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Last month, Gripen performed at the Breitling Scion Airshow in Switzerland. Besides Gripen, the airshow had a participation of other fighters like F-16 Falcon, Eurofighter Typhoon, helicopters, wingwalkers and historic warbirds as well.

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Ruska 17, in which both Swedish and Finnish Air Forces participated, came to an end on Friday.

The exercise, which took place between 9 and 13 October, was aimed at developing interoperability and testing the use of precision-guided air-to-ground weapons. This year, the Swedish Air Force Gripen fighters were integrated in the air defense system of Finland during the exercise.

As per a report in The Baltic Post, Gripen fighters’ missions with the Finnish F/A-18 multirole fighters showed significant interoperability at Ruska 17.

“Swedish Air Force took part in Ruska as a part of both the defensive Blue force and their adversary”, Brigadier General Jari Mikkonen, Finnish Air Force, says. “We showed that both our procedures and our systems are interoperable enabling us to deepen our cooperation further. By taking part in each other’s exercises we make more extensive and versatile air operations possible and also develop our capabilities.”

Image Courtesy:  Louise Levin/Försvarsmakten​

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A gripen fly-past commemorated 30 years of South African Air Force Base AFB Makhado's service last week.

After the fly-past, a Gripen aerial display was carried out as well.

AFB Makhado is the SAAF fighter base where the country’s Gripen fighters and and BAE Systems, Hawk fighter trainers are stationed. AFB Makhado, which was opened on 14 October 1987, houses 2 Squadron, one of the most prestigious units in the SAAF. 

AFB Makhado received its first Gripen in March 2008.

Aurora, one of the main Swedish military exercises, had the Air Force taking on both sea and ground targets this year. Here are some images from the exercise.

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Image Courtesy: Luftstridsskolan and Forsvarsmakten

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The Indian Air Force will start the process to acquire single-engine jets very soon, according to Chief of Air Staff, B S Dhanoa.

“The RFI for the single-engine fighter is likely to be issued very soon,” Dhanoa said addressing a press conference. He also added that IAF will give priority to the single-engine fighters as the twin-engine fighters will cost more.

The fighter jets will be produced jointly by a foreign aircraft maker along with an Indian company under the recently launched strategic partnership model which aims to bring in high-end defence technology to India, reports the Economic Times.

Saab's Gripen offer to India is in line with the Government’s plans for “Make in India” where Saab, in partnership with Indian companies, will work on developing capability at all levels within the country.

Read about Saab's offer to India here.

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In an interview with Norrbottensaffarer.se, Swedish Air Force fighter pilot Henrik Björling explains how it feels like to fly a Gripen fighter.

“Gripen is my favorite fighter. It's an airplane built for the pilot. It's easy to fly and perform in,” he says.

Talking about how a regular day at work looks like, Björling says that it starts early. At first, there is a meeting with the Project Manager to discuss the flight plans of the day. This is followed by some test flights, desktop work, regular training processes etc. 

Björling understands that people are impressed with his profession, but he has his feet firmly planted on the ground. “Movies and games paint a glamorous picture. In reality, we are ordinary people who are lucky enough to fly a Gripen during our working hours,” he says.

Read the full story here.

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In an interview with Jane's, Richard Smith, Gripen's head of marketing and sales, said that the company's offer of new-build Gripen C/Ds, fully meets Bulgaria’s requirements.

“We have offered new-build Gripen C/D fighter aircraft that fully reflect the short and long-term security interests of Bulgaria, which includes NATO interoperability and meets the demanding deadlines set by Bulgaria. Delivery time is clearly one of our competitive advantages, together with our ability to offer flexible payment schemes and the Gripen’s low life-cycle costs. We believe that these are the grounds for our down-selection in April by the government-appointed independent committee of experts," he said.

Bulgaria had sent a request for proposals (RFP) for the procurement of a new type of combat aircraft to Italy, Portugal and the United States, and Sweden in December 2016. Earlier this year, Gripen C/D was shortlisted as the preferred aircraft over the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon, offered by Portugal as a second-hand procurement, and Italy's surplus models of the Eurofighter Typhoon. As a part of its offer, Saab promised to deliver the first aircraft within 18 months of contract signature.

Read the full story here.

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Since 1952, Swedish borders have been monitored day and night, all year around. No matter what time it is, Swedish territorial borders are being monitored. All over Sweden, there are radar stations constantly scanning the air and over land and sea.  When needed, the armed forces alert Gripen fighters to identify and intercept foreign aircraft. 

Several units of the Air Force are made up of Gripen fighters. It is the first operational fighter equipped with Beyond-Visual-Range-Air-To-Air-Missile, Meteor. Today, there are three air wings and six divisions equipped with Gripen fighters in the Swedish Air Force. The fighter aircraft has the ability to carry out operations against targets on the ground, in air and over water, with extreme precision, a high degree of flexibility and power. These units also conduct intelligence gathering missions and are always ready to defend Sweden's territory.​

Read full story here​.

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Two Czech Gripen fighters and an L-159 ALCA light combat aircraft during Ample Strike 2017

The Czech Republic led exercise Ample Strike had fighters logging in 600 flight hours and conducting hundreds of missions this year.

"We began these types of exercises 15 years ago. In 2002, we had eight aircraft and only one Czech team of forward air controllers cooperating with British teams. Now, we have 39 aircraft from 18 countries comprising more than 1,200 soldiers taking part," said the Director of the exercise, Colonel Zdenek Bauer, when addressing the media before the exercise.

The Czech Republic has hosted the exercise for four consecutive years now. The exercise is planned around developing and improving joint coordination of air and ground forces

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Czech Armed Forces website

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AEL Sistemas has launched the first panoramic panel of the Gripen fighter, reports Airway.com​.

"We are proud to deliver the prototype panel on schedule, helping Saab engineers to move forward with the integration work on the aircraft," says Sérgio Horta, president of AEL.

Saab selected AEL Sistemas (AEL) as a supplier in Brazil two years back for providing wide area display (WAD) and the head-up display (HUD). Both the WAD and HUD development programmes started in January 2015.

The WAD for Brazil’s Gripen NG aircraft is a single intelligent and full-redundant multi-purpose display system, full-colour, large-screen (19 x 8 in) with continuous image presentation and the state-of-the-art touch-screen controls capability. It is the primary source of all flight and mission information in the cockpit.

Saab and AEl Sistemas have also signed a contract for transfer of technology that focuses on developing human-machine interface (HMI) and workshops for avionics maintenance.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: AEL Sistemas

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