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Category: GRIPEN AIR FORCES

​Here are some pictures from the ongoing Langkawi International Maritime & Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) 2017.

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A visitor flies Gripen in Virtual Reality
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Chief of Air Force, Sri Lanka at the Saab stand
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1st Admiral Zulkarnain, MMEA Northern Region, and Dato’ Rahman, Deputy Director General MMEA, at the Saab stand
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RTAF Gripen preparing for display rehearsal

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It is 10:25 in the morning at Čáslav air base and the sunrays are only just beginning to stream through the morning fog. There is no wind, all one can hear is the whistling sound of two Gripen fighters leaving their hangar. Soon, the whistle turns into a roar as the fighters ascend towards the sky. This is how a typical morning at the air base looks like.

The Czech Republic has been using Gripen system for over ten years to protect its airspace. The country also uses the fighters for NATO missions in countries like Iceland.

"The fighters are on constant standby to identify, escort, and if necessary, fight invasion of Czech airspace. Additionally, they also provide support to civil aviation, including escorting and providing guided landing of civilian aircraft, in case of technical failure or bad weather conditions,” says Jan Ducha, Ground Personnel commanding officer of the Czech Air Force.

Recounting his experience at this year's NATO Tiger Meet exercise in Saragosa, Spain, Jan says that Gripen is very easy to use and requires less staff as compared to other similar aircraft. Other countries participating with other aircraft systems brought up to 25 people per aircraft. To fly a Gripen, one needs only one pilot, one engineer and a mechanic (per aircraft), Jan adds. 

"What use is an aircraft of, if it is in a hangar, waiting for spare parts or if you need so much staff to attend to it that you cannot afford to fly ...

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​Major General Mats Helgesson talks about the meteor missile integration to the Swedish Air Force Gripen and why it is an important capability. ​​


​​​​Last week, Swedish Air Force conducted mobile readiness exercise on a public road in the south western part of Sweden. Guests, from both Sweden and outside the country were invited to watch the exercise.

Video Courtesy: Swedish Air Force

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Gripen E's first test flight will be conducted during the second quarter of this year," says Jerker Ahlqvist head of Gripen programme.

During the annual Gripen seminar yesterday, Jerker explained that Saab’s new work methods with model-based-design is proving to be very successful. 

“As we prepare for Gripen E’s first test flight, we see that any software corrections can be easily implemented now. We can quickly make a change and introduce a new software load to the aircraft within days. This is something that previously took weeks or even months to undergo. It gives us the confidence that we are on the right track and the programme will run as per the schedule,” he said.

Saab is building two more test aircraft which are at various stages of production. Aircraft 39-8 is currently in ground test. The second test aircraft has entered the stage of final assembly.

About Gripen M, Jerker said that it is at a conceptual stage. “We are working with Brazilian engineers on a concept study of Gripen M. We are also in the process of responding to an RFI from India. We believe that Gripen M has good potential and can hopefully turn into a full development programme at a later stage.”

Jerker presented the Gripen seminar along with Richard Smith, Head of Marketing, Gripen, who gave an overview of the position of Gripen in the market today.

"The market looks optimistic for Gripen right now, and it comes down to getting ink on paper," Richard ...

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Hungarian Gripen fighters have been scheduled to perform aerial displays after almost seven years at the NATO Days in Ostrava & Czech Air Force Days this year.

Hungarian Gripen fighters have participated in the Czech event many times before but it was mostly kept on static display. This year, a Hungarian Gripen will perform aerial display along with a Czech Gripen.

‘NATO Days in Ostrava & Czech Air Force Days’ is the largest and the most popular air-defence technology event in the Czech Republic and Central Europe. About  200,000 visitors attend the event every year.

The event will on 16 and 17 September this year at Ostrava Leos Janacek Airport.

Read the full story here.

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Last week, Czech and German fighters executed a joint training in the airspace of the Federal Republic of Germany. Two Czech Gripen fighters carried out aerial fights with two German Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft.

The agreement to conduct the joint training regime was signed on 15 February in Brussels by the Czech and German Defence Ministers, Martin Stropnicky and Ursula von der Leyen. "The document confirms our resolution to create more intensive joint training scenarios and, at the same time, share our knowledge and experiences. Germany is one of our key strategic partners both inside and outside the NATO region," said Martin Stropnicky.

The exercise was carried out to increase mutual cooperation and improve inter-operability between the armed forces of the two countries. 

The one-and-half-hour training consisted of three combat scenarios. The flights were carried out within the format of aerial combat manoeuvring 2 on 1, 1 on 1, and 2 on 2 combats. The joint training is being conducted once in every two weeks.

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The Czech Air Force has logged more than 10,000 flight hours with Gripen. Performing NATO air policing missions and successfully participating in international exercises.

Download the calendar here.


Photo: Jörgen Nilsson

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A fighter aircraft pilot’s life is full of tough challenges and experiences. In a profession where mistakes can lead to life-or-death situations, it is imperative that they are equipped with the best facilities in order to perform their task to the best of their abilities. 

The nature of a pilot’s job sometimes requires flying high and in extreme conditions. Atmospheric pressure and composition at certain heights put the pilot in situations where the lack of proper equipment could be very harmful. To face such conditions, pilot suits have to be equipped and built with the capability to sustain the pilot under duress.

Due to the stress that the suit faces as a result of being exposed to rough conditions, it has to be checked and approved every 6 to 12 months. Such tests include assessing the equipment hoses and pipes which are prone to leaks, condition tests and pressure tests.

The pilot can choose a three lettered code for each piece of equipment and accordingly, a unique serial number is assigned to each piece. A Gripen pilot’s suit works as a system with each piece having a very specific function, thus making it necessary to wear and maintain each of them. Each pilot also wears absorbent innerwear that absorbs sweat and humidity while preventing condensation. The suits also come in fire and water resistant variants.

Each part of the suit serves a very specific purpose e.g. the jacket has multiple storage options for emergency (medical kits, tools etc.), floatation ...

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Lovisa Sandelin from Ludvika, Central Sweden, is the first woman to graduate as a SwAF fighter pilot since 2004. She has graduated from the aviation school in Linköping, Southern Sweden, along with 22 other students and they have a few more years of training to undergo until, eventually, they have the skills to fly the Gripen fighter. 

Sandelin isn’t focused on the attention she has received due to her gender. “I see it more as something personal. Getting my pilot’s wings is a big milestone for me just as my male colleagues see it is a big milestone in their lives, so I maybe don’t focus so much on the fact that I’m a woman,” she says. She also pointed out that it is imperative for more women to apply and join the Swedish Armed and Air Forces.

Until the early 1990s, women were not qualified to become fighter pilots. This has changed over the years with many countries lifting this ban one after another. Typically perceived as a male-oriented job, the profession has seen very few women applying.

“Public perception of the profession being a typically male one could be an explanation for why so few women opt to become fighter pilots in Sweden,” says Swedish Air Force’s Air Combat School Mats Juhlander.

"But it isn’t. The Armed Forces opened as an occupation for both sexes in 1989,” he adds.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Forsvarsmakten​

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