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Adam Nelson from Air Base F17, is the adversary. He is the target that others have to intercept during the TTP (Tactics, Techniques and Procedures)exercise. Flying out of Air Force Division F 21 in Luleå, Sweden, Adam has to train air force pilots to hone their skills.

TTP is an annual Swedish air force exercise aimed to increase military capabilities and combat-readiness. This was the eighth TTP exercise and teams from Norway and Finland also participated under current Cross Border Training Agreement.

The training helps pilots improve interoperability. It also aims to increase their ability to handle live ammunition. One difference from previously completed TTP exercises was that this time, pilots flew Gripen fighters that have been upgraded to the MS20 configuration.

“It means we are learning ways to use the new capabilities of the fighter during exercises like this,” Adam says.

“During TTP, we developed techniques that will be useful in future. This exercise makes us better prepared for future exercises like Aurora,” he adds.

Read the full story here


​​​​Last week, Swedish Air Force conducted mobile readiness exercise on a public road in the south western part of Sweden. Guests, from both Sweden and outside the country were invited to watch the exercise.

Video Courtesy: Swedish Air Force

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Preparations are in full swing for the Swedish Armed Forces exercise Aurora this September. All Swedish air wings will participate. The big difference from last year’s exercise is that all levels within the armed forces will participate. Instead of deputed staff and units like in earlier air force exercises, actual staff manning military units will practice together. It’s a big difference and similar to the exercises for building Swedish Armed Forces’ combined capability.

During Aurora 17, the air force will take on both sea and ground targets in operations such as coastal defence where all military units have to coordinate their actions. There will be a lot of airborne action with all available flying resources during the exercise. Apart from Gripen, the exercise would see extensive deployment of air transport and helicopters to support the Army and the Navy.

To get as much as possible out of the exercise and to test Swedish defence capability against a larger opponent, foreign air force units, including those from Finland, will engage as opposing forces as well as be partners in the defence of Sweden. Apart from the Finnish Air Force, units from other countries are expected to participate.

Read the full story here.

Photo Courtesy: Swedish Armed Forces

Since the unveiling of Gripen E in May 2016, the programme has seen great progress. Validation and verification activities such as tests in rigs and simulators have been performed and the ground test period is in full swing. The way model based development has been implemented, has been successful. "Power on" and engine starts are just two examples of important milestones that has been accomplished during the last months.

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With Gripen E, Saab has taken all the knowledge and experience from more than 75 years of building aircraft and put it into a fighter designed to adapt to changing threats and operational requirements, such as bigger areas to defend and new threat scenarios.

Gripen E has a revolutionary avionics system which ensures that the future is built in from the beginning. The avionics system separates flight critical functions from tactical features allowing customers to update the system and so get the latest capabilities faster and at lower risk. Future upgrades, changes and functionalities can be made by adding “apps” without needing to requalify the entire system.

Read the full story here​.

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Seen by many as a series of giant leaps in innovation the story of flight is, in fact, one of fantastic evolution. More than anyone the Gripen team at Saab know this. It is evolutionary thinking that has kept the Gripen system more than one step ahead.

Most military aircraft are built with the present and future in mind. Fighters are ordinarily commissioned decades in advance of completion. These needs are usually defined by military planners. The planners draw on as much intelligence and strategic thinking as possible to make the right decisions for what are massive multi-billion dollar projects. During the cold war many nations considered the military of the highest economic priority. Matters of defence were given huge budgets. When it came to air forces there were some with seemingly bottomless pockets.

Swedish prudence and the birth of Gripen

Sweden was one country that did not believe in blank cheques when it came to its military. The Swedish Air Force was to be no exception. 

In 1980 a requirement was issued to Swedish manufacturers for a new multi-role aircraft. The bar was set high. Excellent performance, agility and speed were all necessary to combat the threats at that time. However, the high-level Swedish strategists did not only put in a request for a new fighter. They pushed for a new way of thinking. They had decided it would be costly and difficult to adapt many of the aircraft on the market. They realised that the fundamental requirements ...

Capt Peter Fällén from the Swedish Air Force performed his award winning flying display at the Farnborough International Airshow. The weeklong Airshow is being held in the UK.​

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The future is always uncertain. So the pilots of the future need an aircraft that can be easily upgraded to meet ever-changing requirements.

“Computers, processors and electronics are continuously developing and it’s important that you can upgrade these as new tech emerges in the market,” says Saab’s Wing Commander Flying and Gripen test pilot Hans Einerth.

Right from the beginning, Gripen E was developed with future progress in mind. By managing to isolate systems affecting the core flight abilities, the plane’s split avionics system allows for integration of off-the-shelf products.

“The future pilot will need the ability to continuously upgrade the hardware and software and not get stuck in old functionality; this is of increasing importance,” explains Einerth.

Read the full story here​.

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During the last few weeks, SwAF Gripen pilots were busy at the Tactics, Techniques and Procedures Exercise (TTP16). TTP is a recurrent exercise, but this time it was different as the participating Gripen fighters were upgraded with the MS20.

The MS20 upgraded Gripen are integrated with the MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile and Boeing GBU-39 Small-Diameter Bomb, improved radar modes and a new laser designation pod (LDP) among other things.

TTP is also known as pilot's own exercise because there are no order chains; the pilots have to make their own decisions. The exercise focuses on developing skills to fight in a war, giving pilots an opportunity to work on small details that can make big differences in real life scenarios.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Forsvarsmakten

TV4 News' Stefan Borg learns how to fly a Gripen with Saab test pilot Marcus Wandt.

Three cameras were rolling, one in the rear cockpit, one on Marcus' wrist and one with photographer Felix Larno in an SK60, tailing the Gripen fighter.

"All you have to do is make sure we stay on our wings. Take the controls now. Roll a bit side to side. That's it," Marcus says.

About Gripen, Marcus says that the fighter is designed to be versatile. It can be the only plane in a given mission. As compared to Gripen, planes which are built for specific purpose and later expanded with other capabilities, are technically capable but not very efficient at carrying out multiple tasks.

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The Swedish Air Force Gripen has been upgraded with MS 20.

As a part of this upgrade, one of the major additions is that of MBDA’s Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile. The missile's propulsion is managed by a ramjet engine.

"The ramjet engine provides a significant increase in range. It makes it harder for an enemy to protect themselves from Meteor as compared to missiles operated with conventional propelled rocket [engines]," said Michael Östergren, Project Manager for the version 20 upgrade at FMV.

According to the Swedish Air Force Chief Maj Gen Mats Helgesson, the Meteor’s addition is a game-changer.

Besides the Meteor, GCA, Ground Collision Avoidance System is another important feature of MS 20. GCA will help avoid a collision with the ground in case the pilot loses control.

Also, with the new upgrade, there is an enhanced chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) protection for the pilot. The new protection not only safeguards pilots in contaminated environments during a mission, but also helps the ground crew to effectively decontaminate the aircraft once it has landed.​

Read the full story here.

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