Gripen Aggressor

Gripen Aggressor

Postby Jackonicko on Tue 12 Sep 2017, 6:51 pm

Saab unveiled its Gripen Aggressor concept today at DSEI 2017. The new variant is intended to perform realistic air combat training, and is being pitched to meet the UK MOD’s Air Support to Defence Operational Training (ASDOT) and United States Air Force’s Adversary Air (ADAIR) requirements.

Recognising the growing segment within the adversary air combat training market for highly advanced aggressor capabilities, Saab is offering a new variant of its Gripen C fighter, customised for the dissimilar air combat training ‘aggressor’ role, retaining the frontline aircraft’s advanced sensor and datalink capabilities, but without armament.

Saab claim that the Gripen Aggressor brings a unique mix of high performance, mission flexibility and availability combined with a low life cycle cost, and describe the Gripen Aggressor as the ultimate platform for the adversary air combat training market.

Aggressor or adversary aircraft act as opposing forces (or ‘Red Air’) during combat training. Aggressor pilots emulate enemy tactics, techniques, and procedures in order to provide a realistic threat for an air force’s pilots to train against.

Saab have identified a major disparity in the capabilities provided by today’s aggressors and what the need will be in the future. “In order to train as you fight, you need to fly advanced combat tactics against peer and near peer opponents,” says Richard Smith, head of Gripen marketing & sales at Saab. “Essentially world class pilots need to train against world class opponents and that is the Gripen Aggressor.”

The Gripen could certainly provide a dissimilar, near-peer adversary for RAF and USAF fighter pilots to train against, but some question whether marketing the aircraft as an Aggressor might not undercut Saab's efforts to market the type as a viable modern frontline fighter, since the adversary role has often been carried out by older, obsolescent types.


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