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Ample Strike 2016, a NATO aviation training exercise, will be held between 30 August and 20 September. Czech Gripen and L-159 ALCA fighters will participate from their home base in Caslav.  

Hosted by the Czech Republic, the multinational exercise focuses on honing the skills of Forward Air Controllers (FACs) in coordinating and directing actions of combat aircraft in support of ground operations. The Exercise consists of several pre-planned scenarios which are conducted at different locations. 

The Name Ample Strike is inspired by similar international FAC exercises conducted in Slovenia and Canada under the names "Adriatic Strike" and "Maple Strike", respectively.  

This year, 17 nations including the United States, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Great Britain, and Germany will participate in the event.

Read the full story here.

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Saab has offered the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Gripen on lease for its requirements. At the recently held Defence Services Asia (DSA) exhibition, Thomas Linden, Head of Saab Malaysia, said "Our basic offer is a lease solution using examples where we have leased the Gripen to the Czech Republic and Hungary. The lease solution for Malaysia would work very similar to a purchase. There is no limit in the operation, you can use any weapons or systems, and we will build a local support solution here in Malaysia with our local partners. This programme is fully endorsed by the Swedish government.” 

Saab has offered to the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) 16 Gripen C/D multirole fighters for its multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) programme

Malaysia is looking to replace its ageing fleet of the Russian MiG-29N ‘Fulcrum-A’ fighters ever since it was originally scheduled for a late 2010 retirement. The Gripen lease programme allows Malaysia to procure the aircraft at a relatively affordable price. 

Linden further added, “When we lease the aircraft, we will guarantee flight hours. So we will say that if you lease this aircraft from us you will get 'X hundred' flight hours per aircraft per year. And if we can't deliver that, it's on us. What we are pricing in the lease are the capital costs that we have with the aircraft and also the support and related solutions.”

Saab has a considerable presence in the Malaysian defence sector. The Malaysian army is using the ...

​Swedish Air Force pilot Philip Von Platen shares his experience of flying Gripen against aircraft like the F-16 and F-18.

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Earlier this month, Gripen pilots of the Czech and the Swedish Air Forces went through an air-to-air refuelling training.

The training was held at the F17 Air Wing in south Sweden. For the younger pilots, it was their first air-to-air refuelling experience, but for the more experienced ones, it was an exercise to maintain their skills.

Czech Gripen pilots first came to Sweden to train for air-to-air refuelling in 2011-2012. At that time, Major Jaroslav Tomaňa and Captain Petr Dřevecký of 21 Tactical Air Base in Čáslav became the first pilots in the history of the Czech Air Force to perform air-to-air refuelling.

Air-to-air refuelling capability is important as it enables aircraft to be quickly deployed for missions far from their service distance. The Czech Republic is a NATO member and air-to-air refuelling capability will facilitate joint exercises within the framework of NATO operations.

The Czech Air Force had sent three Gripen fighters and 16 personnel which included four Gripen pilots for this training.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Forsvarsmakten​

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Saab has offered transfer of technology to local industry in Indonesia if the country selects Gripen. Saab said it was committed to transfer technological know-how if Indonesia chose Gripen. Saab is offering, along with Gripen, a complete air defence system. This includes Erieye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) for maritime surveillance and control, tactical data link for sharing data across platforms and ground based command and control. 

“We are absolutely prepared to work with the local industry... so we can support the end-user and work with the local defense industry in the country,” Dan-Ake Enstedt, Head of Saab Asia Pacific, said in an interview to Jakarta Globe. Saab believes that a lot of jobs can be created through strong industrial cooperation that includes transfer of technology and local production. “For us, it is important to build competence with the local people in the country. We are creating a lot of jobs with our concept, and this is something our competitor does not do. Those are a few things that make our proposal unique," Enstedt said.

"I think we have a unique strategy. We don't work with 'black boxes,' we really walk the talk," said Enstedt, adding that Saab was ready to partner with local aircraft manufacturer Dirgantara Indonesia.

Under Indonesian law, at least a 30 per cent direct offset is mandatory. Saab has a proven track record of successful industrial cooperation programmes, Brazil being the latest example.

According to Enstedt, Saab's winning advantage is a guaranteed delivery time of ...

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Czech Defence Minister Martin Stropnický recently visited the Gripen manufacturing unit at Linköping during a two-day visit.

Stropnický and his delegates met Sweden's Minister of Defence, Peter Hultqvist, who talked about the threat of Russian military reconnaissance flights over the Baltic Sea, which could threaten and endanger civilian air traffic.

