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swedish gripen3_peterliander.jpg The Swedish Air Force is participating with eight Gripen and Argus airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft at the Finish Air Force exercise Ruska 17.

The exercise, that started today, has more than 60 aircraft and about 45, 00 personnel participating. The goal of the exercise is to train the Finnish Defence Forces to work with other kinds of aircraft.

Ruska is Finland’s largest military exercise. This is the second time that SwAF Gripen have been sent for participation. The eight Gripen aircraft will act in both offensive and defensive roles during the exercise.

Ruska 17 will end on 13 October.

​Richard Smith, Head of Marketing & Sales, Aeronautics, Saab, explains what a Gripen Aggressor can do.​

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To be able to dominate your opponent, one needs to train with the best adversary. Training with world class opponents ensures the squad is ready to take on the most unexpected scenarios during a mission.

Realising the growth of adversary air combat training market, Saab has now launched the Gripen aggressor - the latest derivative of Gripen C. Gripen Aggressor provides an exceptional, dissimilar opponent aircraft system against which pilots will sharpen and refine their combat skills so as to fight and win against an advanced enemy threat.

“There is a major difference in the capabilities provided by the aggressors on the market today and what the need is for the coming years. In order to train as you fight, you need to fly advanced combat tactics against peer and near peer opponents like the Gripen Aggressor. Essentially world-class pilots need to train against world class opponents and that is the Gripen Aggressor”, says Richard Smith, head of Gripen marketing & sales at Saab.

The full-scale replica of Gripen Aggressor was unveiled at the DSEI exhibition in London last week. Saab is pitching Gripen Aggressor for RAF’s ASDOT (Air Support to Defence Operational Training) programme. One and two-seater Gripen fighters are already being used for the UK Empire Test Pilots’ School training. 

Besides ASDOT, Gripen Aggressor is also Saab's proposed solution for the United States Air Force’s Adversary Air (ADAIR).

Read the full story here.

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“Gripen is designed today to meet the requirements of the future,” says Håkan Buskhe, President, and CEO, Saab, at the recent press conference to announce the partnership between Saab and Indian infrastructure conglomerate Adani Group. 

Buskhe stressed that Saab has made more than 5000 fighters in the last 80 years and is the only one in the western world building a new fighter with a new technology.

“We fully utilize digitalization in design, engineering and production. So today, you don't build test aircraft anymore. You build serial aircraft for testing. There is a huge difference. We also have a unique system in which we have divided the flight critical with the non-flight critical system which enables an operator to make changes to the aircraft easily,” he said.

Buskhe said that with Gripen, an operator doesn’t have to go for a big, mid-life upgrade. “We don't wait for 50 years to make an upgrade. We do it continuously which means we will be in pace with need of the air force.”

gripen_siaf2017.jpegCzech Air Force airmen and their Gripen aircraft attended NATO Tiger Meet 2017 in Landivisiau, France. They were placed second in the concours d’Elegance for the best camouflage with Gripen in the “Tiger design.​

Visitors to the Slovak International Air Festival (SIAF) on August 26-27 in Slovakia can expect an exciting program. The highlight of the show will be a flight demonstration of the Gripen supersonic jet fighter by the top Czech Air Force display pilot, Captain Ivo Kardoš.

Captain Kardoš recently won one of the most prestigious international display awards. He beat an international competition at one of the world's largest air shows, the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, Britain. Kardoš beat more than 60 pilots – which is quite an achievement given that he became a display pilot only at the beginning of this year. He also demonstrated his excellent flying skills at another air show - RNAS Yeovilton, Britain, where he won an award for his performance again.

We asked a few questions to Captain Ivo Kardoš.

What is the main role of a display pilot?

The main role of a display pilot is to represent the Air Force and to demonstrate his flying skills as well as the capabilities of the aircraft.

Can any Gripen pilot become a display pilot? Or does he need to fulfill certain criteria and undergo special training?

The display pilot is selected from the Gripen squadron pilots. ...

