F-16 versus Saab Gripen

Agreed, it will never be a fair fight but how would the F-16 match up against the ... ?
  • Author
  • Message
Offline
User avatar

lamoey

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 777
  • Joined: 25 Apr 2004, 17:44
  • Location: 77006

Unread post16 May 2004, 00:18

How would the Viper do against a Gripen?

Would the Viper win a sale where it competes with the Gripen without any US added benefits like the odd C-130 and cheep financing (or threat) :?:

I honestly don?t know, but would like to :wink:
Former Flight Control Technican - We keep'em flying
Offline

Wildcat

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 289
  • Joined: 11 Nov 2003, 12:49

Unread post16 May 2004, 13:39

Well, the Gripen is lighter and cheaper to operate, while the F-16 can carry a heavier load and more different weapons. The avionics seem to be comparable, as well as their A2A abilities.

So I think that, in a world with strictly equal market conditions (never to occur :D ), the Gripen is the best choice if you just need a A2A fighter with good A2G capabilities to defend your airspace, but if you need a truly multirole fighter with good range and good load, the F-16 keeps being the best available.

In my opinion, choosing the Gripen in the real world may only be a political choice, because the Viper would be better for most of countries (but, actually, there are too many US-made parts in the gripen to prevent any United States influence over the deal).
Offline

Ola

Newbie

Newbie

  • Posts: 4
  • Joined: 31 Jul 2004, 00:45

Unread post31 Jul 2004, 00:59

Ok, a cut and pasted collection of data on the

Saab Gripen (Gryphon)
Low-cost, low maintenance multi-role 4th generation fighter jet
  • Length: 14.1 m
  • Span: 8.4 m
  • Height: 4.5 m
  • Empty weight: 5700 kg
  • Normal take off weight: 8500 kg in fighter configuration
  • Payload: 5300 kg
  • Fuel, internal: 3000 litres approx
  • External: 3800 litres
  • Max take off weight: 14000 kg
  • Range: 3000 km ferry range
  • Max speed: M 1.15 (1400 km/h) at sea level, close to Mach 2 at altitude
  • 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 (1-9 G in 1.2 s), min -3 G, 20+ deg/s sustained, 30 deg/s instantaneous
  • Climb rate: <100 s from brake release to 10 km altitude 180 s approx to 14 km
  • Ground turn around: <10 min with a crew of six
Engine: Volvo Aero RM12 (developed from GE F404 with the changes being at least new fan, afterburner flame holder and accessories, partly to make it more suitable to a single engine aircraft)
Max thrust: approx 54 kN, 80.5 kN with reheat, airflow 68 kg/s, compression ratio 27.5:1, mass 1055 kg, overall length 4.04 m, diameter 0.884 m, inlet diameter 0.709 m

Radar: Ericsson PS-05/A pulse doppler radar (can count anchored ships and follow road traffic at at least 90 km and detect typical fighter sized targets at 120 km).

Total mass 156 kg, antenna assembly 25 kg, antenna diameter 0.600 m,
Max power consumption 8.2 kW (114/200V 400Hz AC) and 250 kW 28V.

Predicted MTBF: 170 hours (air operation) Cooling air: 85g/s at 0oC, Cooling liquid: 3.5kW to be absored. Electrical interface: MIL-STD-1553B data bus and fibre optic video output to the display system.

Air to air scanning at 60 (at first 50) deg/s in either 2 120 deg bars, 2 60 deg bars or 4 30 deg bars. Surface mapping and search across 5 x 5 km to 40 x 40 km with GMTI speed adjustable by the pilot.

Four basic air to air modes: Track While Search, Priority Target Tracking gives higher quality tracking for multiple targets, Single Target Track gives highest quality data, Air Combat Mode for short range search and automatic target capture.

Targeting pod: Litening, with FLIR and laser designation.

The Gripen's built-in armament consists of a single Mauser BK-27 27 millimeter cannon, housed in a fairing on the aircraft's belly, offset to left to the rear of the engine intake. Given the aircraft's relatively small size, it generally carries guided weapons to ensure maximum combat effectiveness.

