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During last week, Saab participated at the IDEB exhibition in Bratislava, Slovakia where it presented a Gripen Full Scale Replica.

During the exhibition, Saab announced that it will build a Gripen Support Centre in Slovakia if the country selects the NATO-interoperable Gripen multirole supersonic fighter aircraft to replace its aging fleet of Soviet-era MiG29 aircraft.  

According to Jonas Hjelm, Head of Business Area Aeronautics at Saab, the proposed Gripen Support Centre would create and sustain approximately 500 hundred new high-tech jobs. “Slovakia would boost its defence and aerospace industries with the Gripen Support Centre,” he said.

Slovakia currently operates 12 MiG 29s that were upgraded in the year 2005. Its neighbor, the Czech Republic, has been successfully operating a fleet of 14 Gripen fighters for more than a decade now. As per an earlier signed cooperation plan between the two countries, if Slovakia selectd Gripen, it will be able to share the cost of maintenance and pilot training with the Czech Republic.

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Commemorating the 100 years of the Czechoslovak Air Force, one of the Czech Gripen fighters has got a makeover at the ongoing NATO Tiger Meet.

NATO Tiger Meet 2018 is an opportunity for participating aerial squadrons of NATO countries to get together and showcase their talents in some very challenging exercises. However, it’s not all work and no play; there are numerous customs and traditions involved in the Tiger Meet that make it very interesting. Each year, pilots add exciting decals to their fighters, making it look unique.

For the Czech Gripen, this year’s motif was a little different. Usually, it’s an image or a sketch of a tiger.  For example, last year, Czech Gripen was the canvas for the stylish “Wildcat”, which was a partially covered face of model Simona Krainová and a tiger. Similarly, in 2013, one of the participating Gripen had a motif called "Picasso Tiger".

Besides Czech Air Force, the Hungarian Air Force has also sent its Gripen fighters to the exercise.

NATO Tiger Meet will be held till 25 May.

You can take a look at how Czech Gripen fighters have been given a different makeover at various NATO Tiger Meets here.

Read the full story here.​

Image Courtesy: WeAreNATO

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Members of Gripen User Group paid a visit to the Aeronautics Command (COMAER), in Brasília, and discussed Gripen operations, maintenance and logistics. The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) hosted the Gripen Users Group (GUG) for the first time ever. The meeting took place between participants from Sweden, Czech Republic, Hungary, South Africa, Thailand and Sweden. 

Last year, Brazilian delegates went to Prague to meet the GUG. Air Major Jefson Borges, who is in charge of all communication between the official channels of the Brazilian Defence, stressed on the importance of such gatherings. “GUG meetings take place at different professional levels, from commanders to technicians. We learn a lot from these meetings because we get to know about operating the Gripen system from various operators. This will help us be better prepared and not make the same mistakes they made,” he said.

One of the participating members, Thai Air Force Captain Jackkrit Thammavichai said, “The issues discussed in the Group help both those who are already users of the aircraft, and Brazil, who will soon have access to the latest technology.” 

The entourage headed to Gavião Peixoto from Brasilia to pay a visit to the Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN) where Santosh Miadaira, Senior Program Manager, Embraer, Gripen programme, told everyone about the importance of GDDN."GDDN marks the beginning of the technology transfer programme between Brazil and Sweden," he said.

The next Gripen Users meeting will be hosted by Hungary.

Read the full story here​.

Image courtesy: Brazilian Air ...

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“Gripen has operational capability that is second to none. When you package that with value for money in terms of acquisition and life cycle cost, and also industrial packages that Saab offers, I believe we have a platform that is perfect for the market segment we are pitching to,” says Richard Smith, head of Gripen marketing and sales.

Giving a status update on the sales prospect of Gripen E/F and Gripen C/D, Richard says that both variants are in demand. “We have a unique position in the market as we can offer two very different systems from the same pedigree in the market,” he adds.

About Switzerland, he says Saab is very positive about the outcome. “This is round two. This time the country is not just replacing the F5 fighter but also the F18 Hornet. We are expecting an RFI anytime soon.”

Saab has been present in Finland for a number of years and is currently working on a proposal for the country. In the UK and the US, Saab sees great potential for Gripen Aggressor sales. 

