The new class of small, precision-guided bombs is also well represented within the Gripen E weapon portfolio that will also provide the Gripen-E the weapon load-out that enables a small fleet of multi-role fighters to carry out massive attacks. Each fighter will be able to carry 9-12Brimstone laser/MM guided missiles mounted on 2-4 racks, or 12-16 smart, rack mounted guided weapons of the Raytheon SDB-II (GBU-53), MBDA SPEAR or RAFAEL Spice 250 class, along with RAFAEL Litening or Lockheed Martin Sniper targeting pods.
Reconnaissance missions that would complement the Gripen E multirole mission capability will utilize various reconnaissance pods. Systems considered for Gripen E include the Digital Joint Reconnaissance Pod (DJRP) from Thales, Terma Modular Recce Pod System (MRPS) or Rafael Reccelite reconnaissance pods, the later will be able to be configured on fully armed and maneuverable aircraft flying tactical Air/Air and Air/Surface missions.
This ambitious integration roadmap would not be feasible without the open architecture avionics with separation of critical functions, enable Other Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) to provide avionic and weapon systems and technologies that quickly interface with the aircraft, with simpler integration, cross testing and verification processes.
Gripen E has already won two orders – from the Swedish MOD and. failed to secure another order from Switzerland after a popular vote rejected the acquisition despite the Swiss MOD and Air Force recommendations to buy the aircraft as a replacement for the old F-5E. Nevertheless, Saab officials are optimistic about the Swiss potential acquisition of Gripen E in the future, especially since the F/A-18 is also nearing the end of service will require the Parliament to revisit the decision. Another potential customer that could revisit its decision not to buy the Gripen E is India that decided to reconsider its procurement of 126 Rafale fighter jets. The urgent need to replace old fighters, such as MiG-21 and MiG-27 that are phased out of service, will require the Indian Air Force to buy new jets off-the-shelf. Saab is trying to convince the Indians that Gripen E could be the best prospect to fulfill this requirement.