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The Swedish Air Force is reportedly spending SEK 2 billion to train for Cold War style operations from road runways, reports Aviation Week​. The expenditure is on road runways and for buying equipment for clearing snow, which will enable SwAF fighters to easily take-off and land in the absence of a proper runway.

Sweden deployed jets on highways and general aviation airfields during the Cold War era when attacks from Soviet Air Force were expected. This practice paved the way for the modern Gripen’s design which allows it to land and take off from roads.

The renewed interest comes from a rise in military activities in the Baltics and enhanced Russian activity in nearby areas. The upcoming exercise Aurora 2017 will also feature dispersed operations and will test the skills of the country’s armed services, national guards and government agencies in the event of a national emergency. 

Read more here.

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Ahead of the recent Paris Air Show, members of the Gripen User Group met up in Paris on 20 June to add Brazil as the newest member of the group.

The Gripen User Group is made up of representatives of countries that operate the Gripen fighter. Before Brazil, the last induction in the group was that of Thailand in 2010. The Gripen Users Group holds a bi-annual conference to share the participants’ experiences of flying the fighter. The Group shares information, and the discussions revolve around Gripen’s operational, maintenance, logistics, engineering and safety matters.

The User Group also conducts ‘Lion Effort’ - a tactical exercise aimed to improve interoperability between the Gripen operating countries. Hungary will host Lion Effort in 2018. 

Read the full story here​.

​During the Seinäjoki International Airshow, a Czech Gripen performed a 360 degree turn over on the runway before its flight. Watch it in action.



Amongst various other exercises, Swedish Air Force pilots also trained for air-to-air refuelling at the recently held ACE17.​

Video: Försvarsmakten​

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Saab is hopeful about a potential Gripen deal in Croatia, reports Reuters.

Magnus Lewis-Olsson, Head of Market Area Europe, said that Croatia is likely to start taking offers very soon for its fighter aircraft programme.

According to Lewis-Olsson, “if not urgent, then at least it is happening quicker than anticipated.”

Croatia currently operates a fleet of MiG-21 fighter jets which it is looking to replace with multi-role aircraft. Earlier this month, Saab sent a Gripen and a Gripen simulator to Croatia to present the capabilities of the fighter.

As per Pierre Gauffin, Director Gripen Croatia, Gripen has some advantages over its competitors in Croatia. First, Gripen is the latest generation aircraft and will stay relevant for years to come. Also, Gripen has been a multi-role fighter from the beginning.​

Read the full story here.

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Saab has signed a contract with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) regarding the continued support and maintenance of Gripen C/D. The contract is valued at approximately SEK 1.9 billion and will be in effect from June 2017 to December 2019.

The contract primarily covers design and support, component maintenance, spare parts, the provision of logistics, and the procurement of certain equipment. In addition, the contract also allows for the requisition of technical system support, aircraft maintenance with associated spare parts, and the management of obsolescence.

"This contract will ensure effective Gripen C/D operation and availability for the coming years. Our support solutions contribute to Gripen's low life-cycle cost and provide the Swedish Armed Forces and other Gripen customers with the most effective means by which to sustain their aircraft," says Torsten Öhman, Acting Head of the Support and Services business area within Saab.

Read the full story here.

Photo: Sören Nielsen​​

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Sweden will lead the ACE 2019 exercise, reports NSD.se.

Carl-Johan Edström, Squadron Chief at Norrbotten Wing, says that ACE 17 was a successful exercise.

"The weather was great for flying. We did various advanced missions, and next time the exercise is going to be even more complex," he says.

According to Edström, one of the best parts of an exercise like ACE is that it is easy to fly at various heights and over large areas in the northern Nordic region. "That is why this exercise is so much in demand," he says.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Forsvarsmakten and Luftforsvaret

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When you choose Gripen, you have the best fighter on side, meeting high operational requirements and still balancing cost efficiency needs. 

Photo: Jamie Hunter​

You can download the calendar here.

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Gripen's fly-past marked the new NATO headquarters handover ceremony last week.

Photo Courtesy: NATO

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Caslav Open Day attracted more than 45,000 visitors this year. One of the main highlights of the event was Gripen's aerial display by new Czech display pilot Captain Ivo Kardoše.

Captain Kardoše has flown more than 500 flight hours in the Gripen aircraft. On being asked about a display pilot’s training process, he says that he has learnt everything from his predecessors. "It is up to me to continue in their footsteps and maintain the tradition of Czech Gripen's brilliant performances at airshows," he says.

Captain Kardoše also talked about what a normal day in the life of a pilot looks like. "The day starts with the distribution of flight assignments, followed by a briefing on weather, training space etc. Pilots then get ready for their training missions which may involve other aircraft from foreign countries as well. Due to this, the preparation can take several hours. After the flight, the evaluation process begins where feedback is given to everyone involved. Besides these regular training missions, we also train on simulators, train younger pilots and prepare for international exercises," he adds.

Captain Ivo Kardoše has flown various aircraft but his favourite has been Gripen. "My dream finally came true with Gripen," he says. He will be performing Gripen aerial displays at various airshows around the world for the next three years. This year alone, he has 15 performances scheduled.

Read the full story here.

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Welcome to the official Gripen blog by Saab. This site features information and commentary about the Gripen fighter jet.
 
The Gripen Blog shares stories and discussions on the Gripen aircraft. The Blog does not vouch for the authenticity of the reports from other publications that have been quoted.
 
The reference to articles and news reports does not imply endorsement or validation of the views of the authors of the stories.