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Navalized Gripen

utahbob

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I just saw this and may be making a model (and adding CFTs) of it :

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&newspaperUserId=27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3a5635810b-c8ba-474a-bd69-376b1dbf228e&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest

More here:

http://www.stratpost.com/saab-offers-naval-gripen-to-india

Cheers!
 

F-14D

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SaturnCanuck said:
Cool idea.

But, "Navalized" Air Force fighters never do as well as "ground-up" navy planes.

But Sweden is the exception that proves the rule. Given the way they operate in their country, many of the features required by carrier aircraft are required for their aircraft too, including: .

The abiliity to fly a constant angle of attack approach to the touchdown point.
The necessary over-the-nose visibility required for same.
Low approach speeds and roll/pitch control at those speeds
Good waveoff capability.
Good high AoA stability for same.
A design that permits maintenance in a limited space (although I don't know if they can drop the engine like puprose-built naval fighters, or whether it has to come out the rear, which can be a problem aboard ship).
Landing gear that can take a "controlled crash" (although Gripen's gear will still need to be beefed up).

Although Gripen is designed to operate in a wet environment, I don't know its degree of marinization, and resistance to seawater.
The nose gear will need to be modified and reinforced and the arrest or hook will have to be relocated and toughened.
The big question will be how well the keel can take repeated arrested landings and being thrown off the end of the deck.

While it might not match the capabilities of Rafale, Gripen NG should be cheaper to buy and operate. Rafale, of course, is not an exception since carrier compatibility was designed in from the start. Gripen may not be quite the naval fighter a clean sheet design would be, but it's the one landbased fighter design I wouldn't worry about too much coming aboard.
 

saturncanuck

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F-14D said:
SaturnCanuck said:
Cool idea.

But, "Navalized" Air Force fighters never do as well as "ground-up" navy planes.

But Sweden is the exception that proves the rule.

Well, time will tell. History has shown us that Air Force aircraft modified for the Navy never are as good as those designed specifically. Besides, while on paper Saab's aircraft are exceptional, their neutrality makes "combat" testing difficult.
 

F-14D

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TinWing said:
A Navalized Gripen was supposed to be publicly unveiled at Farnborough, at least in paper or model form, in 2006:

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,505.0/highlight,gripen.html

It had actually been proposed earlier but was stillborn because there wasn't much market, and the Gripen didn't have all the capabilities (I'm not talking about carrier compatibility) that a naval fighter needs (given the limited number aboard ship) and the engine needed more thrust if they were going to be added (which would be an expensive redesign for a relatively small market).

With the decision to proceed with Gripen NG, those problems were resolved because the navalized Gripen is a subset of Gripen NG.
 

Just call me Ray

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At the same time, it's facing very stiff competition from navalized MiG-29 and Rafale variants.
 

F-14D

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Just call me Ray said:
At the same time, it's facing very stiff competition from navalized MiG-29 and Rafale variants.

The thing with the MiG-29 is that a number of countries have had real problems with the parent country's meeting schedule and price and follow-on support, so it's kind of a risky buy. Some have opined that it gets as far as it does in competitions because it's being used as a club to get better terms from the competition.

Rafale's problem has been that countries weren't all that confident that France wouldn't lose interest in the plane, as they had done at times in the past, and then you're stuck. Now the maintenance issues seem to be resolved, France seems firmly committed and with their increased openness they're getting rave reviews for the aircraft. The recent flight test in Flight International is illustrative. It is probably the most capable aircraft in the running, but it is expensive.

Navalized Gripen by far would give the most bang for the buck, but it is a paper airplane and that's the risk: If you order it and Sweden doesn't get an economical number of orders for Gripen NG, will they continue the project? That to me is the biggest argument against it.

F-35C is too far off to be seriously considered in this go-round.

Then there's the F/A-18E/F which wins the competition for longest designator. Unfortunately from Boeing's point of view, that seems to be the only competition it's winning.
 

Just call me Ray

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The only problem is is that relatively few countries have carriers in the first place, and a little less have carriers big enough to even take on something like the Gripen. Of these, only India and possibly Brazil would be seriously looking at carrier aircraft purchases in the near future; India seems already committed to the MiG-29K. I could see the carrier variant as being a boost to the F-X competitions in both nations though, since the Gripen is in the running, but my money is still on the Rafale becoming Brazil's new fighter.

But if the Gripen doesn't make the cut in India or Brazil, who else will want to buy it? Almost everyone else is already an F-35B/C customer and many nations won't even have their carriers ready until right around the time they get F-35s anyway (like Australia).

It's a high-risk venture for Saab, maybe, but if it's the leg-up they need to win in India and Brazil than that alone will make it pay off.
 

