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Last year, Czech pilot 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. This year again, the Czech Gripen pilot performed a spectacular display at RIAT.

Last Saturday, Czech Gripen presented a flare-filled performance for the visitors at   the Yeovilton Air Day in Somerset. Besides the five hour flying display by participants from across the globe, the Air Day also boasted of several ground attractions, from engineering fairs to the latest defence technology exhibitions.


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Complex missions require training and preparation. Held at the Caslav Air Force Base,  Sky Avenger 2018 was one of the advanced training exercises which helped Czech Gripen pilots prepare for missions. Czech and American pilots carried out 153 drills for air raids and aerial refueling during the exercise which concluded on June 29. 

Aside from the Czech Gripen, the L-159 Alca, the Mi-24/35 and Mi-171 (Czech) helicopters, seven F-16 Fighting Falcon and two KC-135 tankers (American) participated in this year’s Sky Avenger,clocking in over 215 flight hours.

The aircraft were put through complex missions simulating real life scenarios from potential foreign operations. Apart from the capabilities of the aircraft, the pilots’ were tested on their ability to coordinate with each other while using air navigation guides and AWACS early warning alliance aircraft.

The Czech army has strong relations with the Nebraska and Texan National Guard, and has been involved in various training events since 1993 with them, including a similar exercise in 2009. 

Read the full report here.        

Image Courtesy: afbcaslav.cz                                                       

Czech Gripen and SwAF's historic aircraft, enthralled viewers at the 12th Airlift Day in Mladá Boleslav. Thousands of ardent viewers attended the event - which takes place every 2 years - to witness first-hand the transition and evolution of fighter aircraft over the years.

The event began in the morning, and as the visitors poured in, they could see an array of fighter aircraft from World War II to the present. Among modern aircraft, the line was led by Czech Gripen, whose many twists and turns and manoeuvres were applauded by the audience. Additionally, planes like Boeing 737 version M and Casa, a transport aircraft, made their appearances. 

Read the full story here

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​Czech Air Force Gripen fighters will join NATO’s multinational air force unit to train with German fighter aircraft, according to Jakub Fajnor, the representative from the Defence Ministry of Czech Republic.

The Minister of Defence, Karla Šlechtová, also signed a letter on Czech Republic’s intention to join the air force unit during a meeting among defence ministers of NATO countries in Brussels.

The cooperation between Czech and German pilots is part of the German Nations Framework Concept (FNC) and will help streamline the operational procedures to allow joint deployment. According to Šlechtová, "Participating in the multinational air force unit is a great opportunity to demonstrate the outstanding capabilities of our pilots to our allies within NATO and at the same time learn from them". 

Read the full story here

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Five Czech Gripen fighters will be deployed for another mission in the Baltic States in the second half of 2019.

The fighters have been earlier deployed in the Baltic States in 2009 and 2012. For the previous missions, five Gripen fighters and about 95 personnel, mostly from the 21st Air Force Base of Caslav, have been sent.

Czech Gripens' NATO air policing of the Baltic States is in favour of the NATO Integrated Air Defence System – NATINADS. As a part of the air policing mission, Gripen pilots are at the ready 24*7, and are expected to take-off within 15 minutes of being alerted.

Read the full storyhere.

Image Courtesy: afbcaslav.cz

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Between 18th and 29th of this month, Czech Gripen pilots will train with USAF pilots as a part of an international military exercise Sky Avenger 2018. The exercise will be held at the Czech air base in Caslav, 80 km east of Prague.

“Arrivals of F-16 and KC-135 are scheduled for Friday, June 15. The exercise will be started with introductory briefings, and the first flight events will take place in the afternoon,” said Tomás Maruščák, a senior management representative at the air force base.

Sky Avengers 2018 is planned in two stages. In the morning, fighters will take part in Composite Air Operations or COMAO missions. In the afternoon, the pilots will practice aerial combat and direct air support tasks. Ground handling procedures and aerial refueling will also be a part of the training process.   

The Czech Air Force, along with the supersonic Gripens, will deploy L-159 Alca Battalions from the Caslav base, and Mi-24/35, Mi24/35 and Mi-171 helicopters from Namest nad Oslavou, south Moravia. 

Czech Air Force's collaboration with the Texas and Nebraska National Guard began in 1993 with a goal to assist Czech forces in joining NATO. Over the years, the cooperation has grown to include commanding, cyber security, and protection against weapons of mass destruction.  

There will be a Spotter’s Day on June 20th when aviation enthusiasts can take pictures or make videos at the air base. Photoshoot will be organized one hundred meters from the take-off and landing ...

The Čáslav Air Base had sent four Gripen fighters to participate in the NATO Tiger Meet 2018 last month. With 47 flights in total, these fighters logged in more than 54 hours in the air.

One of these Gripen fighters, which had a motif that celebrated 100 years of the Czechoslovak Air Force, also won the third prize for the most beautiful camouflage.

​Take a look at how Czech Gripen with different motifs on their tails perform various exercises at the NATO Tiger Meet 2018.

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

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 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 neighbour, the Czech Republic, has been successfully operating a fleet of 14 Gripen fighters for more than a decade now. As per a cooperation plan signed earlier by the two countries, if Slovakia selects Gripen, it will be able to share the cost of maintenance and pilot training with the Czech Republic.

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Commemorating 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

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