JAS-39 Gripen Pic GalleryThis is the newest Swedish military aircraft. It was on the drawing board in the early 80's.

The first JAS 39 Gripen squadron was declared fully operational with the wing F 7 in Såtenäs starting on Oct 1:st 1997, the second was in 1998. Both replaced AJS 37 Viggen squadrons. Såtenäs hosts the new "Gripen center" with training for all categories of personnel.

F 10 at Ängelholm got their first Gripens in the late 1999. There will be two squadrons on F-10, where they will replace first J 35J Draken (retired in 1999) and then AJS 37 Viggen. These Gripens will be moved to F-17 Kallinge, du to the disarmament of F-10.

F 16 in Uppsala, which now has two squadrons of JA 37 Viggen is next, with two squadrons in 2000-2001.

Six more squadrons will follow in 2001-2006, where they will be placed in which order will be decided later. By 2001, the fighter composition of the air force will be:

F 21 Luleå, two squadrons JA 37 Viggen, one AJS 37 Viggen
F 4 Östersund, two squadrons JA 37 Viggen
F 16 Uppsala, two squadrons JAS 39 Gripen  (F 16 are now under disarmament. Where the Gripens are to be moved, is still unknown)
F 7 Såtenäs, two squadrons JAS 39 Gripen
F 10 Ängelholm, two squadrons JAS 39 Gripen  (F 10 are now under disarmament. The Gripens from F 10 are planed to be moved to F 17 Kallinge)
F 17 Kallinge, two squadrons JA 37 Viggen

By 2006, there will be twelve Gripen squadrons and one JA 37 Viggen squadron, with two squadrons' worth of them placed in reserve. This number might change due to disarmament.

On 18 November 1998, the South African government announced its selection of Gripen, and will over the coming months negotiate for a purchase of 28 crafts. This number has lately decended to 6 crafts, due to the South African economy. The rest of the aircrafts (22), might be bought later.

The specification for this aircraft says that must be able to operate from 800 m runways, so actual take off and landing distance is significantly less, and since early on in the program, all flights from Saab's facility in Linköping are flown from within a 9 m x 800 m outline painted on the runway.

The JAS has improved almost everything compared to its predecessor, the Viggen. It weighs less, carries more weapons and has longer combat radius. And you can buy 8 SAAB JAS 39 Gripen for the same price as one F-22 Raptor (which isn't a multi-role aircraft like the JAS and is ready for the US Air force in 2005, 8 years after the JAS)


Nation of origin: Sweden
Prime contractor: Saab Military Aircraft
Function: Multi-role fighter, attack, and recon
Crew: 1
Year: 1988
In-service year: 1997
Wing span: 8.4 m / 27 ft 7 in
Length: 14.1 m / 46 ft 3 in
Height: 4.5 m / 14 ft 9 in
Empty weight: 5700 kg
Normal take off weight: 8500 kg in fighter configuration
Max take off weight: 14000 kg
Engine: One upgraded General Electric F404-400 afterburning turbofan engine, >8000kp thrust
Max speed: Mach 2+
Acceleration: M 0.5 to M 1.1 at low altitude in 30 s
Turn performance: 9 G sustained, G onset rate at least 6 G/s 20+ deg/s sustained, 30 deg/s instantaneous
Climb rate: <100 s from brake release to 10 km altitude. Approximatly 180 s to 14 km
Ground turn around: <10 min with a crew of six
Range: 3000 km ferry range
Radar: Ericsson PS-05/A pulse doppler radar (can count anchored ships and follow road traffic at at least 70 km)
Armament: One Mauser Bk27 27mm cannon; Over 7000kg (14 000 lb) payload, including AIM-9L Sidewinder, AIM-120 AMRAAM, Rb15F/Rb75 Anti Ship Missiles, AGM-65 Maverick, guided bombs, free-fall bombs, rockets, DWS 39 submunition dispenser weapons, recce/sensor pods, and fuel tanks on eight external points