Gripen E has a wide weapon carrying capacity- up to nine missiles and 16 bombs can be carried- making it a fighter that is always ready for operating in a network-centric scenario. Partly due to flexible avionics structure, a wide array of weapons- from guided glide bombs for precision engagement with low collateral damage, to long-range and agile air-to-air missiles and heavy anti-ship armaments- can be integrated to Gripen E.
“What makes Gripen a really powerful fighter system is the Meteor. Meteor is one the best BVRAAMs (Beyond-Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile) available today. With Gripen, Sweden became the first country to integrate the Meteor missile and make it operational on a fighter plane. Meteor has been integrated to Gripen using two way data-link system, which enables you to monitor the mid-course status of missiles,” Musa says.
Musa then elaborates on weapons like Rafael SPICE (Smart, Precise Impact, Cost-Effective) 250 which is a precision-guided stand-off glide munition, GBU 10 laser-guided bomb, and Tauras 350 long-range missiles.
“Taurus 350 does look like a very large weapon. But we can easily carry it on Gripen. It is an INS and GPs guided missile system. It is used for targets that are difficult to penetrate (dense air-defences on the ground) with small diameter ammunitions,” he says.
Besides the weapon systems, Musa also talks about Gripen E features that support the fighter during live combat missions.
“An important enhanced feature of the Gripen E fighter is its undercarriage which is tucked in under the wings enabling to have a wider or more fuel capacity. This gives the pilot the ability to optimize the fuel consumption at various combat modes while flying the aircraft,” he says.