Saab Gripen book, by a fellow Saab enthusiast

I have a journey with Saab that is now well into its second decade. Mine is a 9.3 convertible bought in 2003 and garaged in Perth, Australia. It is the only car I have owned which I thought the people who made the car liked their customers as opposed to being a calculated price/features trade-off. There is one photo of the car in the public domain, taken in 2008 with a boat I had:

My Saab 9-3 Convertible

A few years later a girlfriend ran the boat onto rocks. That is a story that I can only tell if I am heavily sedated. The Saab story is far happier so I will continue with that one. As a hobby I took up climate science, in which I published books and papers predicting solar-driven cooling. As a consequence of those efforts I met some of the good and the great, including Vaclav Klaus, then President of the Czech Republic. I was also invited to give a lecture on climate science in a US Senate hearing room in 2011. That led to a role with a Washington think tank and the publication of a book on geostrategic issues entitled Twilight of Abundance.

That led in turn to an interest in defence issues. One of the biggest issues in defence is the fighter aircraft that the western world will rely upon. I am not the only analyst who finds the F-35 highly deficient. The question then is “What do we replace it with?” Happily there is a fighter aircraft available now that does not have any shortcomings at all – the Gripen E from Saab.

The Gripen E has much the same capability as the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Dassault Rafale. They are all good aircraft but the Gripen E is half the price of the other two and costs a lot less to operate. I wrote about how good the Gripen E is in a book called Australia’s Defence published in 2015. Believe it or not, the Gripen E, if armed with the right missiles, is almost as good as the F-22 which would cost three times as much if you could get one.

In late 2015, Saab sent two people to see me in Perth, Australia to discuss fighter aircraft design. One travelled from Linkoping and the other from Bangkok. They said, “We like your work Mr Archibald. You just made some small mistakes and we hope you don’t mind if we point them out.” The journey from Linkoping was 30 hours of flights and connections each way.

I told the Saab man from Bangkok that I would write a book entitled American Gripen: The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare. That process started with an article of the same name published online in early 2016. That article was well received and republished in a number of languages. So I persevered and the book, American Gripen: The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare, is now available on Amazon.

I have not been to Sweden yet but I have been to Norway a few times. In the 1990s, I used to visit friends who were stationed in Stavanger. A couple of years ago I was invited to a climate workshop on Svalbaard. I have an ongoing interest in things that affect the climate of the Scandinavian countries.

My Saab convertible is a happy car and my whole Saab story is a happy story.

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First of all it is really sad that such a nice boat got on the rocks, I might think that this event has created some animosity between yourself and your girl-friend. But now to your story; fantastic !!! I urge everyone in Europe to offer your recent book, “American Grippen” to heir defense ministers. You are so right that the F35 is a nightmare and much too expensive compared to what others in this market can offer. The Dutch did already go for the F35 but they still might change their mind, certainly when the new president start to increase… Read more »


Sorry, made a mistake in the last sentence; it is the F16 which is ready for replacement, the F104 was already gone 🙂


Thanks for the contribution, David! Great post and nice to hear that Saab Gripen, from the small country of Sweden, can be an alternative to the aircrafts developed by much larger countries. That’s some clever Saab engineering there for sure!


Looks great.
How many pages though? That piece of info seems to be missing on Amazon.


David, Thanks for the interesting post.

As someone interested in the climate, you may take some comfort in considering that boat emissions are reduced when a vessel is at rest on the rocks.

As for the fighter aircraft, what have you found to be the reality re: contracts being awarded based on product superiority vs. political considerations?

Peter Gilbert

This has been my pet subject for a few years now because I am very interested in defense procurement as a hobby. The US Air Force relies on shooing down the enemy from a long distance using stealth and missiles rather than dogfighting. At present the Gripen holds the world record for BVR with the Meteor. The irony is that these 2 planes are very opposite in tactics and also purchase price and maintenance. In the past couple of months many of the years of problems have been solved as production increases on the F-35. Of all the countries acquiring… Read more »

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