Pic of the Day: Thanksgiving Eve Fighter Candy

Here’s your day before Thanksgiving fighter candy. It’s two Swedish JAS-39 Gripens taking off from RAF Lakenheath in England to practice dogfighting this week against USAF F-15C Eagles and F-15E Strike Eagles that are based there.

No word yet on how well the new-ish Gripen have fared against the older F-15s.

Here’s an Air Force statement that reveals very little about the joint-training:

“I thought the training was a huge success, and to work with our sister wing from Sweden was outstanding,” said Capt. Mike Culhane, the 493rd Fighter Squadron C-flight commander. “We executed our mission along with the Swedish pilots seamlessly. We were very impressed with the Gripen; it’s a very capable aircraft.”


  • Great looking plane, Now we just want the go-ahead to start with the NG-AC…go Sweden!

  • Guest

    The Gripen is a very impressive little fighter. Props to the Swedes.

  • jamesb

    Hope they had fun….
    Good moral and training…..
    But anybody on the last ACTUAL air to air combat on the planet?

  • Sgt K

    just have some balls to stand up to the unwelcome terrorist immigrants

    sgt k

  • Lance

    The Griphen is a newer design but lighter and designed for multirole function the F-15C is more powerful and is a straight air superiority fighter. The F-15 has the edge but it all depends on the pilots of both sides of the exercise.

    The F-15C can in a dogfight out climb and dive a Griphen anytime.


    european weapons = fail

    F-15’s gonna rule the skies.

  • Clive

    Considering that this ‘Euro weapon’ in question here out performs the Eagle in A-A fights probabaly won’t please you, the fact it costs some 10 to 20 times less to operate over a year probably annoys you off even more. Your post could be summed up as blind American arrogance at its best.. Of course your F-22’s would defeat the Gripen, when they’re not grounded and when they’re not killing the pilots that is…

  • ToTheRiver

    Appreciate posting this under the title”Fighter Candy” and not “Fighter Pxxx”. Much more appropriate

  • IKnowIT

    Why the F is the USAF still in the UK? The cold war is over and the British can spend their own money to defend themselves. And to add to that, why do WE have to spend our fuel training the swedes, for Christ sake? Let the Brits do it with their Typhoons! Sounds like a great place to save some budget $$$

  • Excellent aircraft. The UK should consider buying Gripen rather than tipping billions into the F35 money pit – leave the US to disappear under crushing debt on its own.

    • PMI

      Choosing aircraft due to personal prejudices rather than strategic requirements always works out brilliantly.

      • ziv

        Still kind of chuckling at Brians post. I think the Gripen is a brilliant Gen 4 aircraft, and if the updates continue, it could, arguably, be considered to be close to a Gen 4.5 aircraft someday. But the F35 is Gen 5, and 4 F35’s would eat the lunch of 8 to 10 Gripens. Probably without the Gripens even knowing the F35’s were in the neighborhood. It is possible that the newer Gripens are better than the newest F16’s, but they are not even close to what an F35 can do.
        There is a huge role for Gen 4 or Gen 4.5 aircraft over the next 20 years, but lets not confuse them with Gen 5 aircraft and the roles that each play.

        • tiger

          If I get you in a gunsight, all that 5th gen techno bullshit goes down in flames. It is not the toy, Its the man or woman with the stick that matters.

          • blight

            This argument always pops up. It’s either the assumption that training means nothing or that equipment is irrelevant. Neither is true. You need parity in one and excellence in the other. Excellence in both isn’t always possible, but….

          • tiger

            The basics of air combat laid out by Oswald Boelcke in WW1 still apply in 2011.

          • PMI

            The point being that you’ll be dead long before you’ll have the chance to put your pipper on anything.

        • I did post that partly to antagonise, ziv.

          F35 is by far the best capability option for the UK. However, Gripen is not entirely useless and would be more than capable for most of the tasks that we would give it; and lower tech equipment still has its uses as part of an overall coalition, even against the best oposition.

          Consider that the UK is broke and could be heading back into recession. Would generation 4.5 Griffons flying off Royal Navy carriers be of more use to the UK than unaffordable 5th gen F35s sitting in an LM showroom?

          • PMI

            If you’re going that route Rafales would be be a better option. They’re already built to carrier standards and are a better strike platform than the Gripen.

          • PMI

            The same would hold true for the F/A-18E.

        • Fluoro Ninja

          What you meant to say was ‘The F-35, when LM eventually manage to get it airworthy and in full rate production at full capability, will, I think, totally beat the Euro plane… just check out the projections LM have posted on the internet!’

          As of right now anything that can fly it’s intended mission is better than the ‘Gen 5’ F-35. The F-35 can only be considered Gen 5 once they actually manage to build the damn thing and have them flying without wondering whether the wings will fall off.

          In the meantime you’d better hope that some boffin doesn’t come up with a nifty algorithm to greatly degrade the advantage of the limited (by design) stealth built into the F-35.

        • passingby

          sorry, but the F-35 is an outlandishly expensive semi-flying piece of junk.

          You’ll see in a couple of years.

          pretty sure that Russia and China will laugh their asses off if the US actually fields the turkey.

      • You are absolutely right, PMI. For the UK to discount the French and Sweedish options out of hand in favour of F35 would be prejudicial to a fair consideration of requirements.

  • jhm

    hey guys. is the gripen ng a new build aircraft? or is it possible to remake a gripen c or w/e into the gripen ng?

  • Maciek

    From what I know it is a vastly modified version. Think F/A-18C turned into F/A-18E kind of deal.

  • jimmy

    Yes gripen ng i a new bulid aircraft