Israel offers more capabilities for SA Gripens


The South African Air Force has been offered enhanced capabilities for its Gripen fighter aircraft with a suit of new advanced systems developed by Israeli company Rafael.

The Israeli company’s offers a concept that it claims can bring fighter aircraft to a an advanced 4.5 generation standard by upgrading the different systems.

The concept is being evaluated by the Indian Air Force for its Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) fighter aircraft.

The upgrade suit that according to Rafael can enhance the fighter aircraft’s capabilities to a 4.5 generation standard includes the Rafael BNET which is an advanced IP Mobile Ad-hoc Network Software Defined Radio (SDR) for tactical operations. According to Rafael It offers unique high spectrum efficiency, as well as cognitive capabilities.

The upgrade package may also include two types of Israeli developed air-air missiles – the IR Python 5 and the I-Derby ER radar-guided 100 km range missile.

The South African Air Force’s Gripens are already equipped with the Rafael Litening 3 targeting pod. The upgrade proposed by Rafael includes enhancing the Litening to its 4.1 version.

Rafael has been working closely with the Swedish manufacturer Saab to offer the upgrade package to users of the Gripen.

A Rafael spokesperson refused to comment on the offer to South Africa.