Tuesday, October 12, 2010

NDTV's Vishnu Som Rides The Gripen NG!

Friend and NDTV associate editor Vishnu Som was in Sweden recently. He rode backseat in the magnificent Gripen NG demo aircraft (that's him in the photos), becoming the first civilian to do so. Vishnu has also flown in the Gripen-D on a previous occasion. These photographs have been made available by him exclusively to Livefist. Thanks!

My account of flying the Gripen-D is here.

Photos by Jamie Hunter

24 comments :

Practical me said...

Hi shiv, thanks for the pictures.. beautiful aircraft and also read your account of flying the Gripen, very nicely written.. it was like reading a very exciting novel! :)waiting for the MMRCA updates as you has mentioned in one of your posts

My gut says gripen is going to clinch the deal..

Anonymous said...

Hi shiv, I think you are a strong supporter of gripen. But it is not going to add any value to IAF requirement. We want ultra modern fighter like Eurofighter of raffel.

Anonymous said...

@anon 2:46
And in what respect would you not consider the Gripen as equally ultra modern as the Eurofighter or "raffel"?

Anonymous said...

Actually, the Gripen brings more to the table than the other two. Its ready to go to battle with the Meteor TODAY, a game changing BVR which the Rafale and the Eurofighter wont have till about 2014, the Swedes have been masters of data links for DECADES, its cheaper than the Rafale and the Errofighter, the Swedes have guaranteed supply of the GE engine, a variant of the same engine selected for the LCA, it supercruises unlike the others. The Swedes are willing to handover source codes of everything. It has a Swashplate radar as well. How is it inferior to anything competing?

Anonymous said...

The Gripen is a light weight fighter in the same weight category as the LCA. Why on earth would we want 2 different fighters belonging to the same weight category in our airforce?

Regarding the Metoer, by the time we make the selection & sign the deal the Eurofighter will probably Meteor compatible too!
The Gripen is also very much dependent on the US for parts.

parvas24 said...

Nice bird .. just of of curiosity I want to know if the Gripen NG can out climb , out fight , out run the newer Block 50 F16 ?

Kunal said...

Do not underestimate the Swedes. They actually have some of the coolest and hottest technologies across platforms and systems. What they lack is the deep marketing pockets and the heavyweight political clout. In fact the Gripen is way superior to the F-16 (technically). Also, the Gripen has everything - in fact more than than what - the IAF needs and is willing to give and share tech in total without riders. So, if we keep the political angle out for a while, then I'm more than 100% sure that the Gripen will make its way into the IAF.

Besides, as things stand today, the Rafale has no future outside France. As for the Typhoon, it too is beset with hosts of problems and things aren't as hunky dory as they are made out to be. A dedicated research over the Internet will reveal a lot in this regard.

Also, do not presume that all in our DODO (read DRDO), MoD, and IAF are are good-for-nothing fools who don't have a clue as to what's going on. In fact IAF and IN are very, very smart buyers (though I would reserve my comments for the IA). Any keen observer should not have missed the interpretations from the signal sent out by DRDO/ADA in the Tejas engine award. The impression I get is that EADS is trying to be very street smart which is not cutting ice with India's defense estab.

Lastly, India has been more than satisfied with the Bofors gun where the party was unsettled by the political circus to the country's detriment.

Anonymous said...

Interesting piece by Vishnu !
Lots of details, gripen ng supercruise capability is incredibly overrated. Same thing for the autonomy.

Mr. Ra said...

Gripen is moderate in almost all matters. It will certainly add positive quantity in to our arsenal.

Kunal said...

Anon @ 8:23 PM

Neither the Gripen nor the Typhoon are capable of sustained supercruise. For sustained supercruise 2 elements are a must:

1) Appropriate military thrust, and
2) Clean aerodynamic config with no external stores.

So, any participant in the MMRCA claiming the same is not to be taken seriously on that count and should be treated as a mktg. ploy.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kunal ... I have experienced sustained supercruise in the Gripen NG ... I dont want to get into the Mach number, but with 2 Air to Air missiles (it does it with 4)... we supercruised at 23,000 feet and would have kept going until we ran out of gas. At higher altitudes the speed would have been even higher.
Thanks
Vishnu Som

Anonymous said...

"So, any participant in the MMRCA claiming the same is not to be taken seriously on that count and should be treated as a mktg. ploy."

Exactly and SAAB's gripen ng has been exposed. Gripen's supercruise is marginal (reheat then MIL power) and in realistic operational conditions it is meaningless (2 or 4 AAMs only).

Kunal said...

OK Vishnu, take your word for it. My statement was based on the theory of aerodynamic physics. But, since you have practically experienced, you may be right. There could be more between theory and practical.

Anonymous said...

Kunal ... Supercruise is a genuine game changer ... and remember the NG I flew is essentially a flying hack ... a new build, single seater built from the onset to NG construction specifications would be one mighty fast jet. It would lose the weight of the second cockpit, and test equipment as well ... I am told ALL supercruisers need reheat to cross the supersonic barrier ... but for a jet that tools around at .8 to
.85 Mach ... making the transition to Mach 1 means using burner for only a few seconds ... This is obviously the case of a pretty clean jet with just two wingtip missiles but one wont really eat up a whole lot more fuel if she is flying with 4 AAMs.

