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During last week, Saab participated at the IDEB exhibition in Bratislava, Slovakia where it presented a Gripen Full Scale Replica.

During the exhibition, Saab announced that it will build a Gripen Support Centre in Slovakia if the country selects the NATO-interoperable Gripen multirole supersonic fighter aircraft to replace its aging fleet of Soviet-era MiG29 aircraft.  

According to Jonas Hjelm, Head of Business Area Aeronautics at Saab, the proposed Gripen Support Centre would create and sustain approximately 500 hundred new high-tech jobs. “Slovakia would boost its defence and aerospace industries with the Gripen Support Centre,” he said.

Slovakia currently operates 12 MiG 29s that were upgraded in the year 2005. Its neighbor, the Czech Republic, has been successfully operating a fleet of 14 Gripen fighters for more than a decade now. As per an earlier signed cooperation plan between the two countries, if Slovakia selectd Gripen, it will be able to share the cost of maintenance and pilot training with the Czech Republic.

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Commemorating the 100 years of the Czechoslovak Air Force, one of the Czech Gripen fighters has got a makeover at the ongoing NATO Tiger Meet.

NATO Tiger Meet 2018 is an opportunity for participating aerial squadrons of NATO countries to get together and showcase their talents in some very challenging exercises. However, it’s not all work and no play; there are numerous customs and traditions involved in the Tiger Meet that make it very interesting. Each year, pilots add exciting decals to their fighters, making it look unique.

For the Czech Gripen, this year’s motif was a little different. Usually, it’s an image or a sketch of a tiger.  For example, last year, Czech Gripen was the canvas for the stylish “Wildcat”, which was a partially covered face of model Simona Krainová and a tiger. Similarly, in 2013, one of the participating Gripen had a motif called "Picasso Tiger".

Besides Czech Air Force, the Hungarian Air Force has also sent its Gripen fighters to the exercise.

NATO Tiger Meet will be held till 25 May.

You can take a look at how Czech Gripen fighters have been given a different makeover at various NATO Tiger Meets here.

Read the full story here.​

Image Courtesy: WeAreNATO

The Czech Air Force will, after winning the title of ‘Best Fixed Wing Display’ last year, return at the RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day this year with more Gripen solo displays. This will be the third consecutive appearance at the event for Gripen.

The Czech Air Force will be looking to put up a commanding display at Somerset to an audience of 40,000. At the helm will be Capt. Ivo Kardoše, who is renowned in the circuit for his spectacular displays with Gripen. Besides the five hour flying display of various fighters from around the world, visitors will also get a chance to experience engineering fair and defence exhibition as well.

RNAS Yeovilton Air Day will take place on the 7th of July, 2018.

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For the first time ever, the Czech Air Force sent one of its 14 Gripen fighters to Turkey to participate at the Eurasia Air Show last month.

Star Czech display pilot Captain Ivo Kardoše presented Gripen aerial displays during the airshow. The specially designed Gripen was adorned with decals that set it apart from other fighters, making it a treat for watching eyes. Ardent fans of Gripen could immediately recognize the camouflage as Wildcat, a design that features model and actress Simona Krain and a tiger. 

In the 12 minute long display, Caption Kardose successfully implemented 25 dynamic aerial manoeuvres. Throughout the display, the adaptability of Gripen E was highlighted, with it plunging in as close to the ground as 30 meters. Kardose had been training for this performance with his team at the air base situated in Caslav for a month. 

To know the full story, click here.

Image Courtesy: Eurasia AIr Show

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Recently, the Czech Air Force successfully completed the MS20 capability upgrade to its fleet of Gripen fighter aircraft, greatly increasing its combat and communication capabilities. The upgrade is part of the Gripen design philosophy to evolve continuously and tailor solutions according to customer’s various needs.

One of the key features of the MS20 upgrade is that the Gripen has acquired air-to-ground capability, thanks to the integration of unguided and laser-guided bombs into the aircraft payload. There will also be a significant software update which permits the integration of NATO-standard Link 16 datalink and laser designator pods (LPDs). The LPDs will greatly aid air-to-ground missions.  

