Another squadron of Swedish made supersonic, multirole Jas-39 Gripen/Griffin is the next generation of jet fighter aircraft being considered by the Philippine Air Force (PAF) to acquire.
The JAS 39 Gripen/Griffin is a light single-engine multirole fighter aircraft made by Swedish aerospace company Saab. It has a delta wing and canard configuration with relaxed stability design and fly-by-wire flight controls.
For a single seater, it is powered by the Volvo RM12, and for a two-seat aircraft design referred to as Gripen NG or Super-JAS is powered by General Electric F414G.
Gripen has a top speed of Mach 2. Capable of carrying 6.5 tons of weapons. It’s worth approximately USD60 million compared to USD30 million worth FA-50 each.
“We are hoping that we will soon acquire our first modern fighter aircraft, next to the newly acquired one squadron of Korean made fighting eagle FA-50PH aircraft,” Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said as reported by the government-owned Philippine News Agency.
According to sources, Gripen is the future modern fighter jets for the Philippine Air Force.
“Gripen represents the ultimate in operational efficiency capable of fulfilling a range of roles, either alone or as part of a wider defense network,” SAAB said.
It also says that Gripen is “the world’s most agile fighter in close combat and also difficult to match in any air combat situation.
SAAB has incorporated a state-of-the-art weapon system as Gripen has a look-down/shoot-down capability in air combat in engaging aircraft, missiles, and even the smallest, low-flying targets.
Gripen is a true multirole fighter, designed as such from the very beginning. This means it can perform missions in all the three roles: air-to-air, air-to-surface and reconnaissance. It can change role while airborne, and it can even act in multiple roles simultaneously. This simultaneous capability is likely to grow over time, as the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar and other systems are further developed.
Gripen has stable, affordable acquisition and low life cycle costs. This gives air forces a reliable basis on which to budget for operations and fleet sustainment over the long term. Gripen’s inherent reliability and low maintenance footprint boost force levels and operational effectiveness.
It can take-off and land in short runways, cost-effective, tailor-made and top-of-the-line aircraft comparable to the world’s best.
Representatives from Gripen were in Manila last month to participate in the annual PAF symposium held at the Mall of Asia in the suburban Pasay City. They said they would be happy to sell in the Philippines the multi-role Gripen fighter jets. - Carl E.