The combination of delta wing and canards gives the Gripen significantly better takeoff, landing performance and flying characteristics. The totally integrated avionics makes it a “programmable” aircraft. It also has an advanced electronic warfare unit, making it possible to load more ordnance onto the aircraft along with its self defence capabilities.
Gripen’s has an interesting ability to take off and land on public roads, which was part of Sweden’s war defence strategy. The requirement of the Swedish Air Force was that the Gripen fighter should be able to land on public roads near military stores for quick maintenance, and take off again. As a result, the Gripen fighter can be refueled and re-armed quickly as per the requirement.Thus Gripen made sure that it didn’t require airstrips for landing and re-fueling thus making it an effective air combat aircraft during strategic warfare.
The Gripen is a single engine multirole fighter aircraft manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab. The Gripen was designed for performance, flexibility, effectiveness and high combat capability.
The new Gripen NG (Next Generation) has parts powered by General Electric F414G, a development of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet’s engine. Gripen’s Demo maiden flight was conducted on 27 May 2008 and the test flight lasted about 30 minutes with mach 1.2 speed and a maximum altitude of about 6,400 meters.