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Czech Gripen pilots reached the milestone of 20,000 Gripen flight hours this month. The pilots were honoured for this achievenment earlier this month at the 2015 NATO Days and Czech Air Force Days at Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Czech Gripen pilots' roles in missions like Iceland and Baltic States were also recognised. To mark the 20,000 Gripen flight hours and successful operational deployments within NATO, Saab’s Deputy CEO, Lennart Sindhal presented a commemorative glass plaque to the 21st Tactical Air Force Squadron. The award was accepted by Colonel Petr Hromek, commander of the 21st Air Force Base, Čáslav. 

“We are proud that Czech pilots from Čáslav Air Base have surpassed 20,000 flight hours with the Gripen. It is a pleasure for Saab to be a partner to this great show, and 2015 is particularly important because Sweden is the special partner country for NATO Days. It was wonderful to see Gripen join the Swedish Air Force Historic Flight in Czech skies,” said Daniel Boestad, head of Gripen for Central and Eastern Europe.

“Gripen is an excellent option for nations in this region, as can clearly be seen from its successful operation over many years in the Czech Republic and Hungary,” adds Boestad.​

Read the full story here.

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Two Gripen fighters from F 21 Norrbotten Wing of the Swedish Air Force will arrive at Hosio in Finland tomorrow to participate in a live air exercise dubbed Baana-2015.

The Finnish Hornets and the Swedish Gripen will train together in this exercise. The collaboration with the Swedish Air Force comes under a Cross Border Training (CBT) scheme. The exercise also marks the first CBT mission flown from a road base.

Daily flying takes place between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. between September 21 and 25. One of the main goals of the exercise involves the dual and solo operations from a road base in both night and day conditions.

Read the full story here​​.

AEL Sistemas (AEL) has now delivered the first wide area display (WAD) and the head-up display (HUD), which will be integrated in the Gripen NG for Brazil, reports Defesanet.

Saab had announced in February this year that it had selected AEL Sistemas (AEL) as a new supplier for the Gripen NG in Brazil.

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. The HUD, on the other hand, provides essential flight and mission information to the pilot when looking ‘heads up’ out of the cockpit. With HUD, the pilot does not need to look down into the cockpit to read instruments which makes it easier to focus on the mission.

"This is a very important step in the development of Gripen NG for Brazil. It shows a very efficient cooperation between AEL and Saab and is a successful step in the industrial cooperation between Brazilian industry and Saab in the Gripen NG program", says Mikael Franzén, Program Director for Gripen Brazil.

To demonstrate and validate the new equipment, an extensive flight test campaign will be conducted in Linköping, Sweden.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy:​​

Czech Air Force Gripen's aerial display was a major attraction at the recently held Slovak International Air Fest 2015 at Sliač air base, Slovakia. Besides the aerial display, the visitors at the event also got to experience a Gripen simulator at the Saab stand. 

Last week, a full scale model of Gripen NG was on display for the general public at the Anapolis Air Base, reports

The event was called the Open Gates and it had an attendance of about 40,000 visitors. Besides the Gripen NG model display, the visitors also got to see a flyby of the Brazilian Air Force's air demonstration squadron, popularly known as the Smoke Squadron.

The full scale Gripen NG model was presented to the Brazilian public for the first time ever at LAAD Defense Exhibition in Rio de Janeiro earlier this year after which it has been on display at various occasions.

Anapolis Air Base (BAAN) is one of the most important air base opetrated by the Brazilain Air Force.The implementation project of the air base started during the end of the 1960s. The air base is strategically located to host the first "Unity interception" of South America.

Read the full story here.​
The 22nd Czech International Air Fest (CIAF) took place on the 5th and 6th of September at the Hradec Kralove airport. The Air Fest displayed over 30 aerial as well as ground units from the Czech Air Force as well as other branches of Czech defense. 

Aircraft from the World War II era as well as modern aircraft were present in both dynamic as well as static displays. The Czech Air Force’s Gripen aerial display consisted of an aerial fly by and group formations. The Armed Forces also displayed various ground and medical equipment at the fest, and the Military Tech Institute presented a number of unmanned aircraft and drones which survey terrain and conduct search and rescue missions. 

The Chief of General Staff Lieutenant General Joseph Bečvář expressed that the CIAF was an opportunity for the Czech Air Force to demonstrate its technology and capability to the general public and helped raise awareness.

The air fest attracted over 30,000 visitors over the two day period.

Read the full story here​.

