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Saab JAS 39 C - Gripen Photo Album - Saab JAS 39 C - Gripen

Saab JAS 39 C - Gripen

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Saab JAS 39 Gripen, also known as F-39 Gripen, was designed to replace the Saab 35 Draken and 37 Viggen in the Swedish Air Force. In 1979, the Swedish government initiated development studies for an aircraft capable of fighter, attack and reconnaissance missions to replace the Saab 35 Draken and 37 Viggen. A new Saab project was selected and developed as the JAS 39, flying for the first time in 1988. After two accidents during flight development and subsequent changes to the aircraft's flight control software, Gripen entered service with the Air Force Swedish in 1997. Updated variants, with more advanced avionics and adaptations for longer mission times, started to enter service in 2003.

In order to market the planes to external customers, Saab has formed several partnerships and collaborative efforts with various aerospace companies abroad. An example of these efforts was Gripen International, a partnership between Saab and BAE Systems, formed in 2001. Gripen International was responsible for the aircraft's marketing and was heavily involved in the successful export of the type to South Africa; the organization was later dissolved amid allegations of bribery employed to secure foreign interest and sales. In the export market, Gripen has achieved moderate success in sales to nations in Central Europe, South Africa and Southeast Asia; bribes are suspected in some of these contracts, but authorities closed the investigation in 2009.

Another version, called Gripen JAS 39E/F, has been in development since 2014; it was referred to as Gripen NG or Super-JAS. The changes include the adoption of a new powertrain, the General Electric F414G, an active electronically scanned radar, in addition to a significant increase in internal fuel capacity. Saab has proposed other derived models, including a Sea Gripen naval version for transport operations and an optionally manned aircraft. Sweden and Brazil ordered the Gripen E/F and Switzerland selected it for acquisition. In 2013, more than 247 Gripens were built.

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