F-14D

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Just call me Ray said:
The only problem is is that relatively few countries have carriers in the first place, and a little less have carriers big enough to even take on something like the Gripen. Of these, only India and possibly Brazil would be seriously looking at carrier aircraft purchases in the near future; India seems already committed to the MiG-29K. I could see the carrier variant as being a boost to the F-X competitions in both nations though, since the Gripen is in the running, but my money is still on the Rafale becoming Brazil's new fighter.

But if the Gripen doesn't make the cut in India or Brazil, who else will want to buy it? Almost everyone else is already an F-35B/C customer and many nations won't even have their carriers ready until right around the time they get F-35s anyway (like Australia).

It's a high-risk venture for Saab, maybe, but if it's the leg-up they need to win in India and Brazil than that alone will make it pay off.

Well, there's some interesting news from Brazil, we can see politics at work again (are you surprised?0.

Remember how President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced that Brazil was going to order Rafale, and that not that much later it seemed the Government made it sound less certain? Well, it turns out that the summary of the Brazilian Air Fore evaluation results leaked out recently. While it seems that the President wanted Rafale, it turns out that in the evaluation it wasn't the winner, in fact coming in third. While I did mention earlier that Rafales reliability problems seem to be behind it, it is still an expensive plane to acquire and operate. Also, the technology transfer being offed by the French was that Embraer would be allowed to build the wings for Brazilian Rafales. This was met with less than total enthusiasm by the Brazilian company.

The plane that the Air Fore chose was Gripen NG for its price/performance, its lower operating costs, and the much greater technology transfer offered. Saab would bring the Brazilians in to the development of NG's AESA, along with development of the aircraft itself. Faced with this new information on the analysis, a member of the President's cabinet told Reuters that the President will order the Rafale. "The government doesn't decide under pressure from anybody, not even the Air Force. The ball is in the court of the French," said the minister, "If they reduce the price, we'll close the deal soon."

Now, if you were France, why would you be motivated to reduce the price? Frankly, at this point, a Brazilian sale would not be such a coup given the circumstances under which it would occur.
 

F-14D

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Actually, given the way the Swedes operate, they could paint a "landlocked aircraft carrier and give a pretty good demonstration. Or they could do what the French did with Rafale M: bring it over to NAES Lakehurst for initial tests and demonstration.

And, since Government Motors (It's a joke! Those in the US will understand.) is shutting down Saab Car company , maybe Saab Aero will have to supply parts for them!
 

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F-14D said:
A design that permits maintenance in a limited space (altough I don't know if they can drop the engine like puprose-built naval fighters, or whether it has to come out the rear, which can be a problem aboard ship).

Hi,

There's a cover plate on the underside that together with the rear engine cover gets removed. They also remove a mounting ring for that rear cover.

Then 3 guys using a mini-hoist lower/raises the roller cart hugging the engine. Straight up/down.

The engine is mounted quite a bit back as you can see. It also makes for a nice position for the airbrakes.





(those mini-hoists is also used to lower/raise weapons)
 

F-14D

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JA37D said:
F-14D said:
A design that permits maintenance in a limited space (although I don't know if they can drop the engine like puprose-built naval fighters, or whether it has to come out the rear, which can be a problem aboard ship).

Hi,

There's a cover plate on the underside that together with the rear engine cover gets removed. They also remove a mounting ring for that rear cover.

Then 3 guys using a mini-hoist lower/raises the roller cart hugging the engine. Straight up/down.

The engine is mounted quite a bit back as you can see. It also makes for a nice position for the airbrakes.


(those mini-hoists is also used to lower/raise weapons)

Thanks. That's vitally important for a shipboard aircraft.
 

Hammer Birchgrove

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Triton said:
Artist's impression of Saab Sea Gripen pitched to the Indian Navy.

Source: http://livefist.blogspot.com/2009/12/exclusive-sea-gripen-pitch-to-indian.html
Wow there are some heated arguments over there. Tage Erlander would roll in his grave if he read/heard this (he and the Swedish government were very buddy-buddy with India during the 1960's).

On the other hand, India even contemplating buying Swedish planes would probably please him. I'm only aware of SAAB 37 Viggen being of interest to India previously; it failed because of the American engines, USA didn't want India to get US technology.
 

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SaturnCanuck said:
Well, time will tell. History has shown us that Air Force aircraft modified for the Navy never are as good as those designed specifically. Besides, while on paper Saab's aircraft are exceptional, their neutrality makes "combat" testing difficult.

