’t be pretty damn effective. If you’re a flanker pilot, it’s probably a very scary thing to face.”
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Sources: Focus News Agency, Business Insider