And to the anonymous comment on how 4 AAMs isnt a useful load ... I beg to differ. With the additional capability of supercruise ... the trade off of 2 fewer AAMs may well be worth it.

Cheers
Vishnu Som

JD said...

With due respect to all opinions my 2 cents.

Apart from technical reasons (all competitors) which will always have pros and cons,
Gripen NG is suitable strategically and will be opted for in the MMRCA decision.
Thought of a solution as if its a personal problem and the logic seemed clear.

Objective :-
1.)Replace old/outdated stuff with something to be used in the next 15-20yrs till 5th gen stuff kicks in full steam.
2.)Get far ahead and remain far ahead of potential enemies.
3.)Ensure theres little or no fallout from the anger of disgusted losers.

Main oponents:-
Pakistan - has little or no money to buy fancy stuff.But still will try to lay its hands on watever it can from the world
China - Very advanced and active indegenous efforts.No stopping them.

Solution :-
Mig 35 : dont need to declare....will keep buying in small numbers as and when required,russia knws it.
Plus numerous other defence deals

Typhoon & Rafael : gr8 options ,very costly not just for us but for our neighbours (if offered by grumpy losers).

F16IN & F18 : Tried and tested work horses ,will be nice addition to have variety, in the majorly russian machinery,
but USA internal politics might disrupt its supply / parts whenever.Will never offer complete TOT to anyone.
Whether india buys it or not US will supply its stuff to pakistan if it suits its strategic interest.India does not and will not have a say

on this

Gripen NG : Everything swedish will be given with TOT,evrything American wont be able with TOT obviously.
Engine might be an issue,so ensure a F414 supply route through LCA logic.Let commerce govern that gamble and pray for Kaveri

maturity by that time.

Now, the greatest reason what can/will Pak buy once the decsion is made.There would be many sulking competitors suffering from

the effects of recession.
Chinese stuff,or the cheapest stuff.
Chinese stuff we cant stop,F16 we can't as USA uses it as a carrot for pakistan.
Cheapest Gripen we can and we should block.

It seems in the logic of war and strategies the best offence is to eliminate as many if not all resources any country/person can use

against you.

Regards,
JD

Manish Kumar said...

Shiv & Vishnu Som,

Nice to see that we have a very knowledgeable blogger community esp on MMRCA.

With lots of public opininon the Indian Govt will have to take a very cautious approach in finalising the MMRCA deal keeping in view the sentiments of Indian public.
Your views on this :)

Manish

Dainik Hindustan

Kunal said...

Vishnu Som @ 4:20 PM

As i have stated earlier, sustained supercruise is a function of:

aerodynamic config., mil. thrust, drag, L/D ratio, specific excess thrust, etc.

As per aerodynamic physics, none of the participants in the MMRCA is capable of sustained supercruise under operational conditions.

Also, I am aware of the advertised supercruising ability at M 1.2 with 2/4 AAMs n 50% internal fuel, but these sort of claims are nothing more than car sales ads claiming mileage as 25 kmpl with the rider *under test conditions* which are meaningless under actual operating conditions (here test conditions means driving between 40-50 kmph continuously in 5th gear). So, Anon @ 1:13 pm is not entirely wrong when s/he states that under realistic operational conditions it is meaningless.

Also, for supercruising to be meaningful, it should be between M 1.5 to 1.8; only then it can be a game changer. Up-to-date only 2 a/c have been specifically designed for sustained supercruising and they are F-16XL, which never went into production, and the F-22. The PAK FA/FGFA will be the third such a/c.

Having said that, I nevertheless, still rate the Gripen as the top most candidate for selection from the IAF's perspective (politics aside).

Anonymous said...

Hi Kunal ... Valid points all ... I should point out ... that our super cruise sortie ... which included plenty of high g manoeuvers and also a low speed profile lasted more than 45 minutes ... we would have been close to full internal fuel ... but yes, it is a delicate operation since you lose speed very quickly if you are not in a straight and level flight. I really don't want to get into our supercruise Mach numbers but they were very robust.
Thanks
Vishnu

lasted

Kunal said...

Dear Vishnu,

First, I must thank you for your responses and for sharing what you have experienced first hand and much appreciate the same.

Your last post @ 11:39 AM is quite interesting and while aptly withholding the confidential matters, is still quite revealing and I must say that a 45-min. supercruise sortie is indeed excellent by any standard.

What I can make out from your posts is that the NG/IN will have some custom designing. In that case what you state is quite feasible.

Anonymous said...

And we thought journos were done with joyrides by now.

Anonymous said...

Dear Shiv & Vishnu Som!

