Sweden’s JAS-39 Gripen is among the most elite multi-role fighter planes today. Created by the Swedish homegrown defense industry Saab, the Gripens are a premier aircraft that European nations frequently procure.

Producing several variants, the Gripens are becoming a shield of Europe alongside America’s F-16s and F-35s. With the US having the world’s most capable aircraft, the Swedish defense industry is quietly becoming an aerial giant thanks to the effectiveness of the JAS Gripens.

What are the Swedish Gripens?

The JAS Gripens have been in production by Saab AB since 1987 to upgrade and digress from older models such as the 35 Draken and 37 Viggen. Saab has a specific designation for the JAS fighter planes.

The J stands for Jakt (air to air in Sweden), the A stands for Attack (air to surface missiles), and the S stands for Spanning (for reconnaissance for purposes). The Swedish jet can fly at Mach 1.8, the top speed of all current aircraft in aerial warfare. There are five generations of the Gripens, with the recent Gripen E being the newest model.

The JAS 39 Gripen C/D variant. This variant is a multi-role, single-engine fighter aircraft developed by Saab via Saab’s homepage.

Why the Gripens are a Premier Aircraft

The latest model of the Gripen E is nearly as capable as the F-35A. Holding an even stronger turbofan, the Gripen E can fly at speeds of Mach 2.0. The E version is designed with larger fuel tanks than the previous variants, allowing aerial reconnaissance and combat engagements to be much longer.