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Last Wednesday, at the Skaraborg Wing, a readiness check exercise was conducted at 4 am, reports Forsvarsmakten. Only a few of the participating staff were informed about the exercise beforehand.

The exercise was planned several months in advance and the preparations were kept a secret from most of the staff at the Wing. As the exercise started, armed Gripen took to the skies and all the participating men and women including the ground personnel knew their assigned tasks.

Such exercises ensure that the Wing's personnel are fully prepared for any urgent mission.​

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Forsvarsmakten

Gripen NG’s AESA radar will be placed on a “repositioner,” a rotating mount. According to a news report in, the repositioner is very resourceful as it gives the radar a ±100-degrees field of view around the nose.

The report adds that the ability to take a beyond-visual-range missile shot, then turn 90 degrees, while still providing mid-course updates for the missile fired and keep situational awareness at its peak, opens up many tactical advantages for Gripen NG crew.

For example, when the enemy fighter is above you, and trying to lock you up in the look-down-shoot down scenario, the repositioner can rotate the radar to gain an extra azimuth to continue scanning the area over 90 degrees off its nose, enabling the pilot to not lose situational awareness even for a moment and take actions at the right time. 

Read the full story here.

Missiles and missile systems manufacturer MBDA has offered its Meteor BVRAAM (Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile) for the Royal Thai Air Force Gripen fighters.

According to a Thai Military and Asian Region repor​t, the Meteor BRAAM production is underway and should enter service on Gripen aircraft of the Swedish Air Force by the end of this year. The Meteor capability is a part of Saab's latest MS20 (Materiel System 20) combat systems update.

The report says the Meteor has been designed to counter the most sophisticated airborne threats of the 21st century. As per MBDA, the kinematic performance of a Meteor is three to six times higher than that of the current air missiles of its type. The Swedish Gripen fighters will be the first to get this missile, followed by the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Dassault Rafale in the coming years.

Read the full story here​.

​At the Baltic Air Policing, the deployed Hungarian Air Force contingent is on a 24 hour alert. According to the Airbase Blog, Baltic Air Policing in the earlier years were conducted in harsh conditions. However, things have improved a lot with practice, preparedness building and introduction of four new hangars.  Have a look at these images to catch a glimpse of a typical day of the Hungarian contingent members at the Šiauliai Airbase.

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Gripen outside the hangar

Sign for the FOD (Foreign Object Damage) check. This ensures that any object that does belong in or near the aircraft has been removed. Examples of such objects include a stone or any tool that has been left behind by mistake.

The hangars are equipped with facilities like air conditioning systems and computers.

Engineers inspect everything including weapons and fuel before the aircraft is sent for the air policing.

The Hungarian tanks at the ready.

And so are the pilots.

A minibus takes the pilots to the aircraft.

Whether it is a training (Tango) or sharp (Alpha) alert, every second counts. The movements of the pilot are pre calculated and well rehearsed.

All set for the take off.

Up in the air in the lead role in Baltic Air Policing.

Image Courtesy: Airbase Blog 

As per a news report, the next generation Gripen is garnering a lot of interest and Saab is very optimistic about a new deal.

With the successful implementation of the Brazilian Gripen deal, Saab is looking forward to offer its star fighter to more potential customers. Ulf Nilsson, Head of Saab’s Aviation operations, expressed that Gripen attracted the attention of buyers at the recently concluded Dubai Air Show. 

“We received a lot of enquiries about our agreement with Brazil and on the development process of Gripen,” he says.

Nilsson did not mention any particular country but said that Saab is in conversation with several potential customers and a new Gripen deal may happen as early as the next year.

Saab has also received an order for the new ERIEYE radar system worth SEK 11 billion. The UAE purchased the new system and plans to mount it on Canadian made Bombardier aircraft. The ERIEYE system is capable of detecting activity in air, on land and at sea. 

Read the full story here.

​At the Dubai Air Show 2015, Ulf Nilsson, Head of Saab’s aeronautics business area, revealed that the New Generation Gripen has reached its final assembly stage. These are some of the images from the production process.



According to Ulf Nilsson, model based designing fits extremely well within the Gripen program.

“We had less [production line] feedback on the first aircraft than we have on the running production of the [Gripen] C/D,” he says in an interview with the Flightglobal​.

Gripen fighters from both the Czech and the Hungarian Air Forces have been conducting several air policing missions during the last few years. But what is typical for an air policing mission and what happens when the radar picks up an unidentified aircraft? How does an air interception actually work? Watch the video to know about the various stages of an air interception.

​A contingent of four Hungarian Gripen fighters is on Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) at the Šiauliai airbase in Lithuania. Since 1st September the Hungarian fighters have been stationed in Lithuania as part of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing Mission. 

On the 8th of November they performed a tango (training) scramble on a Lithuanian Air Force C-27 J Spartan. Along a majority of training scrambles, a dozen alpha (actual) scrambles have been undertaken by the Hungarian Gripen since their deployment in September.

"We have intercepted different types of aircraft already. We intercepted Su-27 Flankers and An-26 transport aircraft, and also some civil aircraft. It’s our job to go up there and see what unknown aircraft near the Baltic States are up to. We follow NATO’s rules of engagement on each intercept,” says Hungarian Gripen pilot Viktor Langó.

Read the full story here.

​Exercise Trident Juncture 2015, NATO’s biggest exercise in a decade, was concluded last week. Personnel from NATO's Allied and partner nations were training together at the exercise to improve their operational readiness and interoperability.   

As a part of this exercise, six Swedish  Air Force Gripen flew with F-16s and F-18s from Finland, Norway, USA and Portugal. Here are a few snapshots from the exercise.

Image Courtesy: Norrbottens Flygflottilj F 21

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In a recent training exercise, SwAF Gripen technicians from air wing F7 practised Gripen aircraft maintenance under field conditions near forests, reports Forsvarsmakten.

“It has been a long time since we conducted a training exercise of this kind,” says Stefan Moback, Planning Officer at the 2nd Aviation Services Company. The last such exercise was held in 2004.

The training took place in a tent near the woods, a couple of kilometers from the Gripen hangars at F 7 Såtenäs. In these tents, maintenance of Gripen fighters can be done like it is done in the original hangar.

The tents are approximately 250 square meters wide and 6 meters high. They are supplied with electricity and heat to provide a good working environment even when it is cold and wet outside. The tents also have special containers which are connected for the safety material and for personnel.

Since the exercise was held after a long time, things were kept simpler and the staff had no pressure in the form of external threats. “We do not practice all of it in the first time,” says Moback. “We will build up the complexity of the exercise in terms of technology and staff, but we should do so after proper planning.”

Read the full story here.

Image courtesy: Forsvarsmakten​

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