In October 2018, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana revealed in an interview by the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that the JAS-39 Gripen will likely be selected for the Philippine Air Force (PAF) multi role combat aircraft program.
Saab has been actively promoting their Gripen aircraft in the Philippines for quite some time now, culminating in them bringing in a full sized model of their JAS-39C Gripen aircraft during the Asian Defence and Security Show (ADAS) in September 2018 in Manila.
Now I have done a number of blogs about the Gripen over the years since 2013, so I had some reservations about doing another one again. However, I thought that I needed to update those blogs, and also there were still some things that could be discussed about the aircraft.
‘The JAS-39 Gripen’
The JAS-39 Gripen a light, multi role combat aircraft made by the Swedish Aerospace company the Saab AB. It first flew in 1988, and was adopted by the Swedish Air Force in 1995. The improved “C” version of the Gripen which Saab is offering to us first entered service with Sweden in 2002.
A total of six (6) countries have so far used the Gripen with their air forces, namely Brazil, the Czech Republic, Hungary, South Africa, Sweden and Thailand. Approximately 256 aircraft are either currently in service or on order.
There are two main types of Gripen models, a single seat and a twin seat model. Both are identical except for the number of seats and that the twin seat model is heavier in terms of empty weight by several hundred kilograms. The C version is a single seat version while the D is a twin seat version.
The JAS-39C/D is actually not the latest model in the Gripen family, there is the JAS-39E/F Gripen which is bigger, heavier, with a more powerful engine, and more capable, but Saab did not offer this to us probably because it isn’t scheduled to first enter service with the Swedish Air Force until 2023. And even then, the first few years of production will likely prioritize deliveries to the air forces with larger orders like Sweden and Brazil.
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