Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Has Saab produced an effective competitor to the F-35?

Sweden just unveiled its new "Smart Fighter," the Grippen E, which is intended to be a low-cost competitor to the F-35. The latest variant of the Grippen class, which Saab has been producing for Sweden for many years, is apparently a significant upgrade from the previous Grippen model, although there is no indication it is a fifth-generation fighter. But it sounds attractive to budget shoppers:
With its fly-by-wire avionics and distinctive delta wing design, the Gripen E is similar to its predecessors. The difference is in its increased fuel capacity, 20% more thrust, extra pylons for carrying more weapons, and advanced electronics that feed tactical information to the pilot and coop forces at all times.
The Grippen E costs only $85 million each, which is a bargain for modern fighter aircraft, Here's the official sales-pitch video from Saab's unveiling:

Pretty glossy, high-tech presentation. Read more about it at Business Insider, where I got it, We Are The Mighty, where they got it, or at The Daily Mail, which apparently reports on it extensively. I plan to do a little research and see how much of a competitor with the F-35 this plane is except on price. Stay tuned.

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