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It is so easy to fly a Saab Gripen that even someone with no training can fly it with the aid of an instructor," says reporter Arman Ahmed of the New Straits Times.

Ahmed, who recently got an opportunity to fly a Gripen, had a bit of apprehension in the beginning, but after a minimal coaching by Gripen chief test pilot Richard Ljungberg, he was confident to get advanced fighter airborne. After 15 minutes of flight time, Ahmed was instructed by Ljungberg to locate three enemy aircraft and shoot them down.

Ahmed notes that Gripen’s ability to trim and stabilize itself was apparent as it was easy to lock on the enemy aircraft and squeeze the trigger. All three targets were dispatched in the first burst of gunfire. 

“We made Gripen easy to fly so that the pilot can focus on different threat scenarios. The pilot is a decision maker. The plane can basically fly itself without requiring too much attention from the pilot,” says Richard Ljungberg.

​​Last month, Royal Thai Air Force welcomed China’s August 1st Aerobatics team at its 6th Airborne Division. ACM Wongpinkaew presided over the ceremony.

On the ocasion, RTAF Gripen and August 1st aerobatic team’s J-10 aircraft flew in various formations for an aerial photography flight. Here are a few snapshots:​

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Image Courtesy:RTAF​

​Saab's Chief Test Pilot Richard Ljungberg throws light on the features of Gripen C/D as well as the future development of Gripen E/F in his interview with The Stratpost.

“Gripen is a pilot’s aircraft. It is extremely easy to maneuver and is a carefree machine from a pilot’s point of view. The flight control system takes care of all the limits in terms of G, angle of attack and so on,” Richard says.

Richard, who has been with Saab for 11 years now, also talks about the plans for the future development of the aircraft. He says that in Gripen E/F, Saab has replaced the radar in the front with AESA from Selex which gives a 200 degree view providing pilots an advantage of detecting threats from behind.

“With Gripen E, we have moved the landing gear on to the wings area, making a lot of space for internal fuel storage. It also gives more space under the fuselage to have two more pylons. So Gripen E/F will have 10 pylons as compared to 8 in Gripen C/D,” Richard says.

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Exercise Cope Tiger 2015, a trilateral air exercise conducted by Thailand, Singapore and the United States, concluded last week. 

Five RTAF Gripen participated in the exercise along with about 90 military aircraft and 1200 personnel from the air forces of the three countries. 

In FTX (field training exercise), the participants trained in air-to-air and air-to ground combat while air defence units on the ground provided ground-to-air resistance. The latter units were provided by Thailand and Singapore.

With Cope Tiger 2015, RTAF aims to improve know-how and cooperation with modern and battle experienced foreign air forces, beef up pilot and ground crew competence and, as a by-product, improve relations between participants and locals.

Read the full story: การฝึก COPE TIGER 2015

Image Courtesy: RTAF​

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"We continue to upgrade and enhance the current Gripen generation," said Jerker Ahlqvist, head of the Gripen programme, at the recently held Gripen Yearly Seminar.
 
Jerker Ahlqvist and Ulf Nilsson, head of Saab business area, Aeronautics, were the two participants in the Seminar and both stressed that Saab has development programmes not just for Gripen E but also for Gripen C/D.
 
Saab continuously adds new capabilities to Gripen C/D.  Besides air to air capability, air to ground capabilities like precision guided bombs against small targets, enhanced electronic warfare suite and radar modes are being offered.
 
“We will introduce the MS20 upgrade for the first customer this year, and will continue to introduce it in the existing customers’ fleets thereafter,” Ahlqvist said. 
 
MS 20 upgrade includes integration of the MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile and Boeing GBU-39 Small-Diameter Bomb and improved radar modes among other things.
 

Watch the webcast of the Gripen Yearly seminar here.

​This week, two RTAF Gripen are on display for visitors at LIMA 2015. Visitors can also have a look at the Gripen Cockpit Simulator (GCS2) at the Saab stand B642. 

Organized after every two years, LIMA offers strategic opportunities for traders and industry members to network and showcase their latest products.

The Malaysian event was first organized in 1991 and it was LIMA 2011 which marked the first time an RTAF Gripen aircraft was displayed outside Thailand.

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Gripen at LIMA 2015

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Saab team at stand B642

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Malaysian national TV News talks with Thomas Linden, Vice President, Head of Saab Malaysia on the capabilities of Gripenlima_day1_001_andreas ladell_web.jpg
Richard Ljungberg, Chief test pilot at Saab shows the Gripen cockpit simulator

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“I have flown about 40 different fighters and none of them is as responsive and precise as Gripen,” says Richard Ljungberg, Chief test pilot at Saab.

Ljungberg has worked as a test pilot since 1998, first for FMV, the Swedish Defence Material Administration, and then for Saab from 2004. He has flown all versions of Gripen, from A to D through to the two-seater Gripen NG test aircraft. “Flying is one thing, but flying a mission is something else,” he explains. “Every pilot needs to train for missions. Because Gripen is so responsive and easy to fly, the pilot can concentrate fully on performing the mission.”

“In a modern fighter jet, there is an enormous amount of information for the pilot to deal with. But Gripen offers significant advantages.”  Ljungberg – who has 2,800 flight hours under his belt – explains further: “The cockpit computer only shows me the information at the specific time that it is needed. I never feel overloaded and can concentrate fully on my task.”

“If I’m flying an attack mission for example, I don’t need to know anything about the hydraulic system or the standby instruments. As a result, the pilot becomes more efficient. In addition, if a system fails, the backup system pops up digitally on the display. This means that the display area is used to maximize the chance of mission success.”

Right now, Richard is at the LIMA exhibition in Langkawi, Malaysia. Meet Saab as well as Richard at Stand No. B642 if you are ...

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In the last week of February 2015, a Thai Air Force delegation visited the 21st Tactical Air Base at Čáslav, reports Afbcaslav.cz.

The Royal Thai Air Force delegation, led by Air Chief Marshal Pratanem Sirisapem was welcomed by Deputy Commanders of the 21st Tactical Air Base: Colonel Andrew REJMAN and Colonel Jaroslav Miko. The commanders gave a brief on the main tasks and functioning of the Air Base to the Thai delegation.

After the brief, the delegation went to have a look at the three aircraft used by the Air Base: Gripen, L-159A ALCA and L-39ZA.

As per the report, this is not going to be the only visit by RTAF members at the Čáslav Air Base this year. RTAF pilots will also participate in the international exercise Lion Effort 2015, which will held in May.

Read the full story: Thajská delegace hostem u 21. zTL

Image Courtesy: afbcaslav.cz​

​RTAF Wing Commander Chareon “Tonic” Watanasrimongkol, who has the experience of participating in Pitch Black exercise for a long time now, talks about his experiences and the objective of the exercise. 

Exercise Pitch Black 2014, the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF’s) largest and most complex air exercise, was held in the Northern Territory from 1-22 August 2014.​

​Royal Thai Air Force Gripen participated in an Air to Air formation with Mirage 2000-9 from the United Arab Emirates Air Force, FA-18F Super Hornet and an F/A-18A Hornet from the Royal Australian Air Force during Pitch Black 2014.

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Image Courtesy: Department of Defence, Australia​​
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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.