Gripen is the first of the new generation, multi-role fighter aircraft to enter operational service.

Using the latest technology it is capable of performing an extensive range of air-to-air, air-to-surface and reconnaissance missions employing the latest weapons. Gripen is designed to meet the demands of existing and future threats, while simultaneously meeting strict requirements for flight safety, reliability, training efficiency and low operating costs.

Gripen the Multi-role Fighter Aircraft


Saab Press Centre

Mobile: +46 734 18 00 18


Gripen is a truly international weapon system incorporating the latest technology from a team of major defence industries. As the newest generation of fighter in service today, it has been designed to maintain operational superiority against existing and future threats by providing spare system capacity to easily allow the incorporation of new sensors, avionics and weapons.

Netcentric Fighter
A truly Network Centric new generation multi-role fighter with the world’s most highly developed secure and multi-frequency data link, providing total situational awareness for the pilot in all roles.

Superior Sensor Fusion
A fully integrated avionic mission system operating on five 1553B digital data bus highways. This provides total sensor fusion, resulting in enhanced combat capability guaranteeing precision delivery of smart weapons.

Smart Digital Cockpit
An advanced fully digital cockpit layout with three large colour, Multi-Functional Displays (MFD) and Hands-On-Throttle-And-Stick (HOTAS) provide the pilot with a superior combat advantage. ‘Don’t need, don’t show’. 

See First – Hit First
A combination of low radar, IR and visual signatures, along with the long range PS05 multimode radar and sensor fusion, including world leading new generation weapon integration, ensure a high hit-ratio in long range engagements.

Gripen, Photographer Per KUSTVIK

Gripen, Photographer Katsuhiko TOKUNAGA

Outstanding Agility
The world’s most agile fighter for close combat. A combination of advanced aerodynamic layout utilizing a combined close-coupled canard – delta configuration and a triplex, digital Fly-By-Wire Flight Control System (FCS) leads to a winning Dog-Fight capability.

High Operational Tempo

Gripen’s high operational availability, rapid turnaround and minimal support requirements lead to sustained high sortie rates, giving Commanders the ability to meet the most demanding operations with minimum resources.

Gripen achieves the lowest operating cost of any fighter currently in operational service. This is accomplished by combining advanced system design, high technology and modern components.

Future development
The Gripen is built to be adaptable to changing threats and operational requirements faced by a modern air force. Gripen has significant growth available and many features are implemented in software. This means that modifications are much easier to design and implement. In most cases costly hardware changes can be avoided.

A two-seat version of the Gripen, which retains the full operational capability of the single-seater, is also available for tactical weapons training, more specialised missions and type conversion.

In use

The Gripen fighter is in service with a number of air forces: Swedish, Czech, Hungarian, South African and Thai. The UK Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS) is operating Gripen as its advanced fast jet platform for test pilots worldwide.

Gripen was declared operational with the Swedish Air Force in 1997, and 204 aircraft, including 28 two seaters, have been delivered.

Czech Republic
Gripen is in full operational service with the Czech Republic Air Force, which has taken delivery of all 14 aircraft (12 single-seat and 2 two-seaters) to meet its national, European and NATO defence needs.  

Gripen is also in full operational service with the Hungarian Air Force, which has taken delivery of all 14 aircraft (12 single-seat and 2 two-seaters) to meet its national, European and NATO needs.  

South Africa
South Africa, Gripen’s first export customer, has ordered a fleet of 26 aircraft (9 two-seat and 17 single seat aircraft) to replace its existing front-line aircraft. Deliveries began in 2008 and was completed during the spring of 2012.  

Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS), UK
The United Kingdom’s (UK) Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS) is also operating Gripen as its advanced fast jet platform for test pilots worldwide. 

Thailand has ordered a fleet of 12 aircraft (4 two-seat and 8 single seat aircraft) to replace its ageing F-5 aircraft. The first six Gripen aircraft were delivered in 2011 and they are now operational in the Royal Thai Air Force.

Gripen, Photographer Katsuhiko TOKUNAGA

Technical specifications

Designed to ensure outstanding combat agility. Gripen features a delta-canard configuration with relaxed aerodynamic stability. The delta wing and canards, along with the digital Fly-By-Wire Flight Control System, give the fighter an optimum combination of manoeuvrability, acceleration, top speed and short-field performance.

