What Makes Gripen a Strong Contender for Canada's Fighter Program

Gripen, although the newest contender for Canada’s fighter procurement program, has been listed as one of the strongest one for the ongoing Future Fighter Capability project. A report in the Canadian Defence Review points out various Gripen features that make the fighter worthy of choice for Canada's fighter program.

Gripen E is Saab’s take on revolutionary avionics systems that focuses on a state-of-the-art sensor system, Electronic Warfare (EW) system and data-link capability. “The exterior design of Gripen E hints at the importance Saab has placed in a powerful, 360-degree suite of EW technology whilst ensuring optimal datalink performance in an interoperable / coalition environment,” says the report. 

Gripen E’s ability to handle data to and from on-board and networked sources; processing and presenting it in a simplified, pilot-friendly manner gives the fighter tactical superiority. Gripen also features full interoperability which will support Canada in fulfilling all of its NORAD and NATO commitments.

Another key aspect that makes Gripen suitable for Canada is its ability to operate in extreme geographical conditions, not to mention that it does so with a comparatively low logistical and maintenance footprint, ensuring maximum aircraft availability and efficient deployability. With its Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) capability, Gripen can be operated from dispersed airbases even during the harshest of winters.

A very important component of Saab’s Gripen offer to Canada is technology transfer. With the recent “Gripen for Canada Team,” Saab intends to strengthen the Gripen offer even more. This initiative will bring together leading Canadian aerospace companies like IMP Aerospace & Defence, CAE, Peraton Canada, and GE Aviation along with Saab for the development and production of Gripen in Canada. The amended proposal aims to deliver high-quality industrial and technological benefits along with 88 Gripen fighters.

“We are committed to technology and knowledge transfer into Canada and Canadian industries, enabling the evolution of a ‘Made in Canada by Canada’ solution and providing Canada with the ability and capability to support, sustain and upgrade the Canadian Fighter to meet Canada’s evolving needs for today and decades to come,” says Patrick Palmer, Executive Vice President of Saab Canada.

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