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​As summers came to a close, the Hungarian Gripen pilots conducted a night flying training session in the last week of August making use of the last of the longer daylight. The fighters took off late into the evening and practiced aerial tests in the central zone of Kecskemét. There were three single seaters and one two-seater Gripens that took part in the exercise. Check out the pictures of the night flying exercise. 

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The Hungarian Air Force has been training for night flying missions using newly-delivered night vision goggles (NVGs) for the last two years now. This has further enhanced the combat readiness of the Hungarian Air Force.

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Image courtesy: HuAF

​Gripen presented a spectacular aerial display on 20th August in Hungary to celebrate the State Foundation Day of the country. This day is celebrated throughout the country with hoisting of the Hungarian flag, fireworks and displays like this. 

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For the first time ever, Hungarian Air Force Gripen and Royal Air Force Typhoons trained together by participating in the exercise Flying Sword. 

The objective of Flying Sword, which was held at the Kecskemet Air Base Air Base between 30 July and 3 August, was to develop and enhance the operational effectiveness of Hungarian Gripen fighters, with the aid of several practice and training missions conducted with RAF Typhoons.

The air forces jointly planned and implemented several NATO operations and drills, with a goal to increase the combat readiness of the airplanes, especially from an interoperational perspective. 

Though the Hungarian Air Force and the Royal Air Force have participated in joint training exercises before as well, it was the first time the RAF Typhoons and HuAF Gripen fighters trained together. The two fighters conducted both visual combat and beyond visual range missions on all days of the exercise.

“While the Typhoon is a twin-engine plane and Gripen is comparatively smaller in size, the two fighters performed seamlessly during the training drills,” said Csaba Ugrik, Brigadier General and Base Commander at MH 59. Dezső Szentgyörgyi Air Base.

According to RAF Squadron Leader Ellis Williams, Flying Sword was a great opportunity to learn from each other's experiences.

“We work on the same rules and tactics, so to operate with a different nation is quite comforting. It is exciting to train with different fighters, and different group of people. But ultimately, we are all growing, we ...

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Six Hungarian Air Force Gripen practiced air-to-ground and air-to-air live firing last month at the Air Superiority 2018 exercise held at the Vidsel Air Base. 

The Vidsel Air Base, located just a hundred km from the Arctic Circle, is the largest firing range in Sweden as well as the European Union. Since it was their fourth visit, the Hungarian pilots were familiar with the air base. During their last visit in 2015, the pilots were trained for their first Baltic Air Policing mission. It was, in fact, their first major international mission in 70 years. 

The Air Superiority 2018 lasted for two weeks; in the first half of which the participants performed planned air-to-air and air-to-ground firings using AIM-9L type Sidewinder missiles, AGM-65 type air-to-ground missiles and Gripen's internal cannons.

One of the major goals of this exercise was to develop capabilities for Close Air Support missions which requires seamless coordination with forces on the ground.

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Image Courtesy: Dr. Lt. Colonel Toperczer​

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The Hungarian Air Force sent five Gripen fighters to participate in this year's NATO Tiger Meet (NTM 2018). The fighters flew 60 hours during the 12 day exercise.

The Tiger Meet this year involved 24 squadrons contributing 70 fighters and 10 helicopters. The exercise saw 1500 personnel from the 16 participating countries coming together for joint air exercises which involved different aircraft types and operational procedures. The Tiger Meet gave pilots an opportunity to collaborate and learn from senior pilots of other air forces.

Hungary has been participating in the Tiger meet since 2014. This year too the participating team took away learnings from joint operations and complex air combat simulations with 70 aircraft operating simultaneously in air-to-air and air-to-ground tasks. The Ground staff too were a part of the operations, manning the ‘war rooms’ during the exercises.

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This summer, Hungarian Air Force Gripen will take part in a joint training exercise with Royal Air Force's Typhoon fighters in Kecskemét , reports kecskemetilapok.hu.

British Ambassador to Hungary, Ian Lindsay said that the Typhoon fighters will relocate to Romania after the exercise in Hungary. The ambassador also said that in the light of increasing security risks, the European countries and the UK should strive for closer cooperation.

The training will also carry out combat tasks and capture tactics. The British Royal Air Force Hawk aircraft and the Hungarian Gripen participated in a joint exercise last year, in August, where they decided to continue the training this year as well. Joint exercises with other air forces are good from a training perspective as they help pilots train in different environments and understand the capabilities of other aircraft. 

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A blast from the past: it has been ten years that the Hungarian Air Force received all the 14 Gripen fighters. The first set of the fighters were delivered in 2005 but it was not until 2008 when the fleet was complete.

The lease contract for the 14 Gripen fighter jets was signed in 2001 by Hungary. It was later altered in 2013 so that additional functionalities of the aircraft could be included. With the addition of Gripen fighters, Hungarian Air Force became a modern and effective NATO air force.

In the past decade, the Hungarian Gripen fighters have participated in various missions. They flew their first mission in Baltic (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) airspace in the year 2015.

According to the current leasing agreement, Hungary will operate Gripen fighters till 2026.

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Image Courtesy: Hungarian Airbase Blog

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Hungary will spend 30% of its defence budget on procurement and modernisation, complying with NATO requirements. A part of this spend will go into strengtheing the weapon system of the country's Gripen fleet, reports Jane’s.

According to Hungarian Defence Minister István Simicskó, the plan includes the procurement of two A319 Airbus aircraft and a small training aircraft and modernization of the Gripen fighter's weapons system.

Hungarian Air Force has been operating Gripen for about 11 years now. The lease-purchase agreement between the Swedish and Hungarian governments was signed in 2001 which included 12 Gripen C and two Gripen D fighters. With Gripen's arrival, the Hungarian Air Force became more prepared for missions within the NATO framework.

Last year, the Swedish Defence Material Administration (FMV) updated an agreement to give Hungary 400 extra flight hours per year, increasing from 1,600 to 2,000 hours. As per the terms, the Hungarian fighters will fly until 2026.

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Hungarian Gripen fighters were on a quick reaction alert on New Year's eve after a 747-8 failed to properly contact air traffic control.

The aircraft, with an unspecified number of passengers aboard, came from Slovakia and entered the Hungarian airspace at 10:29 CET. The HuAF Gripen fighters managed to establish contact with the Boeing which then continued on its journey to the Middle East.

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​Gripen took the Hungarian Air Force into the 21st century. Learn more about how Gripen has changed their capability.​

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