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The Royal Thai Air Force and the Royal Thai Navy have successfully linked data systems between a surveillance-early warning aircraft equipped with Erieye radar system and Gripen fighter and HMS Naresuan, reports ASTV Manager Online.

This is the first time that the Royal Thai Air Force and the Royal Thai Navy have worked with integrated radar signals using technology from Saab.

According to the report, the linked data systems will integrate usage of modern equipment, which will help increase the tactical capacity of both military forces to coordinate operations with improved efficiency.

As per the Royal Thai Navy, once the implementation is done, there will be an integration of radar signals from both types of radar from both military forces. This will improve target detection, information sharing and joint attacks.

The “Data link” system between surveillance-early warning aircraft Saab 340 AEW&C and Gripen and frigate HMS Naresuan will let airborne fighting units and sea fighting units share tactical information with each other. They will now “see each other” and “see the target together” which is very useful for a successful mission, the report concludes.

Read the full story here.​

rtafgripen_5000hours1.jpgOne of the twelve RTAF Gripen in front of the logo designed for the 5000 flight hours ceremony
rtafgripen_5000hours2.jpgThe RTAF Gripen pilots at Wing 7 making a symbolic gesture to celebrate the 5000 flight hours

RTAF personnel and delegates with Gripen in the background

The first batch of Gripen fighters for the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) was delivered in February 2011. Since then, the Gripen squadron at Wing 7 in Surat Thani has been up in the air a lot and employed at a number of different missions. Last week, a great milestone was reached when they passed 5000 flight hours with their twelve Gripen. It is an achievement made possible by a combination of many factors. 

“I’m proud of our personnel competency and very satisfied with the jets. Our personnel at the squadron, both pilots and technicians, have contributed a lot to make this happen. The fact that everyone is still new to the system means that we have to stop operating and spend some time for education as well. Another important factor is of course the aircraft availability to fly every day. Ever since we received the jets, we have been able to maintain a high serviceability of the fleet. Personally, I think we could have been flying even more than this but we have to keep the hours within the service contract,” says Group Captain Chareon Watanasrimongkol, Chief of Staff Wing 7.

The 5000 hour milestone was celebrated on September 10 with a ceremony at ...

​Three first prize winners of a contest arranged by Saab and AVIA Satcom at Thailand’s Children´s Day 2015 got an opportunity to fly the Gripen simulator.

This was the second year in a row in which Saab and AVIA Satcom organized a contest exclusively for children with the top prize being a flight in Gripen simulator.

“We hope to make this a yearly tradition,” says Anna Lindh, Head of Communications, Saab Asia Pacific.

childrensday1.jpgFirst Prize Winner Tanaphat Permpool with his family

childrensday2.jpgFirst Prize Winner Patcharapol Thanachotikanativat with his family

First Prize Winner Soranant Lalipalit with his family

The actual simulator flights were conducted at AVIA Satcom´s head office, just off Don Muang airport in Bangkok on 16 May.

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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:​

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.

Gripen at LIMA 2015

Saab team at stand B642

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

“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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