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Matti Vanhanen, Finland's ex prime minister says that Finland should consider Gripen to replace its ageing Hornet fighter jets.

"If the aircraft meet the required performance demands, and the planes can be equipped with necessary weapon systems, then the purchase would have a positive impact on fostering defence co-operation between Finland and Sweden," Vanhanen says.

Finnish Air Force’s F/A-18 C/D Hornet aircraft are scheduled to be retired between 2025 and 2030. A request for quotations for new jets is yet to be sent out by Finland.

Read the full story here.

​Royal Thai Air Force Chief Treetos Sonjaeng recently paid a visit to the Wing 7 Air Base and had lunch with the Gripen technicians and support staff.

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Image Courtesy: RTAF​

​For the last few weeks, Gripen pilots at Kecskemét have been busy with night flying missions and testing the night vision devices.

The pilots were given a theoretical training by their Swedish colleagues before their first night flying missions.

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The MH59​ report says that the purchase of night vision devices and these trainings will enhance the combat readiness of the Air Force. It will also increase the participation of Hungarian Gripen fighters in international exercises.

Read the full story here.

Photo: Istvan “TopiDoc” Toperczer​ 

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The first group of 50 Brazilian professionals, who reached Sweden a few months back, is now actively participating in the Gripen NG development.

For a Brazilian engineer, snow covered hangars and sunsets at around 3 pm are things that are in stark contrast to life in their home country. Marcelo, one of the 50 professionals from Brazil, is however delighted. Marcelo is an Embraer engineer since 1998. It will be his first chance to work on the development of a supersonic jet.

"One of the differences is that in supersonic flights, the temperature of the vehicle is high (as a result of kinetic heating caused by the friction between the outside air and the surface of the aircraft) which means the cooling capacity of the system is important," he says.

Marcelo is working with Erik Israelsson, systems engineer at Saab, who cannot hide his excitement of working with colleagues from a different country. Erik says that short courses have been created for the Brazilian engineers."I think it will be very useful to work with new people in the 'Saab way."

By 2022, more than 350 Brazilian professionals will work on Gripen NG project in Sweden.

Read the full story here.

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A new year usually means a fresh start and new challenges. Skaraborg Wing is no exception. After 10 years of being an organization that trained pilots of existing Gripen user countries to fly Gripen, it is all set to become a fully operational battle unit, reports Forsvarsmakten​

This transition means there will be increased training and exercises to develop capabilities for combat scenarios. Gripen pilots and technicians at the Air Wing will now undergo training that will focus on making them mission ready. Besides relevant training, more people, new as well as those with experience, will be hired.

Read the full story here.

Here are some images from a Gripen Photo exhibition which was held in Hungary recently. The exhibition showcased images of Hungarian Air Force Gripen fighters, Gripen pilots and the Kecskemét Air Base​.

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Hungarian Gripen pilot Viktor Lango posing with one of the pictures.

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A young visitor at the exhibition.

Image Courtesy: Hiros.hu

This year, RTAF sent two Gripen fighters for display during Children's Day celebrations. One of these fighters performed an outstanding  aerial display for the young visitors.​

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Last week, the Swedish Air Force held a traditional Wing Graduation ceremony for pilots who are all set to fly fighters, transport aircraft or helicopters within the Armed Forces. Out of these graduates, eight will fly Gripen. 

One of these pilots who will fly Gripen in future is Christopher Lundgren. He will join the fighter divisions of the F 21 in Luleå. “I have not regretted even a single day here, and today I got the reward for it,” says a very happy Christopher.

These students have been learning the art of flying in the Saab 105 (SK 60) aircraft for the last one year. Now ahead is a year at a fighter division where they will learn everything about the Gripen fighter system before they can call themselves Gripen fighter pilots. We wish them all the best and are looking forward to see them in the Gripen cockpit. 

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Forsvarsmakten​

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Hungarian Gripen pilots have returned home after a successful participation in the Baltic Air Policing, reports MNO.hu.

As per the report, Baltic Air Policing was Hungary’s first major international mission in 70 years. In this mission, four Hungarian Gripen fighters, stationed at Siauliai Airbase Base in Lithuania, were supported by German Air Force Typhoons. It was NATO’s 39th rotation of the exercise and Hungary was the 16th NATO Ally to take up the leading role.

During the mission, Hungarian contingent had 101 training scrambles and 25 live alerts. NATO has intensified Baltic Air Policing missions post the Ukrainian crisis amid growing tensions with Russia. The mission started on 31 August 2015 and ended earlier this month.

Baltic Air Policing has been formally transferred from Hungary and Germany to Spain and Belgium now. 

Read the full story here

Image Courtesy: Hungary MoD

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Saab and leading Industrial Group from Italy, Finmeccanica have teamed up to provide electronic warfare systems support to Gripen operators, reports Flightglobal.

According to the report, all Gripen NG fighters will have the Raven ES-05 active electronically scanned array radar, Skyward-G infrared search and track passive sensor and identification friend or foe systems, all of which are made by Finmeccanica.

Last year, Finmeccanica – Selex ES had signed a contract with Saab to deliver 60 Skyward-G IRST (infra-red search and track) systems for Gripen NG fighters. Saab is also offering Finmeccanica’s BriteCloud expendable active decoy as an option for the Gripen.

“BriteCloud is being offered by Saab as the off-board jamming solution for platform protection,” says Mark Hewer, vice-president of EWOS for the company's Airborne and Space Systems division. 

“With the success of the Gripen variants internationally, we are seeing real interest and are in discussions with a number of potential customers."

Read the full story here.

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