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Category: GRIPEN C/D

Despite extreme weather in Iceland earlier this month, Czech Gripen fighters were successfully certified to start their air policing mission in the country. 

Here is how the evaluation system works.

The certification flights take place under the supervision of a committee of senior commanders of the Joint Multi-national Operations Center of the Air Force of NATO (CAOC - Combined Air Operations Center). To get certified, the Czech Gripen fighters had to execute a scramble as a Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) to protect Icelandic airspace.

Since the certification required operating under real mission-like scenarios, the Gripen fighters were scrambled to intercept another participating aircraft acting as an intruder. Through the process, committee members monitored every step taken by the Czech contingent under a challenging situation and assessed all operational details.

The preparation for the certification flights and the mission itself started months ago at the Czech home base at Caslav. 

"I am proud of my team’s performance,” said Lieutenant Colonel Jaroslav Toman, Commander of the Czech detachment. "This certification means that we have refreshed and increased our skills and proficiency of implementing peacetime air policing procedures in this very special and challenging environment.”

The Czech fighters have been deployed for protecting the Icelandic airspace until November. According to an earlier Czech Defence news report, this is the first time the Czech Gripens have been equipped with AIM-120 AMRAAM medium range air-to-air missiles for a foreign mission.

Lieutenant Colonel Toman said that the Czech decided to go for these weapons as ...

swedish gripen 02.jpg At Indo Defence 2016 (2 to 5 November), Saab will put on display cutting edge products and its commitment to partner Indonesia’s security. Saab will also showcase how Gripen holds the key to Indonesia’s future airpower. 

The Gripen cockpit simulator would also be on exhibit at the Saab stall in hall D at stand 095. Besides Gripen, Saab products on display include GlobalEye, RBS 70 NG, IDAS and Double eagle. 

Saab has offered its Gripen C fighter system with the MS20 upgrade to Indonesia. With the implementation of the MS20 upgrade, Gripen  is now the world’s first and only combat aircraft to be operational with the MBDA Meteor BVRAAM missile. The upgraded Gripen will also have an integrated Boeing GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) and a new ground collision and avoidance system (GCAS).

The proposal is flexible in terms of the version of Gripen that can be delivered and also includes a 100% commitment to meeting Indonesia's requirements for localised industrial participation.

Indo Defence 2016 will be held from 2-5 November at Jakarta International Expo (PRJ) Kemayoran. 

Know more about Saab’s participation at the event here.

Swedish Air Force Gripen are participating in Joint Warrior, the largest UK tri-service and multinational exercise of its kind in Europe which gets over on October 20th. 

Joint Warrior provides a complex environment in which UK, NATO and allied units can go through training together in tactics and skills for use in a combined joint task force. The exercise runs through a range of scenarios, including crisis and conflict situations, that could be realistically encountered in operations - disputed territory, terrorist activity, piracy and more. 

Almost 70 aircraft are being used in the exercise. Participating Gripen fighters have been deployed in all their roles - fighter, attack and reconnaissance.The fighters are stationed at RAF Leeming.

The UK-based exercise, held each year in April and October, has around 5, 700 personnel participating from NATO allies and partner countries, including Sweden, Norway and the USA. 

More information about the exercise can be found here​.

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Six Swedish Air Force Gripen fighters participated in the Finnish Air Force's Ruska 2016 exercise last week.

This was the first time that Swedish Air Force Gripen fighters were sent to participate in this exercise. Besides the fighters, Sweden had sent transport and command & control aircraft as well. Along with the Finnish Hornets and Hawks, the Swedish team played Red Air, i.e. opponents to the Finnish exercise units. 

Ruska is the biggest annual tactical training event of the Finnish Air Force. One of the main goals of the exercise is to train service units on how to work with other kinds of aircraft and for major operations.

The battle concepts executed in this exercise were all about deployment. The Finnish and Swedish assets were redeployed in every mission so that the attacker had difficulty anticipating the teams' moves and strategies. 

The exercise was held between October 10 and 14.

Read the full story here.

Photo Courtesy: Peter Liander​

​While on a visit to South Africa, Defence Minister of Sweden, Peter Hultqvist met his South African counterpart Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula at Pretoria, reports SABC News.

South Africa is Gripen's first export customer. It was also the first nation to order HMD (Helmet Mounted Display) for its Gripen fleet (17 Gripen Cs and nine Gripen Ds).

"I am sure you are aware of the fact that we have procured one of the strategic defence packages from Sweden. Our fighter aircrafts are from there and we are proud to say that South Africa is the only country in the African continent which has such capability," Mapisa-Nqakula said.

Hultqvist emphasized that selling or leasing aircraft to other countries is more than business. "This is one of Swedish national security interest: when we sell or lease aircrafts to other countries, it's something more than a business - it’s about security and a long term relationship," he said.

Read the full story here.

Five Czech Air Force Gripen fighter jets have now started air-policing missions over Iceland. The air policing will continue over the next several weeks. 

As per a report in Airforce Technology, the Czech fighters are equipped with AIM-120 AMRAAM medium range air-to-air missiles as well as short-range AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles.

"This deployment is not just another practical example of the Czech participation in the Alliance's common effort, but also a great opportunity to expand the experience and skills of our pilots,” said Chief of Staff Army General Joseph Becvár.

The Iceland mission will end on 10 November 2016.

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Ramstein Alloy Baltic training, previously known as the Baltic Regional Training Event (BRTE), was held last week. Two SwAF Gripen fighters participated in the event.

The training scenarios were aimed at enhancing policing procedures and Allied-Partner relationships using NATO’s Baltic Air Policing (BAP) assets and regional air forces. It included air-to-air intercept and search and rescue and communication loss (COMMLOSS) training.

The planning for the exercise took place over a period of a few months during which the participating air forces worked on the training scenarios and met for coordination meetings.

‘It is amazing how we carry hunt and attack exercises as a part of a NATO exercise on one day and the second day we come home and show some incident preparedness. That shows the flexibility and readiness of our Gripen fighter system’, a report in Forsvarsmakten says.

Read the full story here​.

According to Slovakia’s Defence Minister Peter Gajdos, Slovakia may decide to buy Gripen instead of leasing it from Saab,reports Reuters. The government has been in talks with Saab regarding the lease of Gripen jets to replace Slovakia’s aging Russian Mig-29 fighters.

Slovakia is expected to sign a Joint Sky agreement with Czech Republic this year, which includes bilateral cooperation between the two countries to safeguard their skies. The final shape of the agreement would decide Slovakia’s choice of aircraft to secure its defence. Czech Republic at present flies a fleet of leased Gripen.

Czech Republic and Slovakia are both NATO members, and the Joint Sky deal will enable the two to share the cost of maintenance and pilot training. Areport by Prague Monitorquotes Czech Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky who has said that if Slovakia decides to lease Gripen, its pilots could use the specialised training centre in the Czech Republic.

Swedish Air Force Gripen participated in the Finnish exercise Baana 2016 and practiced the art of landing and taking off from a road base.

As a part of the exercise, both Finish and Swedish fighters carried out many "touch and go" exercises. 

Gripen has been designed on the Cold War philosophy which means it has the unique ability to land and take off on short, actual roads and not just on regular runways. Gripen can take off and land in less than 500 meters.

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