Monday, April 28, 2008

MMRCA Begins: Next-Gen Gripen in IAF livery

I'm a sucker for these artist's impression pictures of fighters, especially when these chaps paint their machines in IAF livery. Now doesn't the Gripen just look delectable in IAF colours? You're seeing it first here on LiveFist! I'm posting the releases that all the companies made today following their bid submissions. Here's the first, from Gripen India:

Gripen International is proud to offer the Indian Air Force Gripen IN, tailor-made to meet all current and future requirements of the Indian Air Force and employing only the very best and latest technologies from Sweden, Europe and the US.

Gripen IN is based on the newly launched Gripen NG, the next generation of Gripen, an enhanced version of the well proven Net Centric Warfare Gripen multi-role fighter, which has unbeatable low acquisition, operation and support costs. Gripen IN provides freedom of choice in weapons and sensors and an unrivalled sustained sortie generation rate through high availability.

Following submission of the Saab/Gripen team's bid Eddy de la Motte, Gripen International's India Campaign Director said "By choosing Gripen IN, India will receive an affordable world class weapons system that will enhance India's military operational capability and industrial defence base well into the future and in addition, will create independent capabilities right from the word go".

"Gripen IN will provide India with a capability that offers complete independence of weapon supply. In addition, Gripen IN comes with the guarantee that we are committed to ensuring that India will have the fighter that the Indian Air Force wants" he continued.

"We will do this by transferring all necessary technologies to enable Indian industry and the Air Force to build, operate and modify Gripen to meet all indigenous requirements over time. Gripen IN has huge future growth potential for India to harness to the maximum extent, ensuring that this fighter above all others, will stay in the lead as future technology brings yet greater effectiveness and firepower" he continued.

"Gripen is fully operational today and with the total long-term commitment and support of the Swedish government, I believe that Gripen IN will provide the basis for significant future Indian and international co-operative programmes in future".


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

But does'nt DRDO and ADA claim that Tejas is better than Gripen and also Tejas cost way lower than Gripen.

Ankur said...

Damn. The Gripen can never be ignored offhand again after that photo. She looks *fine*.

That said:

"employing only the very best and latest technologies from Sweden, Europe and the US." From the US?! WTF? And independent supplier is meant to be just that: *independent*.

"transferring all necessary technologies to enable Indian industry and the Air Force to build, operate and modify Gripen to meet all indigenous requirements over time". How much of the US technologies will they share with us in order to help us put the jigsaw together?

"will create independent capabilities". What capabilities, exactly?

Hard to take this beauty of an aircraft too seriously. I mean, it is a great effort for Sweden, but it is simply embarrassing to have them try and sell it to us.

To me it looks like a Tejas MkIII.

Anonymous said...

come on people dont judge things on basis of the photos

Abhiman said...

Mr. Aroor, the efficacy of a fighter can be judged primarily by its range-payload specifications only. Other "gizmos" like AESA radars, voice activation, colour MFDs, SAR radars, target pods etc. have almost become plug-and-play devices, that are independent of the particular fighter plane on which they are affixed.

An example is the baseline Su-30 of 1992, which the IAF had customized to include digital FBW, Bars radar, Israeli Litening target pod and HMS, and DRDO's vast bouquet of avionics.

Similarly, the Tejas also has voice activation, Israeli Litening target pod, HMDS, digital FBW, inter-aircraft datalink, and an AESA radar (if Eurofighter's offer is accepted). In fact, one may be "hard pressed" to find any technology in the Gripen, that is absent from the Tejas. Similar to the Gripen, Tejas also has 8 external hardpoints for varying payloads like A2A missiles, bombs, and fuel-pods. Both can carry an equal payload of missiles and bombs in the normal fighter configuration. There will be a tactically minor difference in the weight of max. payloads carried.

Thus, the Gripen cannot be chosen as an MRCA bypassing the Tejas. If it is chosen, it would indicate high corruption in the defence ministry and the IAF.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Abhiman, such a arrogant attitude. You does not seem to know much of the Gripen IN.
Tejas does not match this:
Totalfuel 7100 kg
interal fuel 3300 kg
dry thrust max 1,2 mach
Max thust 10,5-11,5 kN
Hardpoints 10
Ferry range 2200 nm
Max takeoff weight 16200 kg
A2A turnaround 10 min
typical A2G ordinance 6*500lb LGB/4 Derbys/2pythons/2*1900kg EFT/designatorpod
typical A2G ordinance 2
8*500lb LGB/2pythons/2*1900kg EFT/designatorpod

typical A2A ordinance 6 Derbys/2python/2*1900kg EFT
lots of netrific capilities
A2A refueling
Hot refueling
Hot engineswap
Cheapest in all accounts
And the most independent(most TOT and such)

Gripen IN is a small bird, but not as the tejas.
All reqiurements are fullfilled for MMCRA, that means all..

