F-16 versus Saab Gripen

Agreed, it will never be a fair fight but how would the F-16 match up against the ... ?
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kacman

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Unread post05 Feb 2005, 16:59

I see your point. It's like the KAI (korean) as it can design its own fighter based on their Viper assembly experiences. continuity will bring some sort of stability I guess. You guys didn't get the same package (Gripen) as the Mirage's?
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toan

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Unread post06 Feb 2005, 10:39

kacman wrote:So what's wrong with the Gripen after all Thunder? Not many people heard about how it performs in the air against real aircraft say.. Viper or Hornet.

Heard so many good things about her but just a rumours. Mind to share with us Thunder?


A few years ago, SWAF made an interesting comparison among JAS-39A, F-16C/D Block40/42, F/A-18C/D, and M2000-5:

  1. Gripen's acceleration in sub-sonic and trans-sonic domains: faster than F/A-18C/D and M2000-5, but slower than F-16C.
  2. Gripen's instaneous turn rate: significantly better than F-16C, F/A-18C/D, and M2000-5.
  3. Gripenss sustaneous turn rate: worse than F-16C, F/A-18C/D, but better than M2000-5.
  4. The Gripen achieved the AoA of more than 100 degrees during the flight test, but due to the reason for flight safety, the normal setting of the upper limit of the AoA for the Gripen?s FCS is 50 degrees now.
  5. Gripen's frontal RCS: about 1/5 of F/A-18C/D's, 1/3 of F-16C/D Block40/42's, and 1/2 of Mirage-2000-5's.
  6. Detective range of PS-05A radar (JAS-39): a little shorter than AN/APG-65/73 (F/A-18C/D), but 20% longer than RDY (M2000-5), and 40% longer than the AN/APG-68 for F-16C/D Block40/42.
  7. While combating with the basic type of MIG-29 (MIG-29G??) in BVR engagement:
    • JAS-39A: the effective range for Gripen to detect MIG-29 is 60 km longer than the effective range for MIG-29 to detect Gripen.
    • M2000-5: the effective range for Mirage to detect MIG-29 is 32 km longer than the effective range for MIG-29 to detect Mirage.
    • F/A-18C/D: the effective range for Hornet to detect MIG-29 is 25 km longer than the effective range for MIG-29 to detect Hornet.
    • F-16C/D: the effective range for Falcon to detect MIG-29 is 5 km longer than the effective range for MIG-29 to detect Falcon.
  8. Maintenance of GRIPEN:
    • The MTBF for JAS-39A is 7.6 flight hours, and the SAAB declared that the MTBF for the USAF?s frontline fighters (except F/A-22 perhaps) is no more than 4.1 flight hours.
    • The man hours of maintenance for each flight-hour: 12 man-hours initially, than reduced to 10 man-hours (F/A-18 E/F: 15 man hours of maintenance for each flight-hour).
    • The charge for each flight-hour: 2,500 USD initially, than reduced to 2,000 USD.
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kacman

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Unread post06 Feb 2005, 12:59

Thanks toan, that's pretty neat but I hope it's really true, not just another marketing gonzo by the swedish company. it is quite intriguing if it is really true the ps-05 can detect mig type further than any other radar type (especially the apg family)...

Im quite sceptical.. anybody? Those aircraft comparison, was it from a real flight or just comparing on the paper (based on EM chart)?
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toan

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Unread post06 Feb 2005, 14:27

As a light radar (156 kg only) for a light fighter that is less than 7 tonne-class, the detective range and the performance of PS-05A is quiet impressive. It can detect a target with 5m2 RCS 120 km, TWS 14 targets and engaging four of them with AIM-120 at the same time.

However, another main reason for JAS-39 to have the best performance in "first look" among other western fighters that are mentioned is the small frontal RCS of Gripen. Take F/A-18C/D for example, although AN/APG-65/73's detective range is a little longer than PS-05A, the frontal RCS of F/A-18C/D is five times more than JAS-39. According the basic formula of RCS, the detective range for MIG-29 to detect Gripen will be about 2/3 of the detective range for MIG-29 to detect F/A-18C/D. That is the reason why although F/A-18 has the radar with longer range, the Gripen still has the better performance in "first look".
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agilefalcon16

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Unread post06 Feb 2005, 15:30

I know that the Jas-39 can outmaneuver the F-16C, but how about the F-16A? Because the F-16A weighs less than the F-16C, is there a possibility that the F-16A can outmaneuver the Gripen?
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kacman

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Unread post08 Feb 2005, 02:42

I don't think so, no doubt the A is lighter, but it is also less powerful. Its speed bleeds of very very fast after the first break.
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Unread post09 Feb 2005, 14:37

Hi, I am new here.

