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Joint Action 2014, Nordic Battle Group’s first exercise, where all the member countries' units participated together, came to an end this Tuesday.

More than 2400 personnel from seven countries participated in the exercise which was conducted at several locations in central and southern Sweden with Uppsala as the Main Operation Base (MOB).

Swedish Air Force unit members were busy at the Nordic Battle Group’s aircraft division where continuous planning and monitoring of different flight missions were taking place. Forsvarsmakten team caught up with division manager Adam Nelson who was planning a reconnaissance mission.

“I can perform missions similar to what we normally practice at home in our division at F17 in Kallinge with various fighter units here,” Adam Nelson said.

Nelson added that getting the best intelligence possible, including aerial imagery, is crucial for the Force Commander to decide his moves.

The exercise involved the Gripen flying low over the conflict area at first to show the adversary its presence. The next exercise involved aerial reconnaissance. The Gripen’s reconnaissance pod can take high resolution ground photographs from great heights. If needed, the Gripen provides air support by launching attacks on ground targets whose coordinates have been sent across by troops on the ground. 

Read the full story: Peter basar över ett miniatyrflygvapen i Nordic Battlegroup

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Swedish Air Force Gripen, along with allied fighters from Denmark and Finland were scrambled and sent to intercept seven Russian fighter planes over the Baltic Sea, reports SVD.se.

On 28 October afternoon, NATO radars detected and tracked seven Russian combat aircraft which included MiG-31 Foxhound, Su-34 Fullback, Su-27 Flanker and Su-24 Fencer jets.

The Russian fighter aircraft had notified its flight route to air traffic control authorities and were using transponders, but did not maintain any radio contact with civilian air traffic control.

According to NATO, there has been an increased Russian activity in international airspace in several parts of Europe recently. NATO has conducted over 100 intercepts of Russian aircraft in 2014 to date, which is about three times more than the number of intercepts conducted in 2013.

Read the full story: Gripenplan gick upp mot sju ryska stridsplan

Check out this video from the Gotland exercise where marine units along with units from the air force and the home guard practiced protection, guarding, escorting and combat. 

Over five days, naval units practised along with units from the Air Force and the Home Guard in and around the island.  

Third and fourth naval squadron corvettes escorted units from Amfibieregementet during a journey from the mainland to the island. This was backed by Gripen fighters from F17. Upon arrival at Visby harbour, they met troops of the 32nd Home Guard battalion that guarded and protected the harbour.

The exercise tested the preparedness of Swedish units for different situations. It is important to conduct exercises, major or minor, as individual units or in conjunction with others to maintain mission preparedness, says a forsvarsmakten report.


Between 6 and 16 October 2014, Swedish Air Force Gripen pilots were at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland to participate in Joint Warrior, Europe’s largest military exercise.

Joint Warrior is a multinational NATO exercise involving all three of the UK’s Armed Forces – the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force.

With a participation of more than 22 warships and submarines, 52 fixed wing aircraft, and a total of nearly 3,500 personnel from various countries across the globe, Joint Warrior provides a good opportunity to test the incident preparedness capabilities of the Armed Forces.

The two week drill includes a range of modern, realistic simulated scenarios. The participants are divided into red (enemy forces) and blue (coalition forces) teams for practicing air to air wars. Every participating nation gets to be a part of both red and blue team. 

"Since we are a partner nation, operating with NATO countries gives us a lot when it comes to interoperability. Also, different British squadrons have a lot of experience from operations and working abroad and we also get a piece of that knowledge when we co-operate with them," says Lt Col Adam Nelson in an interview with Forces TV​.

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Saab has received an order for Gripen E role equipment, along with support and maintenance equipment worth approximately SEK 5.8 billion.

On 15 February 2013, Saab signed an agreement with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) covering activity for the Gripen E from 2013 to 2026. Also during 2013 three more orders were received , linked to the development and production of Gripen E.

“Work with Gripen E goes according to schedule and budget. This order represents another important step in Saab's commitment to deliver the next generation of the Gripen system to Sweden,” says Lennart Sindahl, Senior Executive Vice President of Saab and Head of Saab's business area Aeronautics.

The order announced yesterday is the fourth one under the Gripen E agreement between Saab and FMV announced on 15 February 2013.​

Read the full storyhere​

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The Gripen fleet at Norrbotten Wing has started practicing missions in dark starting last week, reports forsvarsmakten.

It is not a new practice.Night flying exercises have been conducted for several years and October usually marks the start of the training sessions. This month, pilots at air wing F17 in Luleå, northern Sweden will fly night training sorties every Thursday.

The beauty of night operations in northern Sweden is that it can be conducted during daylight hours, i.e. until 18.00, because a large part of the day is dark during the winter months, the report says.

“Night flying is important for the air force as the aircraft are supposed to fly in daylight as well as night time and in every weather condition,” says Squadron Commander Jörgen Marqvardsen.

According to the report, about 14 night flights will be conducted between October 2014 and March 2015.

