BERLIN, (BM) – Austria’s Defense Minister Tanner wants to get rid of the unloved Eurofighters quickly. The government is considering a sale to Indonesia. Meanwhile, Saab is positioning itself for the successor: Once again, the Swedes are offering Austria the Gripen, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
It started with a mysterious letter: In July the Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto wrote to his counterpart from Austria, Klaudia Tanner, that his country would like to take over the 15 Eurofighters of the Federal Armed Forces: “In order to modernize the Indonesian air force, I would like to speak to you in official Negotiations enter into purchase of all 15 Eurofighters for the Republic of Indonesia,” reads the letter.
Its authenticity has now been confirmed, and that is why Minister Tanner recently announced that she would examine possible ways in which a corresponding deal between the two states could be realized.
‘The perfect jet’ for Austria
This brings the question of a successor to the armed forces again acutely – and Saab from Sweden knocks once again on the door of the Austrian government. Saab would like to offer Austria the Gripen. In an interview with the Austrian news agency APA, Saab sales director Per Alriksson, himself a former fighter pilot with experience on Draken and Gripen, said the latter was “the perfect jet” for Austria.
The Gripen is inexpensive, flexible, all weather capable and is characterized by a minimal logistical footprint. “With Gripen, training and operations are flown around the clock in all weather conditions,” says Alriksson. The ground time for refueling and arming is only ten minutes. Saab officially praises its single-jet fighter that the Gripen meet “all the requirements of the Austrian Air Force at the best price-performance ratio.”
Saab and Austria: old partners
The Swedes had already wanted to sell the Gripen to Austria – and reacted noticeably sniffy when the choice fell on the Eurofighter instead. In fact, the decision against the Sweden fighter came as a surprise, after all, Saab was Austria’s house and court supplier for fighter aircraft for decades.
The armed forces flew the Saab J29 Tunnan and until 2005 the Saab J35 Draken. The Saab 105 is still in service for training purposes. The propeller trainer Saab Safir was also in use in Austria for many years.
Saab is offering Gripen E to replace the existing Canadian CF-18 Hornet fighters
On March 2 this year we reported that Saab offers Gripen E, with the support of the Swedish government, for Canada’s future fighter requirement of 88 new aircraft to replace the Royal Canadian Air Force’s existing CF-18 Hornet fighter fleet.
The Canadian Request for Proposal requires companies to deliver high-quality industrial and technological benefits, such as Saab has demonstrated with Gripen for Brazil and is offering for Finland and India’s fighter requirements.
Saab’s bid to the Government of Canada includes a comprehensive proposal to deliver those benefits, with high quality jobs and technology, adding greater economic value and knowledge across Canadian industry coast to coast.
“Over the past two years, Saab and the Swedish Government have been encouraged by Canada’s open and transparent competition to replace its fighter fleet. Today, we are delighted to announce the ‘Gripen for Canada Team’. We have assembled a dynamic roster of innovative leaders within Canada’s aerospace industry, across multiple regions to offer the best solution for Canada’s future fighter,” said then Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President and head of Business Area Aeronautics.
He further stated that, “Saab is committed to securing long-term relationships in Canada that will create a significant number of highly-skilled, sustainable jobs for Canadians within domestic and international supply chains.”
Sweden claims to have created the ‘killer’ of Russian Su fighters
Swedish Air Force Commander Mats Helgesson recently made the bold announcement that the Saab Gripen E can grind an impressive fleet of Russian fighters, without the Swedes even needing the expensive stealth technology that the United States so relies on.
“The Gripen, especially the Model E, is specifically designed to destroy the Su fighters. We have a black belt,” Helgesson told on August 4 the Finnish news portal Yle at a presentation in Finland, where Sweden is trying to export planes.
Sukhoi’s Russian fighters achieved their legendary status thanks to their ability to outperform American fighters in aerial combat and perform dangerous and spectacular air maneuvers, but Gripen, according to the Swedes, “cracked the code.”
Gripen is not capable of carrying a combat load similar to Russian fighters and has no real invisibility. This is not the fastest or even the cheapest plane. But he has a special specialization, which makes him a “nightmare” for Russian fighters.
Justin Bronk, an expert at the Royal United Services Institute, told Business Insider that just as the American A-10 Warthog attack aircraft “was designed around its powerful cannon,” the Gripen was built with a focus on electronic warfare.
Almost all modern aircraft carry out electronic warfare to some degree, Bronk said, but the Gripen E stands above all others.
Gripen pilots do not like to reveal all the details, but during training flights, they have demonstrated the ability to “jam” the enemy, says Bronk.
“A few years ago, Gripen pilots, tired of being ridiculed by their German counterparts on Typhoon fighters, showed off their electronic counterparts, which gave the German pilots hellish difficulties,” said Bronk. According to him, one of the Gripenes was able to “hang” on the left wing of the Typhoon without being detected “due to its” extreme “jamming ability.
“It would be fair to assume that the Gripen is one of the most effective electronic warfare fighters,” he said, adding that the Gripen fighters that confused the Typhoons are from the C / D series, which have much less electronic warfare capabilities. than the Gripen E series.
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