I think that the newest F-16C Block 50/52+ with AN-APG-68V9X(M) radar beats the Gripen.

Simple comparison: The F-16's radar's range is about 160 km while Gripen has "only" 120 km. Secondly, F-16C50+ can use AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles while JAS-39 cannot. It is also important, that Viper can carry wide number of Air-To-Ground weapons (Maverick, Paneway, JDAM, JSOW, HARM, AGM-88 and much more...). Gripen can only have Maverick, Paneway and Swedish anti-ship missile RBS-15, which is, however, significantly better than AGM-130. On the other hand Gripen can land on most of railways. But F-16C50+ has more advantages That's why our goverment has selected F-16C/D Block50/52+
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toan

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Unread post09 Feb 2005, 16:14

kubam4a1 wrote:Hi, I am new here.

I think that the newest F-16C Block 50/52+ with AN-APG-68V9X(M) radar beats the Gripen

Simple comparison: The F-16's radar's range is about 160 km while Gripen has "only" 120 km. Secondly, F-16C50+ can use AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles while JAS-39 cannot. It is also important, that Viper can carry wide number of Air-To-Ground weapons (Maverick, Paneway, JDAM, JSOW, HARM, AGM-88 and much more...). Gripen can only have Maverick, Paneway and Swedish anti-ship missile RBS-15, which is, however, significantly better than AGM-130. On the other hand Gripen can land on most of railways. But F-16C50+ has more advantages That's why our goverment has selected F-16C/D Block50/52+


1. The newest member for Falcon's family is F-16E/F Block 60/62. The UAE government spent 6.4 billion USD to LM to design, develop, and produce 80 fighters for its air-force. Actually, comparing with the previous fighters of the Falcon's family, the F-16E/F Block 60/62 is almost a brand-new fighter. More than 70% of its structure and 100% of its software, FCS, radar, EW, and engine are different from the F-16C/D.

2. According to the data I have collected, the radar that can detect the target of standard fighter (RCS = 5m2) 160 km away should be AN/APG-80 AESA radar for F-16 E/F. The designer declared this radar's detective range is two times of the detective range of AN/APG-68V7. The MTBF of AN/APG-80 is more than 500 hours, and it can TWS 20 targets at the same time (Which may be increrased to 50 targets in the future).

3. As for the AN/APG-68V9XM, according to the information I remembered, this radar's detective range should be 30% longer than the detective range of AN/APG-68V7. I think the difference of the detective range for AN/APG-68V9XM and PS-05A is not very significant, and since the Gripen has a smaller frontal RCS than F-16C/D as I mentioned before, I think Gripen still has a slight advantage in "First Look" comparing with F-16C Block 50/52+ in BVR engagement. Although this advantage may be too slight to effect the result of BVR combat.

4. Although Gripen can't use AIM-9X, it will begin to incorporate IRIS-T, a off-board and highly agile AAM that is the same class as AIM-9X, to its weapon-list since this year.

5. The Viper can choose and carry wide number of air-to-ground weapons that are much more than the Gripen can should be the most significant advantage for Viper over the Gripen. Take JDAM for example, the Gripen will not be able to use it until 2008 at least. I think this difference should be the main reason and factor for the result of the Polish air-force's evaluation of its F-X fighter: the score of F-16C Block 50/52+ is about 3% higher than the score of JAS-39.
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kubam4a1

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Unread post09 Feb 2005, 17:27

1. I understand - it's my mistake. There were also F-16 Block 60 bought by United Arab Emirates. I wanted to say "The best from F-16C/D family, bought by Greece and Poland".

2 & 3. In polish "Nowa technika wojskowa" (PL: "Recent military technics") magazine there was comparison of: F-16C/D Block 50/52+, Gripen, Mirage 2000-5 Mk.2. They wrote that range of Viper's radar is 160 km (APG-68V9XM) or 80-100 km. If the range is 30 percent more, we've got no more than 130 km - similar to Gripen's. So I've got a problem.

