Saab has awarded Selex ES a production contract for the Skyward-G infrared search and track (IRST) system, with the deal covering equipment to be installed on the Swedish air force’s future Gripen E fleet.

Selex on 14 April announced that it has been contracted to produce 60 Skyward-G systems for the Swedish fighter, with the work to be performed at its Nerviano site near Milan, Italy.

The passive electro-optical sensor will be installed in front of the single-seat fighter’s cockpit. It has already been demonstrated with Saab’s Gripen demonstrator for the E/NG-model programme, from Linköping in Sweden.

“With the IRST a Gripen can detect and track enemy targets, including aircraft, naval vessels and ground vehicles,” says Selex. “It can produce high-fidelity tracking information against complex targets over long ranges.”

Selex is also expected to produce the Skyward-G system for Brazil’s future fleet of at least 36 Gripen NGs.

Saab Gripen FS


Furthermore, Selex and Saab also announced that they have conducted deployment trials of the former's BriteCloud expendable active decoy from the Gripen.

Three flights and three releases of BriteCloud from Gripen's countermeasures dispenser were demonstrated in Sweden, after which the decoy's deployment was deemed "safe and effective".

When the decoy was launched in November 2013, it was announced that the digital radio frequency jammer would be offered by Saab as an electronic enhancement on all Gripens.

The testing used a 55mm diameter version of BriteCloud that is compatible with the standard chaff and flare dispenser operated by Gripen and others. Saab and Selex hope to organise further flight trials that will prove the performance of the 55mm variant against representative threats, they say.