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RTAF Gripen7 (01 Photo Stefan Kalm).jpg

Recently, there has been an increasing interest in Gripen across the globe. South East Asia, for example, represents an important market with huge partnership potential for Saab, Gripen’s parent company.

The interest in the Gripen fighter system has been triggered by an array of factors.  Kaj Rosander, Marketing Manager, Saab elaborates some of these factors in Spirit, a defence and security magazine.

According to Rosander, performance alone is not sufficient. There is an increasing cost consciousness and hence Gripen, with the perfect combination of performance and life cycle cost, holds an advantage.

Asian countries like Philippines and Malaysia currently own aircraft that are about tobecome obsolete, giving way to a large potential market.  Also, as a part of their currentpackages, these countries have obtained the aircraft and not the technology. Saab’s strategy includes true technology transfer. This helps the operators with efficient maintenance of the system as well as with building self sufficiency.

Among the South East Asian countries, Thailand is a proud owner of a complete air defence package provided by Saab. With the delivery of the first of a dozen Gripen C/D in 2011, Thailand took its first step towards building its defense system with technology that is modern, inter connected and information driven, writes Michael Miller of Spirit magazine.

As a part of the Gripen package, Thailand also received two Saab Erieye Airborne early Warning and Control (AEW&C) systems, based on the Saab 340  airframe. A number of interlinked ground stations around the country can receive ...

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UK’s Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS) has extended its contract with Saab to continue its use of a Gripen trainer for another four years.

“The original agreement has been in place since 1999 and, under the terms of the new framework, Saab will support ETPS from 2015 until 2018,” Saab says.

More than 70 test pilots have flown the type since the service with ETPS began, adds Saab, which cites a “100% on-time delivery”. More than 800 flying hours have been provided so far, from its Linköping site in Sweden.

For the last 15 years, ETPS has operated Gripen as its advanced fast jet platform for test pilots throughout the world. With the inclusion of Gripen in their test pilot training courses, ETPS students get an opportunity to know about advanced cockpit technology and learn systems integration more effectively and on the latest platforms.

ETPS is run as a partnership between the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and defence contractor QinetiQ, Europe’s largest science and technology solutions company. The School provides the UK MoD with fully qualified military test pilots and it also trains flight test engineers for QinetiQ, along with test pilots and engineers from Commonwealth and other friendly nations.

Read the full story:Saab And ETPS Sign New Multi-Year Agreement For Continued Gripen Training​

HU_fleet_formation_6000.jpgThe Hungarian government announced this year that it would allocate 2.8 billion forints to prepare the Gripen unit for close air support, reports Politics.hu.

The ministry’s ten-year army development concept aims at “developing the operational capability of the armed forces’ most modern arms system,” said a Defence Ministry statement.

“By ensuring the allocation for close air support, the government will considerably improve the armed forces’ defence capabilities within a short period of time, and at the same time demonstrate Hungary’s commitment towards its Visegrad Four partners (Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia)," the statement says.

Read the full story: Govt allocates HUF 2.8 billion to prepare Gripen fleet for close air support​

Frans Dely.jpgSaab plans to continue developing new systems to offer the existing Gripen operators options to enhance Gripen C/D's capabilities, reports IHS Jane's.  

"We will continue to develop systems, such as the PS-05/A radar, to improve capability and to satisfy future customer needs. The current international Gripen users will be operating the C/D long after Sweden has moved on to the Gripen E and we need to look after them," says Lennart Sindahl, Senior Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Aeronautics at Saab.

According to the IHS Jane’s report, the Swedish Air Force will soon be upgrading its JAS 39 Gripen C/D fleet with the MS 20 block upgrade, which will be the last before the Gripen E begins to enter service from 2018. The upgradation process includes integration of the MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile and Boeing GBU-39 Small-Diameter Bomb; improved radar modes; a digital close air support capability; increased Link 16 connectivity; civil navigation enhancements; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) protection for the pilot; night-capable operations using the SPK 39 Modular Reconnaissance Pod II; and a ground collision avoidance system (GCAS).