4. As I remember, IRIS-T weren't offered to Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary also won't have them. It's why I knew only about AIM-9M - which is significantly worse than AIM-9MX.
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Jaydin

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Unread post13 Feb 2005, 09:20

Quote: 4. Although Gripen can't use AIM-9X, it will begin to incorporate IRIS-T, a off-board and highly agile AAM that is the same class as AIM-9X, to its weapon-list since this year.

IRS-T Isn't a missile, it's simply an Infa Red Scan and Track pod, meaning you do not need radar to fire Sidewinders, flip on the IRS-T make sure it's pointed at the enemy, wait for tone..fire..missile locked, and tracking.
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Wildcat

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Unread post13 Feb 2005, 11:15

Errr, Jaydin, you actually male a mistake: an IRST (InfraRed Search and Track) is a IR system used to find targets, but the IRIS-T (Infra-Red Imagery Sidewinder Tail-Controlled) is a very modern short-range missile developed for Germany, Italy, Sweden, Greece, Canada and Norway.
Try:http://www.eurofighter.starstreak.net/common/AA/irist.html
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Jaydin

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Unread post14 Feb 2005, 04:53

Mmmmm..I didn't realize what he was talking about, I was going on about the IRS-T pod LOL my bad
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toan

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Unread post17 Feb 2005, 20:35

2005 Combat Aircraft, Vol. 6, No.5, Page 37:

An Norwegian pilot of F-16 declared: "During the winter exercise last year, we learned some interesting things when flying against the Swedish Gripens. With the F-16, we can out-maneuver the Gripen, thanks to our more powerful engine."
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renatohm

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Unread post18 Feb 2005, 17:37

Well, well... people may begin calling me boring, but I will go for my 2 cents (probably less)...

Gripen is a brand new fighter, and it still has years to evolve as the Viper. Weapons are what make the fighter (an F-16.net member uses the very cool signature "Without weapons it's just another airliner"), and the Viper is, no doubt, the 3rd best plane in this regard (1st is F-15E, 2nd is F/A-18E/F, since both carry almost all the operational weapons the Viper does, and some more).

About the aircrafts themselves, the Gripen has some very good features, like the smaller RCS - altough the Viper can use LO (Low Observable) coatings - and better aerodynamics, plus a really impressive STOL (Short TakeOff;Landing) capability.

The potential client for any of them must consider the pack. Poland, for example, is now part of NATO, so it can buy most weapons accesible to NATO members, like the AIM-9X, AMRAAM, JDAM, etc., so they chose the Viper.

For Brazil, unfortunately, Uncle Sam won't sell AMRAAMS, JDAM or any of them class. :( So I go for the Flanker. Both Gripen and Viper are very good, but their range is too short. Gripen can refuel, but it does not solve the problem.

Viper for Brazil would be fine, except by the weapons restrictions. The newest versions (F-16I, block 60) have almost as good a range as the Flanker without CFT and/or external tanks.. Someone mentioned early that the refueling system of the Viper is better. For USAF surely is, but for the rest of the world, it isn't, for 2 reasons:

1) Only the USAF has the 'boom' refueler - all the others use the 'probe and drogue'.
2) The 'boom' cannot be used for buddy-buddy refueling, 'probe and drogue' can.
Attachments
fxcompara.jpg
4 Flankers with 16 AAM + 7.2 ton payload = 8 Gripens (7.2 ton) payload + 4 Gripen (8-16 AAM) + 2 KC-135 tankers
amxm400.jpg
Flanker with a CFT, an M-400 recce pod attached to it, a Sapsan (Russian pod similar to the Sniper XR) and X29T (Kh-29T) TV guided ASM (Air-to-Surface Missile)
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Unread post19 Feb 2005, 04:47

Viper for Brazil would be fine, except by the weapons restrictions. The newest versions (F-16I, block 60) have almost as good a range as the Flanker without CFT and/or external tanks.. Someone mentioned early that the refueling system of the Viper is better. For USAF surely is, but for the rest of the world, it isn't, for 2 reasons:

1) Only the USAF has the 'boom' refueler - all the others use the 'probe and drogue'.
2) The 'boom' cannot be used for buddy-buddy refueling, 'probe and drogue' can.


There were some interesting discussions on ways to refuel the Viper inflight including a probe and drogue system with the probe on an external wing tank in a discussion on IDF/AF modifications. That option seems like it would work very well for smaller countries that wouldn't want to have to operate a traditional boom refueler.
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