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Did India Miss A Trick By Rejecting ‘Stealth Killer’ Saab Gripen For Rafale & Sukhoi Jets?

The Gripen E has been ordered by both Sweden and Brazil. Other Saab Gripen fighters have been sold to Hungary, Czech Republic, South Africa and Thailand. India turned down the option to buy the Gripen fighter jet for the Rafales. 

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The Russian built Sukhoi jets are one of the most feared fighter jets in the world. However, Sweden has a jet of its own that has been dubbed as the ‘Russian jet killer’. The Gripen E fighter jet developed by Saab has been designed to kill Russia’s fearsome Sukhoi jets.

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Sweden’s Air Force says its Gripen E fighter jets are designed to kill Russia’s fearsome Sukhoi fighter jets, and that they have a “black belt” in that type of combat.  Russia’s Sukhoi fighters have achieved a kind of legendary status for their ability to out-manoeuvre US fighter jets in dogfights and pull off dangerous and aggressive stunts in the air, but Gripen E may have cracked the code.

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Justin Bronk, an expert at the Royal United Services Institute, told Business Insider that just as the American A-10 Warthog attack aircraft “was designed around its powerful cannon,” the Gripen was built with a focus on electronic warfare.

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Almost all modern aircraft carry out electronic warfare to some degree, Bronk said, but the Gripen E stands above all others. In a test flight, the Gripen E jet was able to “jam” the German Typhoon fighter jets.

SAAB-GRIPEN

SAAB-GRIPEN

While the US has spent millions on dollars on stealth technology to outclass Russian Sukhoi jets, Sweden has taken a completely different approach.

Saab took a different and cheaper approach to combat the Sukhoi by focusing on electronic attack, which gives them an advantage over stealth as they can evolve the software without a ground-up rebuild, according to Bronk.

The Gripen E has been ordered by both Sweden and Brazil. Other Saab Gripen fighters have been sold to Hungary, Czech Republic, South Africa and Thailand. India turned down the option to buy the Gripen fighter jet for French Rafale.

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Dassault’s Rafale was not India’s only choice as various other global firms expressed interest in the MMRCA tender. Six renowned aircraft manufacturers competed to bag the contract of 126 jets which included Lockheed Martin’s F-16s, Boeing’s F/A-18s, Eurofighter Typhoon, Russia’s MiG-35, Sweden’s Saab’s Gripen and Dassault’s Rafale.

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