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Gripen_ETPS.jpgTraining of the test pilot students of today is as complex as it gets. The warfare scenarios are advanced and hence the ability to face them requires hands on training on an aircraft that is equally advanced, integrated with latest technology and gives an unsurpassed performance experience.

During the last sixteen years, Gripen has proved to be a reliable training platform for more than 100 Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS) Instructor Pilots and test pilot students from around the world. The inclusion of Gripen in their training programme allows the Pilot School to teach systems integration more effectively and on the newest platforms.

Saab provides ETPS with Gripen aircraft, supervisory pilots, logistics, ground support and facilities along with additional Saab SK 60 aircraft which act as radar targets during live training. Flight operations are undertaken from Saab’s facility in Linköping using two to three Gripen fighters. All instructors have to go through a 9 G-test to qualify for Gripen.

The first contract between ETPS and Saab was signed in 1999, followed by many training campaigns. In 2006, Saab signed a new agreement with ETPS which involved an increased number of students, increased number of flights per student, the training of a third ETPS Instructor Pilot (IP) and the inclusion of Flight Test Engineer students within a refined syllabus.

In 2011, Saab and ETPS agreed on a five-week training campaign to be conducted each year. Last year, ETPS and Saab signed a new, multi-year framework agreement for the provision and use ...

gripen-c---photo-soren-augustesen---saab_2340x1316.jpgSaab continues to work on improvements and upgradation of Gripen C/D.  Last month, Ulf Nilsson, the new head of Saab’s aeronautics division, stressed that Gripen C will play an important role for years to come. Among the many upgrade options for Gripen C/D, the latest is MK4, a technologically advanced version of the renowned PS-05/A radar. 

MK4 gives Gripen C/D an improved performance and operating range. The upgraded radar comes with a new hardware configuration and a complete new radar back-end, giving significantly improved radar performance and operational range, enhancing the Gripen Weapon System capabilities and offering full AMRAAM and Meteor integration. The MK4 also equips Gripen C/D to successfully counter the challenging and advanced threats in the coming years.

“The Mk4 is a world-class multifunction radar, with excellent ECCM performance, growth capability and with very low life cycle cost,” says Lars Tossman, Head of Airborne Surveillance Systems at Saab business area Electronic Defence Systems.

Read the full storyhere​.

Image Courtesy: Søren Augustesen, Saab

gp5.jpg"Saab will continue to work on improvements and upgradation of Gripen C, even after the launch of Gripen E," says Ulf Nilsson, the new head of the company's aeronautics division.

According to a report in Svd.se, while the first Gripen E is still in the development phase at the Saab plant at Linköping, the Swedish Defence and Security Company continues to develop systems for Gripen C, providing upgrade options to existing operators to enhance the fighter’s capabilities. 

“The development (of Gripen E) is proceeding according to plan. We are flying at full speed right now and are testing the radar system and the new avionics. Everything indicates that we can handle the deliveries on time,” says Ulf Nilsson.

Development of the C/D platform will continue along side that of the Gripen E. In practice, one can say that there will be two Gripen models. Although they have much in common, yet they are two different planes, the report adds.

Read the full story: Saabs flygchef byter strategi

5144895_2161652.jpegAt a time when some of the biggest names in the global defence industry have decided to end production of their well known fighter planes, Sweden’s Defense and Security company, Saab, gets going, says The Wall Street Journal.

With little in the way of a global marketing machine, Sweden has had outsize success in winning export orders. That is thanks to Saab AB’s Gripen combat jet, it adds.

WSJ interviews Saab’s Chief Executive Håkan Buskhe who points out, that unlike before, weapon buyers are becoming more cost-conscious now.

“Seven to eight years ago, no one discussed affordability when it comes to arms equipment. There was a paradigm, when I started, that if it is not expensive, it is not good. The cost component—that was not really the big deal in the past—has really caught up with each and every economy around the world. That does not mean you can sell an aircraft that is not good enough. There is no point in sitting in an aircraft that gets shot down and saying ‘at least it’s affordable’. So I think that is the key part of our success, and I believe we have a window going forward,” Buskhe says.

Read the original story here

Please note that one may need a WSJ subscription to read the full story.

Hungarian Gripen in the air. Photo Victor Veres.jpgAs the Hungarian Gripen program celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, MoD’s defence news portal and monthly magazine refreshed the key milestones of the program.

Hungary decided on a lease contract for 14 Gripen aircraft in 2001. The contract was later amended in 2013 to include additional functionality of the aircraft and a purchase.

The first Hungarian Gripen left Linköping on 16 February 2005, while the first five Hungarian Gripen pilots travelled to Sweden on 7 January 2005 to participate in a three weeks long training at the Såtenäs Air Base and Halmstadt.

Hungarian Gripen fighters first participated in an international training in October 2006. The pilots of the Puma squadron have participated in the NATO Tiger Meet several times and in 2014 they were selected as members of the alliance based on their performance. 

