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JAS-39 Gripen
Jas-39
Manufacturer(s) SAAG
Generation 3rd Generation
Role Advanced All-Purpose Fighter
Initial Deployment 1996
Engines General Electronics FE404-GE-400

The JAS-39 Gripen is a 3rd generation Tactical Surface Fighter deployed by the Kingdom of Sweden, and was developed as a continuation of the J-35 Draken and JA-37 Viggen. Its name, Gripen, is Swedish for the mythical Griffin, and a representation of the unit's free-fighting capabilities on the ground and in the sky.[1]

HistoryEdit

Having achieved both 1st and 2nd generation production capabilities with the J-35 and JA-37, Sweden began seeking a modern replacement for its older models. TSF manufacturer SAAG was commissioned by the nation to build a 3rd generation TSF specialized for multi-role capability during any single mission; the new TSF had to be able to take up the roles of fighter (Jakt), attack (Attack), and reconnaissance (Spaning) at any given time, without returning to base for an equipment switch.

The design, however, emphasized on cost performance and reliability over sheer combat capability, and was envisioned as a lightweight combat unit[2]; also influencing the design was Sweden's own defence policies regarding the recapture of the European continent. With a sizable amount of funds and materials saved from the BETA invasion of the Swedish homeland, research into the technology required of 3rd generation TSFs, with the aid of clandestine deals with the Empire of Japan, was carried out.[3] The end product was the JAS-39, the third of Sweden's indigenous TSF designs.

Like the TSFs before it, the JAS-39 was built with NOE flight tactics in mind, as Sweden's end-goal of retaking their country involved utilizing the cover afforded by the mountainous terrain of their homeland as a counter-Laser tactic, as opposed to the wide open lands of continental Europe.[4] Radar and altitude control capabilities were given heavy emphasis; having assumed that the degradation of data-link in a combat theater was inevitable due to the heavy usage of heavy-metal anti-laser countermeasures, the JAS-39 had various sensors, in addition to its optics, that allowed it to gather real-time combat data without taking on extra equipment. Using its head sensor mast, designed for maximum coverage and target acquisition range and equipped with extra sensor nodes,[5] and the look-down/shoot-down capability of its new radar, the JAS-39 could deliver accurate shelling from behind the relative safety of a mountain ridge, only exposing the barest part of its frame to gain valuable combat data.[6]

As is with most European TSFs, the JAS-39's close-combat capabilities place an emphasis on fixed armaments; the Blade Vanes on its shoulders and their positioning were derived from studies into aerodynamic properties and arm/shoulder position during melee combat.[7] The close-combat blades on its forearms, which deploy forward using a flip mechanism before locking its joint axis, was an improvement upon the F-5G's own design, and provided the TSF's main arms with the capability for weapons selection, even with the blades deployed.[8] The similarity of its design to the EF-2000 Typhoon and Rafale is a hint regarding the common design mindset shared by all European nations in the war against the BETA.[9]

DeploymentEdit

The JAS-39 is mainly deployed by the Kingdom of Sweden, with the goal of replacing its JA-37 TSFs. Several attempts have been made to sell the JAS-39 by banking on its ease of maintenance and relatively low cost to other nations[10] in COSEAN, the Middle Eastern Coalition, and the African Union.

Modified JAS-39s were also deployed with Garm Experimental Test Flight to Yukon Base in 2000, as part of Sweden's participation in Project PROMINENCE, in order to further improve the Gripen. Upgrades for this new Gripen variant, which was funded in part by Project PROMINENCE, included improved avionics and an extended operation time.[11]

TriviaEdit

  • The codename of the unit, JAS, stands for the TSF's three main operation purposes: Jakt, Attack and Spaning. This is also true of the real-world JAS-39.

Image GalleryEdit

  • A Gripen shown beside a Tornado at Yukon Base
  • A battle-worn Gripen, during Operation Ouka.
  • A JAS-Gripen 39, as seen at the Yukon base.

ReferencesEdit

  1. MLA LD7 Total Eclipse, pg. 11, JAS-39 開発沿革, last paragraph
  2. MLA LD7 Total Eclipse, pg. 11, JAS-39 開発沿革, 1st paragraph
  3. MLA LD7 Total Eclipse, pg. 11, JAS-39 開発沿革, 5th paragraph.
  4. MLA LD7 Total Eclipse, pg. 11, JAS-39 開発沿革, 2nd paragraph.
  5. MLA LD7 Total Eclipse, pg. 11, 頭部モジュールとセンサーマスト.
  6. MLA LD7 Total Eclipse, pg. 11, "JAS-39 開発沿革", 3rd paragraph.
  7. MLA LD7 Total Eclipse, pg. 10, 肩部ブレードベーン.
  8. MLA LD7 Total Eclipse, pg. 10, 展開式ブレードベーン
  9. MLA LD7 Total Eclipse, pg. 10, 類似する機体レイアウト
  10. MLA LD7 Total Eclipse, pg. 11, JAS-39の特徴, 1st paragraph.
  11. MLA LD7 Total Eclipse, pg. 11, JAS-39の特徴, last paragraph.


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