Eddy de la Motte, Gripen campaign director for India, told reporterson 12 June that development of the aircraft has, to date, been drivenby its core customer, the Swedish Air Force (SwAF). With no Swedishrequirement for a navalised aircraft, it requires a customer with acarrier capability to serve as a catalyst for any such development ofthe proposed Sea Gripen.
"[Development of the Sea Gripen] only makes sense if India or Brazilbuy the NG as Sweden has no carriers," he said during a briefing at thecompany's Linköping facility in southern Sweden.
According to de la Motte, the 'land' Gripen needs only rudimentarychanges to make it carrier compatible. These include a strengthenedundercarriage, bigger brakes and a tail hook (which the NG will have).The standard Gripen has a large number of the attributes for carrieroperations, such as a high precision landing capability, a high pitchand roll rate authority and precision glide slope control, a reinforcedairframe and enhanced anti-corrosion protection.