Saab eyes U.S. Air Force aggressor training needs

Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Saab reported Monday that it is exploring the possibility of providing its Gripen Aggressor aircraft to the United States Air Force for adversary air combat training.

The aircraft unveiled by Saab earlier this month is based in the Gripen C series aircraft and customized for the aggressor role in training. It features advanced sensor and datalink capabilities but does not carry live weapons. According to Saab, it has a low life-cycle cost.

The Gripen has a speed of 1,370 miles per hour at high altitude and a service ceiling of 50,000 feet.

It is also capable of advanced combat maneuvering and networking tactics - characteristics necessary to represent a realistic peer or near-peer adversary threat.

"There is a major difference in the capabilities provided by the aggressors on the market today and what the need is for the coming years," Richard Smith, head of Gripen Marketing & Sales at Saab said when the aircraft was launched, said in a press release. "In order to train as you fight, you need to fly advanced combat tactics against peer and near peer opponents like the Gripen Aggressor. Essentially world class pilots need to train against world class opponents and that is the Gripen Aggressor."
Richard Tomkins

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