Across Asia Pacific, for governments and defence planners, the Gripen fighter has emerged as the stand-out candidate to modernise aging fleets and make air forces more effective.

It’s not hard to understand why more and more nations see Gripen as their best option: Gripen leads the way when it comes to using the latest technology and new thinking to best effect. Gripen’s smart design philosophy makes it uniquely able to deliver outstanding operational effects in a package that is easy to acquire, support, deploy, sustain and upgrade over the long term.

Gripen is a true multi-role aircraft, compatible with the very latest weapons, sensors and mission systems. At the same time, its designers understood that combat power is meaningless if an operator cannot afford to maintain a meaningful number of aircraft in reliable service. Therefore, Gripen combines capability in a cost-effective package that is especially well-suited to the Asia Pacific region.

Most air forces in the region have to operate across a wide mix of land and sea terrain which are typically hard to police. Gripen can perform a wide range of missions including offensive counter air, defensive counter air, air policing, cruise missile defence, close air support, air interdiction, suppression and destruction of enemy air defences, maritime strike, strategic attack, sea surveillance, tactical air reconnaissance and non-traditional intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance. All of these missions can be performed 24/7, in all types of weather, and Gripen is always capable of taking on multiple missions in a single sortie.

In Malaysia, the Royal Malaysian Air Force has to cope not merely with securing traditional boundaries; it has to police regions, and guard against terrorism, piracy and other non-state threats. The RMAF needs new aircraft that deliver capability, availability and affordability in a single multi-role package. Gripen’s combination of excellent operational performance and moderate through lifecycle costs, both for procurement and maintenance, makes it unique and unbeatable.

The Gripen system has what it takes to defend Malaysia's skies. And the reasons lie in the fact that the Gripen fighter combines advanced technology and operational effectiveness in an affordable package that no other fighter aircraft can even hope to match”, says Thomas Linden, Vice-President, Saab Malaysia. “Gripen is most suited for the MRCA program, in which the Royal Malaysian Air Force is seeking an aircraft that has high availability and a comprehensive multi-role capability in a cost efficient solution for replacement of the MiG-29 fleet. Besides a direct-buy-offer, Saab has also presented a very beneficial interim lease solution to the Royal Malaysian Air Force”, he continues.

A look around the world shows air forces are selecting Gripen not merely because of its air dominance skills, exceptional lifecycle cost management and unparalleled availability – Gripen is being counted upon as a future-ready aircraft that will effectively serve air forces for many years without losing its technology edge. As the newest generation of fighter in service today, it is designed to maintain operational superiority against existing and future threats by allowing easy upgrades with new sensors, avionics and weapons.

Gripen combines unique, advanced capabilities with a track record across three continents. A true multi-role fighter, it can switch instantly between identification, tracking and precision strike tasks. It offers proven forward-basing and flexible deployment with the potential for independent future growth. All with the highest availability and lowest lifecycle costs of any fighter on the market.

High operational availability, rapid turnaround and minimal support requirements deliver sustained high sortie rates, giving commanders the ability to meet the most demanding operations with minimum resources. The open design of Gripen allows for full payload flexibility and a full range of weapon integration options.

Inherent in Gripen’s design concept is its ability to operate in groups, sharing targets and friendly force information while cooperating with other aircraft to deploy the most modern weapons available. Gripen’s delta-canard configuration with relaxed aerodynamic stability delivers outstanding performance in the air. 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.

Saab is committed to working with governments to offer and deliver industrial cooperation programmes with social value that reaches far beyond the aircraft contract. This way, Saab creates sustainable business and real economic growth. Industrial cooperation is achieved through the direct participation of local industries in various levels of production and development, or by Saab generating other investments within areas of national priority. These areas can cover high-level objectives ranging from purely military strategic goals all the way up to overall contribution to the GDP. Saab AB and Defence Technologies Sdn Bhd (Deftech), a wholly owned subsidiary of DRB-HICOM Berhad, has entered into an industrial co-operation agreement. The agreement covers areas such as Gripen-related maintenance and support activities, design and manufacturing of advanced composite systems and associated technology transfer.

It is this combination of excellent operational performance and manageable through-life costs makes Gripen the unique, smart fighter on the world market today.