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Category: GRIPEN

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This weekend Saab and Gripen will participate at the Slovak International Air Fest 2015 at Sliač air base, Slovakia. Visitors will have a chance to experience different Saab simulators in the Saab Experience Hangar, including the Gripen simulator. A Gripen full scale replica will also be on site where visitors can sit in the cockpit. On both Saturday and Sunday, Gripen will show its greatness in the air with a breathtaking air display.  

“SIAF is one of the largest air shows in the region and we are happy to be general partner of such a great event for the fifth time in a row. Slovakia is an important market for Saab. We believe that the Gripen is an excellent solution for the region,” says Daniel Boestad, Head of Gripen, Central and Eastern Europe.​

​Thai Boomerang, an exercise in which personnel from the Royal Thai Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force participated, came to an end on 14 August. Participating aircraft included Gripen from Wing 7. One of the main objectives of the exercise was to improve the interoperability between the Thai and the Australian forces.​ Here are a few snapshots from the exercise:

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Image Courtesy: RTAF and RAAF

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Hungarian Air Force has sent four Gripen fighters to guard Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The four aircraft are based at Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania. The four months long mission started yesterday.

To honour the participating Hungarian contingent, a ceremony was held at the Kecskemet Air Base recently. Addressing the visitors at the ceremony, Hungarian Defence Minister Csaba Hende said, “The Baltic air space has become the most problematic in Europe and perhaps within NATO as a whole.” The Defence Minister was talking about the international tension kindled by the Ukrainian crisis.

The number of air intercepts over the Baltic has grown in the recent past. According to an earlier report in IHS Jane’s, NATO has launched more than 250 scrambles against Russian aircraft so far this year over Europe, out of which 120 have taken place over the Baltic region.

The Hungarian Air Force had participated in last year’s Baltic Air Policing Mission as well, with four Gripen fighters and around 90 support personnel.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Victor Veres

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It can be an old picture of Gripen that you took at an airshow. Or it could be a new picture of Gripen that you clicked this summer. If it is a picture you are so proud of, we suggest you participate in our Gripen Photo Competition and your photo could feature in the next exclusive Gripen calendar for 2016.

So, first of all, you have to follow @saab on Instagram. After that you simply need to share your Gripen picture and tag it with #Gripenphotocompetition.

If you want to know more about the competition, click here​.

And don't forget, the last date to enter the competition is 7 September 2015. So there is not much time to lose. Share your extraordinary Gripen moment now.

​Recently, Hungarian Gripen pilots performed their first air-to-air refueling.

“We were not trained for air-to-air refueling, but this week, with the assistance of Swedish instructors and an American KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft, we trained to do it. We followed NATO rules for this process,” says Hungarian Captain Viktor Lango.

To complete this training, the Hungarian Gripen pilots had to first learn about the theoretical part of it in the classroom, followed by the actual aerial refueling with the help of Swedish instructors. 

Two Hungarian pilots are now qualified flying instructors. They, in turn, will train their colleagues to conduct aerial refueling.

​Hungarian Air Force Gripen pilots recently practiced four days of night flying at the Kecskemét Air Base. Night flying is very important. It helps pilots hone their flying capabilities; they use night vision goggles and train to perform various operations in darkness. Air Base Blog​ brings some snapshots.

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Parking at the J zone

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The golden hour

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One of the eight wheeled motor vehicles carrying fuel tankers

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Engineers at work

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All set for the night flying

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Gripen flight just before it gets too dark

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And it gets too dark. The lights appear brighter though the rest of the plane is less visible now

Image Courtesy: Air Base Blog

​​​Lars Löfdahl, 43, from Örbro, Sweden, dreamt of flying a Gripen ever since he was a child. So when Saab announced a competition earlier this year with the prize of a flight in Gripen, Lars could not miss it. He gave it a shot and amidst 2000 entries, he was declared the winner.

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Lars getting dressed in flight gear 

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Pilot André showing Lars the flight route

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Lars getting into Gripen

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Lars taking off for the first time in a Gripen

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Pilot André and Lars after the flight​

13 August 2015 was his day. He flew to Linköping and after a short introduction to Saab, he had a routine medical examination. This was followed by a briefing from test pilot, André Brännström on what he could expect. "The conditions today are perfect" the seasoned test pilot remarked.

The competition was designed with the objective of giving people a new, correct representation of Saab. People think of cars when they think of Saab. Though, that side of the business was sold in the mid 1990's, people still associate Saab with cars. 

"A plan was put into place to explore how we could give those people a new impression of Saab. As part of this we wanted to start a conversation with the public on safety and security, and what it means to them" remarked Gustaf Ekelund, Vice President and Head of Brand. A competition was thought of and the prize had to be something that could demonstrate Saab's technology in action: A ...

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Finding information is not enough. Sharing it at the right time, with the right people and using it effectively is very crucial.  Hence, every Gripen unit is designed to be net centric. There is high-end sensor suite and a strong focus on data links for sharing information within the Gripen Tactical unit.

Talking of net centric warfare capabilities, Gripen has Link 16 which is used for battle space control in large NATO-led operations, as well as digital CAS and video link for cooperation with Forward Air Controllers on the ground.

Saab had recognized the importance of a linked flow of secure electronic combat data long back in fact. Saab’s J 35 Draken was equipped with one of the world’s first operational datalink systems. The practice continued with the addition of more powerful datalink capabilities to Draken and Viggen and of course Gripen now.

Link 16 gives wide-area command and control (C2) and ensures effective exchange of surveillance data, EW data, mission tasking, weapons assignments and control data. It takes Gripen's interoperability capabilities to an altogether new level, giving operators a wider choice of networked systems to meet their national and international needs.

Know more about Gripen features here​.

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As part of their allegiance to the NATO alliance, Hungary will deploy four of its twelve operational Gripen aircraft to patrol the airspace of three Baltic nations namely Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. 

The aircraft will be deployed from Lithuania’s Šiauliai air base and will start operations in September this year. The patrol operations are scheduled for a period of four months. 

Previously, Hungary and Italy had been in charge of air control operations in Slovenia since October 2014. The Hungarian missions were being flown out of the Kecskemét air base in Hungary. Starting next year, the Hungarian Air Force Gripen will also play an important role in the joint EU Battle Group. They will provide close air support (CAS) capability in the battle group.

Read the full story here​.

Image Courtesy: Istvan "TopiDoc" Toperczer​


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The Czech Defence Ministry has decided to add air-to-ground capabilities to their Gripen fighters. According to the Defence Ministry Spokesman Petr Medek, the new arms will be installed before 2018.

Medek said that with the addition of ground strike capabilities, the chances of Czech Gripen being deployed for various international operations, including NATO operations will increase.

Gripen has been designed to be a multi role aircraft; to be able to provide air defence and also carry out ground attacks and reconnaissance missions. The Swedish Air Force already uses its Gripen fleet for all these tasks and now the Czech Air Force will follow suit.

The weapons for air-to-ground strikes include laser and GPS guided bombs, training weapons and night vision goggles. Equipment like Saab's Mark 4 radar doubles air-to-air and air-to-ground detection ranges and has improved abilities to detect very low-radar cross-section targets.

Ceskenoviny.cz news report quoted another Czech Defence Ministry spokesperson saying that the Czech Gripen will undergo technological and software's changes.

“For example, air bombs or laser-induced air bombs will be made compatible with the Czech Gripen fighters now,” he says.

Read the full story here.

Photo Courtesy: Army.cz

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Welcome to the official Gripen blog by Saab. This site features information and commentary about the Gripen fighter jet.