More powerful engine for Gripen

December 14th, 2007  

Topic: More powerful engine for Gripen

Bigger, More Powerful And Cheaper

Posted by Bill Sweetman at 12/13/2007 8:03 AM
An unexpected feature of the new Gripen Demo prototype, designed to lay the groundwork for a next-generation version of Sweden's multi-role fighter, is that its General Electric F414G engine actually costs less than the older, less powerful RM12 engine in the current JAS 39C/D aircraft.
The reason? The RM12 is a custom-modified version of the F404, which is now out of production, while the F414G is almost identical to the Super Hornet engine, in full-rate production. The Gripen team has also been fortunate in that the RM12 and the F414 are close in airflow requirements, avoiding a very costly redesign of the inlets and main bulkheads of the fighter.
Gripen International managing director Johan Lehander says that the final major decision on the Gripen Demo program (formally launched by an October 17 contract) will be the choice of a partner to help develop an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar for the new fighter.
Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Selex are the candidates for AESA co-development. Lehander drops no hints, but Selex was the development partner on the existing radar and has shown some remarkable prowess in low-cost AESAs.

A Gripen brief shows a novel AESA configuration.


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