Air force to install datalink on some Gripens to allow participation in coalition operations, but not the entire fleet

Sweden is to equip only part of its Saab JAS39C/D Gripen fighter fleet with standalone MIDS Link 16 tactical datalink terminals rather than opt for an integrated installation across the whole fleet.


The partial fit, which excludes integration of Link 16 into the Gripen mission system, is to be implemented by 2008 to enable modified Swedish air force frontline aircraft to participate in coalition military operations, says Lt Col Sigvard Wiss, from the joint C4I systems development group at the Swedish armed forces headquarters. The JAS39 fleet will retain its Swedish national datalink, developed by Ericsson, as the primary communications system for national defence operations.

Speaking at the 2005 International Data Link Symposium in Sydney on 5 October, Wiss said Swedish air force S100B airborne early-warning aircraft, based on the Saab 340 turbobprop and carrying the Ericsson Erieye phased-array radar, are to be fitted with fully integrated Link 16 terminals in a similar timeframe to the JAS39s.

The modified S100Bs are to be used to provide a national Link 16 training capability for all service arms, with this supported by a partially integrated Link 16 installation to the air force ground-based command and control facility (GC2F). That fit will see introduction of ground-based track data into the Swedish recognised air picture, but will exclude interaction with other national command and control systems.

The 2008 implementation deadline is being driven by Sweden having command responsibility for the first Nordic battle group being formed in conjunction with Finland, Estonia and Lithuania as part of the European Union Battle Group. Swedish defence chiefs voted in September 2004 to give the green light for Link 16 implementation as the basis of future command and control interoperability with international forces.


Source: Flight International