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Czech Republic’s Ministry of Defense recently announced that it is in the process of procuring Gripen fighter terminals that will allow them to ensure classified data communication. 

Petr Medek, Defense Ministry spokesman, stated that using these terminals in the avionics of the existing Gripen aircrafts will help increase the operational capabilities in the area of classified communication. The technology is also needed for the aircraft to be full-fledged participants in Joint Alliance operations.

Czech Republic will be acquiring 15 terminals, of which 14 will be incorporated into the existing 14 aircraft and 1 will be a spare. 

The Czech army currently has a total of 14 Gripen aircraft on lease. The terminals purchased, however, will be completely owned and operated by the Czech army. 

Read the full storyhere​.

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According to a new cooperation plan signed by the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the two countries will jointly protect their airspace, reports Boston Herald.

The Czech Defence Ministry said that the protection that both the countries receive as NATO members is effective only for military threats. The cooperation plan, however, would cover non-military threats such as a terror attack committed with a civilian passenger jet, as well.

The pact has been approved by the Slovak government but still requires parliamentary and presidential approvals before coming in to effect.

Czech Republic uses Gripen C/D fighter jets for which Slovakia is in negotiation with Sweden to acquire. The Slovakian military uses Russian MiG-29 jets which were acquired in 2004.

Read the full story here.

Photo: Jorgen Nilsson

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Global supplier of wing, fuselage and engine structures, GKN Aerospace has been given a contract extension to continue to provide Gripen's engine support program, reports UPI.

The contract extension encompasses the company's RM12 engines on fighters which is flown by the Air Force of Sweden as well as by countries like Hungary, the Czech Republic and Thailand.

GKN will continue providing technical support as well as provide maintenance and parts required for the engines that power the Gripen aircrafts. GKN also stated that the RM12 engines had clocked in an approximate 250,000 flight hours without any engine related issues arising.   

"GKN Aerospace is proud of our long-term support for Swedish fighter aircraft and we appreciate that the FMV has extended the RM12 PBL-contract," said Mike McCann, CEO of GKN Aerospace Engine Systems. "GKN is looking forward to continuing to work together with the Swedish Armed Forces and the FMV and to further develop our relationship.  We recognize and appreciate the continued confidence that the FMV has demonstrated in our team in placing this contract extension with us."

Currently, the technical support, maintenance and parts supply division by GKN is conducted from its facility in Trollhattan, Sweden.      

Read the full story here.

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Slovakia is looking to replace its aging Russian MiG-29 fighters and Gripen is one of the main contenders, reports Reuters.

The Slovakian government has been in talks with suppliers since September in order to negotiate the best prices. According to Sweden's, Defence Minister Peter Gajdos, it would take months for the government to decide on a supplier.

The Slovakian government, with Czech Republic, signed a “Joint Sky” agreement last December which would ensure protection of each other’s airspace besides the standard air defense cooperation between the two NATO members. Czech Republic currently has 14 leased Saab Gripens which it signed in 2004. If Slovakia were to pick Gripen as its primary fleet then the two countries could also, possibly, share maintenance costs and pilot training.

Read the full story here.

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In an interview with the Defence Aviation Post, Saab India’s Country Head and Chairman Jan Widerström throws some light on Saab's ready-to-roll Make in India plan that is based on true technology transfer.

"We do not attach strings to our technology. Saab is committed to India and will deliver the best industrial cooperation and technology transfer over the life of the programme — providing what India’s armed forces and industry wants and needs," Jan  says.

When asked about the unique capabilities of Gripen that Saab would leverage to gain substantial mileage over its competitors, Jan said that Gripen E is equipped with the latest technology when it comes to radar, sensors and electronic warfare systems along with customisable aircrafts that that can quite easily integrate existing and new weapon and missile systems.

“Gripen can perform a wide range of missions such as Offensive Counter Air, Defensive Counter Air, Air Policing, Cruise Missile Defense, Close Air Support, Air Interdiction, Suppression/Destruction of Enemy Air Defense (SEAD/DEAD), Maritime Strike, Strategic Attack, Sea Surveillance, Tactical Air Reconnaissance and Non-Traditional ISR. These missions can be performed around the clock in all types of weather,” Jan said.

About Saab’s aerospace facility offer, Jan said that the company intended to make the facility fully self-sufficient with 100% technology transfer, full system control and full software control. Saab will transfer design, development and manufacturing capabilities. Saab believes everything can be done in India including production planning, creation of an independent supply chain and research and development for the future. ...

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FAB Gripen pilots Captain Gustavo de Oliveira Pascotto and Captain Ramon Santos Fórneas, trained with pilots of four different nations to develop new techniques at a recently held Gripen User Group Simulation event.  

