At a time when some of the biggest names in the global defence industry have decided to end production of their well known fighter planes, Sweden’s Defense and Security company, Saab, gets going, says The Wall Street Journal.
With little in the way of a global marketing machine, Sweden has had outsize success in winning export orders. That is thanks to Saab AB’s Gripen combat jet, it adds.
WSJ interviews Saab’s Chief Executive Håkan Buskhe who points out, that unlike before, weapon buyers are becoming more cost-conscious now.
“Seven to eight years ago, no one discussed affordability when it comes to arms equipment. There was a paradigm, when I started, that if it is not expensive, it is not good. The cost component—that was not really the big deal in the past—has really caught up with each and every economy around the world. That does not mean you can sell an aircraft that is not good enough. There is no point in sitting in an aircraft that gets shot down and saying ‘at least it’s affordable’. So I think that is the key part of our success, and I believe we have a window going forward,” Buskhe says.
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Saab has selected AEL Sistemas (AEL) as a new supplier for the Gripen NG in Brazil. AEL will provide the wide area display (WAD) and the head-up display (HUD), which will be integrated in the Gripen NG for Brazil as part of the F-X2 contract. The WAD and HUD development programme commenced in January 2015. Saab and AEL have also signed a contract for transfer of technology.
The new avionics systems programme will run over four years and includes development, integration and production work to be performed in Porto Alegre. System integration work will be undertaken by Saab and Embraer.
The WAD for Brazil’s Gripen NG aircraft is a single intelligent and full-redundant multi-purpose display system, full-colour, large-screen (19 x 8 in) with continuous image presentation and the state-of-the-art touch-screen controls capability. It is the primary source of all flight and mission information in the cockpit.
AEL will also develop a new HUD for Brazil’s Gripen NG aircraft. The HUD provides essential flight and mission information to the pilot when looking ‘heads up’ out of the cockpit.
Read the full story here.
As the Hungarian Gripen program celebrated its 10th anniversary last week, MoD’s defence news portal and monthly magazine refreshed the key milestones of the program.
Hungary decided on a lease contract for 14 Gripen aircraft in 2001. The contract was later amended in 2013 to include additional functionality of the aircraft and a purchase.
The first Hungarian Gripen left Linköping on 16 February 2005, while the first five Hungarian Gripen pilots travelled to Sweden on 7 January 2005 to participate in a three weeks long training at the Såtenäs Air Base and Halmstadt.
Hungarian Gripen fighters first participated in an international training in October 2006. The pilots of the Puma squadron have participated in the NATO Tiger Meet several times and in 2014 they were selected as members of the alliance based on their performance.
The Hungarian Gripen fighters currently provide air policing services over the Slovenian air space. The training for the air-to-air refueling was about to start this summer. The team will take over the air policing services of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in September 2015.
TV4.se video throws light on some of the points that will be included in the upcoming bi-lateral cooperation
In future, there will be an increased degree of interoperability between the Swedish and Finnish air forces, reports Regeringen.se.
As per the final reports on the deepened cooperation between Finland and Sweden, the concrete proposals include joint operations, joint use of air bases and joint combat command capability.
The advantages of the cooperation between the air forces include improved operational capabilities aiming to increase security in a regional context, flexible use of resources and increased cost-efficiency.
Read the full story: Final reports on deepened defence cooperation between Finland and Sweden
Czech Republic tools up its 14 Gripen fighters by buying four Litening III targeting pods, reports Airheadsfly.com.
Previously, the Czech Gripen fighters were almost exclusively used in the air-to-air role; the aircraft were on 24/7 quick reaction alert to intercept unknown aircraft. The new Litening III pods will be bought for air to ground tasks. Along with Gripen, the pods will be integrated to Czech Air Force’s Aero Vodochody L-159 ALCAs as well.
According to the report, the Swedish Air Force has been using the Litening III pod on their Gripen fighters for years. Litening III pods significantly increase the combat effectiveness of the aircraft during day, night and under-the-weather conditions in the attack of ground and air targets with a variety of standoff weapons.
