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The Swedish Air Force is reportedly spending SEK 2 billion to train for Cold War style operations from road runways, reports Aviation Week​. The expenditure is on road runways and for buying equipment for clearing snow, which will enable SwAF fighters to easily take-off and land in the absence of a proper runway.

Sweden deployed jets on highways and general aviation airfields during the Cold War era when attacks from Soviet Air Force were expected. This practice paved the way for the modern Gripen’s design which allows it to land and take off from roads.

The renewed interest comes from a rise in military activities in the Baltics and enhanced Russian activity in nearby areas. The upcoming exercise Aurora 2017 will also feature dispersed operations and will test the skills of the country’s armed services, national guards and government agencies in the event of a national emergency. 

Read more here.

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Ahead of the recent Paris Air Show, members of the Gripen User Group met up in Paris on 20 June to add Brazil as the newest member of the group.

The Gripen User Group is made up of representatives of countries that operate the Gripen fighter. Before Brazil, the last induction in the group was that of Thailand in 2010. The Gripen Users Group holds a bi-annual conference to share the participants’ experiences of flying the fighter. The Group shares information, and the discussions revolve around Gripen’s operational, maintenance, logistics, engineering and safety matters.

The User Group also conducts ‘Lion Effort’ - a tactical exercise aimed to improve interoperability between the Gripen operating countries. Hungary will host Lion Effort in 2018. 

Read the full story here​.

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Czech Air Force's 'Wildcat' was ranked as the second best tiger painted aircraft at the NATO Tiger Meet 2017, reports Afbcaslav.cz​.

The Meet was held between 5 and 16 June. Several dozens of training missions were carried out by Czech pilots in the framework of the prestigious NATO tiger squadrons exercise.

Image Courtesy: Afbcaslav.cz

​During the Seinäjoki International Airshow, a Czech Gripen performed a 360 degree turn over on the runway before its flight. Watch it in action.


​Catch Gripen in action as it performed a stunning aerial display at the annual SAAF Museum air show at AFB Zwartkop last month. The airshow was held on 06 May. More than 30,000 visitors attended the event.

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Four Czech Gripen fighters and 30 Czech personnel are currently participating in the NATO Tiger Meet 2017 in Landivisiau, France, hosted by Flottille 11F squadron of the French Marine Nationale. As per the custom, one of the participating Gripen had a colourful tiger scheme on its tail.

The training missions in the Meet included simulated air combat exercises like search and destroy targets and rescue operations, and aerial refueling.

"The best part of the exercise is, of course, its extent and duration. You can find out the effectiveness of your own aerial combat tactics and complex mission planning," says the commander of the participating Czech squadron Lt. Col. Jaroslav Tomaňa.

Two days of the NATO Tiger Meet, 8th and 14 June, were Spotter's Days. On these two days, visitors could see and photograph all the participating fighter jets at five different spotting locations. 

NATO Tiger Meet 2017 will end tomorrow.

Read more here​.

Image Courtesy: Afbcaslav.cz​

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Gripen was one of the performers at the Kaivopuisto Air Show held on 9th June. The event was organised by the Finnish Aviation Museum and this time, the air show also celebrated 100 years of freedom.

A Gripen full scale replica was also on display at the event. Besides Gripen, Saab Draken, which served as a Finnish fighter from the 1970’s till the year 2000, also participated at this air show.​ 

Kaivopuisto has been a popular venue of many air shows since 1955. About 100,000 visitors attended the air show. Besides aerial displays by modern fighters, the air show also featured aviation history of the Finnish Air Force.

Saab is pitching Gripen E/F to Finland as the country is looking to replace its 55 F/A-18C and seven F/A-18D Hornets by 2021.

Read more here.  

Image Courtesy: Försvarsmakten


Amongst various other exercises, Swedish Air Force pilots also trained for air-to-air refuelling at the recently held ACE17.​

Video: Försvarsmakten​

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The Hungarian Air Force Gripen fighters have got distinguished company at the Load Diffuser 17 exercise being held at Kecskemét Air Base. Training participants included US OHANG (United States Ohio Air National Guard) nine F-16 fighter jets and two C-130 Hercules, the Slovakian Air Force’s  MIG-29, L-39 and Mi-8 aircraft, the Croatian Air Force’s Mi-8/17 helicopters and the Slovenian Defence Force’s PC-9 aircraft fulfilling its duties from the Kecskemét Air Base. 

Load Diffuser, which focusses on the joint training of the air-to-air and air-to-ground manoeuvres and the development of interoperability between the participating nations, is being hosted by the Hungarian Air Force.

The exercise started on 22 May and ends today.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Topidoc

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The South African Air Force (SAAF) held a demonstration on 1st June to assess its combat readiness. At the event, SAAF showcased its air power capability through use of  its most modern acquisitions such as Gripen and Hawk aircraft.

During the demonstration, simulation of various combat scenarios with live ammunition was carried out. The demonstration also included joint exercises with air and ground units, and aerial displays by BK-117 Helicopters, A109, Oryx and Gripen fighter jets.

Besides aerial displays, Gripen fighters and Hawks also flew bomb damage assessment and engaged in a mock dogfight. In total, six Gripen fighters participated.

Read the full story here​.
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