Key Features:

  • Advanced aerodynamics combining a close coupled canard-delta configuration.
  • Lightweight structure employing advanced materials and construction techniques.
  • The world´s most highly developed data link.
  • Triplex, digital fly-by-wire Flight Control System for optimum combat agility. 
  • Fully-integrated avionic systems operating via five MIL-STD 1553B digital data bus highways.
  • Advanced cockpit layout with large colour Multi-Function Displays (MFDs) and Hands-On-Throttle-And-Stick (HOTAS) controls.
  • Long range PS-05/A multi-mode, pulse doppler radar.
  • Powerful, fuel efficient, Volvo Aero Corporation RM12 turbofan engine.
  • On Board Oxygen Generation System (OBOGS) and Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR).
  • Low visual radar and Infra-Red (IR) signatures.
  • Heavy and varied weapons load covering all mission parameters - Air-to-Air, Air-to-Ground, Air-to-Sea, Reconnaissance and Advanced Tactical Training - an unrivalled mix of simplicity and sophistication.
  • 50% lower operating costs than its best competitor.
  • “On-condition" maintenance.
  • Capable of operating from simple road bases and dispersed bases with the minimum of maintenance personnel and ground support equipment.

Gripen, Photographer Stefan Kalm

Cockpit and Display System
The Gripen cockpit is dominated by three large, full colour, Multi-Function Displays (MFDs) and a wide angle diffractive optics Head-Up Display (HUD) with a holographic combiner. A highly efficient human-machine interface has been integrated into the Gripen to substantially ease pilot workload, particularly in combat situations. This provides a Gripen pilot with outstanding situational awareness, ensuring unrivalled operational effectiveness. It also increases the time available for tactical decision-making, allowing the pilot to use the aircraft and weapons system to maximum effect. 

View a large image of the cockpit with specific details.

The primary sensor of the Gripen target acquisition/weapons aiming system is the long range PS-05/A radar. The Gripen radar is a compact, long-range, high-performance multi-mode pulse doppler radar with a modular architecture and high reliability, offering high resolution, excellent look-down performance and good Electronic Counter-Counter Measures (ECCM) capabilities. Using state-of-the-art technology, including fully programmable signal and data processors, the radar is able to handle all types of air defence, air-to-surface and reconnaissance missions with built in growth potential to meet future requirements.

More information about the PS-05/A radar 

The Volvo Aero Corporation RM12 is a modular, fuel efficient, low bypass ratio afterburning turbofan in the 80 KN (18,000lb) thrust class. It is based on the General Electric F-404-400 which has completed several million flight hours in operations worldwide, with several enhancements incorporated by Volvo including increased thrust and bird strike resistance.

Gripen the Multi-role Fighter Aircraft

PS-05/A Radar

Gripen Powerplant


Length (excluding pitot tube)

14.1m (46ft 3in)

Length (Two-Seat version)

14.8m (48ft 5in)

Wing span (including launchers)

8.4m (27ft 6in)

Height overall

4.5m (14ft 8in)

Maximum take-off weight

14 tonnes

Maximum speed

M2.0 and supersonic at all altitudes









For more information about the aircraft:

Aircraft dimensions [pdf]

A detailed 3D cutaway view of the Gripen [pdf]

Weapons Flexibility [pdf]

Multi-role Capability [pdf]

Cockpit details [jpg]

Whatever your past the future is Gripen [pdf]


View Gripen in action

Becoming a customer

Gripen offers comprehensive industrial co-operation including technology transfer. We have a proven, unrivalled track record of delivering industrial co-operation programmes tailor-made to meet our customers’ strategic priorities and to produce real economic growth and social value far beyond the fighter aircraft contract. A wide range of flexible alternative financing solutions is available to ensure affordable acquisition solutions for our customers.

Gripen offers precisely tailored solutions to meet the unique needs of each customer. All solutions balance the need for fighter availability at the lowest operational and acquisition cost. However, additional factors may require special attention – perhaps one customer may require a high level of self-reliance, while another may look for a more 'turnkey' solution. These factors are taken into account when finding the optimum balance between customer and contractor support responsibilities, and the range and scale of support resources required. Maximising the use of customers' existing facilities and capabilities goes without saying.

Industrial co-operation requirements and the need to involve local industry may be another desirable or beneficial factor that can easily be accommodated in the support solution. Of equal importance are the contracting and financing routes, which can also be tailored to suit specific requirements.  This flexibility extends beyond the initial system acquisition.

A customer wishing to extend their operational or financial flexibility might choose a support solution that allows certain support decisions and commitments to be postponed until their fighters are in service. Gripen enables a more progressive decision-making process, with the possibility of interim support arrangements, enabling key support policy and procurement decisions to be made on the basis of experience gained from actual operational experience.

Gripen NG

Gripen is built to adapt to changing threats and operational requirements that modern air forces face. Based on the proven Gripen C/D platform, the Gripen Next Generation (Gripen NG, also known as Gripen E/F) carry this heritage and continues to be one of the most advanced multi-role fighters in the world - revolutionary because it combines advanced technology and operational effectiveness in an affordable package that no other fighter aircraft can even hope to match.

The Gripen NG development program was conceived by Saab back in late 2005 as an important stepping stone towards what is today known as Gripen NG. In this program many new fundamental systems and capabilities for Gripen NG are flight tested and demonstrated as a proof-of-concept as well as for risk mitigation reasons.

