First a couple of disclaimers and or notifications on subject: I do not have any knowledge what the HX scenarios used in evaluation might be. Thus this scenario is just my personal view what HX scenario OCA/Deep Penetration scenario might be. This scenario is called Walz in Carelia
Second I have used commercial simulation program Command Modern Opertaions to run these scenarios, so there is problems with accuracy of the software. I suspect it gets things about 50-65% right. So you would get around 2-3 out of six level of performance in school. So OK, but not good.
Third: I do not have NATO weaponeering manual, so there might be cases of wrong kind of ordnance used to targets, so without further ado to business at hand:
Fourth: This post is one I loathe to make: it is not really fair to Gripens. This is because Command Modern Operations database does not carry all the equipment necessary to run this scenario: For example SAAB Gripen E is missing AREXIS pods and stand in or missile jammers, the LAMD. Thus I have stooped of using the Eurofighter Typhoons with SPEAR EWs to provide stand in jamming for the named fighters. This of course degrades the reliability of the simulation further.
Another note is that while Rafale and Typhoon with Spectra and Pretorian seem to be pretty immune to S-400 system, Gripen seemed to be quite vulnerable to it. which might be bias against AREXIS self protection system, or it might just be that CMANO has not yet gotten around of updating the database from 2019 new generation Gripen.
Also: We know that FAF is getting for example BLU-109 2000lb (or 1000kg) bombs that are meant for bunker and hard target and structures busting as per DSCA papers. So putting JAS-39 E Gripens away with 500 lb mk 82 bombs is not really fair. The difference in destructive capability is considerable. run of the mill mk 82 500lb bomb has 87kg os explosive matter where BLU-109 has 240kgs (BLU-117 has 202kg, so it might offer the best combo. It is also included in DCSA permit)
So enough of the gripes in into the business:
SAAB JAS-39 E/F Gripen and GlobalEye
GlobalEye is not a great asset in this scenario, and in fact was lost to S-400 system in bit under half of the runs I did. It did reveal all the VVS air assets from Kola peninsula to Carelian Isthmus in one sweep, so it is helpful. As mentioned even though I kept Global Eye quite a ways back, namely on the line from Pirkkala to west shores of Oulujärvi, but S-400 still managed to shoot it down. S-400 has been named AWACS killer for a reason.
As mentioned AREXIS system in CMANO had hard time protecting the Gripen E’s against S-400 system. I may be alone in this, but I think it is undervalued system by CMANO currently and more likely than not just Gripen C/D system exported to E/F. Thus relatively old system. Neither did SAAB Gripen E sport company’s own AREXIS jammer pods nor their stand in Jammer/expendaple decoy missile EAJP. Without these kinds of tools it is a fools errand to go against most integrated air defense /area denial system of the world, namely Russian S-500/400/350 on their home turf. Thus I included some Typhoons for SPEAR EW shooting.
JAS-39 Gripen has frontal RCS of about 0,5m² so it should be able to stay hidden from S-400 to about 100km out (depending external stores and actual angle to radar of course). But as mentioned, besides SDBs there is no stand off range SEAD armaments. (SPEAR 3 is included in HX proposal, which would be usable, but it is not in CMANO database Gripen loadouts) This brings us to Gripens major problem in this respect: Pylon room. IF you want to take apart integrated AA/AD system, you have to resort to saturation attacks for some degree. In this scenario where number of flights is limited it is questionable are you able to carry enough ordnance to field to be able to achieve your goals. So greater portion of platforms is tied to SEAD/DEAD missions.
Gripen is quite capable of carrying a pair of, say, BLU-109s in inner wing wet/heavy pylons, so as an weapons platform Gripen is quite capable of carrying out strikes as described for this scenario. 2000 pounder will usually destroy a bridge without a fail. One might argue that 1000 lb BLU-117 will do the same, and would be right. And what sketches I have seen, there is room for BRU-33/55 type twin pylon underneath the inner wing hard point. So it would be quite feasible to have Gripen E’s with 4 BLU-117 units.
Gripen E can carry 8-16 SBU-39B units depending of A2A missile load, so saturation attacks against S-400 are on option if done with support of stand in jammer missiles. AREXIS jammerpods or EAJPs and LADM missiles would be really handy here.
Global eye is somewhat useful in this scenario, as it can show you all the baddies lurking in the space, but it is not going to drop bombs. In fact S-400 did manage to shoot down the Globalö eye when it was flying the support route between west parts of Oulujärvi and Tampere. So S-400 has to be recognized as a threat for Global eye as well.
So, Because of this, I have decided not to do walz in Karelia for JAS-39 Gripen E. Not because I feel that it cannot compete in RL, but rather that the value of simulation would be zero or close to it.
But I will give out the winner of mys simulations on Independence day (6th December, for non Finns.)