The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration , FMV, has geared up to upgrade all Gripen C/D aircraft later this year.
The Gripen aircraft will be upgraded to Gripen Version 20 by modifying both hardware and software.
The proposed changes being made this year will include the addition of the Meteor missile to give Gripen increased long-range air-to-air capability.
The missile has the capability to detect and defeat enemy aircraft by interacting with the aircraft’s sensors and support systems.
Its propulsion is managed by a ramjet engine, which will provide a significant increase in range, FMV said in a statement.
Meteor was developed under a partnership between Sweden, Italy, Spain, Germany, France and Britain.
Saab has test-fired the Meteor missile, while FMV Test and Evaluation provided project management support, test management and pilots.
The Version 20 also includes the small diameter bomb (SDB), a precision weapon for ground targets that are dropped from the aircraft.
In a statement posted on the website, FMV Version 20 upgrade project manager Michael Östergren said that the SDB is loaded with target data from the aircraft prior launch and then guides itself to the target.
Additionally, protection against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats is being added to Version 20 in order to protect the pilot in contaminated environments during the mission and allow ground crews to effectively decontaminate the aircraft once it has landed.
The Ground Collision Avoidance System is also being added to automatically prevent the aircraft from hitting the ground during uncontrolled situation.
Image: The Gripen C/D aircraft. Photo: courtesy of Swedish Defence Materiel Administration.