One of those truisms which isn't necessarily true. Several land based aircraft have been modified for naval use and performed the roles assigned to them as equally, if not often better than specifically naval based aircraft in the same class. The Hawker Fury/Sea Fury springs immediately to mind as an example. Originally designed as a "lightweight Tempest" the Fury was modified into the Sea Fury without extensive modification and went onto quite successful service and even managed in Korea to down some MiG-15s. The Spitfire/Seafire is another. The Hurricane/Sea Hurricane another.
 

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rickshaw said:
One of those truisms which isn't necessarily true. Several land based aircraft have been modified for naval use and performed the roles assigned to them as equally, if not often better than specifically naval based aircraft in the same class. The Hawker Fury/Sea Fury springs immediately to mind as an example. Originally designed as a "lightweight Tempest" the Fury was modified into the Sea Fury without extensive modification and went onto quite successful service and even managed in Korea to down some MiG-15s. The Spitfire/Seafire is another. The Hurricane/Sea Hurricane another.

It’s not a truism but a fundamental difference between acceptable landing speed between an aircraft carrier and a fixed runway in the age of jets. All of those examples given above to “disprove” the “truism” are 1940s propeller planes inherently able to fly at lower speeds than that needed to safely land on a fixed runway (enough for a carrier) because of the agility requirement for dog fighting. However for the past 65 years things have been very, very different.

Now the modern Swedish fighter has been designed for low landing speeds thanks to their Cold War era highway dispersal plan. However landing speed is only part of the equation as a carrier aircraft also needs to have very high attitude control before landing to make sure it can trap a wire. It also needs to be able to absorb the rapid deceleration of a carrier wire (very different to a runway safety wire before the “know something but not enough” chorus pipes up) and be corrosion proof.

No one in their right mind would go and buy a navalised Gripen or whatever when they could buy a perfectly good Hornet or Harrier. Of course not every buyer is in their right mind…
 

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Actually, many Swedish aircraft have descent rates at landing close to what a Navy plane uses. The systems Sweden has used to land on roadways could almost be considered "land carriers" without the tail hook. The purpose for the high descent rate is for "accuracy" when landing, as you don't want the aircraft to "float" down the runway, especially when the straight stretch of roadway you're using is limited in length. As such, Swedish aircraft don't need as much strengthening for carrier ops as another air forces land plane would require, so it really isn't a stretch to see the Gripen being used for Naval Ops. It would make sense for India to go with this option, since the Harrier doesn't have anywhere near the capability of the Gripen and the SuperHornet is much too big for their requirement.
 

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The Harrier itself was originally a land-based aeroplane that was subsequently navalised.
Granted, it doesn't have to do catapult launches, nor trap an arrestor wire, but the aircraft itself underwent an "anti corrosive" treatment programme to better enable it to stand up to the harsher marine environment.

What sort of sink rates is the Gripen designed for as opposed to carrier aircraft?
 

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Sundog said:
. It would make sense for India to go with this option, since the Harrier doesn't have anywhere near the capability of the Gripen and the SuperHornet is much too big for their requirement.

Haven't the Indians already (in essence) made the decision to go with the navalized MiG-29?
 

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Vpanoptes said:
Sundog said:
. It would make sense for India to go with this option, since the Harrier doesn't have anywhere near the capability of the Gripen and the SuperHornet is much too big for their requirement.

Haven't the Indians already (in essence) made the decision to go with the navalized MiG-29?

I completely forgot about that plane. My guess is they will choose it. Are they still planning on a Navalized LCA? Their plans seem to change so much, I just wait to see what they end up flying to figure out what they're doing. ;)

I was thinking of what plane they would go with in lieu of a navalized LCA.
 

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Sundog said:
Seems curious given the likely disparities in effective load, range and performance (between the MiG-29 and the LCA) that you would want to take up deck space with a (presumably) less-capable combat aircraft like the LCA, especially given apparent delays in development and projected in-service dates of the latter? Perhaps a matter of national pride (Indian-made a/c) for a hi-low mix a la (historically) F-4/A-4 or F-8/A-7? ???
 

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Yeah, the hi/Lo mix makes sense. I do think it really is just a development program, although not just for national pride, also for their industrial policy. I always thought the LCA was a great little plane, but it has taken them way too long to develop. I realize most of that has to do with the engine and FCS problems, but I think they bit off way more than they expected when they started this program.

Back to the Navalized Gripen. It's doable, but I don't know that it makes that much sense for the numbers they would sell and they really need to concentrate on selling the NG.
 

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Abraham Gubler said:
It’s not a truism but a fundamental difference between acceptable landing speed between an aircraft carrier and a fixed runway in the age of jets.

