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The Czech Defence Ministry has decided to add air-to-ground capabilities to their Gripen fighters. According to the Defence Ministry Spokesman Petr Medek, the new arms will be installed before 2018.

Medek said that with the addition of ground strike capabilities, the chances of Czech Gripen being deployed for various international operations, including NATO operations will increase.

Gripen has been designed to be a multi role aircraft; to be able to provide air defence and also carry out ground attacks and reconnaissance missions. The Swedish Air Force already uses its Gripen fleet for all these tasks and now the Czech Air Force will follow suit.

The weapons for air-to-ground strikes include laser and GPS guided bombs, training weapons and night vision goggles. Equipment like Saab's Mark 4 radar doubles air-to-air and air-to-ground detection ranges and has improved abilities to detect very low-radar cross-section targets.

Ceskenoviny.cz news report quoted another Czech Defence Ministry spokesperson saying that the Czech Gripen will undergo technological and software's changes.

“For example, air bombs or laser-induced air bombs will be made compatible with the Czech Gripen fighters now,” he says.

Read the full story here.

Photo Courtesy: Army.cz

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Czech Air Force Gripen fighters are in Iceland to provide aerial surveillance to the country. 

Czech Gripen fighters reached Iceland on 23 July 2015, accompanied by an Italian Air Force KC-767 for in-flight refueling. Upon arrival, the participating Czech Air Force pilots underwent a certification process in which they had to conduct test flights in order to be qualified to perform air surveillance and interception missions over Iceland.

The Czech Government had approved the deployment of five Gripen fighters (one out of which has been kept as a reserve aircraft) and up to 70 personnel for this mission, two months back. This is the fourth time the Czech Gripen have been deployed to provide aerial surveillance to NATO states. Besides the last year’s Iceland deployment, Czech Gripen have successfully completed similar missions in the Baltic States in 2009 and 2012 as well.

The Czech Gripen pilots will return to the Caslav Air Base after fulfilling their duties till 25 August.

Read the full story here.

A-Darter-Tiro-2-580x387.jpgThis year, 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

F4141.jpgGE Aviation will deliver the first flight test F414-400 for a single-engine application for the Gripen E to Saab later this year, reports Aviation Week.

GE vice president and general manager of its Aviation’s military systems, Jean Lydon-Rodgers confirmed the delivery schedule last week, adding that the production of the F414-400 engine will begin in 2017.

We will have 90 engines on order by the end of this summer for Gripen fighters for Sweden and Brazil,” he says. “And we expect that to increase as the Swedish order grows.”

The F414 fighter engine offers 35 percent more thrust and significant improvements in aircraft performance, survivability and payload as compared to its predecessor F404. The engine not only gives Gripen supercruise but also plays an important role in reducing the fighter’s life cycle cost.

The engine boasts of features like Full Authority Digital Electronic Control (FADEC) that improve its operational characteristics. The F414 fan also provides 16 percent more airflow than the F404 fan with improved bird strike and foreign object damage resistance features. 

Read the full story here

gripenng40stefankalm.jpg"Before Brazil, Gripen was an aircraft looking for a market. Now it is a market looking for Gripen. And we can see that in many ways — it has really changed with Brazil. It is more global. It has changed the way we communicate," says Ulf Nilsson, head of Saab aeronautics, at a recent Press Tour.

According to a Defense News report, the FX2 programme reached a new level after Saab’s announcement of jointly producing most of Gripen NG parts in Brazil with the Brazilian manufacturer Embraer under a technology transfer agreement.

Mr. Nilsson mentions that Saab’s order backlog is at an all-time high. Starting this year, Saab will also offer the MS20 upgrade to Gripen C/D operators, which includes capabilities like MBDA Meteor air-to-air missile.

"The addition of Meteor air-to-air capability makes Gripen the most formidable counter-air platform in service," says Jerker Ahlqvist, Saab Gripen's vice president for business area aeronautics. The missile will become operational with Swedish Air Force Gripens in 2016.

Last month, Saab came up with MK4, a technologically advanced version of the renowned PS-05/A radar which gives Gripen C/D an improved performance and operating range.

Saab is also developing the naval version of Gripen NG: Sea Gripen. 

"Sea Gripen is part of the technology transfer agreement with Brazil," Nilsson said, and a study will be done. "We're in early discussions for Sea Gripen, but we'll have to see where it goes. It will probably be about 2025 before the Brazilians decide what to ...

czech gripen12.jpgThis year, Czech Republic celebrated 10 years of its Gripen programme. The country will operate Gripen fighters for another 12 years as per a deal extension signed last year and recently, they scheduled to upgrade and enhance their fleet as well.

Till now, the Czech Gripen use Saab’s MS19 Block 3 software standard. However, by 2017 or 2018, the Gripen fighters will be upgraded to the MS20 configuration, reports Flightglobal.

