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A fighter aircraft pilot’s life is full of tough challenges and experiences. In a profession where mistakes can lead to life-or-death situations, it is imperative that they are equipped with the best facilities in order to perform their task to the best of their abilities. 

The nature of a pilot’s job sometimes requires flying high and in extreme conditions. Atmospheric pressure and composition at certain heights put the pilot in situations where the lack of proper equipment could be very harmful. To face such conditions, pilot suits have to be equipped and built with the capability to sustain the pilot under duress.

Due to the stress that the suit faces as a result of being exposed to rough conditions, it has to be checked and approved every 6 to 12 months. Such tests include assessing the equipment hoses and pipes which are prone to leaks, condition tests and pressure tests.

The pilot can choose a three lettered code for each piece of equipment and accordingly, a unique serial number is assigned to each piece. A Gripen pilot’s suit works as a system with each piece having a very specific function, thus making it necessary to wear and maintain each of them. Each pilot also wears absorbent innerwear that absorbs sweat and humidity while preventing condensation. The suits also come in fire and water resistant variants.

Each part of the suit serves a very specific purpose e.g. the jacket has multiple storage options for emergency (medical kits, tools etc.), floatation ...

Hungarian pilots of MH 59 Szentgyörgyi Dezső Airbase took part in a 10-day Gripen night flying training exercise.  

The exercise, which was conducted between 18 and 28 October, was part of the Hungarian Puma squadron's annual training plan. On 25 October, a Press Open Day was held in which the participating Hungarian pilots presented 15 flight displays, including a two-to-one capture, one-to-one air battle, two aircraft formation flights and night flying displays.

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The goal of an exercise like this is to increase the combat readiness of the Hungarian Air Force and prepare Gripen pilots for international missions. The pilots get to train using the night time vision goggles and hone their skills for missions at all hours and in all weather conditions.

Photo Courtesy: Istvan “TopiDoc” Toperczer​

​Hungarian Air Force Gripen fighters and British Hawks participated in a joint exercise at Kecskemét’s Szentgyörgyi Dezső Air Base on 25 August 2016.

Mr. Iain Lindsay, British Ambassador to Hungary and Mr. Tamás Vargha, Hungarian Secretary of State for Defence, were the guests at the joint exercise. The exercise aimed to further strengthen defence cooperation between the UK and Hungary.

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Image Courtesy: British Embassy, Budapest

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During the air display which concluded the ceremony, the Hungarian Gripen fighters formed the number ten in the sky above Kecskemét airbase.

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Taxing to the runway.GRIPEN10years_79.jpg The flight line with ready to go Gripen fighters.

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This is the Gripen model that was handed over to the base commander.

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The audience listens to the presentation on the first ten years with Gripen in the Hungarian Air Force.

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The ceremony included a hand-over to the Hungarian Air Force by the Swedish Air Force support group. 

This year marks ten years of Gripen in the Hungarian Air Force. To celebrate this milestone, a ‘Gripen decade’ ceremony was held in March this year at Szentgyörgyi Dezső Airbase in Kecskemét. Representatives of the Hungarian Government, the Hungarian and Swedish Armed Forces and Saab were present at the ceremony.

In 2001, the Swedish and Hungarian governments entered into a lease-purchase agreement, with a further modification in 2003, which included 14 Gripen C/D (12 single-seat plus two twin-seat) aircraft. All Gripen fighters were delivered in 2006 and 2007 and, by the end of 2008, the 14 aircraft were in operational service with the Hungarian Air Force. In January 2012, the leasing agreement with Sweden was extended until 2026. 

With Gripen, the Hungarian Air Force has established itself as a modern and effective NATO Air Force. Last year, the Hungarian Air Force had sent four Gripen fighters and about 80 personnel to guard the Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The four months long Baltic Air Policing mission ...

​Earlier this week, approximately 2,500 students visited the Kecskemét Air Base, Hungary to get a hang of the fighters and others systems.

The series of programs at the Air Base were targeted at students of primary and secondary schools and colleges. The senior students were the most interested in aviation.

Here are some images from the event.

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Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Airbase Blog

​Last month, Hungary marked 10 years of Gripen operations. With these pictures, the Airbase Blog brings together some of the memorable moments of the initial days of the Hungarian Gripen's journey.

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On-board were four Hungarian and three Swedish pilots.

hungarian gripen_2_april2016.jpgThe first five Gripen fighters were formally handed over to Hungary on 30th March 2006.
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Hungarian Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Gabor Toth, after landing at the Kecskemet Air Base.

Image Courtesy: Airbase Blog

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The Czech Republic is negotiating with Hungary to form a joint international air squadron, reports Prague Monitor.

As per the report, a possible cooperation between the two countries would bring savings worth millions of crowns. The negotiations are for joint air policing over Iceland in October this year.

"It would be advantageous as well as logical for both countries. First, they could share costs and second, Hungarians would be able to train to fly in areas where they have not operated yet," says a strategist from the Defence Ministry.

If the two countries reach an agreement, they would together send four Gripen fighters and about 60 personnel to Iceland.

Read the full story here​.

GRIPEN10years_69.jpgDuring the air display which concluded the ceremony, the Hungarian Gripen fighters formed the number ten in the sky above Kecskemét airbase.
GRIPEN10years_73.jpgTaxing to the runway.
GRIPEN10years_79.jpgThe flight line with ready to go Gripen fighters.
GRIPEN10years_web_03.jpgThis isthe Gripen model that was handed over to the base commander.
GRIPEN10years_web_12.jpgThe audience listens to the presentation on the first ten years with Gripen in the Hungarian Air Force.
GRIPEN10years_49.jpgThe ceremony included a hand-over to the Hungarian Air Force by the Swedish Air Force support group. 

This year marks ten years of Gripen in the Hungarian Air Force. To celebrate this milestone, a ‘Gripen decade’ ceremony was held last week at Szentgyörgyi Dezső Airbase in Kecskemét. Representatives of the Hungarian Government, the Hungarian and Swedish Armed Forces and Saab were present at the ceremony.

In 2001, the Swedish and Hungarian governments entered into a lease-purchase agreement, with a further modification in 2003, which included 14 Gripen C/D (12 single-seat plus two twin-seat) aircraft. All Gripen fighters were delivered in 2006 and 2007 and, by the end of 2008, the 14 aircraft were in operational service with the Hungarian Air Force. In January 2012, the leasing agreement with Sweden was extended until 2026. 

With Gripen, the Hungarian Air Force has established itself as a modern and effective NATO Air Force. Last year, the Hungarian Air Force had sent four Gripen fighters and about 80 personnel to guard the Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The four months long Baltic Air Policing mission was completed successfully ...

​For the last few weeks, Gripen pilots at Kecskemét have been busy with night flying missions and testing the night vision devices.

The pilots were given a theoretical training by their Swedish colleagues before their first night flying missions.

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The MH59​ report says that the purchase of night vision devices and these trainings will enhance the combat readiness of the Air Force. It will also increase the participation of Hungarian Gripen fighters in international exercises.

Read the full story here.

Photo: Istvan “TopiDoc” Toperczer​ 

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