According to the version 20 project – which is the scope of modernization selected by Prague – the whole procedure is expected to be carried out before 2018. The Swedes have informed that the mutual relationship with the user made it possible to select modernization package which, even though it is not fully compatible with the variants selected by the Swedish Forces, it still is completely compliant with the requirements and expectations of the Czech Air Force. We know that the Czech Gripens are to be capable of acting against ground targets, with the use of the AGM-65 Maverick missiles, Paveway bombs and GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs.
The scope of and the character of the relationship between the manufacturer of the jets and the user, is placed at the hands of FMV which has been tasked with the modernization process. The agency is also expected to solve the problems that could potentially emerge along the way. Finally, the said entity is going to plan the prospective scope of operational support, required by the Gripen jets.
Taking over the Swedish responsibility and technical supervision, maintenance and modernization schemes pertaining to the Gripen jet is related, above all, to the certainty of high quality and good management of this programme. Moreover, the Czech Air Force also operates the Gripen in line with the requirements developed and followed by the Swedes. This facilitates the process, and enables the Parties to easily solve any problems that may emerge along the way.
SAAB MS20 project makes it possible to enhance the combat capabilities of the C/D airframes, in case of the users who, for a variety of reasons, are forced to resign from acquiring the E/F jets, or, as it happened in Sweden, need a transitional solution, before the E variant is received. The package includes:
- Integration of the MBDA Meteor missiles and Boeing GBU-39 SDB bomb units;
- Provision of Link 16 communications capability;
- Modernization of the electronic countermeasures;
- Installation of a new RWR and countermeasure system (flares dispenser);
- Making the scope of human-machine integration deeper.
Moreover, optionally the aircraft may be tailored to carry the AIM-9X and AIM-120C7 AMRAAM missiles, the radar range and capabilities may be enhanced (PS-05/A Mk 4 radar may be applied). Further options include expanded capacity remaining at hand of the pilot, when it comes to the target detection and indication systems.