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At LIMA 2017, an RTAF Gripen Fighter performed aerial displays for the audience. Here are a few images chronicling the performance.

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Getting ready for the flight
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Engineers getting the aircraft ready for the display
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The Malaysian Defence Minister with the RTAF Gripen display team

Photo credit: Richard Cooper @COAPPhoto​​

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The Royal Thai Air Force and the Royal Thai Navy conducted a joint training exercise between 30 April and 10 May 2017 to improve interoperability between the two divisions.

The exercise was held at the upper gulf of Thailand’s coastline, the coastline of U Tapao International Airport and the training ground of the Royal Thai Navy in Ban Jan Klam district, Chantaburi province.

Among other things, the Royal Thai Air Force Gripen pilots were tasked with providing reconnaissance images to the Royal Thai Navy personnel. The marine operational support included targeting aerial targets in the ocean.

It has been two years that the Royal Thai Air Force and the Royal Thai Navy successfully linked data systems between a surveillance-early warning aircraft equipped with Erieye radar system and Gripen fighter and HMS Naresuan. The integrated radar signals help increase the tactical capacity of both military forces to coordinate operations with improved efficiency.

The observations made during the assessment of the exercise would help in improving the skills and proficiency of aerial and ground operation units of The Royal Thai Air Force and Royal Thai Navy in future.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: RTAF

Video: Matichon tv

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The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has recently placed an order with the Defense Material Administration (FMV) for support of their Gripen aircraft which they acquired from FMV in 2008. The order contract is for a span of three years (2017-2019) and it includes maintenance and spare supply along with technical support and more.   

“It feels very good that we have managed to achieve a longer contract with RTAF. Previously, we had a one-year order and a further order gives FMV better opportunities for planning,” said Martin Mann, FMV's Project Manager for Gripen Thailand. “The new support order marks a successful transition from the delivery phase to the operational phase in Thailand” he said.

The FMV, besides Gripen, also provides support for combat control of two Saab 340 AEW airborne reconnaissance radar, and a transport aircraft Saab 340B to the RTAF. 

The first batch of 12 Gripens were ordered in 2008 and 2011 by the RTAF and delivered in 2011 and 2013 respectively. 

Read the full story here.

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Missiles and missile systems manufacturer MBDA has offered its Meteor BVRAAM (Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile) for the Royal Thai Air Force Gripen fighters.

According to a Thai Military and Asian Region repor​t, the Meteor BRAAM production is underway and should enter service on Gripen aircraft of the Swedish Air Force by the end of this year. The Meteor capability is a part of Saab's latest MS20 (Materiel System 20) combat systems update.

The report says the Meteor has been designed to counter the most sophisticated airborne threats of the 21st century. As per MBDA, the kinematic performance of a Meteor is three to six times higher than that of the current air missiles of its type. The Swedish Gripen fighters will be the first to get this missile, followed by the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Dassault Rafale in the coming years.

Read the full story here​.

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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 HTMS 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 HTMS 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

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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

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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.

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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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