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Czech Gripen8.jpg
Once in every two years, Czech Air Force's 21st Tactical Air Base hosts an Open Day at Čáslav airport. This year, the excitement would be triple as the event is combined with celebrations of 10 years of the Czech Gripen programme and the Lion Effort 2015.

As per a report in, the event would consist of aerial and static demonstrations and various activities for children. In 2013, Open Day had 50,000 visitors, and this year, more number of visitors are expected.

Open Day will run parallel with the Lion Effort 2015 which will be held between 11 and 24 May. Lion Effort is one of the biggest Gripen exercises and it brings various Gripen users together.

For Gripen enthusiasts, Open Day is an important event this year as it provides a unique opportunity to see Gripen fighters from Hungary, Czech Republic, the UK, Sweden, Thailand and South Africa, all at one place.

Open Day is scheduled for 23 May this year.

Know more about the event here​. video throws light on some of the points that will be included in the upcoming bi-lateral cooperation​

In future, there will be an increased degree of interoperability between the Swedish and Finnish air forces, reports

As per the final reports on the deepened cooperation between Finland and Sweden, the concrete proposals include joint operations, joint use of air bases and joint combat command capability. 

The advantages of the cooperation between the air forces include improved operational capabilities aiming to increase security in a regional context, flexible use of resources and increased cost-efficiency.

Read the full story: Final reports on deepened defence cooperation between Finland and Sweden​

Video Courtesy:TV4Nyheterna​

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Gripen at Norrbotten Wing (F21) conducted night operations last week as a part of a training process that started in October 2014.

In Sweden, a large part of the day is dark during the winter months and hence the night trainings are actually conducted during daylight hours these days.

Image Courtesy: Norrbottens Flygflottilj F 21


During the Cold War, Sweden heavily relied on conducting combat missions with dispersed assets. There were a number of dispersed air bases that the Swedish Air Force used, including regular as well as shorter runways that were about 800m by 16m.

It was important to develop an aircraft that could take off rapidly and take-off and land on those short and narrow road bases. STOL (short take-off and landing) capabilities were therefore needed.

Gripen was hence designed to use roads as temporary runways, allowing the Swedish Air Force to use logistical flexibility and speed to keep an invading force at bay.

Gripen’s minimal take off and landing is between 500 and 600 meters. After landing, a small ground crew can refuel and rearm a Gripen in ten minutes. To change an engine takes less than an hour and can be done by one specialist officer and five trained conscripts.

Read more about Gripen’s capabilities here​.​

On 22 January, two dozen students, out of which eight will be future Gripen pilots, graduated at their Flight School in Malmslätt outside Linköping and received their sought after Wings, reports Forsvarsmakten​.

For the last one year, these 24 students have been flying training aircraft Saab SK 60 which has been serving the Swedish Armed Forces since 1967. A new, upgraded version of the SK 60 was introduced in autumn 2013 with features like GPS system and other navigation aids to help the pilot navigate more precisely.

In his message to the young pilots, Major General Micael Bydén said, “Getting the wings after passing the basic flying training and graduating, is a milestone in a pilot's career. The wing is a sign that you have reached a certain level. You should be very proud of these wings.”

Besides the eight pilots who will continue to train to become Gripen pilots, four graduates will move on and learn how to fly C 130 Hercules or Saab 340, and the remaining 12 graduates, two of which are women, will fly helicopters.

All the 24 graduates have to take on further courses before they are ready to be placed at an operational Air wing. The next phase is called GTU which is a Basic Tactical Training where the pilots will learn to practice more advanced and tactical exercises.

Read the full story:  Drömmen blev verklighet

Image Courtesy:Forsvarsmakten

On January 16, Carl-Johan Edstrom took over as the flotilla manager at Norrbotten Wing. In an interview with Forsvarsmakten, the Gripen pilot talks about Nordic Cooperation and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Edstrom’s career as a fighter pilot started in 1990 and six years later he was the Group Manager at 212.stridsflygdivisionen. Since then he has held a number of positions. He was also the Operation Commander of the Swedish air operation over Libya in 2011.

“I am still active as a pilot with flight service on both the Gripen and SK 60. During my career I have flown more than 2500 hours of combat and flight school,” Edstrom says.

According to the new flotilla manager, the biggest challenge is to recruit, train and retain soldiers, civilians and officers for missions. However, he stresses that there are opportunities for the Wing as well.

“There have been major geopolitical changes in our region in recent years. F 21 and the war troops will play a central role in asserting Swedish territorial integrity, safeguarding Swedish interests and promoting safety. Wing's active involvement in the Nordic cooperation contributes to increased security in our region,” Edstrom says.

Read the full interview: Tillbaka till flottiljen – som chef

Former air display pilot Martin Hansson has received the F17 Medal of merit in silver for his valuable work, reports Kent Löving of Forsvarsmakten

Hansson was air display pilot between 2007 and 2014. He performed his last Gripen air display at the Danish Air Show 2014, Karup.

“Martin Hansson has made great personal sacrifices as an air display pilot to market the Defense force, Air Force, and F17. He has done it for many years without incidents and in his work has shown proof of independence, humility and inspiration. Martin Hansson has very much personally contributed to the Blekinge wing’s good reputation,” the report adds.

About flight demonstrations, Hansson said last year that though it is a standard program, sometimes he would add something extra while performing his stunts. 

"A demonstration program includes the most advanced maneuvers that pilots can do with Gripen and it can be mentally tiring," he said.

Read the full story: Uppvisningspilot får förtjänstmedalj

Image Courtesy: Forsvarsmakten

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  NATO Days in Ostrava & Air Force Days at Mošnov airport in September this year.

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 ...

Gripen blog Dec 22.jpg

​A Gripen pilot took photographs of Russian military aircraft involved in exercises over the Baltic last week, reports the Expressen​.

The exercise is described by the Armed Forces as second to none and of a size not seen since the Cold War. The Swedish incident preparedness went up several times during the exercise.

Armed Forces identified planes that included a TU-95, strategic bomber capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

"This is the worst we have seen since Cold War days", says Göran Mårtensson, Director of Operations for the Swedish Armed Forces.

Read the full story: Här är JAS-piloternas bilder på ryska planen

Čáslav in the Czech Republic will host tri-annual exercise Lion Effort, starring the Gripen C/D in all roles, in 2015. Several Gripen operators will participate in the exercise.

Lion Effort presents a great opportunity for various Gripen operators to not just train together but to also share best practices and operational know-how with each other.

The first Lion Effort exercise was held in 2009 in Hungary, while the second was held in Sweden in 2012. In 2012, four of the five Gripen operating nations participated in the exercise. Royal Thai Air Force Gripen were not present but observers from the Air Force attended the exercise.

Lion Effort consists of various planned and unplanned missions followed by brainstorming sessions during which participants raise questions and suggest ways of refining the plan. The exercise provides a platform for testing the operational deployment ability of the Gripen and training of air and ground crews in multinational operations.​

Image Coutesy: Peter Liander​

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