Possible external stores include:
  • Air to air missiles (AAMs). The primary AAM is the Raytheon AIM-120 AMRAAM, and the Gripen's PS-05A radar can guide four of these weapons simultaneously. Sweden is the only nation approved by the US to perform flight tests of AMRAAM, and Swedish AMRAAMs have minor modifications to fit Swedish specifications. Other possible AAM stores include the French Matra Mica; the British Aerospace Sky Flash, built in Sweden as the "Rb-71"; and the Anglo-French MBDA ramjet-powered Meteor BVRAAM or German BGT IRIS-T AAM, now in development. IRIS-T is a short-range heat-seeking AAM with "off-boresight" capability. The Flygvapnet intends to obtain the IRIS-T to replace Swedish-built Sidewinders.
  • Antiship missiles, such as the SAAB RBS-15 turbojet-powered sea-skimming missile. A precision land-attack version of the RBS-15 is now in development.
  • Air to surface missiles, such as the Raytheon AGM-65 Maverick, built in Sweden as the "Rb-75", as well as the "BK (BombKapsel) 90 Mjoelnir" guided gliding submunitions dispenser, also known as "DWS-39". The Mjoelnir was developed by Daimler-Benz Aerospace (now part of EADS), with the Gripen as the first intended flight platform. Of course, dumb bombs and unguided rocket pods have been qualified as well.
The aircraft is controlled by a digital fly-by-wire (FBW) system with triple redundancy and an analog backup. The analog backup system provides a simple, reliable capability, and is automatically activated if two of the three digital FBW systems go down. The pilot can also activate the analog system with the push of a button. The Gripen was designed from the outset to use the FBW system, which was evaluated on a modified Viggen. The FBW system compensates automatically for the degree of instability built into the Gripen to increase its maneuverability. The FBW system also allows the aircraft to adapt to combat damage, for example using differential control of the canards to fly the aircraft if the ailerons are disabled.

The Gripen pilot can switch operational role in flight.

One Gripen can provide radar sensing for four of its colleagues, allowing a single fighter to track a target, while the others use the data for a stealthy attack. TIDLS also permits multiple fighters to quickly and accurately lock onto a target's track through triangulation from several radars; or allows one fighter to jam a target while another tracks it; or allows multiple fighters to use different radar frequencies collaboratively to "burn through" jamming transmissions. TIDLS also gives the Gripen transparent access to the SAAB-Ericsson 340B Erieye "mini-AWACs" aircraft, as well as the overall ground command and control system. This system provides Sweden with an impressive defensive capability at a cost that, though still high, is less than that of comparable systems elsewhere.

The Gripen can take off and land in less than 600 meters (2,000 feet). Once deployed to a road base, the Gripens are serviced by a ground crew of six, including one highly trained specialist and five minimally trained conscripts. A service team can refuel and rearm a Gripen in ten minutes. The Gripen features an auxiliary power unit (APU) to reduce its dependence on ground systems, and the fighter's onboard digital systems include "built-in self-test" capabilities that can download diagnostic data to a tech's laptop computer. Service doors to critical systems are at head level or lower, allowing easy access by technicians. Pilots using the Gripen flight simulators have performed simulated carrier landings, without an arresting hook; it seems a bit unlikely that this will ever be done in practice, however.

The operational cost of Gripen is 50 per cent lower than any other aircraft in its class that is currently, or planned to be, in service. It is twice as reliable and easier to maintain than its competitors.

