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JAS-39 Gripen C (SAAF)


JAS-39 Gripen C (SAAF)  

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  1. 1. Would you like to see the JAS-39 Gripen C (SAAF) in War Thunder?

    • Yes
    • No

JAS-39 Gripen C (SAAF)






During 1999 as part of project Ukhozi (eagle) the South African Airforce placed an order at SAAB for 28 Gripen C & D advanced light fighter aircraft, making South Africa the first export customer of the Gripen. However, the number of Gripen’s ordered would be reduced from 28 to 26 in 2005 and would consist of 17 Gripen C’s (single-seat fighters) and 9 Gripen D’s (fighter-trainers). The Gripen’s were delivered between 2008 and 2012 replacing the now retired Atlas Cheetah C & D. The Gripen is a light single-engine multirole fighter aircraft manufactured by the Swedish Aerospace & Defense company SAAB. It is capable of performing an extensive range of air-to-air and air-to-ground operational missions by employing the latest weapons. Gripen is designed to meet the demands of current and future threats, while at the same time meeting strict requirements for flight safety, reliability, training efficiency and low operating costs.





For this forum post we will focus on the Gripen C used by the South African Airforce (SAAF), we will especially have a closer look at the armaments the SAAF Gripen could carry. Starting with short range anti-air capabilities the SAAF Gripen can be equipped with either the IRIS-T or the A-Darter SRAAM (Short Range Air-to-Air Missile). The A-Darter was developed by the South African defence firm Denel under project Assegai starting in 1995, but funding cuts put development on hold until Brazil joined the programme in 2006. Brazil’s Avibras helped develop the rocket motor, OptoEletronica assisted with the seeker head and Mectron brought experience as the manufacturer of all Brazil’s missiles. While the A-Darter was under development the SAAF opted for the IRIS-T to be used as a stopgap until the A-Darter was ready, the A-Darter is expected to be more economical than the IRIS-T. As a fifth-generation missile the A-Darter has a maximum range of 20 km, maximum speed of Mach 3, a two-colour scanning-array (SWIR & MWIR), infrared-imaging sensor with a 120-degree track rate & 180-degree look angle and target recognition, excellent flare & chaff rejection, a low-smoke rocket engine, and having extreme agility from thrust-vectoring controls which allows it to pull 80G’s.





Next up we have the long-range anti-air capabilities for the SAAF Gripen. For long range engagements the Gripen will be equipped with the radar-guided Marlin BVR (Beyond-Visual-Range) missile. The Marlin was developed by the South African Defence firm Denel under Project Marlin for the Gripen as a replacement for the R-Darter which was retired along with the Atlas Cheetah’s. The Marlin is able to reach Mach 4 and travel up to a 100km, in order to achieve this the Marlin makes use of dual pulse rocket motor (this uses two fuel chambers and one exhaust nozzle). For long range engagements the first pulse fires and the missile glides towards its target before the second pulse fires at a later point in time. For shorter engagements, both pulses can be fired almost simultaneously. The exact number of G’s the Marlin can pull currently is not known but during development of the Marlin missile it was mentioned the missile should be able to withstand at least 30G’s.



image.png Marlin_missile_launch_400x300_Denel.png


Moving on to the SAAF Gripen’s ground attack capabilities. For this role the Gripen can be equip with Mk81 120kg Pre-Fragmented Low Drag Bombs mounted on Alkan twin store carriers, the Gripen is also capable of carrying Mk82 bombs. For guided munition the SAAF Gripen can be equipped with the GBU-12 Paveway II laser guided bombs or alternatively it can make use of the Umbani (Lightning) precision guided munition (PGM) bomb kit originally developed by the South African defence firm Denel. The Umbani bomb kit is compatible with NATO Mk81 and Mk82 bombs, turning these conventional bombs into accurate glide bombs.





Depending on the configuration the Umbani can travel over 100km and can be guided using GPS/INS guidance or Imaging Infrared (IIR) with Automatic Target recognition (ATR) capability or a Semi-Active Laser (SAL) seeker. The system can also be fitted with a proximity fuse using a pre-fragmented warhead. To assist the SAAF Gripen with its ground strikes the aircraft can also be equipped with a Litening targeting pod, increasing the combat effectiveness of the aircraft during the day/night when engaging ground targets with a variety of standoff weapons.





