The RFI stipulates that deliveries should begin within three years of a contract signature and be completed within another three years. It does not specify whether the aircraft should be single or twin-engined but bidders will have to confirm if its aircraft have short take-off but arrested recovery and catapult takeoff but arrested recovery (CATOBAR) capabilities.
Saab has chosen to respond to the RFI by pitching their JAS-39 Gripen-M maritime variant of the firm’s JAS-39 Gripen fighter family. Saab is already pitching the JAS-39E for the Indian Air Force’s single-engine MiG-21/MiG-27 fighter family replacement requirement.
The JAS-39 Gripen-M could be based on the extensive development that Saab has carried out for a possible Brazilian Navy requirement. Designed to fly from catapult-equipped carriers, the JAS-39 Gripen-M would have 95 percent commonality with the JAS-39 Gripen-E while retaining the same multi-role capabilities, the company has confirmed.