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​Earlier this week, approximately 2,500 students visited the Kecskemét Air Base, Hungary to get a hang of the fighters and others systems.

The series of programs at the Air Base were targeted at students of primary and secondary schools and colleges. The senior students were the most interested in aviation.

Here are some images from the event.

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Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Airbase Blog

The video shows a Czech Gripen with a colourful tiger scheme on its tail at the NATO Tiger Meet Spotters Day this year.

Spotters Day was held during the middle weekend of the NATO Tiger Meet. About 1600 spotters were registered for the event.

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During the last few weeks, SwAF Gripen pilots were busy at the Tactics, Techniques and Procedures Exercise (TTP16). TTP is a recurrent exercise, but this time it was different as the participating Gripen fighters were upgraded with the MS20.

The MS20 upgraded Gripen are integrated with 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.

TTP is also known as pilot's own exercise because there are no order chains; the pilots have to make their own decisions. The exercise focuses on developing skills to fight in a war, giving pilots an opportunity to work on small details that can make big differences in real life scenarios.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Forsvarsmakten

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Indian Air Force Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha got a feel of Gripen D last week when he flew the fighter with Swedish Wing Commander Michael Lundquist. 

Raha was on a five day tour of Sweden to discuss potential cooperation in aerospace and defence between India and Sweden. These bilateral conversations were initiated earlier this year between Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Make in India summit in February.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Captain John Lidman, Såtenäs, F7

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​Defence blogger and Gripen pilot Carl Bergqvist was in 2010 tasked with flying a US general in the backseat of a Gripen D and was asked by the general what he thought of the Gripen.

Bergqvist says that he has never lost a dogfight against a US-build fighter jet.

When asked if it is too bold a statement to make, Bergqvist says “Yes! But it is also very true.”

Bergqvist says he has practised against all of the American fighters except F-22.

He adds that a dogfight is perhaps no longer the most modern way to fight with an aircraft, but for pilots, it is still the classic way to measure how good a fighter is.

According to Bergqvist, Gripen is a fantastic aircraft to fly as it flies without requiring too much attention from the pilot. The pilot can instead focus on the mission. One session in the Gripen simulator is all a person needs in order to land a Gripen.​​

Read the full story here.

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The new Gripen E will make its maiden flight later this year. Though thanks to simulators, it has already been flying a lot in the virtual world. 

To ensure that the simulators replicate actual onboard systems, the same software and tools used for developing the aircraft are deployed. The process called “design once” makes certain that the simulated aircraft systems are performing in the same fashion as those on the aircraft.

Saab test pilot Jonas Jakobsson says that they are focussing on the system design at the moment. "We have started to practice a lot of tactical scenarios, and are looking at different systems and human-machine interfaces," he says.

According to Saab, testing in simulators reduces the number of actual test flights by about two thirds. Because of the model-based design and advanced simulators, pilots can perform a series of tests in the computer environment before the actual flights.

Read the full story here.

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"With Gripen, you need to forget everything you know about flying," Saab test pilot Marcus Wandt told visiting Brazilian journalist Fernando De Martini from Poder Aereo Blog team when he visited the Gripen hangar.

Fernando had heard this before. Five years back, when he was preparing for a Gripen flight using a simulator, he was told the same thing. "With its fly-by-wire control systems, I realised how easy it was to fly Gripen,” Fernando says in his blog.

The advantage of the fly-by-wire system is that one can use only paddles instead of joystick for curves. “This frees your hand to handle the various screens in the cockpit while the aircraft continues to be operated with your feet,” says Marcus Wandt.

Wandt also spoke of the ease with which one can land a Gripen. The final phase of landing is almost automatic, he says, with the pilot only required to control the angle of descent and speed and keep an eye on the HUD.

The Brazilian Press got to see the 39-7 demonstrator and the latest Gripen test aircraft and were briefed by Saab test pilots Marcus Wandt and Hans Einerth

Read the full story here.

TV4 News' Stefan Borg learns how to fly a Gripen with Saab test pilot Marcus Wandt.

Three cameras were rolling, one in the rear cockpit, one on Marcus' wrist and one with photographer Felix Larno in an SK60, tailing the Gripen fighter.

"All you have to do is make sure we stay on our wings. Take the controls now. Roll a bit side to side. That's it," Marcus says.

About Gripen, Marcus says that the fighter is designed to be versatile. It can be the only plane in a given mission. As compared to Gripen, planes which are built for specific purpose and later expanded with other capabilities, are technically capable but not very efficient at carrying out multiple tasks.

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The Swedish Air Force Gripen has been upgraded with MS 20.

As a part of this upgrade, one of the major additions is that of MBDA’s Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile. The missile's propulsion is managed by a ramjet engine.

"The ramjet engine provides a significant increase in range. It makes it harder for an enemy to protect themselves from Meteor as compared to missiles operated with conventional propelled rocket [engines]," said Michael Östergren, Project Manager for the version 20 upgrade at FMV.

According to the Swedish Air Force Chief Maj Gen Mats Helgesson, the Meteor’s addition is a game-changer.

Besides the Meteor, GCA, Ground Collision Avoidance System is another important feature of MS 20. GCA will help avoid a collision with the ground in case the pilot loses control.

Also, with the new upgrade, there is an enhanced chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) protection for the pilot. The new protection not only safeguards pilots in contaminated environments during a mission, but also helps the ground crew to effectively decontaminate the aircraft once it has landed.​

Read the full story here.

​Thirty Czech personnel and four Czech Gripen fighters were sent to participate in the NATO Tiger Meet 2016, one of the biggest exercises of its kind in Europe. 

The Exercise brings together units from all over the world that have a tiger or other big cat in their logos or emblems. This year, there was a record participation of 83 aircraft from 23 squadrons from 15 countries. The Exercise had many pre-planned tasks which included an air to air refuelling of Gripen fighters with a KC-135 tanker.

Here are some snapshots from the exercise that ends today.

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Image Courtesy: 211 Sqn

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