Features under development for future Gripens include:
  • An electronically-scanned array (AESA) radar based on the PS-05/A, now being developed by Ericsson. An AESA consists of an array of programmable "transmit-receive (TR)" modules that can operate in parallel to perform separate or collaborative functions, performing, for example, jamming and target acquisition at the same time. The AESA will provide enhanced multimode capabilities, as well as extended range for beyond visual range missiles. It is scheduled for introduction in the 2005:2010 timeframe.
  • Improved defensive countermeasures, including new towed decoys and missile and laser warning systems.
  • The "OTIS" infrared search and track (IRST) system now under development by Saab Dynamics and being tested on a Viggen. OTIS will provide multiple modes for both air to air and air to ground combat.
  • The Thales "Guardian" helmet-mounted display (HMT), now being evaluated on the Gripen for cueing the IRIS-T and other smart weapons.
The Gripen's digital architecture makes software upgrades straightforward, at least as such things go. Possible software improvements include new radar and datalink modes; a new terrain-referenced navigation system; and a fully autonomous precision landing-guidance system. In the long term, SAAB is looking at a new engine, such as the General Electric F414 or a thrust-vectoring version of the EJ2000 engine used on the Eurofighter; conformal fuel tanks or a fuselage stretch for greater range; a wide-angle HUD; a binocular helmet-mounted display; a direct voice-command system; and an advanced missions support system.

Currently, only the SWAF has the Gripen in active service but during 2005 South Africa, the Czech Republic and Hungary will take 21, 14 and 14 Gripen into service. Hungary and the Czech Republic will get fully NATO-adapted Gripens.
Attachments
DK031995GI2.jpg
Offline

elp

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 3146
  • Joined: 23 Sep 2003, 20:08

Unread post31 Jul 2004, 09:30

Gripen is a great jet.

The only thing I see hard to compare vs an F-16 is A2G. Start hanging 2000lb weapons on it routinely and you are going to get an education in wing life over time.

Other- Hose drogue refueling is slow. An equal number of F-16s would spend less time "on the tanker"

Also range vs drag. Ferry range doesn't mean squat when you start hanging drop tanks and large draggy weps on the jet. The larger engines in the newer F-16s make carrying all that junk easier. Consider the industry experience in offensive air work and I would prefer an F-16 for large offensive work.

Otherwise I would prefer the Gripen for all the other reasons you mention.

I would seriously like to see a UCAV version of the Gripen.
- ELP -
Offline

Ola

Newbie

Newbie

  • Posts: 4
  • Joined: 31 Jul 2004, 00:45

Unread post01 Aug 2004, 14:58

elp wrote:The only thing I see hard to compare vs an F-16 is A2G. Start hanging 2000lb weapons on it routinely and you are going to get an education in wing life over time.

Other- Hose drogue refueling is slow. An equal number of F-16s would spend less time "on the tanker"


I wouldn't really know but my guess is that since the Gripen was developed tightly in cooperation with the SWAF and their specific needs, fighter capabilities (i.e. defending Swedish airspace against the occasional foreign visitor) was more important than the ability to carry heavy loads for long range missions. Those foreign countries that already have bought Gripen are rather small countries (except for South Africa which is approximately 2,5 times larger than sweden) as well which are easily covered. Sweden, for example, has four air bases evenly distributed over the country which easily covers all of Swedens territory.

In flight refueling was added during development of the more NATO-adapted version (after the first production aircraft was manufactured AFAIK) so I guess that's why it's not as efficient as the F-16 which have had much longer development and operational experience of that particular feature. The intended customers generally don't have their own tanker jets anyhow, the SWAF probably never will, at least not in the foreseeable future.

During a recent training operation together with the Royal Norwegian Air Force, the Gripen won most of the dogfights against the RNoAF F-16s, at least according to official SWAF sources... :roll:

-edit- the RNoAF F-16s seems to be updated A/B versions only. Update consisted of reinforced airframe, improved engine, night vision capabilites and a few other improvements to electronics and targeting systems.

-edit2- I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere so I'd take it that the Gripen don't have the super-cruise ability of EF2000 and F-22?
Last edited by Ola on 03 Aug 2004, 10:11, edited 2 times in total.
Offline

elp

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 3146
  • Joined: 23 Sep 2003, 20:08

Unread post01 Aug 2004, 18:49

A number of jets will "supercruise". The T-38 comes to mind.

Part of the help with the F-22 is that it can carry weapons and have nothing on the exterior.

