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"Gripen meets Brazil’s demands," says Brigadier Jose Crepaldi Affonso, FAB.

In an interview with Defesanet, Crepaldi, who was the president of the Coordinating Committee of Combat Aircraft Program (COPAC), said that the signing of the FX2 deal took place after ten months of intense contract negotiations.

About the number of single and double-seater aircraft that FAB may order in future, Crepaldi says, “The number of units required in the next two batches has yet not been decided. A two-seater Gripen can do much more than conversion training. We have had discussions with the South African Air Force (SAAF) as they also operate Gripen two-seater and use C2 function. So, having more two-seater Gripen is a possibility.

When asked if Gripen was an ideal choice for a huge nation like Brazil, Crepaldi says that they had two Brazilian teams appointed for the assessment of the competing fighters. The fighters had to start from a Brazilian Air Force Base for a specific task and then return. The aircraft completed the task without any refueling. So it is incorrect to say that the Gripen has less range. It is an entirely new aircraft with a new engine and it does not consume fuel at the rate of a twin-engine fighter.

 “Brazilian Air Force is preparing to receive Gripen NG,” Crepaldi says.

Read the full interview: Entrevista com o Brigadeiro Jose Crepaldi – FAB se prepara para receber o Gripen

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Saab recently held a press tour in Sweden. As a part of this tour, Ulf Nilsson, head of Saab aeronautics and Jerker Ahlqvist, Saab Gripen's vice president for business area aeronautics talked to the reporters about the Gripen Brazil deal, upgradation plans for Gripen C/D and the future markets Saab is looking at.

Ahlqvist said that starting this year, the MS20 upgrade is being offered, which includes the first operational capability of the highly-rated MBDA Meteor air-to-air missile.

"The addition of Meteor air-to-air capability makes Gripen the most formidable counter-air platform in service," Ahlqvist declared. The missile will become operational with Swedish Air Force Gripens in 2016.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Militech Mag​

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Fighter aircraft from Sweden, Finland and Norway are all set to participate in the international exercise called Arctic Challenge Exercise 2015 (ACE 15) next week.

The first Arctic Challenge Exercise was held in 2013 in which the primary responsibility was taken by Sweden. This year, it will be Norway taking the lead role. Though ACE 15 is an exercise in the framework of the Nordic cooperation between Sweden, Finland and Norway, there will be participants from Switzerland, United Kingdom, France, Germany, the USA and the Netherlands as well. 

The exercise scenario at ACE 15 revolves around an international peace-management operation under the UN mandate.

“I look forward to creating an exercise that prepares the Swedish and European air forces for future challenges and tasks,” says Colonel Carl-Johan Edström, Flotilla Manager at Norrbotten Wing and Assistant Training Leader at the ACE 15.

ACE 15 will be held between 25 May and 5 June.

Read the original story: Förberedelser pågår

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It is not as easy as they make it look like. A lot of planning, coordination and rehearsals go into a successful aerial photography mission. Catch the Czech, Hungarian and Swedish Gripen in a flying formation during the Lion Effort 2015.

Given the big difference in speeds of the Gripen fighters and the C-295 transport turboprop, the mission becomes even more complex as the number of aircraft increase.

Planning for an aerial photography mission starts with a pilot briefing to decide on the participating jets. The choreography is then coordinated with experienced inflight photographers.

In this case, it took a lot of coordination for the Czech, Hungarian and Swedish Gripen fighters to join up with the Czech CASA C-295 transport aircraft from 24th Air Transportation Base at Prague-Kbely which carried the photographers and their equipment. Before the final aerial photography mission, all the involved pilots are aware of each passing manoeuvre, knowing their exact role in the photo shoot.

Read the full story here

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Czech Republic president Miloš Zeman paid a visit to the Caslav Air Base to have a look at the various aircraft there.

Commander of the air base, Colonel Petr Hromek and head of presidential military office General Rostislav Pilc welcomed the president.

After greeting the officers at the Base, the president took a look at Gripen, L-39 Albatros jet trainer and light combat aircraft L-159 ALCA. The Gripen aircraft which was prepared for the presidential inspection had represented the Czech Republic at last year´s NATO Tiger Meet.

When the Czech President got into his car to leave the Air Base, two Gripen aircraft took off in a celebratory sign off!

Read the full story: Čáslavský bojový prapor byl dekorován prezidentem České republiky

​Starting 2016, Hungary will play an important role in the EU Battle Group missions. To be fully prepared, HuAF is working on increasing its air to ground capabilities. As per EU plans, Hungary will provide battlegroups with strong air-to-ground close air support capability.

In this video, Hungarian Gripen pilots practice attacking ground targets with the help of radar and laser designation pod.​

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Next week, Czech Republic will celebrate 10 years of its Gripen programme. The country will operate Gripen fighters for another 12 years as per a deal extension signed last year and recently, they scheduled to upgrade and enhance their fleet as well.

Till now, the Czech Gripen use Saab’s MS19 Block 3 software standard. However, by 2017 or 2018, the Gripen fighters will be upgraded to the MS20 configuration, reports Flightglobal.

MS 20 upgrade includes integration of the MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile and Boeing GBU-39 Small-Diameter Bomb, improved radar modes and a new laser designation pod (LDP) among other things.

“The need for the LDP is really strong, and right now there is a negotiation,” 211 Sqn pilot Capt Jiri Cermak said at Saab’s Linköping production facility in Sweden last month. The payload will assist pilots with the visual identification of aircraft at night, he adds.

According to the report, the Swedish Air Force will have its Gripen C/D fleet enhanced with the MS 20 block upgrade later this year. New air to air capability and air to ground capabilities like precision guided bombs against small targets will be introduced as well.

Read the full report here​

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Czech Gripen fighters performed a ceremonial flyover to mark the upcoming 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and victory by the Allies, reports Radio.cz.

It was the first flyover above Prague Castle in more than a quarter century as the airspace is a no-fly zone. This made the fly-by even more dramatic and unique as the no fly restrictions were lifted exclusively for the Gripen fighters to mark the beginnings of celebrations. 

The Second World War ended in Europe in May 1945. The event is also known as the Victory Day and is being celebrated across Europe with exhibitions, lectures, parades etc. The celebrations in Czech Republic included an exhibition of rare pictures of Czech soldiers during the Second World War.

Read the full story here.

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Swedish Air Force Gripen and Finnish fighters practiced some impressive missions at the beginning of the Finland-Sweden training event (FSTE) this April.

During the last few years, Swedish Air Force, in partnership with its neighboring countries, has carried out Cross Border Training exercises (CBT) almost every week. All these exercises have acted as a foundation for the FSTE.

The planning for FSTE, an exercise that focuses at carrying out joint training sessions with the NATO countries based in the Baltic region, started a year ago. Participating aircraft at FSTE include eight Swedish Air Force Gripen, along with F/A-18 Hornets from Finland, F-16 from 510 Fighter squadron in Italy and air-refueling aircraft from Mildenhall.

FTSE is a cost-effective training exercise aiming to increase the capability of the participating forces to carry out advanced air operations with other countries.

Read the full story: Med våra närmaste grannar​​

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Chief, Air Marshal Geoff Brown, flew the Saab Gripen during his recent visit to Wing 7, Surat Thani, Thailand.

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Image Courtesy: RTAF

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