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Silent Gripen?

datafuser

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While reading the Gripen story in the Feb 2010 issue of Jane's International Defence Review, I found an interesting part about lowering the Gripen's RCS.

"... further work on this aspect of the Gripen NG's design has included the possibility of installing weapons within conformal fuel tanks in a similar way to that proposed by Boeing as part of the proposed 'Silent Eagle' variant of the F-15."

This remark is by Johan Lehander, head of the Gripen strategy unit at Saab.

The most obvious place to put conformal fuel tanks is the upper fuselage surface, like the F-16E/F Block 60 as shown in the attached graphic. Whether it's worthwhile thing to do is debatable - especially if all you can put inside the weapon CFTs are only two AMRAAMs.

Sunho
 

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JA37D

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Interesting.

I don't automatically agree that upper fuselage tanks is the most obvious on the NG design.

Remove the 3 centre-fuselage pylons then add conformal tanks on the underside. I think there is room enough for both fuel and two BVR missiles without becoming too "pregnant" looking. Having the wiring already in place on the belly and I suppose with rail launchers on bay doors.

That way they would remove the need for a external droptank and the need for two underwing missiles.
 

JA37D

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My line of thought in the post above is something like this (attached)...

The red is the current outwards opening gear doors on the NG and the green is what I could think up as a weapons bay/CFT without blocking the engine panel. With weapons wiring and fuel plumbing in place I just think this is one possible option but maybe I am way off... ???
 

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datafuser

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JA37D said:
Interesting.

I don't automatically agree that upper fuselage tanks is the most obvious on the NG design.

Remove the 3 centre-fuselage pylons then add conformal tanks on the underside. I think there is room enough for both fuel and two BVR missiles without becoming too "pregnant" looking. Having the wiring already in place on the belly and I suppose with rail launchers on bay doors.

That way they would remove the need for a external droptank and the need for two underwing missiles.

Thanks for your comment.

Replacing 3 centre-fuselage pylons with a CFT seems possible, as long as it does not interfere with main landing gear.

More importantly, I think any weapon CFT that can hold only two BVR AAMs will limit the Silent Gripen to a pure interceptor that must turn back and run away after firing off its two AAMs.
 
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