I would assume that supercruise with the Gripen is dependant on what draggy stores you hang on it. Example with Maverick and an anti-ship missile, I doubt it. A couple of a2a missiles and no drop tanks, would seem reasonable, but I don't know.
- ELP -
Offline

Pumpkin

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 901
  • Joined: 07 Nov 2003, 21:12

Unread post01 Aug 2004, 21:55

The potential stores look good! The "Guardian" HMD looks cool. The Israeli weapons (LITENING, SPICE, Python) look menacing. And not forgetting the R-Darter.

With the Erieye and the Gripen, SWAF is quite an impressive fighting force. Would be nice to see the South African operating the Gripen. :wink:

Ola wrote:During a recent training operation together with the Royal Norwegian Air Force, the Gripen won most of the dogfights against the RNAF F-16s, at least according to official SWAF sources... :roll:


Hi Ola, any reference to the above mentioned?

Thanks,
Desmond
Offline

Ola

Newbie

Newbie

  • Posts: 4
  • Joined: 31 Jul 2004, 00:45

Unread post02 Aug 2004, 00:13

Pumpkin wrote:
Ola wrote:During a recent training operation together with the Royal Norwegian Air Force, the Gripen won most of the dogfights against the RNAF F-16s, at least according to official SWAF sources... :roll:


Hi Ola, any reference to the above mentioned?

Thanks,


Nothing I've found on the internet but there was an article about that particular training operation (mission, maneuvre or whatever it's called) in the last or second last issue of a newsletter style magazine from the swedish armed forces that I seem to receive every once in a while. One of the coordinating swedish officers was quoted as saying that most people thought that the Gripen wasn't competetive to the F-16 but that they (the gripen pilots) had won "most of the dogfights" against RNoAF F-16s. I've throwed the magazine away already, unfortunately.
Last edited by Ola on 02 Aug 2004, 15:55, edited 1 time in total.
Offline

Darkwand

Newbie

Newbie

  • Posts: 10
  • Joined: 02 Aug 2004, 15:51

Unread post02 Aug 2004, 16:09

According to the book "Jas 39 Gripen" the aircraft does have supercruise ability but as previously mentioned that's probably not with too big a warload. Regarding Swedish aircraft's they can't carry as many bombs or as heavy loads as most foreign aircrafts, the swedish airforce always want as short a runway as possible and if you don't have the runway carrying huge loads is pretty meaninglewss in the Swedish doctrine. But the aircraft have one impressive ASM load though the Rb15F Anti-Ship missile it is the successor of the Rb04E used on the AJ37 Viggen and RB04C used on the A32 Lansen. The main cold war threat to sweden was a Warsaw invasion fleet coming over the baltic in responce to this the Swedish Air Force deployed Anti-Ship missiles as early as the 1960's. In regards to that the Gripen is mainly built as an Interceptor to contend the airspace over Sweden with Warsaw pact fighters although not numerous enough to gain Superiority it's concept is based on not being wiped from the skies and being very hard to kill on the ground.
If the Gripen carried as much bombs as the F-16 at full load it would need a 1.6km runway the swedish road bases simply don't allow for that also an F-16 with that bombload will have serious problems in operation in a contested airspace and would itself probably carry a load closer to the Gripens in those circumstances. However in an airforce as the US where other fighters can sweep the skies the F-16 is probably a better choise then the Gripen.

Also don't give the Norvegians too hard a time that was F-16A's the norwegian politicians have seriously neglected the Air defence role of the Norwegian Airforce (in the 80's the F-16's only carried sidewinders). I would be more concerned about Finland with their new F18's.
Offline