Litening can be mounted externally on an aircraft. It provides good quality target imagery and is equipped with a laser designator for precise delivery of laser-guided munitions.
Read the full story: CZECH TOOL UP GRIPENS
Svd.se catches up with the two Brazilian pilots, Captain Gustavo de Oliveira Pascotto and Captain Ramon Santos Forneas, who are in Sweden for their Gripen conversion training. The FAB pilots talk about their experience with the weather in Sweden, which is very different from Brazil’s.
The Brazilian pilots had to undergo water survival training for emergency ejection over water. The water survival course becomes difficult in Sweden as the trainees have to practise in freezing cold water.
“Back home, the water is seldom this cold,” says Fórneas, adding that he sees it as an experience.
According to the report, when Gustavo completed his first flight in Gripen, there was sleet in the air and Lake Vänern was freezing cold.
“Although the weather conditions are very different in the two countries, I do not think we need to adapt the Gripen for Brazil. We have talked to pilots from Thailand who are accustomed to flying in hot and humid climate. They have not had any problems with the Gripen,” says Gustavo.
Read the full story: Brasilianska piloter flyger JAS i Sverige
Over the next two months, Swedish Air Force Gripen pilots will participate in a joint American exercise over the Baltic Sea, reports Svd.se.
According to the report, the war in Ukraine and the increased Russian activity in the Baltic Sea region affect both the Swedish Air Force and the Swedish Navy.
Though the Swedish Air Force has been a part of a Baltic Regional Training Event earlier with participants from several NATO countries, this exercise is a direct American initiative.
“The difference is that it is their initiative. It is a natural development. We are a partner they can trust,” says Swedish Air Force Chief Micael Bydén.
The exercise will involve between 6 to 12 planes that include the US’s F-16 and Finland’s F-18 fighters along with the Swedish Gripen.
“Three different types of combat aircraft engaged in offensive and defensive combat manoeuvres make the exercise advanced,” says Micael Bydén.
Read the full story: Gripen deltar i USA-övning
Last week, 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 Airheadsfly.com.
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
Like Czech Republic, Slovakia may also consider leasing Gripen to replace its existing fleet of fighter aircraft, reports Spectator.sme.sk.
After meeting with his Swedish counterpart Peter Hultqvist, Slovakia’s Defence Minister Martin Glváč told the journalists, "The Slovak Republic cannot afford to buy new fighters. Sweden has offered the most well-balanced variant in terms of flight hours rental, though other alternatives are still in the frame.”
“I would call this day a milestone in negotiations on the technical, legislative and financial options for carrying out this project,” Glváč added.
According to an IHS Jane’s report last year, leasing of Gripen fighters could also offer the possibility of conducting joint training, weapon systems acquisition, and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) to potentially decrease the overall costs of the programme.
Last year, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Sweden also signed a letter of intent agreeing to co-operate on using the Saab Gripen fighter.
Read the full story: Slovakia is negotiating with Sweden to lease Gripen fighters
Defence Minister of Sweden, Peter Hultqvist visited the 21st Tactical Air Base at Čáslav last week, reports afbcaslav.cz.
Mr. Hultqvist was accompanied by Czech Deputy Minister of Defence Daniel Koštoval and Commander of Czech Air Force General Libor Štefánik.
Czech Deputy Commander Colonel Ondřej Rejman talked about the role of the Base in the protection of the air space of the Czech Republic within the framework of the NATO integrated system of anti-aircraft and anti-missile defence (NATINAMDS) and thanked Swedish Air Force for the training assistance.
“Your tactical simulation center, which helps in a simplified training of pilots and technical personnel, was perhaps the inspiration behind the Czech Tactical Simulation Center, Pardubice. Equally important was the primary air refueling training under the supervision of the Swedish instructors, which expanded deployment options for the Czech Tactical Air Force in overseas operations.
"We appreciate the support of the Swedish team here at our base which became, through almost a ten year period, an integral part of the 211th squadron. Cooperation with you is on an extraordinary level," Colonel Rejman adds.
Read the full story: Čáslavská základna se prezentovala ministru obrany Švédského království
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