Image Courtesy:

rtafgripen_5000hours1.jpgOne of the twelve RTAF Gripen in front of the logo designed for the 5000 flight hours ceremony
rtafgripen_5000hours2.jpgThe RTAF Gripen pilots at Wing 7 making a symbolic gesture to celebrate the 5000 flight hours

RTAF personnel and delegates with Gripen in the background

The first batch of Gripen fighters for the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) was delivered in February 2011. Since then, the Gripen squadron at Wing 7 in Surat Thani has been up in the air a lot and employed at a number of different missions. Last week, a great milestone was reached when they passed 5000 flight hours with their twelve Gripen. It is an achievement made possible by a combination of many factors. 

“I’m proud of our personnel competency and very satisfied with the jets. Our personnel at the squadron, both pilots and technicians, have contributed a lot to make this happen. The fact that everyone is still new to the system means that we have to stop operating and spend some time for education as well. Another important factor is of course the aircraft availability to fly every day. Ever since we received the jets, we have been able to maintain a high serviceability of the fleet. Personally, I think we could have been flying even more than this but we have to keep the hours within the service contract,” says Group Captain Chareon Watanasrimongkol, Chief of Staff Wing 7.

The 5000 hour milestone was celebrated on September 10 with a ceremony at ...

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The South African Air Force’s (SAAF) Air Capability Demonstration (ACD) was held at the Roodewal weapons range, Limpopo province on the 10thof September. The Roodewal range, according to SAAF officials, is one of the few places in the world where live weapons can be safely fired seven minutes after takeoff.

The ACD, an annual program, is a rare opportunity to observe close range live aircraft firing and to test the SAAF’s capabilities. The exercise keeps the South African National Defense Forces (SANDF) ready for emergencies and focuses on collaboration and inter-operability among all branches of the SANDF.

The demonstration consisted of recon missions by the Gripen, also featuring its capabilities of evading anti-air defenses, simulated dog fights, cargo drops by the C-130 Hercules, tactical surveillance and insertion of ground forces. Deputy Chief of the SAAF, Major General Gerald Malinga said that the ACD was a chance for the senior command and staff course members to see air power at the strategic and operational levels of war and showcase how air power is applied.

The demonstration concluded with a flyby including all the participating aircraft with remarkable flare releases by the Gripen and C-130.

Read more for a detailed account of the demonstration.

In an interview with, Czech Air Force pilot Lieutenant Milan Nykodym talks about the recently completed Iceland Air Policing mission, low flying and the Gripen fighter system.

On being asked if there was any difference in flying over Iceland and the Czech Republic, Lieutenant Nykodym says it was the weather. In Iceland, the weather is very unpredictable. “It is important to monitor the weather conditions, especially the wind strength and direction, wave height, combined with the speed of the wind,” he says.

Lieutenant Nykodym says that they have been trained to eject over sea, adding, that every year, they attend water survival training with life jackets and boats. In Iceland, one may have to eject over freezing cold water. Hence one needs to keep warm survival gear as well. 

Lieutenant Nykodym has flown the L-159 aircraft before. According to him, Gripen's performance is different as compared to other aircraft. 

“It is a skillful fighter with better weapon systems and radar,” he says.

Read the full interview here.

This is a step closer to the Brazilian skies. The Brazilian Gripen NG partnership will now enter into its next phase as the contact has now become effective. ​

On 27 October 2014 Saab announced the conclusion of a contract with the Brazilian Federal Government for the development and production of 36 Gripen NG aircraft. The contract has now come into effect as all required conditions have been fulfilled. Today, the order value of approximately SEK39.3 billion is booked by Saab as order intake. Gripen NG deliveries to the Brazilian Air Force will be undertaken from 2019 to 2024

The associated industrial co-operation contract (including technology transfer to Brazilian industries), which was signed in October 2014, also comes into effect today.

“Through the Gripen NG programme, we continue to build on the industrial relations between Brazil and Sweden. I am confident that this important programme will serve as a platform for new business and contribute to the growth of both the Brazilian and Swedish industry,” says Marcus Wallenberg, Chairman of Saab’s Board of Directors.

“This important milestone marks the formal start to the Brazilian Gripen NG programme. We will now work full speed ahead to ensure timely deliveries of Gripen NG to Brazil. Our partnership with Brazilian industry strengthens Saab’s position in Latin America and supports our strategy for growth through industrial co-operation,” says Håkan Buskhe, President and CEO of Saab.

Read more here.

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Welcome to the official Gripen blog by Saab. This site features information and commentary about the Gripen fighter jet.