robban1975

Newbie

Newbie

  • Posts: 3
  • Joined: 04 Sep 2004, 11:40

Unread post04 Sep 2004, 11:59

Sweden has been participating more and more in international excersises, flying with/against U.S, Norweigan and Finnish airforces. The outcome has proven that the Gripen far exceeds the capabilites of earlier generation fighters such as the F-16A/B/C/D and F/A-18C/D. There has been WVR dogfights aswell as BVR engagements. I've had the great opportunity to meet and talk to several Gripen pilots during the summer and all of them say the same thing(although not in the excact same words). In WVR combat against F-16's the Gripen showed to have no problem in position itself on the tail of the F-16, and the F-16 could not match the superb manouverability of the Gripen, offered by its unstable delta/canard configuration. The Gripen cannot match the T/W ratio of the U.S fightes but the Gripens more modern aerodynamic design allows it to pull tighter turns witout losing momentum. In the words of one of the Gripen pilots: "If the F-16 and Gripen would both excecute a 9G turn, the F-16 would lose alot more airspeed in that turn than the Gripen". In BVR there was no contest at all.
In excersises with Finnish F/A-18's the Gripen won ALL of the WVR and BVR fights. The TIDLS proved to be a superior tool in the BVR fights. The F/A-18's were hit with multiple simulated AMRAAM shots, before they even knew that the Gripen fighters were present. The Gripen pilots said in WVR dogfights the F/A-18 became easier to take out the lower they went, and at 2000m, there was simply no contest.
Offline

espenjoh

Enthusiast

Enthusiast

  • Posts: 35
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2003, 21:59

Unread post04 Sep 2004, 17:57

The F-16 that flew against the Gripen I Norway this year always had 2 370 g tank, while the Gripen had one centerline tank. If the F-16 also flew with one tank, would that change the situasjon?

I also notised that the Gripen always came back first from a mission, some F-16 came 30 min.later, with the same t/o time....



ej
Attachments
JAS_body_37485a.jpg
russ7.jpg
Offline

robban1975

Newbie

Newbie

  • Posts: 3
  • Joined: 04 Sep 2004, 11:40

Unread post05 Sep 2004, 11:13

espenjoh wrote:The F-16 that flew against the Gripen I Norway this year always had 2 370 g tank, while the Gripen had one centerline tank. If the F-16 also flew with one tank, would that change the situasjon?

I also notised that the Gripen always came back first from a mission, some F-16 came 30 min.later, with the same t/o time....



ej


I'd reckon that an F-16 with 2X 370 gallon tanks would have a longer airborn time than a Gripen with 1X 310 gallon tank.

As for the dogfighting encounters with U.S and Norweigan F-16's, no external tanks were carried AFAIK, at least not full ones. A twoseater Gripen with a full external tank is limited to 5-6 G's IIRC.

It's no coincidence that the Norweigans have started to show an interest in the Gripen. It has really showed what it's capable of during these excersices, and these were only the A/B versions. The JAS 39C/D which are offered for export are much more capable machines.
Last edited by robban1975 on 05 Sep 2004, 11:39, edited 1 time in total.
Offline

robban1975

Newbie

Newbie

  • Posts: 3
  • Joined: 04 Sep 2004, 11:40

Unread post05 Sep 2004, 11:28

Darkwand wrote:If the Gripen carried as much bombs as the F-16 at full load it would need a 1.6km runway the swedish road bases simply don't allow for that


Imagine that the Gripen is the size of an F-5 Tiger II, and that it's still capable of carrying a 5,5-6 ton warload(it can carry the KEPD 350). With this warload the Gripen must still be able to operate from an 800m X 9m runway, even in a winter environment.

Also don't give the Norvegians too hard a time that was F-16A's the norwegian politicians have seriously neglected the Air defence role of the Norwegian Airforce (in the 80's the F-16's only carried sidewinders). I would be more concerned about Finland with their new F18's.


See above. The F/A-18's met their match in any form of engagement.
Offline

Lajes

Enthusiast

Enthusiast

  • Posts: 40
  • Joined: 27 Nov 2003, 18:13

Unread post08 Sep 2004, 19:30

HI,

I'm an insider from the Hungarian Gripen program, and I can tell you that most of the public infos on the Gripen are fuelled by the agressive marketing of Gripen International. A great deal of lunches and dinners can influence the press, mainly the English one! Someone above for example pasted sentences from Gripen News, the official newletter of GI. My God...

If you have questions, just go ahead!

Sincerely,

Lajes
Offline

elp

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 3146
  • Joined: 23 Sep 2003, 20:08

Unread post08 Sep 2004, 19:43

Hi Lajes ! Good seeing you around. How goes it?
- ELP -
Next

Return to F-16 versus XYZ

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest