Agree with this.Industry-standard modularity & upgradability, low opera
Industry-leading systems integration, upgradability, and modularity. This is perhaps Gripen's most outstanding feature and is something it's virtually unmatched in. Compared to F-16s, it has much more of an upgradability headroom left on it.
And it's a modern (relative to F-16) delta-canard design with some inherent advantages, particularly in acceleration and supersonic agility (F-16s, or any platforms of that era, were optimised for transonic agility, not supersonic). Which are bonus features. Especially when the avionics, weapons systems, ECM of both Gripen-NG and F-16V are very similar. In fact I'd give an edge to the Gripen, based on its ability to fire Meteors and the ES-05 Raven AESA. Which has some really nice tricks. Like an incredibly large scanning zone
One of the main reasons behind Saab Gripen's AESA radar fast 360 degree scanning capabilities is its repositioner or the swashplate.www.saab.com
Essentially, it has a situational awareness capability that is somewhat close to that of airplanes equipped with multiple radars (Su-57, and the rear-hemisphere radar on Su-35).
To my knowledge, the F-16V does not have such a capacity. Oh and neither does it have an IRST, which is a nice feature to have.
Gripen was always underestimated, but its performance on joint training programs, such as RED-FLAG, was rather outstanding.
Especially when operating as a RED-FOR team. BTW, red-for teams are always put at a disadvantage, they don't have the same level and a number of high-value assets (like AWACs and ECW platforms) the much more numerous BLUE-FOR team. So red-for gripes had much less support.
The main goal of such a scenario was to evaluate how the Gripen would perform in such a role. Everyone thought the simple Swedish plane would fall apart, but boy they were in for a rude surprise!
Gripens network-centric data-link system compensated for the lack of AWAC support, and get comfortable within the range of the enemy blue-for planes. On the first day, red-for Gripens got 10 kills, including F-16 Block 50+ and Eurofighters. And 0 losses.
During that whole red-flag campaign, Gripens never lost a single plane, never failed a single mission, and never delayed a mission due to bad weather and/or technical problems. Unlike its F-16 and EFT peers. The only airplane that scored better than the Gripen, was the F-22. And even that, only by a tiny margin.
On more recent exercises, F-22 pilots have said if the Gripen were to use its ECM for real, they could get scarily close to them. Then there was a time three Gripen went against 5 USAF F-16s. And that result, after 3 rounds were, 5-0, 5-0, 4-1. The Thai's claimed a 4-0 kill ratio against Chinese J-11s and Su-27SK, during Falcon strike 2015. Which the Chinese never disputed
For a country like BD, which is extremely resource and geographically challenged, the Gripen is by far the best airplane on earth. But sadly, unrealistic
I never really got why Gripen is unavailable to BAF.