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Starting today, the Air Forces of Sweden, Finland and Norway will host the Arctic Challenge Exercise 2017, reports ilmavoimat.fi​.

ACE is a part of a Cross Border Training (CBT) initiative which was started in 2009 by Finland, Norway and Sweden. ACE will have a participation of more than a 100 aircraft, including transport and liaison aircraft, aerial refuelling tankers, and airborne warning and control system aircraft.

Besides the three nations, countries like Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, and the Netherlands will also participate.

Read the full story here.

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As a part of its Gripen C/D export plans, Saab is currently looking at three business opportunities - with Botswana, Bulgaria and Slovakia, says a report in Defense News.​

Saab has offered new-build Gripen C/D fighters, technical training including pilot training, initial logistics support and other local support to Botswana. “We feel the discussions are moving forward with Botswana. We are offering genuine fighter capability for Botswana in the future,” the report quotes Richard Smith, Saab’s head of Gripen marketing.


After Bulgarian interim Deputy Prime Minister Stefan Yanev's recent announcement that Gripen fighters were the preferred option for the country, Saab is hopeful of a likely deal and is waiting for further information.

The Swedish Defence and Security company has also been in talks with the Slovakian government for the last two years and is waiting for their decision.

Richard Smith says that the C variants are being worked upon to reduce the delivery timeline for future orders. However, he didn’t elaborate on it.

Read the full story here.

Photo: Sören Nielsen​

​A Hungarian Gripen fighter and a Gripen simulator were sent to Croatia last week to demonstrate the capabilities of the fighter at a presentation event.

The visitors at the event included Croatia’s deputy prime minister and minister of defence Damir Krstičević, and commander of the air force. The visit was organised so that the Croatian delegation could get familiarised with the Gripen fighter.

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Image Courtesy: Mr. Cacic​

Throwback to ACE 2015

Fighter pilots from Sweden, Finland and Norway are preparing hard for the upcoming Arctic Challenge Exercise (ACE 2017) which would be held between May 22nd and June 2nd.

ACE is held once in every two years. This time, around 3500 personnel and almost 100 aircraft, including tankers, will be a part of the exercise. ACE seeks to enhance interoperability among the participating nations. Various tactics and procedures will be practiced in realistic threat scenarios.

The exercise will be conducted from three air bases: Norrbotten Wing in Luleå, Sweden, Bodø airbase (Bodo hovedflystasjon) in Norway and Lapland Air Command (Lapin lennosto) in Rovaniemi, Finland.

Besides Gripen, participating aircraft include the F-18, F-16s, Tornado, and the Mirage 2000. Exercise scenarios will focus on international peacekeeping operations under a UN mandate.​

Read the full story here.

​Thai Naval Academy visited Wing 7 last week to study base operations. Here are some pictures from the visit.

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Image Courtesy: RTAF

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The Hungarian Air Force has made numerous achievements during their years with Gripen – everything from international exercises to air policing. That deserves a thumbs up.

Photo: Daniel Nilsson

You can download the calendar here​.

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South African Air Force Gripen fighters have been confirmed to participate in the annual SAAF Museum air show at AFB Zwartkop next month.

The annual air show, which will be held at Air Force Base Swartkop, is expected to be attended by more than 35,000 visitors. Besides Gripen, Oryx and A109 helicopters, Casa 212 transport, and BAE Hawk combat aircraft are also scheduled to participate in both static and aerial displays during the air show.

Gripen's performances include flyovers and demonstration of air strikes with Hawk jets and Rooivalk attack helicopters.

SAAF Museum Air Show will be held on 6th May 2017.

Read the full story here.

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At Kecskemét Air Base, Hungarian Air Force personnel maintain sufficient combat-readiness levels all year round to fulfil their commitment to protect and defend the airspace of Hungary. Aviation blogger Matteo Sanzani talks about the Kecskemét air base, and the roles and responsibilities of the three squadrons there.

Puma Tactical Fighter Squadron

Named after the Royal Hungarian Puma Fighter Wing of World War II, the squadron was established in October 1935. The squadron houses Gripen aircraft equipped with air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles. The main goal of this squadron is to protect and defend Hungarian and Slovenian airspace, with the latter being added in the framework of NATO commitment in October 2014. Other tasks of the squadron include conducting regular training flights, and participating in international airshows.

Dongo Tactical Training Fighter Squadron

The pilots of this squadron have all graduated from NATO flying training school in Canada after participating in a Gripen training programme in Sweden. The primary purpose of this squadron is to provide training to young Gripen pilots. The training covers the theory part which includes understanding Gripen technology, avionics system, and communication system, simulator training, followed by training flights.

Air Transport Squadron

This is the transport squadron of the Air Base and it operates five An-26. This squadron is supposed to carry out a number of tasks like transporting airborne troops and cargoes, participation in humanitarian relief operations and international exercises and airshows.

Read the full story here​.

Image Courtesy: Topidoc

​A Czech Air Force Gripen has been confirmed to participate at the annual Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton International Air Day 2017.

According to Yeovilton Air Day's Facebook channel​, the Czech Gripen's routine is expected to feature spectacular flare launches. Gripen's display during it's last visit to Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton won the Best Fixed Wing Display award.

The first RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day was held in 1947. About 40,000 visitors are expected to attend the show which will feature over five hours of flying and static displays by UK and international participants.

Besides flying displays, there will be other ground attractions like arena displays, simulators and fairground rides. RNAS Yeovilton Air Day 2017 will be held on Saturday, 8 July. 

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When Aviation blogger Matteo Sanzani reached Kecskemét Air Base to start his photo shoot of HuAF Gripen fighters, he was impressed with the fast paced activities that started at 9 am. 

Matteo's plan was to get into an An-26, a twin-engined turboprop civilian and military transport aircraft, and take pictures of two Gripen fighters. Before the flight, Matteo discussed the position and maneuvers of Gripen, intersections etc. with the Chief of Flight Operations at the Air Base.

At noon, the transport plane and the Gripen fighters were airborne. After reaching the agreed altitude, the Gripen fighters got into their positions. Without wasting a minute, Matteo started taking pictures. 

"The agility and power of the aircraft are amazing; during the maneuvers, in a second, the Gripen fighters were hundreds of meters away from the An-26,"Matteo noted.

After the shoot, Matteo talked to the Base Commander who gave him an overview of Hungarian Gripen's past, present and future activities. The Gripen Demo Team will perform at some of the most important European public events like Motril Airshow, AWACS 35th Anniversary, Air Tattoo, Sanicole Airshow and Ostrava Airshow, he said.

Read the full story here.

Photo@TopiDoc ​

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