JAS 39 Gripen in Detail
Time for Gripen
JAS 39 Gripen is arguably the most modern lightweight multi-role aircraft in the world. The Gripen is now operational with the Swedish air force. Flygvapnet has purchased 204 Gripens, to equip 12 squadrons when all aircraft have been delivered.
The anticipations for the new Revell/Italeri kit of the Gripen are high among the Swedish modelling community. No matter how good it will be, the kit will surely better the old Revell 1/32 offering, which has so many faults that it
The story behind the old kit is an interesting one. Moulds were developed at the time when only the prototype JAS 39 was flying. Revell approached SAAB for the drawings of the type. The Swedes deliberately sent fictional drawings to Revell causing the kit to have many faults both in shape and detail. The resulting model -still available - is a sad affair bearing only a slight resemblance of the real thing.
This notwithstanding, in a later press release, SAAB have expressed their concern for the kit being... too close to the classified design! This, of course, must have been only a part of a de-information campaign.
The Gripen is now a common sight on air shows, which allows for much better research work for all interested in scale models. Here's our contribution.
With a little help...
This article has really been a team work. I'd like to thank SAAB Aerospace and Björn Ringholm for photographs. Also many thanks to Sten Ekedahl, Erik Gutsatvsson, Stefan Eriksson, Dan Kut, Hugis and Niklas Knutzén for research data.
Readers interested in Gripen's development history may check the previously published article JAS 39 Gripen - 10th Anniversary of first flight by Fredrik Zetterberg. The official Gripen site can be found at www.gripen.saab.se.
JAS 39A&B Gripen in Detail
This is our largest walkaround photo collection yet. A set of over sixty photographs has been divided into sections below.