Back in 1937, when the world was on the brink of another world war, Sweden decided to build itself a strong armed forces to mitigate threats. Later, during the Cold War, the Swedish air Force realised that it needed a fighter that would ensure operations from multiple locations and not just the official military air bases in the event of a war. Besides, high availability at dispersed locations, this also meant the Air Force could keep the aircraft well hidden when they were not airborne.
Cold War resulted into many countries giving the highest economic priority to military. However, Sweden, with its relatively small defence budget, wanted a fighter that was as efficient as possible. The decision to develop Gripen was taken in 1982. Right from the beginning, the fighter was designed to offer the best performance with simple, fuss-free support systems. Operational from regular roads, easy to maintain, and fast air-to-air turn-around on a road base were some of the important features that were required.
All these requirements led to the development of a fighter that could deliver high availability with low logistic footprint and cost effectiveness.
Gripen can land or take-off using a road strip 800×16 m. No runways needed.
Operational turnaround for Gripen takes less than ten minutes with the help of one technician and five conscript mechanics. This includes refueling and rearming time.
An engine change should take less than an hour
Gripen’s support solution is efficient and simple. It doesn’t require complex base facilities or exotic support equipment for operation. The solution is flexible enough to be tailored to operator’s requirements.
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