The MS20 upgrade is characterized by both software and hardware augmentations. Other key elements of the update include enhanced radar modes, electro-optical pods Litening III, and crypto-modules for fast, secure and efficient communication.

Jonas Hjelm, Saab’s Area Business Head, said, “We are very pleased with the success of this capability upgrade. We are honoured to have a long-term partner in the Czech Air Force.” After the update, “The aircraft is capable of addressing the demands of current and future threats, while meeting strict requirements”, according to Mr. Hjelm.

​Read the full story here.

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The Czech Air Force Gripen have now been upgraded to MS20 which gives the fighter enhanced capabilities, most important of which is the addition of ground strike features.  

As a part of the upgrade, Gripen fighters have been integrated with unguided and laser-guided bombs, enabling Gripen to easily perform air-to ground attacks. Besides, air-to-ground capabilities, new radar modes will also improve the effectiveness of air-to-air attacks. Other additions include that of electro-optical pod Litening III and NATO-standard Link 16 datalink and laser designator pods.

The Czech Air Force signed the lease for 14 Gripen fighters in June 2005. Within a year, the Gripen fighters were delivered. When the decision to extend the lease till 2027 was taken, it was also decided that the fighters will be upgraded to MS20 post 2015.

"Thanks to the modernization of the Czech Gripen aircraft, the operational capabilities of the Czech Air Force will be significantly increased. Our staff has appreciated a close and fruitful cooperation with the Swedish side on this specific modernization project as well as the cooperation during the 13 years that we have operated Gripen aircraft," said Colonel Petr Tománek, Commander of the Czech Air Force’s Caslav Air Base.

Read the full story here

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The annual Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton International Air Day at Somerset, England​, is back. Scheduled to be held on 7th July 2018, it will feature a spectacular five-hour flying display -besides an array of ground attractions - from engineering fairs to the latest defence technology exhibitions, simulators, fairground rides and helicopter pleasure flights. 

After last year’s remarkable performance, the Czech Air Force has confirmed their participation at the event for this year as well. They will return with the JAS 39C Gripen that won the title of ‘Best Fixed Wing Display’ last year.  

The RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day is expected to have up to 40,000 visitors. The event will include demonstration of the Maritime Capability and Air Power of not only the Royal Navy, but also the British Army and the Royal Air Force, which are celebrating their centenary year. The British Armed Forces’ NATO and European allies will participate too. The Air Day will have both static and flying displays from some of the world’s most skilled pilots and their aircrafts. 

Read the full story here.

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​The 21st Tactical Air Force Base in Čáslav will host a multinational exercise 'Sky Avenger' between 18 and 29 June this year.

The Czech Air Force has confirmed the participation of Gripen and L-159 ALCA planes from the Čáslav base. Six F-16s will also participate in the exercise.

Sky Avenger is a joint exercise based on Czech Air Force's long-term cooperation with the Air National Guards of Nebraska and Texas. 

“In addition to dogfighting and cooperation with forward air controllers, the exercise will also focus on composite air missions,” discloses Major Tomáš Merta, Deputy Director of the exercise.

Read the full story here.

RIAT2017_Gripen1.jpgThe Czech Air Force has confirmed the participation of a Gripen and an L-159 Advanced Light Combat Aircraft (ALCA) at RIAT 2018.

This time, RIAT will also celebrate the completion of a 100 years by the Royal Air Force. Last year, Captain Ivo Kardoš from the 211th Tactical Squadron at Čáslav Air base won the award for the best flying demonstration by an overseas participant at RIAT.

The first Air Tattoo was held in the year 1971 with a participation of about a hundred aircraft. Deemed as one of the world's greatest airshow now, RIAT now attracts participation from across the globe.  About 150, 000 to 160, 000 visitors attend the show every year. 

About RIAT, Formula one racing driver Jensen Button once said, "All the thrills, excitement and noise of a Grand Prix, but in the air."

The flying display will take place between 13 and 15 July 2018.

Read the full story here​.

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Czech mate.

Users since 2005, the Czech Air Force will receive the latest capability enhancement during 2018.

Photo: Jörgen Nilsson

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