With the Czech Air Force leasing 14 Swedish Gripen fighters for the last 12 years, both countries are important partners in the field of defence cooperation. Currently, the Czech Republic is also negotiating to acquire Swedish 3D MADR (Mobile Air Defence Radar).

"Cooperation between our two air forces is of primary importance and sits very high on our agenda, considering we both use Gripen aircraft," Stropnický said.

When the Czech delegation visited the Gripen plant at Linköping, they were shown the latest upgrades for Gripen C/D fighters along with other systems. These upgrades have been designed keeping in mind the changing warfare scenarios around the world.

In December last year, the Swedish Defence and Security Export Agency (FXM) signed a contract worth SEK 120 million to upgrade the Czech Gripen fighters. The contract, which includes weapons pylons, software, and training, would enhance Czech Gripen's ground attack capabilities.  

Read the full story here.

​Last month, Hungary marked 10 years of Gripen operations. With these pictures, the Airbase Blog brings together some of the memorable moments of the initial days of the Hungarian Gripen's journey.

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On-board were four Hungarian and three Swedish pilots.

hungarian gripen_2_april2016.jpgThe first five Gripen fighters were formally handed over to Hungary on 30th March 2006.
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Hungarian Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Gabor Toth, after landing at the Kecskemet Air Base.

Image Courtesy: Airbase Blog

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Sweden just adapted its old Cold War strategy, in which a fighter aircraft can be operated from regular roads instead of fully-fledged runways to suit modern day scenarios. The F21 Wing calls it “a new concept” which was tested at the Vidsel Airbase recently. The testing saw a Gripen serviced, re-armed and re-fuelled by six personnel, using only two modified support vans and a fuel truck. The Gripen pilot and the six aircraft technicians operated entirely on their own. Having aircraft dispersed over a larger area increases the survivability of the Armed Forces in times of war, making it harder for the enemy to hit.

As a report in Forsvarsmakten says, it takes team effort to raise military capabilities in war units. This new concept pushes the team to work together to achieve high availability with the resources at disposal. According to Forsvarsmakten, years ago, such exercises were conducted regularly. However, it has not been practiced for many years and now is the time to develop the skill again.

In the months to come, there will be more tests like this at Vidsel and Luleå-Kallax and at Jokkmokk. ​

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Forsvarsmakten

Since October 2015, approximately 50 engineers and technicians have come to Sweden with their families, to receive theoretical and practical training at Saab’s facilities based in Linköping. 

All Brazilian engineers and technicians will receive specific training according to their roles in the programme. Over time, more than 350 Brazilians will participate in the technology transfer programme, which covers approximately 60 major projects. 

To show the co-operation between Saab and Brazilian industrial partners in the Gripen NG programme, Saab presents the web series "True Collaboration​" (Colaboração Real, in Portuguese). The series will follow five Brazilian engineers and their families, who are in Sweden to take part in this exciting journey. 

In addition to presenting the expectations of each one of participants, the chapters of the series will address their arrival in Sweden, the theoretical and practical training, and how the knowledge acquired will be shared amongst their colleagues upon their return to Brazil.

The videos will be available on www.gripen.com/br and in the social channels of Saab do Brasil (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Google +), and of Saab AB (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram). 


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Finnish blogger Robin Häggblom visited a Gripen hangar at F 7 Skaraborg Wing where test pilot André Brännström, a former Swedish Air Force pilot, gave him a tour of Gripen hangar. A Gripen pilot has to keep himself up to date with all the new systems and hence Brännström still occasionally flies for the Air Force in order to understand the operator’s point of view, he says. Brännström participated in ACE15 last year where he got to perform a mission with a Finnish F/A-18C Hornet in a 1-vs-1 scenario.

Writing about his tour, Häggblom notes, “In the hangar, a single Gripen fighter stood parked. ‘39214’ sported the cat paw of the Såtenäs-based F 7 Skaraborg Wing, and represented the latest standard in 39C development, what Saab calls the Edition 20. In practice, this means that the aircraft features improvements to the radar and adds the capability to employ METEOR long-range air-to-air missiles and GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs, a 110 kg guided bomb with pop-out wings that give it the ability to glide towards it target,​ both of which will be key weapons in the arsenal of the 39E when it enters service. The Edition 20 is to be introduced in regular service within the next few weeks.”

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy:Corporal Frisk

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