The final piece of armament which can be found on the Gripen C is the Mauser BK 27 (27mm Cannon). This cannon can be used against ground or air targets and is capable of firing 1 700 rounds per minute. The Gripen carries 120 rounds of ammunition onboard and can fire ammunition types such as High explosive, Armour piercing, Armour piercing high explosive, Semi Armour Piercing High Explosive and Multi-purpose.






Cannon: Mauser BK 27 (27mm).

Cannon Ammunition: 120 rounds

Missiles: IRIS-T (SRAAM), A-Darter (SRAAM), Marlin (BVR)

Bombs: Mk81 (120kg), Mk82 (250kg) GBU-12 Paveway II, Umbani

Powerplant: one Volvo RM12 afterburning turbofan engine

Maximum speed: Mach 2

Crew: one

Span 8,4m

Length 14,1m

Height overall 4,5m

Wheel track 2,4m

Wheelbase 5,2m

Empty weight 6.8t

Max take-off weight 14t





Primary Sources:


Gripen Brochure (have you got what it takes: https://www.saairforce.co.za/seed/public/files/aircraft_files/21/Gripen%20-%20Have%20you%20got%20what%20it%20takes.pdf

Gripen Brochure (packing iron): https://www.saairforce.co.za/seed/public/files/aircraft_files/21/Gripen%20-%20Packing%20Iron.pdf

Alkan Twin Store Carrier & Energy Source: http://www.alkan.fr/technique/5.pdf

Denel product brochure (page 2-3): http://admin.denel.co.za/uploads/Denel_Dynamics_Products.pdf

The complete guide the Fighters & Bombers of the World written by Francis Crosby (page 238-239)

Secondary Sourecs:


Denel Dynamics to test Marlin BVR missile technology in September: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/industry/industry-industry/denel-dynamics-to-test-marlin-bvr-missile-technology-in-september/

Marlin missile making swift progress: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/aerospace/aerospace-aerospace/marlin-missile-making-swift-progress/

Missile seeker undergoes testing at Denel OTR as facilities are upgraded: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/industry/industry-industry/missile-seeker-undergoes-testing-at-denel-otr-as-facilities-are-upgraded/

A-Darter programme reaches maturity: https://www.africandefence.net/a-darter-programme-reaches-maturity/

Test A-Darter delivered to SAAB for Gripen integration: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/aerospace/aerospace-aerospace/test-a-darter-delivered-to-saab-for-gripen-integration/

A-Darter successfully launched off SAAF Gripen: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/aerospace/aerospace-aerospace/a-darter-successfully-launched-off-saaf-gripen/

A-Darter for Gripen – and Hawk: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/aerospace/aerospace-aerospace/a-darter-for-gripen-and-hawk/

SAAF to acquire Paveway II guided munitions: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/aerospace/aerospace-aerospace/saaf-to-acquire-paveway-ii-guided-munitions/

SA buys Paveway: Raytheon: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/aerospace/aerospace-aerospace/sa-buys-paveway-raytheon/

SA “on track” to receive IRIS-T: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/aerospace/aerospace-aerospace/sa-on-track-to-receive-iris-t/

SAAF Gripens get sting: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/aerospace/aerospace-aerospace/saaf-gripens-get-sting/

SA ups IRIS-T ante: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/aerospace/aerospace-aerospace/sa-ups-iris-t-ante/




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Edited by Griffin7028
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  • Technical Moderator

Big +1 from me. Enjoyed the SA ground tree, this will be just as good. :)

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+1 Very good 4th gen Multirole fighter

I wonder Gripen C from South African using PS-05/A Mk.3 or PS-05/A Mk.4 radar ?

Edited by oom1992
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  • Suggestion Moderator
3 hours ago, Deadsnake_war2 said:

NO, why, when there is the Eurofighter, I am willing to have the 3 Cheetah to be in game, the Gripen is kinda over the red line, 

Mate this a suggestion  no one has said they wanted it added immediately 

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