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​Cope Tiger, an exercise conducted by Singapore, Thailand and the United States is being held at Wing 1, Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base.

Both air and ground units are participating in the exercise. The exercise is aimed at increasing combat readiness and improving interoperability between the participating nations. 

Cope Tiger 2018 is being conducted between 12 and 23 March 2018.


Image and video courtesy: Cope Tiger 2018

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South African Government’s armaments development and manufacturing company, Denel Dynamics, is using an aircraft-mounted testing pod to develop its missiles in a quick, cost-effective way. 

The pod has a controller, power supply, telemetry downlink and uplink receiver, radios to communicate to the aircraft, and recording systems. With the help of the pod, one can easily test things like infrared and radar seekers, optical equipment and electronic warfare systems.

The pod was first used to test A-Darter fifth-generation infrared guided missile that has been integrated onto Gripen fighters. After its successful testing, now it is also used to examine the radar sensor used by Denel Dynamics’ Marlin technology demonstrator. 

A-Darter is a fifth-generation Imaging Infrared (IIR) SRAAM air-to-air missile system. Its features include lock-on after launch, memory tracking, and countermeasures resistance with a 180-degrees look angle and 120-degrees per second track rate.

According to the Program Manager of Denel Dynamics, Jaco Botha, one of the greatest benefits of the testing pod is that it cuts down the enormous expense of having to integrate the missile (in its final configuration) onto Gripen. “We’ve skipped that whole process by going to the pod – you are on the wing of an aircraft and can evaluate in a real environment,” he said.

Read the full story here.

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The annual Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton International Air Day at Somerset, England​, is back. Scheduled to be held on 7th July 2018, it will feature a spectacular five-hour flying display, besides an array of ground attractions, from engineering fairs to the latest defence technology exhibitions, simulators, fairground rides and helicopter pleasure flights. 

After last year’s remarkable performance, the Czech Air Force has confirmed their participation at the event for this year as well. They will return with the JAS 39C Gripen that won the title of ‘Best Fixed Wing Display’ last year.  

The RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day is expected to have up to 40,000 visitors. The event will include demonstration of the Maritime Capability and Air Power of not only the Royal Navy, but also the British Army and the Royal Air Force, which are celebrating their centenary year. The British Armed Forces’ NATO and European allies will participate too. The Air Day will have both static and flying displays from some of the world’s most skilled pilots and their aircrafts. 

Read the full story here.

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​Aviation photography is no mean feat. It requires passion and special skills to capture aerial maneuvers at its best. Professional aviation photographer David Choděra talks toThe National Geographic about what it takes to get a great shot of Czech Air Force Gripen.

“Gripen fighters are always admired. Czechs want to experience and hear the power of their engine. Here I managed to capture the moment the fighter takes off and closes the chassis,” says Choděra.

The winner of 2010 Aviation Week Photo Contest, Military Category, Jamie Hunter talks about the effects of external factors like weather on his photography. “We had a very small window of opportunity to shoot the Gripen NG Demo in formation with a JAS 39D and so it had to be planned very carefully. The weather in the area around Linkoping was quite bad with heavy rain and low clouds – but luckily we were able to find some better weather in the operating area thanks to some advice from a Gripen pilot who had just returned from a local mission.”

Most of the times, the trick lies in timing the shot. Another aviation photographer, Tom Gagner who won the Gripen Photo Competition in 2015​ explains how he got his winning shot of Gripen at the Flygdagen 2015 Airshow, “I shot the photo at Flygdagen 2015 (Air Force Day 2015) in Sweden. I waited some time to get the perfect angle that shows Gripen making a sharp turn.” 

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Alternative power.

Multiple test flights have shown that Gripen can fly with 100 percent biofuel. This gives us valuable insights into future use of alternative fuel.

Photo: Linus Svensson​

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During a capability demonstration exercise earlier this month, SAAF Gripen fighters performed a variety of aerial displays at the De Brug range outside Bloemfontein.

The demonstration was spectacular with a mock dogfight between Hawk and Gripen combat jets. The two fighters also performed aerial displays with multiple flare releases.

 The visitors also saw Rooikat armoured cars and Olifant tanks kicking up the dust and firing their cannons. The demonstration ended with a mock battle in which Gripen fighters, Hawk, and Oryx and Rooivalk attack helicopters participated.

Read the full story here.

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The 171st fighter division of F17 recently got an opportunity to train its forces with four US Fighting falcons, reports

The exercise, in which 12 F-16s along with 300 airmen were sent by the USA to Amari Air Base in Estonia,  was a part of NATO's operation Atlantic Resolve. Swedish participation in the exercise was in line with the Finnish-Swedish FSTE concept (Finnish Swedish Training Event).

"The FSTE concept is similar to the cross-border training that is being conducted on a regular basis in northern Sweden, with the participation of Norway and Finland," said a participating F 17 pilot. 

As a part of these cross-border exercises, daily training missions were conducted over the Baltic Sea. Exercises like this are a great opportunity for new pilots to train with different fighters and develop interoperability.

Read the full story here.

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On 15 February 2018, the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) celebrated Wing 7's 36th birthday. ACM Jom Rungsawang, Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Air Force, and Group Captain and Chief of the Air Force Wife Association, Koranun Rungsawang, attended the event. 

Flying displays by six Gripen fighters and three Saab 340s marked the celebrations.

In his speech, ACM Jom talked about Wing 7's successful operations, Gripen and Saab 340 AEW acquisitions, and RTAF's integrated air defence system.

RTAF declared he Gripen Integrated Air Defense System commissioned as a fully operational part of the air force at its home base, Wing 7 in 2013. At the ceremony to announce the integeration, personnel from all three military branches were in attendance, symbolising what the new system stood for: integrated defense operations.

Wing 7 operates 12 Gripen fighters. It received its first batch of six Gripen fighters in February 2011.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: RTAF

Tod Wolters, Commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, met Mats Helgesson, Chief of Air Force, Sweden earlier this month. The U.S. Commander also paid a visit to the Air Combat Training School in Uppsala to be briefed about Gripen fighters and future joint exercises.

"This was a rewarding visit. We have had discussions mainly about joint exercises especially the ACE exercise which is an example of an important component of our cooperation with both NATO and the United States, "said Mats Helgesson.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Forsvarsmakten​

RIAT2017_Gripen1.jpgThe Czech Air Force has confirmed the participation of a Gripen and an L-159 Advanced Light Combat Aircraft (ALCA) at RIAT 2018.

This time, RIAT will also celebrate the completion of a 100 years by the Royal Air Force. Last year, Captain Ivo Kardoš from the 211th Tactical Squadron at Čáslav Air base won the award for the best flying demonstration by an overseas participant at RIAT.

The first Air Tattoo was held in the year 1971 with a participation of about a hundred aircraft. Deemed as one of the world's greatest airshow now, RIAT now attracts participation from across the globe.  About 150, 000 to 160, 000 visitors attend the show every year. 

About RIAT, Formula one racing driver Jensen Button once said, "All the thrills, excitement and noise of a Grand Prix, but in the air."

The flying display will take place between 13 and 15 July 2018.

Read the full story here​.

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