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Czech International Air Fest (CIAF), the largest airshow in the Czech Republic, will be held on 2nd and 3rd September and Gripen will be one of the main attractions to the event.

The video shows Czech Gripen's performance at CIAF 2016.

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Joint exercises with other air forces make for a real test of pilot skills and aircraft capability when pitted against other types of aircraft and pilots trained in very different environments. The Arctic Fighter meet is one such exercise where Gripen pilots test out their skills. Every year, air forces of Sweden, Norway, and Finland participate in this joint exercise with different types of aircraft. 

The Baltic Post reports that the participating aircraft for this year’s exercise includes F-16 and Hornets, apart from Gripen. The Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish Air Forces will train together to develop and improve interoperability, train new pilots in joint missions and improve reaction times to airspace incursions.

According toForsvarsmakten, rigorous preparation of months goes behind this joint exercise. Special emphasis is given to flight safety in these high-risk training missions. This year, the exercise will be held between 21 and 25 August.

Read the full story here.

Photo: Sören Nielsen​​​

​CNBC's Managing Editor Shereen Bhan was in Linköping last week to see what goes behind the production of Gripen E and experience a flight in Gripen.

Bhan traveled to Sweden for CNBC-TV18’s special series ‘Make In India: A New Deal For Defence’. Saab has made public its offer to develop, manufacture and assemble Gripen fighters in India should the country choose it.

Bhan flew with Saab’s Wing Commander Flying, Hans Einerth, who showed her the agility and speed of the aircraft during the 55 minutes sortie. She had the control for ten minutes.

For Bhan, it was a memorable ride. She has almost lived her entire life near air force bases as her father was a fighter pilot. "It was one of the coolest moments of my life," she says.

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He got a flying license before a driver's license. SwAF display pilot Henrik Björling talks about his preparations for Sweden's Flying Day on 26 August.

Henrik, 36, has flown for over half of life. Among the many aircraft he has flown in the last 18 years, Gripen is his favourite. 

"It is one of the most modern aircraft in the world. It is an aircraft built for the pilot to perform at the highest level," he says.

When asked about his preparations for Sweden's flying Day performance, he says, “The exercise will happen this month. Like any other sport, I exercise daily so that I am all ready to play my role in the display. Just an hour before my flight, I stop talking and start with my mental preparation. I review the entire program visually. I check the weather – if it is sunny, windy and so on. And then I get on the plane and just do it!”

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Forsvarsmakten​

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At 10:32 on 15 June 2017, Gripen E took off on its maiden flight, flown by a Saab test pilot. The aircraft (designation 39-8) left from Saab’s airfield in Linköping, Sweden and flew over the eastern parts of Östergötland for 40 minutes. During the flight, the aircraft carried out a number of actions to demonstrate various test criteria including the retracting and extending of the landing gear.

“The flight was just as expected, with the aircraft performance matching the experience in our simulations. Its acceleration performance is impressive with smooth handling. Needless to say, I’m very happy to have piloted this maiden flight,” says Marcus Wandt, Experimental Test Pilot, Saab.

Read more here.

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“Model Based Development for Gripen E will allow tactical functions to be uploaded into the system in a span of days instead of years,” Combitech's CEO Lars Ydreskog said at an event in Linköping earlier this year.

The concept is similar to a smartphone structure wherein, just like apps, subsystems can be easily added or removed. Gripen E's avionics system has separate flight critical functions and tactical features which means the operator can add a new capability or feature without interfering with any flight critical functions.

With model based development, the number of system failures can be reduced by 90 percent and the errors can be rectified in days and not months. Another advantage of this system is that the verifications can be done in simulators which reduce the need for extensive test flights.

“It hereby ends the discussion if model-based development works or not,” Ydreskog said.

Read the full story here.

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Gripen has for the first time undergone a series of test flights with 100% biofuel. This demonstrates that the aircraft can be flown with an alternative fuel and gives valuable knowledge for future possible use of alternative fuel.

“Demonstrating that Gripen can fly with 100% biofuel is an important step in making Gripen future-safe,” says Göran Bengtsson, Director of Research and Technology, Future Business, Aeronautics. “Gaining independence from imports of oil is important from a defence standpoint and opens the way for additional sources of fuel, which creates flexibility. It's naturally also good if we in the long term can contribute to reducing environmental impact from military aviation.”

This was the first time that a single engine fighter flew with 100% biofuel. The flights were conducted with a Gripen D (dualseat) at Saab’s facilities in Linköping and went entirely as planned.

Read the full story here​.​

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During the cold war, Sweden felt threatened by the Warsaw Pact countries. The country needed an aircraft that could outperform and outmanoeuvre a larger force of advanced fighters.

The north of Sweden is an unforgiving land with long, freezing winters and largely unpopulated areas. It presents a harsh environment to operate an aircraft – yet it was this place that gave birth to Gripen.

Defending these vast areas required a fighter that could perform air-to-air, air-to-surface and reconnaissance missions in a single sortie, without the need to return to base for reconfiguration.

Gripen was also designed to use roads as temporary runways, allowing the Air Force to use logistical flexibility and speed to keep an invading force at bay. Easy maintenance and reconfiguration was also vital, as it would need to be performed by Swedish conscripts with only 10 weeks’ training – usually outdoors in freezing, isolated conditions.

Read the full story here​.

​Gripen E is developed with future progress in mind. See this video where Johan, one of our avionics specialists, and Marcus, test pilot, share our thoughts on building a fighter system adaptable for the future. 

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The Swedish Air Force is reportedly spending SEK 2 billion to train for Cold War style operations from road runways, reports Aviation Week​. The expenditure is on road runways and for buying equipment for clearing snow, which will enable SwAF fighters to easily take-off and land in the absence of a proper runway.

Sweden deployed jets on highways and general aviation airfields during the Cold War era when attacks from Soviet Air Force were expected. This practice paved the way for the modern Gripen’s design which allows it to land and take off from roads.

The renewed interest comes from a rise in military activities in the Baltics and enhanced Russian activity in nearby areas. The upcoming exercise Aurora 2017 will also feature dispersed operations and will test the skills of the country’s armed services, national guards and government agencies in the event of a national emergency. 

Read more here.

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Welcome to the official Gripen blog by Saab. This site features information and commentary about the Gripen fighter jet.
 
The Gripen Blog shares stories and discussions on the Gripen aircraft. The Blog does not vouch for the authenticity of the reports from other publications that have been quoted.
 
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