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Lovisa Sandelin from Ludvika, Central Sweden, is the first woman to graduate as a SwAF fighter pilot since 2004. She has graduated from the aviation school in Linköping, Southern Sweden, along with 22 other students and they have a few more years of training to undergo until, eventually, they have the skills to fly the Gripen fighter. 

Sandelin isn’t focused on the attention she has received due to her gender. “I see it more as something personal. Getting my pilot’s wings is a big milestone for me just as my male colleagues see it is a big milestone in their lives, so I maybe don’t focus so much on the fact that I’m a woman,” she says. She also pointed out that it is imperative for more women to apply and join the Swedish Armed and Air Forces.

Until the early 1990s, women were not qualified to become fighter pilots. This has changed over the years with many countries lifting this ban one after another. Typically perceived as a male-oriented job, the profession has seen very few women applying.

“Public perception of the profession being a typically male one could be an explanation for why so few women opt to become fighter pilots in Sweden,” says Swedish Air Force’s Air Combat School Mats Juhlander.

"But it isn’t. The Armed Forces opened as an occupation for both sexes in 1989,” he adds.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Forsvarsmakten​

Flight data, track data and night vision.

The Swedish Air Force have ordered  the advanced helmet mounted display system, Targo for their Gripen E fighter aircraft. Pilots equipped with Targo will be able to better locate, track and identify targets, both day and night.

Read more about the Helmet Mounted Display system here​.​

The upgrade known in Swedish term as MS20 involves a whole series of improvements and new functionality, both in terms of the aircraft itself and the ancillary support and training systems.​ Saab knows that its customers need a reliable, affordable and available fighter, against all threats, today and tomorrow. And that is why it makes Gripen. 

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Canadian company Héroux-Devtek has been awarded a contract to deliver landing gear systems for Gripen E fighters, reports UPI.

“Héroux-Devtek is proud to further enhance its long-standing relationship with Saab. Our U.K. operations have designed and manufactured landing gear systems for previous variants of the Gripen aircraft and this new contract acknowledges their expertise on an important program," said Martin Brassard, Vice-President and CEO of Héroux-Devtek.

Héroux-Devtek will manufacture, assemble and deliver complete landing gear systems for the 96 Gripen E fighters being developed for the Swedish and the Brazilian Air Force.

There has been a great interest in Gripen ever since Brazil announced its decision to acquire 36 Swedish fighters. The aircraft is being considered by several other countries and this contract also has an option for Saab to award the manufacturing of additional complete landing gear systems to Héroux-Devtek.

The deliveries of the landing gear systems are expected to begin next year.

Read the full story here.

The traditional Christmas tree formation flight was conducted yesterday by Skaraborg air wing F7 with 12 Gripen. This is both a nice tradition that is followed every year and also a good exercise for the pilots flying in formation in such a big numbers. 

Next week air wing F17 in Ronneby and F 21 in Luleå, as well as the Air Force Flight School plan to fly their Christmas tree formation too.

​Two squadrons of Swedish Air Force Gripen fighters were at RAF Leeming last week to participate in the UK's bi-annual exercise, The Joint Warrior.

According to Swedish Air Force pilot Lieutenant Colonel Jörgen Axelsson, the airspace in Britain is quite different and so the exercises were challenging and hence were very good from a training perspective.

“It’s especially good for our younger pilots, as many of them have not been abroad before flying in international airspace, so they are learning a lot from each sortie they fly,” he says.

Read the full story here.

Swedish Air Force Gripen are participating in Joint Warrior, the largest UK tri-service and multinational exercise of its kind in Europe which gets over on October 20th. 

Joint Warrior provides a complex environment in which UK, NATO and allied units can go through training together in tactics and skills for use in a combined joint task force. The exercise runs through a range of scenarios, including crisis and conflict situations, that could be realistically encountered in operations - disputed territory, terrorist activity, piracy and more. 

Almost 70 aircraft are being used in the exercise. Participating Gripen fighters have been deployed in all their roles - fighter, attack and reconnaissance.The fighters are stationed at RAF Leeming.

The UK-based exercise, held each year in April and October, has around 5, 700 personnel participating from NATO allies and partner countries, including Sweden, Norway and the USA. 

More information about the exercise can be found here​.

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Six Swedish Air Force Gripen fighters participated in the Finnish Air Force's Ruska 2016 exercise last week.

This was the first time that Swedish Air Force Gripen fighters were sent to participate in this exercise. Besides the fighters, Sweden had sent transport and command & control aircraft as well. Along with the Finnish Hornets and Hawks, the Swedish team played Red Air, i.e. opponents to the Finnish exercise units. 

Ruska is the biggest annual tactical training event of the Finnish Air Force. One of the main goals of the exercise is to train service units on how to work with other kinds of aircraft and for major operations.

The battle concepts executed in this exercise were all about deployment. The Finnish and Swedish assets were redeployed in every mission so that the attacker had difficulty anticipating the teams' moves and strategies. 

The exercise was held between October 10 and 14.

Read the full story here.

Photo Courtesy: Peter Liander​

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Ramstein Alloy Baltic training, previously known as the Baltic Regional Training Event (BRTE), was held last week. Two SwAF Gripen fighters participated in the event.

The training scenarios were aimed at enhancing policing procedures and Allied-Partner relationships using NATO’s Baltic Air Policing (BAP) assets and regional air forces. It included air-to-air intercept and search and rescue and communication loss (COMMLOSS) training.

The planning for the exercise took place over a period of a few months during which the participating air forces worked on the training scenarios and met for coordination meetings.

‘It is amazing how we carry hunt and attack exercises as a part of a NATO exercise on one day and the second day we come home and show some incident preparedness. That shows the flexibility and readiness of our Gripen fighter system’, a report in Forsvarsmakten says.

Read the full story here​.


Swedish Air Force Gripen participated in the Finnish exercise Baana 2016 and practiced the art of landing and taking off from a road base.

As a part of the exercise, both Finish and Swedish fighters carried out many "touch and go" exercises. 

Gripen has been designed on the Cold War philosophy which means it has the unique ability to land and take off on short, actual roads and not just on regular runways. Gripen can take off and land in less than 500 meters.

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