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Aurora, one of the main Swedish military exercises, had the Air Force taking on both sea and ground targets this year. Here are some images from the exercise.

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Image Courtesy: Luftstridsskolan and Forsvarsmakten

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Since 1952, Swedish borders have been monitored day and night, all year around. No matter what time it is, Swedish territorial borders are being monitored. All over Sweden, there are radar stations constantly scanning the air and over land and sea.  When needed, the armed forces alert Gripen fighters to identify and intercept foreign aircraft. 

Several units of the Air Force are made up of Gripen fighters. It is the first operational fighter equipped with Beyond-Visual-Range-Air-To-Air-Missile, Meteor. Today, there are three air wings and six divisions equipped with Gripen fighters in the Swedish Air Force. The fighter aircraft has the ability to carry out operations against targets on the ground, in air and over water, with extreme precision, a high degree of flexibility and power. These units also conduct intelligence gathering missions and are always ready to defend Sweden's territory.​

Read full story here​.

Aurora 17, one of the main Swedish military exercises, is underway. About 19,000 personnel are participating in the exercise.

One of the main tasks during the exercise was that of dispersed operations in which Gripen pilots practised take-offs and landings from normal roads.

The exercise is aimed at building a stronger defence and increasing the overall capability of the Air Force to face an attack on Sweden. Military units from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Lithuania, Norway and the USA are also participating in the exercise.

The Swedish Air Force Gripen pilots are working on honing some old skills by practicing Gripen take-offs and landings from normal roads. The skill helps to spread the fighters on multiple locations in the event of an attack.

Gripen is a fighter which was developed keeping in mind the Cold War philosophy, which means it doesn't always need a runway to land and take-off. It can land and take-off on short, actual roads as well. Sweden has military bases that use normal roads that have been strengthened for practicing such exercises.  

According to Flight Attorney General, Brigadier General Gabor Nagy, such exercises are very important. "If a potential opponent attacks our regular flight bases and limits our take-off and landing opportunities, we should be ready with our strategy. So we have developed a concept to increase the areas of operations beyond the regular air bases. What has begun here today is an extension of this strategy, where we will measure road sections so that we can land fighter aircraft with relatively simple means," he says.

Read the full story here.

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21151199_1480166175371968_9152644462323412624_n.jpgThe flying display by Gripenfighters

21191988_1480151408706778_7948279422638542240_n.jpgSix generations of Saab fighter aircraft in flight formation

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Gripen on static display

The (main) Flight Day of Swedish Armed Forces is over. According to Carl-Johan Edström, Wing Commander of F 21, it was a very successful event. "I am impressed with the way my staff has been able to conduct their regular military exercises to increase the military capability along with preparing such an event for the public," he says.

One of the main goals of the event was to present a good mix of fighter aircraft for the visitors - which included many high school students - to see. One of the visitors, named Max Nilsson from Stockholm, experienced the Flight Day for the first time. "I think it's really cool and fun to be here and see the planes. The best part of the day was to see Gripen and Viggen. 

Image Courtesy: Försvarsmakten

Czech International Air Fest (CIAF), the largest airshow in the Czech Republic, will be held on 2nd and 3rd September and Gripen will be one of the main attractions to the event.

The video shows Czech Gripen's performance at CIAF 2016.

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Joint exercises with other air forces make for a real test of pilot skills and aircraft capability when pitted against other types of aircraft and pilots trained in very different environments. The Arctic Fighter meet is one such exercise where Gripen pilots test out their skills. Every year, air forces of Sweden, Norway, and Finland participate in this joint exercise with different types of aircraft. 

The Baltic Post reports that the participating aircraft for this year’s exercise includes F-16 and Hornets, apart from Gripen. The Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish Air Forces will train together to develop and improve interoperability, train new pilots in joint missions and improve reaction times to airspace incursions.

According toForsvarsmakten, rigorous preparation of months goes behind this joint exercise. Special emphasis is given to flight safety in these high-risk training missions. This year, the exercise will be held between 21 and 25 August.

Read the full story here.

Photo: Sören Nielsen​​​

​CNBC's Managing Editor Shereen Bhan was in Linköping last week to see what goes behind the production of Gripen E and experience a flight in Gripen.

Bhan traveled to Sweden for CNBC-TV18’s special series ‘Make In India: A New Deal For Defence’. Saab has made public its offer to develop, manufacture and assemble Gripen fighters in India should the country choose it.

Bhan flew with Saab’s Wing Commander Flying, Hans Einerth, who showed her the agility and speed of the aircraft during the 55 minutes sortie. She had the control for ten minutes.

For Bhan, it was a memorable ride. She has almost lived her entire life near air force bases as her father was a fighter pilot. "It was one of the coolest moments of my life," she says.

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He got a flying license before a driver's license. SwAF display pilot Henrik Björling talks about his preparations for Sweden's Flying Day on 26 August.

Henrik, 36, has flown for over half of life. Among the many aircraft he has flown in the last 18 years, Gripen is his favourite. 

"It is one of the most modern aircraft in the world. It is an aircraft built for the pilot to perform at the highest level," he says.

When asked about his preparations for Sweden's flying Day performance, he says, “The exercise will happen this month. Like any other sport, I exercise daily so that I am all ready to play my role in the display. Just an hour before my flight, I stop talking and start with my mental preparation. I review the entire program visually. I check the weather – if it is sunny, windy and so on. And then I get on the plane and just do it!”

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Forsvarsmakten​

Saab test pilot Marcus Wandt explains how he prepared for Gripen E's first flight.​

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