Saab 39 Gripen

Saab's successor to the Viggen is a lot less unorthodox in appearance than previous models. The single engine fighter has a canard configuration with relatively large canards directly in front of the delta wings. The rounded rectangular air intakes are just in front, and below the canopy. The Gripen has a two wheel nose gear; the gear door is perpendicular to the air flow. Single wheel main gears retract in the fuselage. The vertical stabiliser is much like that on the Viggen: nearly triangular and with a slightly forward swept trailing edge. Below, and in front of the exhaust, are air brakes on both sides of the fuselage.

Like the Viggen the Gripen has a canard configuration, clearly visible from this angle. The delta wing has a straight leading edge though.

The Gripen's single vertical stabiliser has a trapezium shape, but is nearly triangular and has a slightly forward swept trailing edge.

This photo shows the rectangular air intakes below the canards, with two rounded corners. Also note the two wheel nose gear, with its door perpendicular to the air flow.

Different versions

How to recognise the different versions of the Saab Gripen will be added later.

Confusion possible with

Dassault Rafale

rafale c

Apart from being a twin engine fighter the Dassault Rafale looks quite similar to the Gripen. The main other difference is in the air intakes: the two oval intakes of the Rafale are placed diago­nally at the side the fuselage. 

Saab 37 Viggen


Like the Gripen the Viggen has a canard configura­tion and the vertical stabilisers have about the same shape. However, the Viggen has bigger canards and double delta wings: the inner and outer leading edges have two different angles. Also the main gear has two tandem wheels and the air intakes are like squared off oval shapes.

Atlas Cheetah

cheetah c

This aircraft, and other Dassault Mirage derivatives like the IAI Kfir and Mirage 3RS, have semi circular air intakes with a shock cone in the middle. Also the vertical stabiliser's trailing edge is swept. Finally, the delta wings a attached to the fuselage at the bottom.