The original claim did not utilise the qualification, "in the age of jets." Now, if this was true, "in the age of jets" perhaps you'd care to explain the success of the North American F-86/FJ-2 Fury? The De Havilland Venom/Sea Venom? The BAE Hawk/Goshawk. The MiG29 and the Su27? The Harrier/Sea Harrier/AV-8 (admittedly that's one that cheats but it is still both "in the age of jets" and a successful adaptation of a land-based plane to naval use ;) ). As we can see even from that short list of the last 50 odd years, there are sufficient numbers of aircraft types to call into question the original claim. The reality is that land aircraft have been and will more than likely continue to be adapted to naval use quite successfully. So, once more we will simply have to agree to disagree.
 

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Viggen was stressed for roughly 5 m/sec sink rates, and Gripen should be similar (I found the numbers once, but can't locate them again now :mad: ). The target sink rates for US carrier aircraft seems to run at around 7-8 m/sec. The number Saab is advertising for Naval Gripen is 6.3 m/sec.
 

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TomS said:
Viggen was stressed for roughly 5 m/sec sink rates, and Gripen should be similar (I found the numbers once, but can't locate them again now :mad: ). The target sink rates for US carrier aircraft seems to run at around 7-8 m/sec. The number Saab is advertising for Naval Gripen is 6.3 m/sec.
This is beside the point, but as another poster in this forum wrote, Viggen uses thrust reversing - which isn't good when landing on a carrier.

Interesting detail is that SAAB thought about using blown flaps for Viggen but dropped it when experiments showed it wasn't needed/it wouldn't improve STOL-performance.
 

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rickshaw said:
The original claim did not utilise the qualification, "in the age of jets." Now, if this was true, "in the age of jets" perhaps you'd care to explain the success of the North American F-86/FJ-2 Fury? The De Havilland Venom/Sea Venom? The BAE Hawk/Goshawk. The MiG29 and the Su27? The Harrier/Sea Harrier/AV-8 (admittedly that's one that cheats but it is still both "in the age of jets" and a successful adaptation of a land-based plane to naval use ;) ). As we can see even from that short list of the last 50 odd years, there are sufficient numbers of aircraft types to call into question the original claim. The reality is that land aircraft have been and will more than likely continue to be adapted to naval use quite successfully. So, once more we will simply have to agree to disagree.

Actually your original claim was rejecting this statement:

“History has shown us that Air Force aircraft modified for the Navy never are as good as those designed specifically. “

Now all you have done is list every single air force jet that has been converted to a carrier capable jet and not addressed the core claim:

“never as good as those designed specifically”

Shall we address these claims?

The FJ-2 Fury? It may have been a carrier aircraft but was it a successful carrier aircraft? Nope… especially compared to the naval specific contemporaries. Even in the popular later version FJ-4 they served for far less at sea than contemporaries like the A-4.

The Sea Venom? Benefiting from the important factor of a straight wing enabled this aircraft to have a reasonably (borderline) effective naval career. But despite the jet it really belongs in the previous class because all you need to do to make it carrier capable is fit the long stroke undercarriage.

The Goshawk? So extensively redesigned its hard to imagine it as a conversion… anyway it is a training aircraft.

MiG-29/Su-27? Prove the point every day that Air Force aircraft modified for the Navy never are as good as those designed specifically.

Harrier? Ahh tailhook, catapult? It’s in a different class.

This issue is all about physics and engineering not debating and definitions. Despite a handful of examples the reality remains that landing on an aircraft carrier is a lot more demanding than landing on a runway after a nice smooth flare. And further that you can’t just take a modern high performance aircraft designed for the lessor of two evils and make it perform in the greater. Unless you are willing to accept either much higher accident rate or extensively redesign it to try and bring it up to spec. Everything else is just stupid posturing.
 

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TomS said:
Viggen was stressed for roughly 5 m/sec sink rates, and Gripen should be similar (I found the numbers once, but can't locate them again now :mad: ). The target sink rates for US carrier aircraft seems to run at around 7-8 m/sec. The number Saab is advertising for Naval Gripen is 6.3 m/sec.

I know what you mean. I just spent two hours going through my Gripen books, Aeroworx and one from Sweden, and I couldn't find it in either of them. I think where I read the sink rate for it was in an Aviation Week article from last year that had those numbers in it.
 

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Hammer Birchgrove said:
TomS said:
Viggen was stressed for roughly 5 m/sec sink rates, and Gripen should be similar (I found the numbers once, but can't locate them again now :mad: ). The target sink rates for US carrier aircraft seems to run at around 7-8 m/sec. The number Saab is advertising for Naval Gripen is 6.3 m/sec.
This is beside the point, but as another poster in this forum wrote, Viggen uses thrust reversing - which isn't good when landing on a carrier.

