The Swedish aerospace giant SAAB AB has announced a new electronic warfare package for its Gripen being offered to Finland for its HX fighter procurement. The country has been seeking to replace its current Boeing F/A-18 C/D aircraft.
Saab’s offering to Finland for the HX fighter procurement includes both the fighter jet Gripen E/F and the GlobalEye Airborne Early Warning and Control System, the company informed.
Announcing during the Kauhava Air Show in Finland on August 28th, Saab unveiled fresh details about its Gripen E/F proposal for Helsinki’s fighter requirement – comprising a newly developed EW (Electronic Warfare) Jammer Pod and a decoy missile system.
According to the company, its new in-development Lightweight Air- launched Decoy Missile (LADM) along with the electronic attack jammer pod “will ensure that Finnish pilots will be protected from enemy radars and missiles”.
A decoy missile system is a lucrative option for the Finnish air force, which can jam or create false targets for acquisition, tracking, fire control and airborne radars, reducing the number of missiles and aircraft required to complete a mission. However, these are company claims and the user trials are still pending.
“The decoy missile, that we present today, will constitute a strong addition to Gripen E/F’s built-in electronic attack capabilities. The payload of the new decoy missile is to a large extent developed in Finland and this will strengthen our offer to Finland even further,” says Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President and Head of Saab Business Area Aeronautics.
Helsinki has set a budget of €10 billion ($12 billion) for the HX procurement, with competing bidders including Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, Lockheed Martin F-35A, and Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft. A selection is due before the end of 2021.
Speaking at the airshow Saab’s HX campaign director Magnus Skogberg said, “Our package stays within these boundaries,” with only minor adaptations required at Finnish maintenance facilities. The Swedish bid also includes personnel training and simulators, a five-year package of in-service support during the new fighter’s introduction from 2025, plus what the company describes as a “substantial weapons package”.
The additional offering, the GlobalEye, is a multirole airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) platform based on the Bombardier Global 6000 aircraft and was initially developed for its lead customer UAE, and is also being offered to Finland along with 64 Gripen E/F.
“Our offering to Finland, combining Gripen E/F and GlobalEye as force multipliers, will protect Finland’s people and borders, by delivering both comprehensive situational awareness and a true deterrence effect,” the company said in a statement.