Source: http://www.gripenindia.com/

Czech Gripen Tiger Squadron Makes Its Mark In NATO

The Czech air force with Gripen fighters have become the best tiger squadron of NATO at the prestigious international exercise in the Netherlands, reports Czech website iDNES.cz

The 211th tactical squadron with Jas-39 Gripen won full membership in the prestigious club of NATO Tiger squadrons.

Commander of the 211th Tactical Squadron Jaroslav Mika says "Two years ago we had a trial member status. So soon it certainly never expected it, but thanks to the huge effort we have just seen."

The elite club of the best pilots in the Alliance does not take just anyone. Full membership is usually preceded by years of work. The Czech Air Force's sole representative was the Tiger Squadron. Now with the Gripen, the Czech airmen's success was compounded when they became the best tiger squadron and gained possession of the unique silver statuette of a tiger (Tiger Silver Trophy).

"The newly adopted squadron of Gripen only confirms that we have become a leader in the top flight of NATO," said Air Force Commander George Verner.

During the exercises at the base of Volkel Netherlands, Air Force airmen have completed together hundreds of realistic missions. The Tiger squadrons exercise each year involves 60 aircraft and helicopters. The pilots perform a variety of demanding flight tasks such as escorting helicopters with paratroopers over enemy territory in search and destroy missions as well as rescuing downed colleagues.
… [...]

Anonymous said...

Shiv! Breaking news, 2010-10-20

Gripen fire Meteor for Swedish integration programme

Source: http://www.gripen.com/en/MediaRelations/News/2010/gripen_fire_meteor_for_swedish_integration_programme.htm

FMV recently conducted a so-called Safe-Separation firing from Gripen with the Meteor missile at the Vidsel test range.

It was the first live-firing of the Swedish Integration programme. Gripen has also been the launch platform from the start of the development of the Meteor missile.

The purpose of this test was to verify the model on separation of the missile from the aircraft. The impact from the missile exhaust plume on the aircraft engine was also studied. As an important part of the integration work the data-link was verified as well.

An initial evaluation showed that the missile separated from the inboard pylon station in a normal manner and the data link between the missile and the aircraft was activated. Temperature data from the aircraft engine was also monitored. The missiles flight was terminated as planned at a predetermined position.


“Saab together with FMV Test & Evaluation Department accomplished the campaign very successfully. Saab evaluates and analyzes the data gathered from the test firing together with the supplier," said Michael Östergren, Project Manager at FMV.

With this firing the first of two phases in the Swedish integration is now completed. The first phase was designed to support the development of the missile while the next phase is designed to fully integrate the missile on Gripen. The final integration with Gripen for the Swedish Air Force has recently begun and is expected to be finalized during 2013.

Anonymous said...

Shiv! Breaking news, 2010-10-21

First Gripen NG Production Drawing Released in Brazil


Source: http://www.gripen.com/en/MediaRelations/News/2010/First_Gripen_NG_Production_Drawing_Released_in_Brazil.htm

On the 20th of October, Akaer released to Saab the first 3D model and production drawing of the Gripen NG in Sao Jose de Campos.

One year ago an agreement was signed between Akaer and Saab regarding the participation in the Gripen NG development program. The purpose of the agreement was to lay the foundations for good cooperation between the two companies and to support Saab's development and production for the rear and intermediate fuselage sections, wings and landing gear doors for Gripen NG.

Immediately after the agreement signature, a team of Brazilian engineers from Akaer were stationed in Sweden to acquaint themselves with the NG project to participate in the development and to learn about Saab's requirements and methods in the form of technology transfer through 'on the job training'.

At the same time, facilities at Akaer in Brazil were prepared and certified for the work activities related to Gripen NG development, including special security controlled areas equipped with advanced network systems connected with Saab in Sweden.

During 2010 the Akaer team participated in the conception phase including design, stress, tooling and industrialization. The activity migrated to Akaer’s facilities in Brazil along the year.

The technical package including the 3D model and production drawings released today was sent to Saab’s data bank in Linkoping, Sweden through a secure datalink.

Akaer is leading the T1 Brazilian consortium that includes Inbra Aerospace, Friuli, Minoica and Winstall involved in the development of the Gripen NG intermediate and rear fuselages, wings and main landing gear doors.

If selected for the Brazilian F-X2 Program, the serial production of the Gripen NG segments for Brazil and export will be made, as a sole source, from a new facility to be established in São Bernardo do Campo.

Lennart Sindahl Saab Executive Vice President and Business Group Chairman Aeronautics says that – “The release of this first drawing has proven the successful co-operation between our two companies proving Saab’s commitment and investment in Brazilian industry and as a future partner. We look forward to our further development together.”

Akaer CEO Cesar Augusto da Silva, Akaer CEO says: This is the first drawing release of a supersonic fighter aircraft ever developed in Brazil and demonstration of the successful technology transfer process conducted by Saab. Akaer is proud of its involvement and the capabilities demonstrated by its team to comply with such challenging task.

Akaer is a Brazilian engineering company and one of the major suppliers of development services to the Brazilian aerospace and defence industry both nationally and internationally.

Andy said...

Great Photos of a great Aircraft. Enjoyed reading your account about the Grippen also