Thrust reversing isn't needed on a carrier, but it shouldn't be terribly hard to disable or simply not use -- I believe it has to be manually selected in flight and then activates with weight on the nose wheel. Tailhook loads would certainly have to be dealt with, but that's separate from the landing gear issues.
 

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TomS said:
Viggen was stressed for roughly 5 m/sec sink rates, and Gripen should be similar (I found the numbers once, but can't locate them again now :mad: ). The target sink rates for US carrier aircraft seems to run at around 7-8 m/sec. The number Saab is advertising for Naval Gripen is 6.3 m/sec.

Current sink rate seems to be around 15 ft/sec :
http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2010/07/13/343778/farnborough-saab-plots-bright-future-for-gripen-programme.html

Figures I've seen for the sink rate required for Sea Gripen oscillate between 20 ft/sec and 25 ft/sec :

"over 20 ft/sec" : http://www.stratpost.com/saab-offers-naval-gripen-to-india

25 ft/sec : http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2010/07/13/343778/farnborough-saab-plots-bright-future-for-gripen-programme.html
 

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TomS said:
Hammer Birchgrove said:
TomS said:
Viggen was stressed for roughly 5 m/sec sink rates, and Gripen should be similar (I found the numbers once, but can't locate them again now :mad: ). The target sink rates for US carrier aircraft seems to run at around 7-8 m/sec. The number Saab is advertising for Naval Gripen is 6.3 m/sec.
This is beside the point, but as another poster in this forum wrote, Viggen uses thrust reversing - which isn't good when landing on a carrier.

Thrust reversing isn't needed on a carrier, but it shouldn't be terribly hard to disable or simply not use -- I believe it has to be manually selected in flight and then activates with weight on the nose wheel. Tailhook loads would certainly have to be dealt with, but that's separate from the landing gear issues.

I see, thanks!
 

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At the rate things are going, we may actually see a Naval Gripen in service with the FAA in the not too distant future. Assuming the FAA survives that long.
 

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Saab's UK Plans - Boost Gripen in Brazil (Ares blog)

Saab announced just before last week's Defense & Security Equipment International show in London that it was establishing a new, bigger office in the UK - including a design team for a carrier-based version of the Gripen NG fighter.

So far, says new Saab UK chairman Rustan Nicander, this does not represent a move to unseat the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter as the selected aircraft for the Royal Navy's new carriers. Even if the F-35C runs into trouble, Sea Typhoon is probably next in line. However, the UK has experience with sea-based aircraft through the Sea Harrier force, and Saab is looking to hire people with that knowledge.

So far, the main targets for the Sea Gripen are Brazil - which, as well as running a landbased fighter competition, is just completing a major upgrade on the carrier Sao Paulo, originally the French Foch - and India.
 

F-14D

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What? They couldn't spend the bucks to make a model of the whole carrier, including the aft end?

Or maybe this is the whole ship and the length of the angle means you're going to decelerate very fast and you really need to hook that #1 wire! B)

Thanks, GTX
 

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There's also this: http://www.defense-aerospace.com/article-view/release/145025/saab-touts-naval-‘sea-gripen’-variant.html

An article in the latest Jane's Defence Weekly suggests that the three firms offering the remaining contenders in the Brazilian F-X2 competition (Boeing F/A-18E/F, Dassault Rafale, Saab Gripen E/F) are suffering from "Brazil fatigue" because it's taking the Brazilians so long to make their minds up. The process started in 1997, so it's being going on for 16 years now. There are suggestions that they'll soon have to withdraw their current offers and recalculate them.
 

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Pushing that its small and light enough to safely operate off San Paulo where as the other two contenders whilst having Naval variants are too big and heavy to operate off their current carrier and would need a new larger carrier to replace San Paulo.

Only trouble is SAAB should probably have done this in the 80/90's when developing the Gripen to have been able to offer a viable carrier option like the Russians did with the Mig-29K.
 

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Geoff_B said:
Pushing that its small and light enough to safely operate off San Paulo where as the other two contenders whilst having Naval variants are too big and heavy to operate off their current carrier and would need a new larger carrier to replace San Paulo.

Only trouble is SAAB should probably have done this in the 80/90's when developing the Gripen to have been able to offer a viable carrier option like the Russians did with the Mig-29K.


Getting a little further off topic (though in my defence Sea Gripen is mentioned within this ;) ), this is one of the reasons why DCNS is supposedly promoting its PA2 carrier design to Brazil, as a future replacement for the NAe Sao Paolo. If a long term, package deal were preferred then the Rafale (in both land and ship based flavours) would stand a good chance of coming out on top.
 

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