Saab is changing the way the world perceives fighters

Gripen Next Generation (NG) is a fully NATO-interoperable, true multi-role fighter with outstanding availability, tailored for the future Network Centric Warfare (NCW) environment. Gripen NG will meet the demanding operational requirements of the 21st century air forces and its unrivalled multi-role capability provides excellent tactical flexibility.

Gripen NG offers operational dominance and flexibility with superior mission survivability. Air-to-air superiority is guaranteed with METEOR, AMRAAM, IRIS-T, AIM-9 missile capability and supercruise. Air-to-surface capability is assured through the use of the latest generation precision weapons and targeting sensors. Gripen NG’s superior situation awareness is ensured through an AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar, IRST (Infrared Search and Track) passive sensor, HMD (Helmet Mounted Display), cutting-edge avionics, next generation data processing and a state-of-the-art cockpit.

These features together with proven Network Centric Warfare capabilities – including advanced data communications, dual data links, satellite communications and video links – coupled with enhanced range and endurance due to increased fuel capacity and increased thrust from its powerful General Electric F414G turbofan engine, make Gripen NG the ideal independent fighter of choice. Gripen NG offers outstanding agility and high instantaneous turn rates providing unrivalled performance in close combat. On-board sensors, in combination with HMD/NVG, deliver the ability to detect and destroy a wide variety of targets, even at night or in poor weather conditions.

State-of-the-art technology, modern materials, integrated computer systems and advanced aerodynamics have produced a high-performance fighter with a very low life cycle cost. Cost-effective, reliable, versatile and with a significant built-in-growth potential, Gripen NG is both fully NATO-and globally interoperable.

Gripen NG Test aircraft


Technical details for Gripen NG

Length over all:

15.2 meters

Width over all:

8.6 meters

Maximum take-off weight:

16500 kg

Max thrust:

98 kN



Maximum speed:

Mach 2 (Supercruise)

Combat turnaround air-to-air:

10 minutes 





More information and features on Gripen NG:

> Download factsheet

> Read about Gripen NG for Brazil



Here you can find a selection of publications with information and facts about Gripen.


Welcome to the Gripen Video Collection. Here you can find a selection of videos with Gripen.

Controlling The Battlefield
Award-winning Gripen in Action

Produced by MFX AB

Gripen Aerial Display

Produced by BlueSky Aerial and Specialist Filming

Gripen Controlling the Machine
Get up close and personal with the Gripen Fighter

Produced by MFX

For Gripen images:

Gripen Images Bank 

For more Gripen videos:

Gripen Video Collection

Life cycle cost

Low life cyle cost - one of Gripen´s many great features

Gripen is not only a true multirole fighter with outstanding combat capabilities, it has also a very moderate life cycle cost compared to its competitors.

Life cycle cost equals acquisition cost plus operational costs during the entire lifetime of the fighter. Flight hour cost is a parameter included in operational cost and when comparing these costs, it´s important to calculate with equal conditions. An independent study based on open source ordered by Saab was conducted by IHS Jane’s with the following results:

Gripen has a considerably lower flight hour cost than its competitors -some competitors are even several times more expensive. There are three main reasons for Gripen´s favourable flight hour cost:

Reason 1 – Cost consciousness from the start

Cost has always been a design parameter. From the very beginning of the construction of Gripen, one of the requested characteristics was; it had to be easy to service and repair, even outdoors, by conscript soldiers and a minimum of resources available. Cost is also a design parameter as every detail is designed for maximum ease of use and minimum maintenance cost. Saab’s engineers were asked to maximize performance within a cost frame, not just to maximize performance freely. This way, Saab avoids expensive solutions that are not justified by the performance improvement achieved. The whole life cycle cost is taken into consideration when prioritizations are made as it cannot be changed later. This way of thinking must be built in from the start.

Reason 2 – We select the best suppliers

A great number of different systems are integrated in Gripen. At Saab, we scan the market to find the best options. For every system category, we look for the best price-performance and select the suppliers that best meet our high standards.

Reason 3 – Lean and model based development

Saab has introduced a lean and model-based development process when designing and manufacturing Gripen. The models provide early validation, which reduces risk. They also help engineers to visualize what it will be like and thereby help avoiding misunderstandings. Another advantage is that the same models can be used throughout the entire life cycle and the three-year cycle updates – which are characteristic for Gripen – can be implemented far more swiftly when models are used instead of blueprints.


Gripen is a true multirole fighter with outstanding combat capabilities and a balanced design. The fighter has a small logistic footprint and was born to stay airborne. It is flexible in many ways and designed to stay up-to-date in a changing world. Add to this the lowest life cycle cost on the market and you have the best value for money available, making it The Smart Fighter.

Phone: +46 8 463 00 00 Copyright © 2014 Saab AB (publ) All Rights Reserved.
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