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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.


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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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Caslav Open Day attracted more than 45,000 visitors this year. One of the main highlights of the event was Gripen's aerial display by new Czech display pilot Captain Ivo Kardoše.

Captain Kardoše has flown more than 500 flight hours in the Gripen aircraft. On being asked about a display pilot’s training process, he says that he has learnt everything from his predecessors. "It is up to me to continue in their footsteps and maintain the tradition of Czech Gripen's brilliant performances at airshows," he says.

Captain Kardoše also talked about what a normal day in the life of a pilot looks like. "The day starts with the distribution of flight assignments, followed by a briefing on weather, training space etc. Pilots then get ready for their training missions which may involve other aircraft from foreign countries as well. Due to this, the preparation can take several hours. After the flight, the evaluation process begins where feedback is given to everyone involved. Besides these regular training missions, we also train on simulators, train younger pilots and prepare for international exercises," he adds.

Captain Ivo Kardoše has flown various aircraft but his favourite has been Gripen. "My dream finally came true with Gripen," he says. He will be performing Gripen aerial displays at various airshows around the world for the next three years. This year alone, he has 15 performances scheduled.

Read the full story here.

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Czech Air Force's biennial event 'Open Day' will be held at the Čáslav airport this month and Gripen's aerial display will be the main attraction at the show.

Besides Gripen, participants include Patrouille Suisse, Belgian F-16 Demo and Flying Bulls Aerobatic Team.

Open Day will be held on 20 May.

Read the full story here.

​A Czech Air Force Gripen has been confirmed to participate at the annual Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton International Air Day 2017.

According to Yeovilton Air Day's Facebook channel​, the Czech Gripen's routine is expected to feature spectacular flare launches. Gripen's display during it's last visit to Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton won the Best Fixed Wing Display award.

The first RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day was held in 1947. About 40,000 visitors are expected to attend the show which will feature over five hours of flying and static displays by UK and international participants.

Besides flying displays, there will be other ground attractions like arena displays, simulators and fairground rides. RNAS Yeovilton Air Day 2017 will be held on Saturday, 8 July. 

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It is 10:25 in the morning at Čáslav air base and the sunrays are only just beginning to stream through the morning fog. There is no wind, all one can hear is the whistling sound of two Gripen fighters leaving their hangar. Soon, the whistle turns into a roar as the fighters ascend towards the sky. This is how a typical morning at the air base looks like.

The Czech Republic has been using Gripen system for over ten years to protect its airspace. The country also uses the fighters for NATO missions in countries like Iceland.

"The fighters are on constant standby to identify, escort, and if necessary, fight invasion of Czech airspace. Additionally, they also provide support to civil aviation, including escorting and providing guided landing of civilian aircraft, in case of technical failure or bad weather conditions,” says Jan Ducha, Ground Personnel commanding officer of the Czech Air Force.

Recounting his experience at this year's NATO Tiger Meet exercise in Saragosa, Spain, Jan says that Gripen is very easy to use and requires less staff as compared to other similar aircraft. Other countries participating with other aircraft systems brought up to 25 people per aircraft. To fly a Gripen, one needs only one pilot, one engineer and a mechanic (per aircraft), Jan adds. 

"What use is an aircraft of, if it is in a hangar, waiting for spare parts or if you need so much staff to attend to it that you cannot afford to fly ...

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Hungarian Gripen fighters have been scheduled to perform aerial displays after almost seven years at the NATO Days in Ostrava & Czech Air Force Days this year.

Hungarian Gripen fighters have participated in the Czech event many times before but it was mostly kept on static display. This year, a Hungarian Gripen will perform aerial display along with a Czech Gripen.

‘NATO Days in Ostrava & Czech Air Force Days’ is the largest and the most popular air-defence technology event in the Czech Republic and Central Europe. About  200,000 visitors attend the event every year.

The event will on 16 and 17 September this year at Ostrava Leos Janacek Airport.

Read the full story here.

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Last week, Czech and German fighters executed a joint training in the airspace of the Federal Republic of Germany. Two Czech Gripen fighters carried out aerial fights with two German Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft.

The agreement to conduct the joint training regime was signed on 15 February in Brussels by the Czech and German Defence Ministers, Martin Stropnicky and Ursula von der Leyen. "The document confirms our resolution to create more intensive joint training scenarios and, at the same time, share our knowledge and experiences. Germany is one of our key strategic partners both inside and outside the NATO region," said Martin Stropnicky.

The exercise was carried out to increase mutual cooperation and improve inter-operability between the armed forces of the two countries. 

The one-and-half-hour training consisted of three combat scenarios. The flights were carried out within the format of aerial combat manoeuvring 2 on 1, 1 on 1, and 2 on 2 combats. The joint training is being conducted once in every two weeks.

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Czech Republic’s Ministry of Defense recently announced that it is in the process of procuring Gripen fighter terminals that will allow them to ensure classified data communication. 

Petr Medek, Defense Ministry spokesman, stated that using these terminals in the avionics of the existing Gripen aircrafts will help increase the operational capabilities in the area of classified communication. The technology is also needed for the aircraft to be full-fledged participants in Joint Alliance operations.

Czech Republic will be acquiring 15 terminals, of which 14 will be incorporated into the existing 14 aircraft and 1 will be a spare. 

The Czech army currently has a total of 14 Gripen aircraft on lease. The terminals purchased, however, will be completely owned and operated by the Czech army. 

Read the full storyhere​.

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