Saab Gripen E was born to kill Russian Sukhoi fighters

Saab Gripen Sukhoi killer
Saab Gripen combat aircraft.

Russian-built Sukhoi fighters are among the most feared combat aircraft in the world. However, Sweden has developed its own fighter dubbed the "Russian jet killer," according to Business Insider. The Saab Gripen E was designed to shoot down Russia's fearsome Sukhoi fighters.

The Swedish Air Force says its Gripen E is "black belts" in air combat. Russian Sukhoi fighters have achieved something of a legendary status for their ability to perform extreme maneuvers compared to US fighter jets, but the Gripen E could end their supremacy.

Justin Bronk, an aerial-combat expert at the Royal United Services Institute, told Business Insider that like the A-10 Warthog was built around a massive cannon, the Gripen was built around electronic warfare.

Almost all modern aircraft are designed for electronic warfare, Bronk said, but the Gripen E tops them all. He said that a few years ago a German Eurofighter saw the Swedish fighter appear on its left wing without having detected it.

While the US has spent millions of dollars on stealth technology to dominate Russian Sukhoi jets, Sweden has explored very different solutions.

According to Bronk, Saab took a different, and cheaper, approach to combating Russia's fighters and missiles by focusing on electronic attack, which gives them an advantage over stealth because they can evolve the software without a ground-up rebuild. Saab plans to update the software on the Gripen E every two years, giving it more flexibility to meet evolving challenges.

In addition to the effective EW suite, the Gripen E can fire almost all missiles manufactured in the United States and Europe, such as the Meteor air-to-air missile, reputed to be among the most effective against Russian jammers.

Photo credit: Saab

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