MS 20 upgrade includes integration of 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.

“The need for the LDP is really strong, and right now there is a negotiation,” 211 Sqn pilot Capt Jiri Cermak said at Saab’s Linköping production facility in Sweden last month. The payload will assist pilots with the visual identification of aircraft at night, he adds.

According to the report, the Swedish Air Force will have its Gripen C/D fleet enhanced with the MS 20 block upgrade later this year. New air to air capability and air to ground capabilities like precision guided bombs against small targets will be introduced as well.

Read the full report here​

tengripen_flypast.jpgIn May this year, a fly past of 10 Czech, Hungarian and Swedish Gripen over the Czech Air Force’s 21st Tactical Air Base at Čáslav marked the celebration of 10 years of the fighter in service in the Czech Republic, reports Afbcaslav.cz.

Amongst those present at the ceremony were Czech Defence Minister Martin Stropnický, Air Force Commander Brigadier General Libor Štefánik and representatives from the air forces of Sweden, Hungary and Croatia.

The Czech Defence Minister, in his speech, said that Gripen is a reliable aircraft and the Czech Air Force pilots are very satisfied with it, adding that they have logged in 20,000 flight hours during the last 10 years. The Minister also announced that NATO has requested for the deployment of the Czech Gripen in Iceland this summer.

General Libor Štefánik, who also addressed the audience, thanked all the people associated with the program, especially the Swedish team for their training of specialists and support during the last ten years.

"The introduction of Gripen has significantly changed our approach to the tasks of the Air Force. Gripen is not a just modern aircraft with different combat capabilities, but an important impetus for new missions and a huge motivation for all who are involved in the project," said General Štefánik.​

Read the full story here

When it comes to fighter development, at Saab we have our own philosophy. Using technology and a different way of thinking, we have redefined what a fighter aircraft can be. 

We call it Gripen. Speed, strength and intelligence are its key components. 

In this way, it is perfectly balanced.

gripen.jpgThreat scenarios are changing everyday, giving ample reason for the operational requirements to change as well. Users no longer want a specific aircraft for each operational role. They look for a system that can undertake all roles. 

Gripen is the first of the new generation, multi-role fighter aircraft to enter operational service. Gripen can perform an extensive range of air-to-air, air-to-surface and reconnaissance missions employing the latest weapons. 

Here are some of the important things you ought to know about the most capable cost-effective, new generation, true multi-role fighter available today.

Gripen is fully interoperable with NATO standard systems and facilities including:

• Weapon pylon systems

• Ground support equipment

• A range of NATO weapons

• NATO-compatible identification and communication systems

Gripen also includes:

• Worldwide environmental clearance

• On-Board Oxygen Generation System (OBOGS)

• English-language displays and documentation

• Colour displays

• Integrated Instrument Landing System (ILS)

• Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system

• Night Vision Goggle (NVG) compatibility

• Fully integrated Electronic Warfare (EW) system

• 8,000 flight hours Service Life / 30 Years

• Fully integrated functions for:

– FLIR pods

– Twin store carrier

– Optional Air-to-Air refuelling probe installation

Gripen has available:

• Helmet Mounted Display (HMD)

• Reconnaissance pods

• Laser Designator Pod (LDP)

• Jammer pod

• Link 16

The two-seater incorporates the following major modifications to the basic single-seat structure:

• A 0.65 m extension of the fuselage to accommodate the rear cockpit.

• The gun and its installation ...

Gripen_ETPS.jpgTraining of the test pilot students of today is as complex as it gets. The warfare scenarios are advanced and hence the ability to face them requires hands on training on an aircraft that is equally advanced, integrated with latest technology and gives an unsurpassed performance experience.

During the last sixteen years, Gripen has proved to be a reliable training platform for more than 100 Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS) Instructor Pilots and test pilot students from around the world. The inclusion of Gripen in their training programme allows the Pilot School to teach systems integration more effectively and on the newest platforms.

Saab provides ETPS with Gripen aircraft, supervisory pilots, logistics, ground support and facilities along with additional Saab SK 60 aircraft which act as radar targets during live training. Flight operations are undertaken from Saab’s facility in Linköping using two to three Gripen fighters. All instructors have to go through a 9 G-test to qualify for Gripen.

The first contract between ETPS and Saab was signed in 1999, followed by many training campaigns. In 2006, Saab signed a new agreement with ETPS which involved an increased number of students, increased number of flights per student, the training of a third ETPS Instructor Pilot (IP) and the inclusion of Flight Test Engineer students within a refined syllabus.

In 2011, Saab and ETPS agreed on a five-week training campaign to be conducted each year. Last year, ETPS and Saab signed a new, multi-year framework agreement for the provision and use ...

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