Saab's "top-secret" stealth program, Flygsystem 2020

The Swedish government is currently working on a "secret" stealth fighter program. Saab's stealth program Flygsystem 2020 is classified as top secret. Sweden is rumored to be developing a top-secret stealth project, but so far, we know very little about it.

Saab's "top-secret" stealth program, Flygsystem 2020
Saab's "top-secret" stealth program, Flygsystem 2020
The Swedish Air Force has been working on a low-observable fifth-generation fighter jet called Flygsystem 2020 (Flight System 2020) for nearly a decade. They expect to have it ready by the middle of the 2030s. What is known is that in 2012, Swedish Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Lars Helmrich asked the Riksdag, the country's national legislature and highest decision-making body, to think about creating a new multirole combat fighter.

Gripen Alternative
Saab's "top-secret" stealth program, Flygsystem 2020

 Col. Helmrich foresaw that the JAS 39 Gripen (Griffin) multirole fighters in use at the time would need to be upgraded to the NG model, and that the original versions of the Saab-built aircraft would be completely obsolete by 2020. The Gripen E, an upgraded version of the JAS 39, was introduced by the Swedish Air Force. The Saab and Link√∂ping University Generic Future Fighter project has been serving as a testbed for these technologies, and it appears that the Flygsystem 2020 efforts have progressed.

The fifth generation of aircraft uses much more advanced technologies and is widely believed to be significantly more capable in air-to-air and air-to-ground roles than its predecessors. Fifth-generation features are typically cited as stealth, supercruise, LIPR (low-probability-of-intercept radar), and improved situational awareness through the use of advanced networking capabilities. The Flygsystem 2020 appears to be a complete package, especially considering that the Gripen E already provided much of the aforementioned technology (with the exception of stealth and LIPR, of course).

As many other 5G projects as Flygsystem 2020

Other fifth-generation programs, such as Pakistan's PAC PF-X, Turkey's TAI TF-X, India's HAL AMCA, and Korea's KF-X, appear to be ahead of the Flygsystem 2020. Only the United States, China, and Russia have developed and produced fifth-generation aircraft, and only the United States has produced the fighters in significant numbers (with the Lockheed Martin F-22 "Raptor" and Lockheed Martin F-35 "Lightning II" Joint Strike Fighter).

Gripen Alternative Production
Gripen Alternative Production

While the ongoing efforts in Europe to develop a sixth-generation fighter could be beneficial, Sweden has made only minimal progress. Saab also agreed to assist the TF-X program in Turkey in 2013.

Saab built a 13% scale radio-controlled model of the Flygsystem 2020 plane over a decade ago. Small 160N jet engine powered, Gripen-like design with a V-tail in place of a conventional vertical stabilizer was the main visual difference. A V-tail provides several benefits for a stealth aircraft, including reduced drag and potential compactness when used in conjunction with vector nozzles.

Other stealth features, such as air inlets that shield the compressor from radar radiation, were thought to be under investigation by Saab and Linköping University's Generic Future Fighter.

Saab has managed to keep very little information about this plane secret, which is perhaps its greatest stealth feature. One of two things happened: it was quietly scrapped, or it's the world's most top-secret plane in the works right now.

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