The Hungarian Gripen fighters currently provide air policing services over the Slovenian air space. The training for the air-to-air refueling was about to start this summer. The team will take over the air policing services of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in September 2015.

Czech Gripen7.jpgCzech Republic tools up its 14 Gripen fighters by buying four Litening III targeting pods, reports Airheadsfly.com.

Previously, the Czech Gripen fighters were almost exclusively used in the air-to-air role; the aircraft were on 24/7 quick reaction alert to intercept unknown aircraft. The new Litening III pods will be bought for air to ground tasks. Along with Gripen, the pods will be integrated to Czech Air Force’s Aero Vodochody L-159 ALCAs as well.

According to the report, the Swedish Air Force has been using the Litening III pod on their Gripen fighters for years. Litening III pods significantly increase the combat effectiveness of the aircraft during day, night and under-the-weather conditions in the attack of ground and air targets with a variety of standoff weapons.

Litening can be mounted externally on an aircraft. It provides good quality target imagery and is equipped with a laser designator for precise delivery of laser-guided munitions.

Read the full story: CZECH TOOL UP GRIPENS

_SKA9997.jpgWe are well on our way to present the best fighter there is,” says Saab deputy chief executive Lennart Sindahl of the new model, which has already secured firm orders from Sweden and Brazil for a combined 96 units.

As per a report in Flightglobal, the important elements of Gripen NG like the new F414G engine, the repositioned main landing gear and the Selex ES Raven ES-05 active electronically scanned array radar, are already being tested in flight. Till date, Gripen NG test aircraft has flown 315 sorties (about 281hours). Systems like a new air data computer, wingtip-mounted radar warning receivers are being tested using Gripen C/D test assets.

“We are collecting data, so we can put it in our models for the simulators and know how the sensors perform,” says Hans Einerth, wing commander flying at Linköping. “The work we are doing now will define the human-machine interface for 2019.” 

After the success in Brazil, Saab is offering potential deals that include Gripen NG as well as Gripen C/D with enhancement options, to various countries. The report says that Saab’s existing customers like Hungary and Czech Republic have expressed an interest in increasing their Gripen fleet. A lease deal with Slovakia may happen as well, though the Slovak Government has not confirmed anything yet.

Ahlqvist believes that Gripen NG could potentially meet the future requirements of Austria, Belgium and Portugal. Last month, Saab presented information about its Gripen offer to Finland as well.

Ahlqvist notes that ...

Hunngary3.jpgThis year, Hungarian Air Force (HuAF) Gripen pilots were, for the first time, trained for air-to-air refueling (AAR), reports Legiero.blog.hu.

As per the blog post, HuAF Gripen will patrol the Baltic sky in the second half of 2015 and the first half of 2016. The participating Air Force pilots must be prepared for an AAR while providing air policing duties in 2016. In order to be equipped with the AAR knowledge by that time, the pilots need to be trained this summer.

The details of the training are not available yet, but a Flyvapen C-130 tanker may be used. Last month, Hungarian Air Force Gripen practiced familiarization flights in Estonia in order to get ready for the Baltic mission.

The blogpost adds that though this AAR knowledge is not a must for the Baltic Air Policing in the last 4 month of 2015, but it would provide a lot of flexibility to the service providers.

Read the full story: Idén először tankolnak a levegőben a pumafejes magyar Gripenek​

Frans Dely.jpgA Gripen aircraft, modified and loaded with latest software, landed at FMV's test site in Linköping in March this year, reports Fmv.se.

According to the report, new weapons and radar functions are some of the many new features that are being tested with the Gripen C/D system at the test site.

“We are now entering into the final phase of finishing the so-called material system controls. The goal is to deliver this major update of the Gripen system to the Armed Forces as soon as possible, says Robert Noven, test engineer at FMV T & E.

Robert is responsible for testing and evaluation of various components of the MS20 upgrade. He is preparing for air exercises to verify and validate the system before the update is delivered to the Swedish Air Force troops.

According to the FMV report, the new upgrades include new Meteor missile, new weapons, new radar system, GCA (Ground Collision Avoidance System) and enhanced collaboration features like Link 16.

Read the full story: FMV provar ny mjukvara till JAS39

​SwAF pilots conducted a Gripen flypast to mark the occasion of the National Day in Sweden last month.

National Day is observed in Sweden on 6 June every year. It is celebrated in honour of two historical events. King Gustav Vasa was elected on this day in 1523 and later in the year 1809, Sweden adopted a new constitution on the same day.

Here are some images of the Gripen flypast on the National Day 2015:

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11053430_869416699780255_1910980193315595526_n.jpg
1450257_869523209769604_4251964930159336577_n.jpg
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Image Courtesy: Norrbottens Flygflottilj F 21​​

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