Anonymous said...

That is only the airframe stuff, i can add.

Abhiman said...

Anonymous, as per the Swedish Defence Materials Administration, the max. takeoff weight of the latest Gripen is 14,000 kgs which is only 500 kgs more than the Tejas' max. all-up weight of 13,500 kgs. It's maximum external payload is 5,300 kgs that is not much more than Tejas' 4,200 kgs carried on 8 hardpoints.

As regards multiple hardpoints, Tejas can also be fitted with multiple launchers on it's pylons (similar to Gripen) to take the number of weapon-stations to 10 or 11.

Like Gripen-NG, Tejas shall also be equipped with an ESM and designator pods. It shall also have in-flight refuelling of many types.


P.S. : From your tone, you sound like a representative or a solicitor from SAAB.

Anonymous said...


it seems you are referring to the current Gripen C; What saab is trying to sell to India is Gripen NG, a significantly upgraded version. You find some more info here (page 17)

Internal fuel, max take-off weight, range, number of pylons are all increased compared to the current Gripen version.

Arun said...

I dont know where you got your facts from, but I dont think the Gripen IN is any better than an LCA Mk2 will be.
The Gripen IN will be powered by the GEF414 engine, which produces 98KN of thrust with full afterburner.
Thus it will be able to have a higher max takeoff weight than the Gripen C.
But if the LCA Mk2 version is modified to use the F414, the Gripen and the LCA will have more or less the same capabilities.
I dont think that the Gripen is bad. I just think that the Gripen would be an excuse for the IAF to disregard our own DRDO, and to maybe get kickbacks out of all these defence imports.
Mind you, the DRDO should be willing to make design changes to the Tejas, and come out with an Mk2 version, which should use a more powerful engine. The F414 or the EJ200 can both be upgraded to deliver upto 20-30% more thrust, which will make the Tejas Mk2( and the Gripen NG) much better aircraft.
And you said that the Gripen can do Mach 1.2 at dry thrust(no reheat). Well if that is true, then the F414 will enable the Tejas to supercruise as well.
Engine intake and exhaust geometry and thrust to drag ratio of the airplane itself are the important factors which determine the ability to supercruise.
Drag on a pure delta like the Tejas, is always less than the drag on a canard equipped fighter.
Hence the Tejas should be able to supercruise at a higher Mach number.
But those are but trivial issues.
payload capability of the Tejas can also be increased with the more powerful engine. This would also depend on structural changes to enable airframe to take the extra load. But for a 1000 kg payload increase on both sides, the changes required would be minimal if any.
So my conclusion is that , even though the Gripen NG is an awesome aircraft, with outstanding capabilities, it will be matched in almost every way by an improved Tejas ( Tejas NG?) .
So if the IAF is looking for a medium sized multirole aircraft, it should choose between the typhoon, the hornet, the rafale and the mig.

Arun said...

adding to my previous comment... the choice of a twin engined platform, which will augment the Su 30MKI Flankers, will act as a force multiplier.
The Tejas should be inducted in large numbers(after the more powerful engines are installed) and should form the backbone of the air force and should perform air defence and close air support duties.
This will give enough time to develop the MCA /PAK-FA.
Also, the Kaveri engine development which should be done in parallel should target max reheat thrust to be around the 110 to 120 KN mark. That way, we can improve the Tejas with an MK3 version.
I dont know the fools in the IAF who cannot manage a defence project. This is so easy. The key here is transparency.
Thus the IAF can have a mix of around 30% indigenous fighters, and
the rest would be foreign.
By 2040 , we should be able to produce our own larger fighters which should replace all foreign fighters.
Going back to the choice of MMRCA,
My choice would be the Rafale. I could also go for the F-18 or the Mig.
It depends on whether the Kaveri can be installed in the MRCA when the Kaveri is ready. And Dassault has indicated a possibility of doing that, and that would also make more sense if SNECMA becomes the engine partner with GTRE for developing the Kaveri.
But like i said, it can go with either the hornet or the mig if retrofitting the kaveri is identified as a possibility.
The indigenous engine ( and we could slowly develop indigenous replacement avionics and radar systems as well) will ensure that the foreign aircraft will remain operational even if the supplier nation refuses spares because of sanctions( I doubt that scenario will ever come again, but to be safe).
Jai Hind.