In May this year, a fly past of 10 Czech, Hungarian and Swedish Gripen over the Czech Air Force’s 21st Tactical Air Base at Čáslav marked the celebration of 10 years of the fighter in service in the Czech Republic, reports Afbcaslav.cz.
Amongst those present at the ceremony were Czech Defence Minister Martin Stropnický, Air Force Commander Brigadier General Libor Štefánik and representatives from the air forces of Sweden, Hungary and Croatia.
The Czech Defence Minister, in his speech, said that Gripen is a reliable aircraft and the Czech Air Force pilots are very satisfied with it, adding that they have logged in 20,000 flight hours during the last 10 years. The Minister also announced that NATO has requested for the deployment of the Czech Gripen in Iceland this summer.
General Libor Štefánik, who also addressed the audience, thanked all the people associated with the program, especially the Swedish team for their training of specialists and support during the last ten years.
"The introduction of Gripen has significantly changed our approach to the tasks of the Air Force. Gripen is not a just modern aircraft with different combat capabilities, but an important impetus for new missions and a huge motivation for all who are involved in the project," said General Štefánik.
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"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
At 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.
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As 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 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
Once Gripen NG is delivered to Brazil, it will be the first aircraft in the Southern Hemisphere to have the ability to undertake a "supercruise flight", reports Defesanet.
The report says that usually fighter aircraft fly above the speed of sound only during a combat mission. Gripen, however, can fly at a supersonic speed not just during aerial battles, but also during long duration flights; range of 4,000 kilometers.
Gripen is also designed to have net centric warfare capabilities. The high-end sensor suite and strong focus on data links ensure quick sharing of information between tactical unit members.
According to Captain Gustavo Pascoto, one of the first two FAB pilots who have been trained to fly the Swedish fighter, Gripen NG is a big leap from the aircraft currently in use by the Brazilian Air Force.
"Gripen NG is a combination of high performance, supersonic acceleration and the capability to fly at high altitudes," he says.
Read the full story: Gripen NG poderá realizar supercruzeiro
“We 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 ...
Tags: Brazilian Gripen, Brazilian Air Force Gripen, Gripen, Gripen Aircraft, Gripen C/D, Gripen E/F, Gripen Fighter, Gripen for Brazil, Gripen NG, RTAF Gripen, Thai Gripen,
Time to celebrate and congratulate the two FAB pilots! Captains Ramon Lincoln Santos Fórneas and Gustavo de Oliveira Pascotto, who swapped Rio de Janeiro and Anápolis respectively for F7 in Såtenäs in November last year, flew their first solo flight in January, reports Fab.mil.
The two Brazilian pilots have flown Gripen before as well but only in the company of Swedish Air Force flight instructors. Their first training sortie in the rear seat of a Gripen happened on 19 November last year.
The two Brazilian pilots will complete their six months long training in April this year. By the end of April, they will have learnt everything about Gripen and will return to Brazil as newly qualified Gripen instructors.
Read more about the two FAB pilots here.
Image Courtesy: Fab.mil
This 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
Saab's naval version of Gripen E for the Brazilian Navy might be a step closer now, reports Airheads Fly.
According to the report, the Aviação Naval Brasileira (AvN) may opt to initiate dialogues regarding the development of the naval version of Gripen E, also known as Sea Gripen.
The Sea Gripen is intended for both CATOBAR as well as STOBAR operations. All the sensors, avionics and weapons and the GE 414G of the Gripen NG will be offered in the Sea Gripen. The small logistic footprint, high availability and a smaller, lighter airframe results in significant gains from a maintainability point of view. The Gripen spares inventory is therefore lighter, smaller and adds less to the load of the carrier and it takes fewer personnel to maintain the aircraft.
The Sea Gripen will also have superior sensor fusion abilities, the Selex Raven AESA radar, Infra-Red Search and Track, plus a revolutionary avionics architecture including ultra-fast databuses and Ethernet. The system can be easily integrated with advanced weapon systems
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