Sindahl said that MS 20 was last planned for the Gripen C/D and the new Gripen E will be of MS 21 standard. Therefore, the additional Gripen C/D upgrades in future may be classified as MS 20++ or something like that.

Read the full report:  Saab to offer Gripen C/D upgrades, pushes exports​

_SKA0023.jpgRecently, aviation magazine AFM took a closer look at the history of Gripen and the factors that keep it ready to meet the future challenges. AFM paid a visit to the Saab development facility in Linköping and talked to Björn Johansson, the chief engineer on the Gripen E/F project about the technology that goes into the development of the new generation aircraft.

According to Björn, when the SwAF looked at potential future threats, it came up with a list of requirements for a new aircraft, including the need for extended range; increased weapons payload and more hardpoints; a MIL-STD 1760E Class 2 weapon pylon interface and further adaptation to modern standards; an upgraded sensor suite with active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar; improved communication and fighter link including satellite communications (SATCOM); an improved EW capability; a quick software-update capability; and a low life-cycle cost.

“The first thing we did was to find an engine that could do the job. It had to be powerful enough, cost effective, and reliable and fit in our existing airframe with reasonable modifications. We basically had two choices – the GE F414-400 or a modified RM 12. The choice fell on the F414, an existing and well proven engine (2.5 million-plus hours) with many of the safety features that were required on the RM 12 already implemented in the basic design. It has more thrust and approximately the same built-in centre of gravity [CoG] as the RM 12 in a similarly sized package. Some initial modifications were made to adapt ...

Buskhe300.jpgThis interview was written by Mario Sabino and published on Veja Magazine (Yellow Pages), February 2014.

Hakan Buskhe, CEO of Saab, the company that sold the Gripen jets to Brazil, explains how education and the need to do more with less are key to the success of his company and his country.

Anyone arriving at Saab's offices in Stockholm, located on one floor of a small building without doormen, is shocked by the frugal atmosphere at what is one of the most cutting-edge companies in the armaments industry with almost 15,000 employees and which beat the Americans and the French to win a contract to supply Brazil with 36 fighter Jets – the Gripen NG, for Next Generation – at a cost of $4.5 billion. However, according to the 50-year-old company CEO Hakan Buskhe, it is this philosophy of simplicity which is behind Sweden's success. Before another trip to Brazil last week to meet with the commander of the Air Force and the minister of Science, Technology and Information, he granted us the following interview.

In 2009, when former President Lula announced that the government had chosen French jets to rebuild the Brazilian Air Force, what was the reaction like at Saab? 

I hadn't joined the company yet, I arrived in 2010, but I heard that Saab executives and employees felt that the announcement by Brazil's former president came like a bolt of lightning out of a clear blue sky. It was totally unexpected, given their strong relationship with ...

Gripen_Iceland.jpgIn February this year, Swedish Air Force Gripen flew over Iceland for the first time as a part of a Nordic Air Exercise, reports Expressen.se​.

According to the report, Sweden had sent seven Jas 39 Gripen aircraft from F21 in Luleå to Iceland to participate in this exercise.

“This is a further step forward in NATO’s excellent cooperation with Finland and Sweden: it is the first time that we have flown together over Iceland,” said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

The Iceland Air Meet 2014 (IAM2014) brought together participants from NATO members Iceland, Norway, the Netherlands and the United States, and from partner countries Finland and Sweden, supported by NATO AWACS.  

The exercise continued till 21 February.

Read the full story: Nu flyger svenska Jas-plan över Island

Image Courtesy: Louise Levin/ Swedish Armed Forces​​

"To have a good surveillance capability, the possibility to move with the right equipment, to exact targeting will be very important in the future years, “says Saab CEO and president Hakan Buskhe in a video interview.

The video explores the biggest threats in the coming 10 years. The industry leaders talk about the threats as well as about the important capabilities for air forces to have in future. ​

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Mirco Knecht´s winning photo made its entry into Gripen Calendar 2014.

In an interview with Saab, Mirco says that he was always fascinated by aircraft and when he got his first camera he found a second passion i.e. photography.

Read Mirco's interview here.

​Gripen presented a stunning aerial display at the the Danish Air Show 2014 Air Base Karup, Denmark last week.


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