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​Saab's Chief Test Pilot Richard Ljungberg throws light on the features of Gripen C/D as well as the future development of Gripen E/F in his interview with The Stratpost.

“Gripen is a pilot’s aircraft. It is extremely easy to maneuver and is a carefree machine from a pilot’s point of view. The flight control system takes care of all the limits in terms of G, angle of attack and so on,” Richard says.

Richard, who has been with Saab for 11 years now, also talks about the plans for the future development of the aircraft. He says that in Gripen E/F, Saab has replaced the radar in the front with AESA from Selex which gives a 200 degree view providing pilots an advantage of detecting threats from behind.

“With Gripen E, we have moved the landing gear on to the wings area, making a lot of space for internal fuel storage. It also gives more space under the fuselage to have two more pylons. So Gripen E/F will have 10 pylons as compared to 8 in Gripen C/D,” Richard says.

​An extensive exercise at the Vidsel base in Norrbotten in which pilots from Kecskemét Air Base participated, came to an end last week.

It was the third time that the Hungarian Gripen pilots participated in this live fire exercise. Six Hungarian Air Force Gripen participated this year. The carefully planned missions and sharp shooting exercises began on 13 March and continued till 20 March. ​

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Image Courtesy: Honvedelem.hu

Video Courtesy: Index.hu​

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Between 12 and 16 March, 10 Czech pilots and 30 Royal Air Force personnel participated in the Quo Vadis exercise at Čáslav Air Base.

“Typhoon is great aircraft and so is the Gripen. They are both very different and they fight differently. Their battles are interesting,” says Lieutenant Phil Bird, a Eurofighter Typhoon pilot who practiced aerial combat against Czech pilot Stanislav Čejka in the Gripen, as a part of this exercise.

As per Stanislav Čejka, the combat was rather equal where none of them had the option to shoot. The pilots could get close to each other up to 300 m during such an exercise.

“The winner is the pilot who gets his opponent to the sight. Both air forces were able to check whether their prepared fighting tactics work on the opponent or if there is a need to change something,” Čejka says.

Read the full story: Souboj českých a britských stíhačů skončil nerozhodně

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Exercise Cope Tiger 2015, a trilateral air exercise conducted by Thailand, Singapore and the United States, concluded last week. 

Five RTAF Gripen participated in the exercise along with about 90 military aircraft and 1200 personnel from the air forces of the three countries. 

In FTX (field training exercise), the participants trained in air-to-air and air-to ground combat while air defence units on the ground provided ground-to-air resistance. The latter units were provided by Thailand and Singapore.

With Cope Tiger 2015, RTAF aims to improve know-how and cooperation with modern and battle experienced foreign air forces, beef up pilot and ground crew competence and, as a by-product, improve relations between participants and locals.

Read the full story: การฝึก COPE TIGER 2015

Image Courtesy: RTAF​

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Once in every two years, Czech Air Force's 21st Tactical Air Base hosts an Open Day at Čáslav airport. This year, the excitement would be triple as the event is combined with celebrations of 10 years of the Czech Gripen programme and the Lion Effort 2015.

As per a report in Letectvi.cz, the event would consist of aerial and static demonstrations and various activities for children. In 2013, Open Day had 50,000 visitors, and this year, more number of visitors are expected.

Open Day will run parallel with the Lion Effort 2015 which will be held between 11 and 24 May. Lion Effort is one of the biggest Gripen exercises and it brings various Gripen users together.

For Gripen enthusiasts, Open Day is an important event this year as it provides a unique opportunity to see Gripen fighters from Hungary, Czech Republic, the UK, Sweden, Thailand and South Africa, all at one place.

Open Day is scheduled for 23 May this year.

Know more about the event here​.

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In the last week of February 2015, a Thai Air Force delegation visited the 21st Tactical Air Base at Čáslav, reports Afbcaslav.cz.

The Royal Thai Air Force delegation, led by Air Chief Marshal Pratanem Sirisapem was welcomed by Deputy Commanders of the 21st Tactical Air Base: Colonel Andrew REJMAN and Colonel Jaroslav Miko. The commanders gave a brief on the main tasks and functioning of the Air Base to the Thai delegation.

After the brief, the delegation went to have a look at the three aircraft used by the Air Base: Gripen, L-159A ALCA and L-39ZA.

As per the report, this is not going to be the only visit by RTAF members at the Čáslav Air Base this year. RTAF pilots will also participate in the international exercise Lion Effort 2015, which will held in May.

Read the full story: Thajská delegace hostem u 21. zTL

Image Courtesy: afbcaslav.cz​

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Brazil will have the Anapolis Air Base (BAAN) as the headquarters of its Third Air Defense Group (3rd GDAAE) this year. BAAN will be the first Brazilian unit to receive Gripen NG fighters, reports Fab.mil.

According to the report, the Third Air Defence Group members inaugurated a KONUS simulator last month. The simulator would allow the members to train for handling the Anti-Aircraft Weapon system IGLA-S. The training includes a live-fire exercise.

“The KONUS will help with courses and internships required for effective operational preparedness. With the help of the simulator, the Third Air Defense Group will be able to provide prompt air defense of the Anapolis Air Base which  currently houses the F-5M aircraft and, in future, will be a base for the Gripen NG,"says Major Flávio Schiatti, Commander of the 3rd GDAAE Center.

Read the full story: Futura base dos caças irá receber grupo de defesa antiaérea

Photo Courtesy: Fab.mil​

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Cooperation for joint protection of the airspace of the Czech Republic and Slovakia is likely to be continued in future, reports Afbcaslav.cz.

Members of 21st Tactical Air Force Base Čáslav met with Defence Committee members from Czech Republic and Slovakia and confirmed that mutual cooperation within the airspace protection and joint training will be explored.

"Since last year, we have conducted mutual protection of the airspace of the Czech and Slovak Republics. However, it is necessary to continue to set cooperation and deepen mutual possibilities of flight training," said Colonel Peter Tomanek, Chief of combat training Headquarters, Czech Republic Air Force.

Talking about Gripen during his presentation, 21st Tactical Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jaroslav Mika said, "This is the Gripen system, not just an airplane. The term system includes the software and hardware that ensures the operation of aircraft, training aircraft and ground personnel, collaboration with the Swedish team, and support and training in tactical simulation center in Pardubice.”

Read the full story: Spolupráce při ochraně vzdušného prostoru České a Slovenské republiky bude pokračovat

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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

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Members of Swedish Military Aviation Safety Inspectorate (FLYGI) met members of Brazil's Institute of Industrial Coordination and Fostering (IFI) recently to make plans for the certification of Gripen NG fighter, reports Fab.mil.br.

Members from both organizations presented their respective rules, regulations and forms of work, in order to allow mutual recognition of activities related to accreditation and quality assurance of aeronautical products.

"It is expected that the agreement will allow mutual recognition of activities and even joint work between Brazil and Sweden, both during certification and production, as in the aircraft operation phase," explained the IFI technical advisor, Lieutenant Colonel José Renato de Araújo Costa.

A discussion on Gripen NG certification between IFI members and Saab officials happened last year in September in São José dos Campos. 

According to Defense Aerospace.com, it was discussed that the certifications of Gripen NG aircraft with respect to airworthiness requirements and fulfillment of the mission will be carried out by Swedish government agencies. The IFI will monitor these processes and, after validating them, will issue a Type Certificate to the Gripen NG aircraft project.

Read the full story: Brasil e Suécia começam a planejar a certificação dos novos caças

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