Read the full story: Mörkerflygningar på torsdagar

Image Courtesy: Louise Levin

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Swedish Air Force Gripen pilots recently participated in exercise MACE XVI, a leading international electronic warfare training event hosted by Slovakia, reports forsvarsmakten.

The purpose of the exercise was to train methods of overcoming anti-air defences by the use of tactical aircraft in conditions of radio-electronic interference and to practice air combat in fighters.

More than 650 personnel from various NATO countries and Australia and Sweden participated in the exercise. Besides Gripen, participating aircraft included F-16 from Belgium, Denmark and Norway , the German Learjet 40  and the French Rafale.

All the air equipment was being looked after by Sliac Airbase, with the command located in Zvolen and the ground equipment stationed at the training facility at Lest in Central Slovakia.

According to the report, the exercise was a unique opportunity for the participating Swedish Air Force members to test and develop their countermeasure response and effectiveness.

“The Air Force has once again proved itself at international exercises. Thanks to our competent staff who ensured 100 percent availability of the aircraft. We have flown in a variety of missions in different countries. Other nations have appreciated our flexibility and expertise. The experience we bring is invaluable, both in terms of validation of capabilities and improvement needed,” says Pierre Ziherl, Contingent Commander, Swedish Air Force.

This is the second time that Slovakia hosted this exercise. The previous one was held in 2012.

Read the full story: MACE XVI​

Image Courtesy:  forsvarsmakten

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Four Gripen from Air Wing 17 (F17) in Ronneby were at the Estonian airbase Ämari to participate in the 19th BRTE training event between 30 September and 1 October, reports forsvarsmakten​.

BRTEs (Baltic Region Training Event) are routine training events to hone NATO's air capability and exercise rotational NATO Air Policing assets.

It was the first time that the Swedish Gripen were in Estonia to participate in the event along with aircraft from Portugal – F16, Canada’s CF-18, Germany’s EF-2000, Estonia’s L-410, F18, Netherlands’ F16 and Finland’s F18.

"An important goal of this exercise is to practice in cooperation with other countries and thereby increase interoperability,"said Lieutenant Colonel Jorgen Axelsson.

One of the exercise scenarios includes an aircraft that loses radio contact with the radio aircraft control. Other aircraft are then sent to intercept and if needed, escort the unknown aircraft out of the prohibited airspace. 

BRTEs are planned and executed by NATO and Sweden was invited as a member of the Partnership for Peace.

Read the full story: Flygövning i Estland​

Photo Courtesy: Christian Timmig​ (first image) and Kent Löving/ Swedish Armed Forces (second image) 

​In a rare display of its kind, three generations of Saab's fighter aircraft - Gripen, Viggen and Draken - came together to perform a flypast at the recently held NATO Days in Ostrava & Air Force Days at Mošnov airport.

Four Czech pilots - Michal Danek, Ervin Um, Merta and Martin Pelda were awarded at the event for flying a thousand hours in Gripen.

To see the three aircraft together, one usually needs to travel to Sweden. Hence, it was a unique opportunity for more than 200, 000 visitors at the NATO Days in Ostrava & Air Force Days to witness the three Saab fighter aircraft in a flypast.

It was a demonstration that celebrated the past and the present.

Draken takes us to the days of a new beginning; the jet era had already started. Sweden wanted to develop an aircraft that could undertake a combat role unique to the country. It was important for the aircraft to be able to operate from reinforced public roads used as part of wartime airbases and to be refueled and rearmed as quickly as possible. Manufactured between 1955 and 1974, the Draken was first built to replace the Saab J29 Tunnan. The one of its kind aircraft entered service with the Swedish Air Force in 1960 and was successfully exported to Austria, Denmark and Finland as well.

More than a decade later, Viggen was conceptualized with an aim to replace the Saab 32 Lansen in the attack role and later the Saab 35 ...

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Last month, several Swedish Gripen fighter aircraft were sent from Ronneby airbase to intercept two Russian Su-24 Fencer combat planes that violated Sweden’s airspace, reports Expressen.

According to the report, on 17 September, the two Russian combat planes skirted the Polish coast before heading north at low altitude towards the island Öland, in the Baltic Sea. The planes flew a couple of kilometers on the wrong side of the border and quickly turned eastward when a Swedish Gripen intercepted.

The Swedish Armed Forces have refused to comment on the incident before a proper analysis of the situation. According to Expressen’s sources, however, this incident was aimed at testing Sweden’s air defense readiness.

As early as August this year, the Swedish Armed Forces had announced that it had increased intelligence gathering and had called in extra staff to its headquarters over the crisis in Ukraine.

The developments in Ukraine have led to increased training activity in the Baltic Sea. In August, the Swedish Air Force deployed two Gripen fighter aircraft in Gotland where the jets would be in a better position to react quickly to the situation in the Baltic.

Read the full story: Svenskt luftrum kränkt av ryska attackplan

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