Czech Republic tools up its 14 Gripen fighters by buying four Litening III targeting pods, reports Airheadsfly.com.
Previously, the Czech Gripen fighters were almost exclusively used in the air-to-air role; the aircraft were on 24/7 quick reaction alert to intercept unknown aircraft. The new Litening III pods will be bought for air to ground tasks. Along with Gripen, the pods will be integrated to Czech Air Force’s Aero Vodochody L-159 ALCAs as well.
According to the report, the Swedish Air Force has been using the Litening III pod on their Gripen fighters for years. Litening III pods significantly increase the combat effectiveness of the aircraft during day, night and under-the-weather conditions in the attack of ground and air targets with a variety of standoff weapons.
Litening can be mounted externally on an aircraft. It provides good quality target imagery and is equipped with a laser designator for precise delivery of laser-guided munitions.
Read the full story: CZECH TOOL UP GRIPENS
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Gripen at Norrbotten Wing (F21) conducted night operations last week as a part of a training process that started in October 2014.
In Sweden, a large part of the day is dark during the winter months and hence the night trainings are actually conducted during daylight hours these days.
Image Courtesy: Norrbottens Flygflottilj F 21
Svd.se catches up with the two Brazilian pilots, Captain Gustavo de Oliveira Pascotto and Captain Ramon Santos Forneas, who are in Sweden for their Gripen conversion training. The FAB pilots talk about their experience with the weather in Sweden, which is very different from Brazil’s.
The Brazilian pilots had to undergo water survival training for emergency ejection over water. The water survival course becomes difficult in Sweden as the trainees have to practise in freezing cold water.
“Back home, the water is seldom this cold,” says Fórneas, adding that he sees it as an experience.
According to the report, when Gustavo completed his first flight in Gripen, there was sleet in the air and Lake Vänern was freezing cold.
“Although the weather conditions are very different in the two countries, I do not think we need to adapt the Gripen for Brazil. We have talked to pilots from Thailand who are accustomed to flying in hot and humid climate. They have not had any problems with the Gripen,” says Gustavo.
Read the full story: Brasilianska piloter flyger JAS i Sverige
Over the next two months, Swedish Air Force Gripen pilots will participate in a joint American exercise over the Baltic Sea, reports Svd.se.
According to the report, the war in Ukraine and the increased Russian activity in the Baltic Sea region affect both the Swedish Air Force and the Swedish Navy.
Though the Swedish Air Force has been a part of a Baltic Regional Training Event earlier with participants from several NATO countries, this exercise is a direct American initiative.
“The difference is that it is their initiative. It is a natural development. We are a partner they can trust,” says Swedish Air Force Chief Micael Bydén.
The exercise will involve between 6 to 12 planes that include the US’s F-16 and Finland’s F-18 fighters along with the Swedish Gripen.
“Three different types of combat aircraft engaged in offensive and defensive combat manoeuvres make the exercise advanced,” says Micael Bydén.
Read the full story: Gripen deltar i USA-övning
Last week, 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
During the Cold War, Sweden heavily relied on conducting combat missions with dispersed assets. There were a number of dispersed air bases that the Swedish Air Force used, including regular as well as shorter runways that were about 800m by 16m.
It was important to develop an aircraft that could take off rapidly and take-off and land on those short and narrow road bases. STOL (short take-off and landing) capabilities were therefore needed.
Gripen was hence designed to use roads as temporary runways, allowing the Swedish Air Force to use logistical flexibility and speed to keep an invading force at bay.
Gripen’s minimal take off and landing is between 500 and 600 meters. After landing, a small ground crew can refuel and rearm a Gripen in ten minutes. To change an engine takes less than an hour and can be done by one specialist officer and five trained conscripts.
Read more about Gripen’s capabilities here.
“In 2014, an agreement was reached with Brazil regarding development and production of 36 Gripen NG. This, together with Sweden’s order for 60 Gripen in 2013, makes Saab one of few aircraft manufacturers that are developing a new generation of fighters. This has strengthened Gripen’s position in the global market,” says Saab President and CEO Håkan Buskhe.
While presenting its Year End Report 2014, Saab maintained that the year 2014 saw challenging market scenarios and there was a strong order backlog.
“It was a successful and challenging year for Saab,” Buskhe said, adding that 2014 was a year when the company continued to build for the future. Thanks to a long-term strategy and focus on efficiency, the company is well positioned.
Read more about Saab Year End report here.
Watch the webcast of CEO Håkan Buskhe and CFO Magnus Örnberg presenting the results here.
Like Czech Republic, Slovakia may also consider leasing Gripen to replace its existing fleet of fighter aircraft, reports Spectator.sme.sk.
After meeting with his Swedish counterpart Peter Hultqvist, Slovakia’s Defence Minister Martin Glváč told the journalists, "The Slovak Republic cannot afford to buy new fighters. Sweden has offered the most well-balanced variant in terms of flight hours rental, though other alternatives are still in the frame.”
“I would call this day a milestone in negotiations on the technical, legislative and financial options for carrying out this project,” Glváč added.
According to an IHS Jane’s report last year, leasing of Gripen fighters could also offer the possibility of conducting joint training, weapon systems acquisition, and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) to potentially decrease the overall costs of the programme.
Last year, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Sweden also signed a letter of intent agreeing to co-operate on using the Saab Gripen fighter.
Read the full story: Slovakia is negotiating with Sweden to lease Gripen fighters
Designed for easy deployment at any air base, Gripen has a tiny logistic footprint. It can be turned around in 10 minutes by only five people, and the entire engine can be swapped in the field in less than one hour.
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Welcome to the official Gripen blog by Saab. This site features information and commentary about the Gripen fighter jet.