During a virtual fight, the two pilots led seven other pilots to fight against 40 enemy aircraft in a series of attack and counter-attack missions. At the end of this fight, the group took down the enemy from a distance of 80 kms.

"The highlight of the training was the fact that it was very realistic. The pilots felt like they were actually flying," Fórneas said.

"Since the training involved complex scenarios, and pilots of different nationalities and experiences participated, it was an excellent opportunity to assess our level of training of beyond visual range air-to-air combat, and find the best ways to use Gripen,” Captain Pascotto said.

Captain Pascotto and Captain Fórneas were the first FAB pilots who were sent to Sweden to learn to fly Gripen. They fulfilled their first Gripen training mission in November 2014. 

Read the full story here.

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“The reason for Gripen E's success is relatively simple - it has been developed as a robust and cost-sensitive plane. The fighter builds on the successful design of earlier versions and is not completely redesigned,” a report in Stern says about why the Gripen fighter system became the choice of a number of air forces.

Gripen was developed keeping in mind the Cold War philosophy. The idea was to have a cost-efficient multi-role fighter which could take-off and land on short landing strips. Once developed, Gripen was not just used for the Swedish Air Force, but also exported to countries like Thailand, South Africa, the Czech Republic and Hungary. The latest big order from Brazil has made Gripen the most talked about fighter of the recent times.

The all new Gripen E is super flexible, has an enviable 10-minute operational turnaround time, and boasts of split avionics and a modular system. The split avionics also means that new upgrades and products can be easily added to Gripen at any point in future, without much hassle.

The report also talks about Gripen F, the two seater version of Gripen E that Sweden will produce jointly with Brazil. Gripen F will not just be used as a training aircraft, but also as a fighter for complex missions. After Brazil, India has also shown great interest in the Gripen fighter system. Saab has offered Gripen NG to India under the 'Make In India' initiative with transfer of technology.

Read the full story 

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Saab and Brazilian aerospace conglomerate Embraer inaugurated the Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN) in Gavião Peixoto last year, in the state of São Paulo yesterday.

The GDDN, located at Embraer premises in Gavião Peixoto - where the Gripen Flight Test Center and the Gripen Final Assembly will also be based - will be the hub for technology transfer and fighter development in the country. Partnering Saab and Embraer would be AEL Sistemas, Atech, Akaer and the Brazilian Air Force through its research department DCTA.

A Brazilian Government report quoted Colonel Julio Cesar Cardoso Tavares saying, "This project will allow Brazil to have autonomy to build fighter aircraft in future. It is a facility to back the country's efforts to develop high performance fighters."

The GDDN includes the development environment and simulators required to undertake the fighter development work. In addition, the GDDN is connected to Saab in Sweden and the industrial partners in Brazil, securing both technology transfer and efficient development.

“We have a long-term commitment to Brazil. The launch of the GDDN is a key milestone in the Brazilian Gripen programme as it will be the basis for the technology transfer and fighter development in the country,” said Håkan Buskhe, CEO and president of Saab.

Read the full story here.

During the celebrations marking the 90th anniversary of the Swedish Air Force, Defense & Aerospace Report​ took the opportunity to speak to Ulf Nilsson, Senior Vice President and Head of Aeronautics, Saab, on the philosophy that drives the making and development of Gripen E and what makes the approach fundamentally different.

Future technology is, of course, hard to predict even three to four years down the line. Looking back 10-15 years, the pace of technology development could be predicted, but not so with the coming of the digital revolution. “Earlier, the pace of development of technology was setting the pace of development of capabilities of the fighter system. Not anymore though. This is a big change and the development platform has to be able to cope with this kind of a change,” says Nilsson. 

Keeping that in mind, Gripen E is created to be relevant even if the technology of today becomes obsolete tomorrow. That is one of the best features of the new Gripen: its flexibility, preserved in a balanced design, makes it extremely adaptable. 

Built upon the strong base of proven C/D platform, Gripen E redefines air-defence systems with its exciting new capabilities and significant cost reduction. Not only does Gripen E have what it takes to fly safely, when it comes to tactical and functional developments, it has more of an ‘app-based development’ approach, which makes it easier to upgrade the aircraft from time to time. “This is one of the major leaps forward when it ...

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Bulgaria has sent requests for proposals to Italy, Portugal, the United States and Sweden for the delivery of multi-role fighter jets.

Bulgaria is looking for a NATO compatible fighter to replace its ageing Soviet-designed MiG-29 fighters. It was earlier this year in March when the Bulgarian government gave a go-ahead to a fighter procurement programme. 

Besides Gripen, the shortlisted aircraft include second-hand F-16 from Portugal, equipped with U.S. weaponry and second-hand Eurofighter Typhoon fighters from Italy.

According to Reuters, the four countries have three months to reply.

Read the full story here.

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