Saab test pilot Marcus Wandt explains how he prepared for Gripen E's first flight.​

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At 10:32 on 15 June 2017, Gripen E took off on its maiden flight, flown by a Saab test pilot. The aircraft (designation 39-8) left from Saab’s airfield in Linköping, Sweden and flew over the eastern parts of Östergötland for 40 minutes. During the flight, the aircraft carried out a number of actions to demonstrate various test criteria including the retracting and extending of the landing gear.

“The flight was just as expected, with the aircraft performance matching the experience in our simulations. Its acceleration performance is impressive with smooth handling. Needless to say, I’m very happy to have piloted this maiden flight,” says Marcus Wandt, Experimental Test Pilot, Saab.

Read more here.

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The transfer of technology through cooperation with Saab is extremely significant for increasing the technological competence of Brazilian industry," says Jackson Schneider, President and CEO of Embraer Defence and Security.

"Embraer and the other companies committed to this programme will benefit from the transfer of knowledge," he says. "It will make it possible for them to carry out future upgrades to the Gripen fleet and to compete in the market for coming generations of fighters."

Embraer has always been an important partner of Saab in Brazil’s Gripen programme. The opening of GDDN was a key milestone in the Gripen technology transfer programme. The GDDN is located at Embraer premises in Gavião Peixoto in the state of São Paulo. According to Schneider, GDDN can be described as a project work station with professionals mainly from Embraer and Saab, but also from other Brazilian industry partners and the Brazilian customer.

"We can use the Gripen Design and Development Network for future joint projects, such as an export version of the two-seater Gripen. We are also discussing potential additional cooperation outside the Gripen programme."

Schneider considers the project a first-class opportunity for both Embraer and Saab to exchange knowledge."Both companies are very experienced in the aeronautical market and this is a great opportunity to improve our expertise in the development and manufacturing process of a high -standard modern combat aircraft," he says.​

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A full- scale replica of Gripen E adorns the entrance of the Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN) in Gavião Peixoto, in the state of São Paulo. Inside, Brazilian and Swedish engineers work together on various 'work projects' under the Gripen NG development programme.

"The idea is that the Brazilian version of Gripen will eventually be manufactured here," says Jonas Petzén, Site and Development Manager at GDDN. “Meanwhile Saab and Embraer will together oversee the development of a two-seater version of Gripen."

The work has already begun on various 'work packages'. These cover the design of the cockpit, including new displays, rigs and simulators, pneumatic systems and ejection systems, overall design and avionics - all of which form the basic infrastructure for other work packages.

"The working climate is extremely creative and is a clear example of a situation where one plus one makes more than two," Petzén says.

According to Petzén, over the next few years, the focus of Saab's cooperation with Embraer and other partners in Brazil will be on development. "The simulator for the air force pilots will come online in 2017, and a manufacturing facility will gradually be built," he says.

One of the Swedish engineers, Johan Beckman who has moved to Brazil to work at GDDN, says things have got off to a great start. “It’s going really well and this is mainly due to the fact that our Brazilian colleagues spent a year in Linkoping. They know how Saab ...

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The revolutionary thinking behind the Gripen programme has once more ensured Saab’s delivery of one of the world’s most advanced fighters. Gripen E is a fighter not only fit for purpose today but ready and adaptable for events beyond tomorrow’s horizon.

Gripen, an advanced fighter system

The world renown Gripen project was initially created as a result of a synergy between university, industry and government. Known as the ‘triple helix’ this model has long been employed by Saab to ensure highly sophisticated technological advancement.

Eva Söderström, Head of Industrial Cooperation, explains, "This has existed for many years in Sweden, although at the time it was not known as the ‘Triple Helix’ – it was a model we used: academia, industry and a governmental body. We did this to develop the Gripen program and we did it because it worked."  Söderström makes a simple point that can sometimes get lost when talking of management models "It worked." The Triple Helix is certainly far from a conceptual idea at Saab but rather it is a working method.

Read the full story here.
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