Saab has also been in dialogue with Bulgaria and Slovakia. “I am confident that Gripen would be perfect for these nations. They have two neighbors that operate Gripen C/D, so there is a scope of working together as well,” Richard says.

About India, one of the biggest market Saab is pitching to, Richard says that his team is working on a proposal. “We would submit a proposal ...

The way to experience Gripen entered a new era two years ago when the fighter was featured in a mobile game for the first time. Now an updated version is available with new features adding even more fun to the game.

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The user of the game will have to take on the challenge and fly Gripen and complete several missions at different levels of difficulties. It’s a fast “racing” flight game which offers multiple choices when it comes to tailor made Gripen in terms of skins and decals. The updated version includes a "Free Flight" mode where the user can explore the area and collect “stars” in order to unlock new skins and decals. 

Gripen Fighter Challenge is available for free on App Store and Google Play


The Czech Air Force will, after winning the title of ‘Best Fixed Wing Display’ last year, return at the RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day this year with more Gripen solo displays. This will be the third consecutive appearance at the event for Gripen.

The Czech Air Force will be looking to put up a commanding display at Somerset to an audience of 40,000. At the helm will be Capt. Ivo Kardoše, who is renowned in the circuit for his spectacular displays with Gripen. Besides the five hour flying display of various fighters from around the world, visitors will also get a chance to experience engineering fair and defence exhibition as well.

RNAS Yeovilton Air Day will take place on the 7th of July, 2018.

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For the first time ever, the Czech Air Force sent one of its 14 Gripen fighters to Turkey to participate at the Eurasia Air Show last month.

Star Czech display pilot Captain Ivo Kardoše presented Gripen aerial displays during the airshow. The specially designed Gripen was adorned with decals that set it apart from other fighters, making it a treat for watching eyes. Ardent fans of Gripen could immediately recognize the camouflage as Wildcat, a design that features model and actress Simona Krain and a tiger. 

In the 12 minute long display, Caption Kardose successfully implemented 25 dynamic aerial manoeuvres. Throughout the display, the adaptability of Gripen E was highlighted, with it plunging in as close to the ground as 30 meters. Kardose had been training for this performance with his team at the air base situated in Caslav for a month. 

To know the full story, click here.

Image Courtesy: Eurasia AIr Show

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If you want to know all about the latest updates in the Gripen programme, you cannot miss this. Be a part of the Saab's annual Gripen seminar on 16th May, 2018. The seminar will be live streamed here

Speakers at the seminar will include Jonas Hjelm, head of business area Aeronautics, Richard Smith, head of Gripen marketing and sales, Mikael Olsson, Gripen test pilot and acting Wing Commander Flying, and Inga Bergström, sales director Gripen Electronic Warfare.

You do not need to register for online participation. Just be ready with your questions which you can submit via live-stream or twitter using #smartfighter.

To know more about the seminar, please click here.

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SKY'S THE LIMIT

Enabled by the latest available technology, Gripen gives the Royal Thai Air Force South Asias’s most agile swing-role fighter aircraft.

Photo. Katsuhiko Tokunaga ​​

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Recently, the Czech Air Force successfully completed the MS20 capability upgrade to its fleet of Gripen fighter aircraft, greatly increasing its combat and communication capabilities. The upgrade is part of the Gripen design philosophy to evolve continuously and tailor solutions according to customer’s various needs.

One of the key features of the MS20 upgrade is that the Gripen has acquired air-to-ground capability, thanks to the integration of unguided and laser-guided bombs into the aircraft payload. There will also be a significant software update which permits the integration of NATO-standard Link 16 datalink and laser designator pods (LPDs). The LPDs will greatly aid air-to-ground missions.  

The MS20 upgrade is characterized by both software and hardware augmentations. Other key elements of the update include enhanced radar modes, electro-optical pods Litening III, and crypto-modules for fast, secure and efficient communication.

Jonas Hjelm, Saab’s Area Business Head, said, “We are very pleased with the success of this capability upgrade. We are honoured to have a long-term partner in the Czech Air Force.” After the update, “The aircraft is capable of addressing the demands of current and future threats, while meeting strict requirements”, according to Mr. Hjelm.

​Read the full story here.
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