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Training at a different air base has its own set of advantages. For the ground staff, clearing the fighter from a different base requires some change in routine. For pilots, a new air base like Gotland could mean practicing close to the Baltic Sea, which is why this training was important for SwAF Gripen pilots. 

As a part of this exercise, Gripen pilots practiced the dissemination concept in which fighters were spread out in different directions, making it difficult for the opponents to detect them.

"We have, among other things, carried out air combat exercises with two other nations, France and Spain. Our Gripen fighters practised with and against Spanish Eurofighters and French Mirage fighters," says Jörgen Axelsson, divisional manager at 172 Stridsflyg division.

Read full story here.

Image courtesy: Forsvarsmakten​

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While developing a fighter, every single stage is important. Aircraft mechanic Maritza tells us about the various stations involved and how her job rotates around these stations to build the Gripen C/D fighter. 

“The final assembly consists of three stations. And it takes Gripen C/D 72 days to go through final assembly and after that, the fighter is ready to be painted,” she says.

During the first stage of assembly, the small but integral parts, such as cables and hydraulics are installed. It is necessary to have these in place before the bigger parts are installed since it helps in the optimization of space in the aircraft. According to Maritza, this is the most challenging station of the assembly process, since there are so many parts to install, almost 18000 articles in all.

The second stage of assembly sees the engine, windshield, canard, inlet and canopy being installed. These are the larger parts of the Gripen. After the installation, a functional test of the whole aircraft is performed, which is the third station. For Maritza, this station is the most fun because she gets to see how everything is working.

Gripen is assembled by referring to digital drawings, a deviation from printed ones. According to Maritza, says that there are notable advantages to using the digital medium, such as getting a 360° view of the aircraft and removing the details you don’t need to mount your parts of the day.

Maritza has been working at ...

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Complex missions require training and preparation. Held at the Caslav Air Force Base,  Sky Avenger 2018 was one of the advanced training exercises which helped Czech Gripen pilots prepare for missions. Czech and American pilots carried out 153 drills for air raids and aerial refueling during the exercise which concluded on June 29. 

Aside from the Czech Gripen, the L-159 Alca, the Mi-24/35 and Mi-171 (Czech) helicopters, seven F-16 Fighting Falcon and two KC-135 tankers (American) participated in this year’s Sky Avenger,clocking in over 215 flight hours.

The aircraft were put through complex missions simulating real life scenarios from potential foreign operations. Apart from the capabilities of the aircraft, the pilots’ were tested on their ability to coordinate with each other while using air navigation guides and AWACS early warning alliance aircraft.

The Czech army has strong relations with the Nebraska and Texan National Guard, and has been involved in various training events since 1993 with them, including a similar exercise in 2009. 

Read the full report here.        

Image Courtesy: afbcaslav.cz                                                       

Czech Gripen and SwAF's historic aircraft, enthralled viewers at the 12th Airlift Day in Mladá Boleslav. Thousands of ardent viewers attended the event - which takes place every 2 years - to witness first-hand the transition and evolution of fighter aircraft over the years.

The event began in the morning, and as the visitors poured in, they could see an array of fighter aircraft from World War II to the present. Among modern aircraft, the line was led by Czech Gripen, whose many twists and turns and manoeuvres were applauded by the audience. Additionally, planes like Boeing 737 version M and Casa, a transport aircraft, made their appearances. 

Read the full story here

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Saab will begin flight tests with a new jamming pod by 2020, reports Shephard Media.

This self-protection system, also known as the Arexis Jammer Pod, was launched last year in September. The pod works on the DRFM (digital radio frequency memory) and AESA technology. DRFM digitally captures the signature of the radar-guided threat and then emits a jamming signal to confuse the incoming missile, usually by giving it a ‘false target’.

“We see a huge interest in the airborne electronic attack pods. In NATO, there is a need for airborne electronic attack…there is a capability gap,” says Petter Bedoire, head of marketing and sales for EW at Saab.

Once the Jammer prototype will be integrated with Gripen, the fighter’s EW capabilities, which already boast of ultra-wide brand digital receivers, high powered signal amplifiers, gallium nitride and electronically scanned array jammers, will be considerably boosted. 

As per Saab, Arexis also includes an advanced Electronic Attack (EA) application, with EW technologies adapted to the lower frequency ranges that are required to jam modern anti-stealth air defence systems. The EA application provides high output power and is packed in a pod to make it a role-specific solution.

Bedoire says the Jamming Pods mean a significant leap in technology, and will be the most advanced self-protection system for a fighter.

As a part of the test flight of Gripen equipped with the jammers, radars will illuminate the aircraft, and it’ll be tested whether the aircraft will ...

​SwAF Gripen pilots trained for night flying recently. This training is conducted every few months by the Swedish Air Force.

Flying a fighter aircraft at night is a different experience for pilots, as they have to be much more aware of their surroundings in low light. The goal of exercises like this is to increase the combat readiness of the SwAF Gripen fighters.​​

The Čáslav Air Base had sent four Gripen fighters to participate in the NATO Tiger Meet 2018 last month. With 47 flights in total, these fighters logged in more than 54 hours in the air.

One of these Gripen fighters, which had a motif that celebrated 100 years of the Czechoslovak Air Force, also won the third prize for the most beautiful camouflage.

​Take a look at how Czech Gripen with different motifs on their tails perform various exercises at the NATO Tiger Meet 2018.

​Gripen wowed the visitors at the SAAF Museum Airshow which was held at the Swartkops air force base earlier this month. The theme of this year's airshow was "The indomitable spirit".​ The airshow was organised at the Air Force Base in Swartkop, Pretoria.​

 


​General Micael Bydén, Supreme Commander Swedish Armed Forces, elaborates on how the MS20 upgrade has acted as a gamechanger over the Baltic Sea.

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For the first time ever, a Swedish contingent of eight Gripen fighters is in Estonia for an annual Swedish air exercise called AFX18.

These Gripen fighters are currently based at the Ämari Air Base. Flights have been scheduled through the day with aerial exercises mostly happening in the Swedish airspace.

The Estonian Air Force is also participating in the exercise. Commander of the Estonian Air Force, Colonel Riivo Valge said, "This is the first joint exercise between the air forces of Estonia and Sweden after the restoration of Independence. It is definitely an interesting challenge for both parties and it provides an excellent opportunity to practice cooperation with different countries."

Besides Gripen fighters, more than 90 personnel from the Swedish Air wing F 7 Sotenäs are also in Estonia. In addition to Sweden and Estonia, Finland, France and Spain are also taking part in the exercise.

AFX was first held in 2010. The exercise aims to develop high availability of the Swedish fighters and hone the participating pilots' skills to perform in high conflict scenarios for long durations. 

AFX18 will end on 31st May.

Read the full story here

Image Courtesy: Forsvarsmakten​

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