Gripen E: Always ready for flight
To respond to multiple threats at its borders, India needs fighter aircraft that are in the air and not in hangars. Gripen, with its high sortie rate, can perform various range of air-to-air, air-to-surface and surveillance missions while delivering on high operational readiness. Here are three ways that Gripen delivers high availability.
Ready to fly in no time
Quick turnaround time is why Gripen is readily available for any mission. It takes just ten minutes for one technician and five conscript mechanics to refuel, re-arm and turnaround the aircraft for an air-to-air mission. No complex base facilities or services are needed. Measures have been taken to make Gripen as independent as possible. For example, the fighter can handle many of its start-up systems and perform diagnostic checks internally. Access panels have been designed to operate with just a push.
The engine changing process has been simplified as well. According to Per Sverker, Maintenance Manager, Test Hangar, at Saab, changing the engine is one of the most impressive parts of Gripen E. It takes less than an hour to change a Gripen engine using simple tools. ‘’The smart design of the Gripen means that no specific support equipment is needed to access the engine bay. The engine is mounted in three places, including pipes and an electrical connection. Although it is very easy to change the engine, it is so good that you don’t need to change it often,” Sverker explains.
Even during an ongoing mission, a Gripen pilot doesn't have to land to get more fuel. All Gripen fighters have been designed for air-to-air refuelling. This means the fighter has more time to be in the air. Refuelling doesn't take more than 10 minutes. Gripen also features hot refuelling capabilities; it can be refuelled while the engine is still running. This further minimizes the downtime and plays an important role in making sure the fighters are always at the ready.