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​Thai Boomerang, an exercise in which personnel from the Royal Thai Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force participated, came to an end on 14 August. Participating aircraft included Gripen from Wing 7. One of the main objectives of the exercise was to improve the interoperability between the Thai and the Australian forces.​ Here are a few snapshots from the exercise:

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Image Courtesy: RTAF and RAAF

On 5 and 6 September 2015, a full scale model of Gripen NG will be on exhibition at an event called 'Open Gates' at the Air base of Anápolis, Brazil.

The full scale Gripen NG model was presented to the Brazilian public for the first time ever at LAAD Defense Exhibition in Rio de Janeiro earlier this year. 

After LAAD, the model was sent to Santa Cruz Air Force Base in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to participate in the celebration of 70 years of the Fighter Aviation Day. Following this event, the model has been on display at various exhibitions in Brazil for the general public.

Know more about the event here​.​

Hungarian Gripen in the air. Photo Victor Veres.jpg
Hungarian Air Force has sent four Gripen fighters to guard Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The four aircraft are based at Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania. The four months long mission started yesterday.

To honour the participating Hungarian contingent, a ceremony was held at the Kecskemet Air Base recently. Addressing the visitors at the ceremony, Hungarian Defence Minister Csaba Hende said, “The Baltic air space has become the most problematic in Europe and perhaps within NATO as a whole.” The Defence Minister was talking about the international tension kindled by the Ukrainian crisis.

The number of air intercepts over the Baltic has grown in the recent past. According to an earlier report in IHS Jane’s, NATO has launched more than 250 scrambles against Russian aircraft so far this year over Europe, out of which 120 have taken place over the Baltic region.

The Hungarian Air Force had participated in last year’s Baltic Air Policing Mission as well, with four Gripen fighters and around 90 support personnel.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Victor Veres

​Recently, Hungarian Gripen pilots performed their first air-to-air refueling.

“We were not trained for air-to-air refueling, but this week, with the assistance of Swedish instructors and an American KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft, we trained to do it. We followed NATO rules for this process,” says Hungarian Captain Viktor Lango.

To complete this training, the Hungarian Gripen pilots had to first learn about the theoretical part of it in the classroom, followed by the actual aerial refueling with the help of Swedish instructors. 

Two Hungarian pilots are now qualified flying instructors. They, in turn, will train their colleagues to conduct aerial refueling.

​Hungarian Air Force Gripen pilots recently practiced four days of night flying at the Kecskemét Air Base. Night flying is very important. It helps pilots hone their flying capabilities; they use night vision goggles and train to perform various operations in darkness. Air Base Blog​ brings some snapshots.

Parking at the J zone


The golden hour

One of the eight wheeled motor vehicles carrying fuel tankers

Engineers at work

All set for the night flying

Gripen flight just before it gets too dark

And it gets too dark. The lights appear brighter though the rest of the plane is less visible now

Image Courtesy: Air Base Blog

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As part of their allegiance to the NATO alliance, Hungary will deploy four of its twelve operational Gripen aircraft to patrol the airspace of three Baltic nations namely Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. 

The aircraft will be deployed from Lithuania’s Šiauliai air base and will start operations in September this year. The patrol operations are scheduled for a period of four months. 

Previously, Hungary and Italy had been in charge of air control operations in Slovenia since October 2014. The Hungarian missions were being flown out of the Kecskemét air base in Hungary. Starting next year, the Hungarian Air Force Gripen will also play an important role in the joint EU Battle Group. They will provide close air support (CAS) capability in the battle group.

Read the full story here​.

Image Courtesy: Istvan "TopiDoc" Toperczer​

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Brazil has inched closer to the Gripen deal with Saab, as the country’s senate voted through the financing package required for the purchase of 36 Gripen NG aircraft.

As per a CNBC​ report, the senate has authorized the Brazilian Government to borrow up to 39.88 billion Swedish crowns from Sweden's export credit agency SEK for the planes along with an additional $245.3 million to buy arms for the Gripen fighters.

As per the terms of the contract between the two countries, the deal includes 100% technology transfer. The CNBC report adds that 15 out of 36 new generation Gripen will be produced in Brazil by Saab, in partnership with the Brazilian firm Embraer.

The approval of the financing agreement is the last step in the process of negotiations that started between Sweden and Brazil after the latter’s announcement of the selection of Gripen as the FX2 winner.

Read the full story here.

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The Czech Defence Ministry has decided to add air-to-ground capabilities to their Gripen fighters. According to the Defence Ministry Spokesman Petr Medek, the new arms will be installed before 2018.

Medek said that with the addition of ground strike capabilities, the chances of Czech Gripen being deployed for various international operations, including NATO operations will increase.

Gripen has been designed to be a multi role aircraft; to be able to provide air defence and also carry out ground attacks and reconnaissance missions. The Swedish Air Force already uses its Gripen fleet for all these tasks and now the Czech Air Force will follow suit.

The weapons for air-to-ground strikes include laser and GPS guided bombs, training weapons and night vision goggles. Equipment like Saab's Mark 4 radar doubles air-to-air and air-to-ground detection ranges and has improved abilities to detect very low-radar cross-section targets. news report quoted another Czech Defence Ministry spokesperson saying that the Czech Gripen will undergo technological and software's changes.

“For example, air bombs or laser-induced air bombs will be made compatible with the Czech Gripen fighters now,” he says.

Read the full story here.

Photo Courtesy:

Czech Air Force Gripen fighters are in Iceland to provide aerial surveillance to the country. 

Czech Gripen fighters reached Iceland on 23 July 2015, accompanied by an Italian Air Force KC-767 for in-flight refueling. Upon arrival, the participating Czech Air Force pilots underwent a certification process in which they had to conduct test flights in order to be qualified to perform air surveillance and interception missions over Iceland.

The Czech Government had approved the deployment of five Gripen fighters (one out of which has been kept as a reserve aircraft) and up to 70 personnel for this mission, two months back. This is the fourth time the Czech Gripen have been deployed to provide aerial surveillance to NATO states. Besides the last year’s Iceland deployment, Czech Gripen have successfully completed similar missions in the Baltic States in 2009 and 2012 as well.

The Czech Gripen pilots will return to the Caslav Air Base after fulfilling their duties till 25 August.

Read the full story here.

A-Darter-Tiro-2-580x387.jpgThis year, South African Air Force Gripen completed the actual launch of an A-Darter missile. The missile successfully reached the target, which was an unmanned aircraft flying at a 600 meters higher altitude, reports

As a part of this test, the rocket was launched towards a remotely-controlled aircraft in order to test the maneuverability of the missile. The heat-guided weapon is designed to perform while sustaining up to 100Gs, with targets within a 12 miles radius. The A-Darter’s sensor-eye can spot the difference between the target aircraft’s infrared signature and flares the bogey might launch to fool the missile.

Portal Brazil quoted the project manager for Brazil, Colonel Julius Caesar Cardoso Tavares, saying that the main feature of the latest generation of missiles is their ability to perform high-performance maneuvers.

"The guidance sensor detects the target and the missile also calculates the best route," said the Colonel.

A-Darter does not have small wings that are used for maneuvering. Instead, it can direct the thrust of its rocket engine, performing maneuvers while sustaining up to 100Gs. 

The report adds that the A-Darter is now 90 percent ready. South Africa’s Denel Dynamics is the leading company of the project.

Read the full story: Future Brazilian Gripen Missile Successfully Fired In South Africa

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