At Half The Price Of Rafales – Why Did India Turn Down SAAB Gripen Jets Equipped With Exact Same Missiles?

By Eurasian times

Combined with its lightweight, low radar signature and the ability to penetrate enemy air defenses, the Gripen is considered a formidable aircraft.

The multi-role Swedish combat aircraft comes with a delta-canard configuration and boasts of a digital fly-by-wire control system. Its powerful search and tracking radar allows for “look-down/shoot-down” capability and has a “track-while-scan” feature available for the pilot to assess multiple targets in real-time.

What stands apart in Gripen NG is its data link, which is rated as the world’s most advanced. Data links are key to modern air combat and a lot depends on them.

The new integrated Electronic Warfare System (EWS) makes Saab a beast, and it features a 360-degree spherical Missile Approach Warning System (MAWS). The level of situational awareness available to a pilot of the Gripen jet is simply unprecedented and gives them a decisive edge.

Another significant feature of the Gripen NG is the diversity of the range of weaponry it can carry – not to mention the advanced Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) which comes with a range of about 150 kilometers. Even Rafale is equipped with Meteor missiles.

The Gripen E variant has the capacity to carry up to seven MBDA Meteor missiles, and the aircraft boasts of the Leonardo ES-05 Raven Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, along with Leonardo Skyward G infrared search and track (IRST) sensor.

Gripen vs Rafale Jets
According to leading aviation experts, the SAAB Gripen has been the cheapest contemporary fighter to operate. At $4.68 billion, SAAB signed a deal with Brazil in 2015 for the sale and local manufacturing of 36 Gripen, which is half of what India paid for the same number of Rafales from France.

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