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A fighter aircraft should be able to operate 24 hours. However, night flying is slightly different and comes with its own set of challenges. Hence, night flying trainings are extremely important. 

With the integration of the latest in technology, Gripen is able to detect and destroy a wide variety of targets, even at night or in poor weather conditions. As the human eyes have only limited night vision capabilities, night vision goggles are crucial. The usage of night vision devices goes back as far as World War II. Technological advancements over the years have made these devices more accurate and user friendly for today’s fighter pilots.  

Besides being Night Vision Goggles (NVG) compatible, Gripen is also equipped with high intensity LED landing lights that are NVG friendly and emit significantly less infra-red radiation than a standard halogen light. The New Generation Gripen fighters will be integrated with LED landing lights that will deliver a peak intensity greater than 200,000cd and taxi lights that will have a peak intensity performance greater than 27,000cd.

Along with technology, getting used to the skies during night hours is also very important. The pilots need to get used to visibility difference, extra weight of night vision goggles and limited pilotage (as compared to day-time). 

The Swedish Air Force Gripen pilots conducted night-time missions last week. For the Norbotten Wing, October usually marks the start of the night flying training sessions. The training usually continues for six months with a dedicated day every week. 

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A new year usually means a fresh start and new challenges. Skaraborg Wing is no exception. After 10 years of being an organization that trained pilots of existing Gripen user countries to fly Gripen, it is all set to become a fully operational battle unit, reports Forsvarsmakten​

This transition means there will be increased training and exercises to develop capabilities for combat scenarios. Gripen pilots and technicians at the Air Wing will now undergo training that will focus on making them mission ready. Besides relevant training, more people, new as well as those with experience, will be hired.

Read the full story here.

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Last week, the Swedish Air Force held a traditional Wing Graduation ceremony for pilots who are all set to fly fighters, transport aircraft or helicopters within the Armed Forces. Out of these graduates, eight will fly Gripen. 

One of these pilots who will fly Gripen in future is Christopher Lundgren. He will join the fighter divisions of the F 21 in Luleå. “I have not regretted even a single day here, and today I got the reward for it,” says a very happy Christopher.

These students have been learning the art of flying in the Saab 105 (SK 60) aircraft for the last one year. Now ahead is a year at a fighter division where they will learn everything about the Gripen fighter system before they can call themselves Gripen fighter pilots. We wish them all the best and are looking forward to see them in the Gripen cockpit. 

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Forsvarsmakten​

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The 2015 Gripen photo competition had close to 800 entries. Among many great photos Tom Gagner’s entry stood out. Tom Gagner is a photographer from Kalmar, Sweden.

Read on to know more about the photographer who clicked the winning picture.

Congratulations Tom, what was your reaction when you got the message that you had won the Gripen photo competition?

I was very happy of course and delighted that my photo was chosen. 

What were your expectations when you sent the photo, had you seen some of the others entries on Instagram?

Yes, I had looked at the entries on Instagram and thought that this could be a fun challenge.

Where did you shoot your winning photo?

I shot the photo at Flygdagen 2015 (Air Force Day 2015) in Sweden. I waited some time to get the perfect angel that shows Gripen making a sharp turn.

What was your impression of the Airshow?

I liked it a lot. I usually go to Airshows that are not too far from home. I prefer jets and Draken and Gripen are the ones I really want to see.

Did you have a hard time choosing which photo to send in to the competition?

I had a few other photos but this one was my favourite and it also shows the turning ability of Gripen that fascinates me. I also liked the way the clouds came out in the picture.

Read the full interview here.

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Saab and leading Industrial Group from Italy, Finmeccanica have teamed up to provide electronic warfare systems support to Gripen operators, reports Flightglobal.

According to the report, all Gripen NG fighters will have the Raven ES-05 active electronically scanned array radar, Skyward-G infrared search and track passive sensor and identification friend or foe systems, all of which are made by Finmeccanica.

Last year, Finmeccanica – Selex ES had signed a contract with Saab to deliver 60 Skyward-G IRST (infra-red search and track) systems for Gripen NG fighters. Saab is also offering Finmeccanica’s BriteCloud expendable active decoy as an option for the Gripen.

“BriteCloud is being offered by Saab as the off-board jamming solution for platform protection,” says Mark Hewer, vice-president of EWOS for the company's Airborne and Space Systems division. 

“With the success of the Gripen variants internationally, we are seeing real interest and are in discussions with a number of potential customers."

Read the full story here.

DSC_5818.jpgDSC_5802.jpgLast autumn, the biggest NATO exercise in ten years, Trident Juncture, was held in southern Europe. The Swedish Air Force had participated with six Gripen fighters from air wing F 21. Claes Bernander, Head of the Swedish contingent at the exercise, talks about the missions and the training and flight sessions.

During the exercise, the Swedish contingent was based in Beja, Portugal. The flight exercises were performed both during days and nights. The most challenging mission at the exercise was called Composite Air Operations (COMAO). One of the tasks for the pilots was to act as the mission commander who had the full responsibility of the mission. The mission commander gets 24 hours to plan everything. The coordination with other people is essential for a secure air traffic. The timelines, the detailing and the co-ordination makes the mission really intense.

Flight missions during a large scale exercise like Trident Juncture was about infinite planning, short implementations and infinite evaluation. Bernander highlights the importance of the team to achieve the best result. 

“We are a strong team with a great team spirit and our cooperation with the other countries is excellent. There is no difference in how we get treated as compared to the member countries. We are good in what we do and our skills are in demand,” says Claes Bernander.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Forsvarsmakten

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Saab has received an order from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) for the development and series production of countermeasures dispensers for the Gripen fighter. The order value amounts to SEK223 million.

The order supports development and series production of countermeasures dispensers for chaff and flares for Gripen E and C/D. This will enhance the defensive capabilities of the aircraft.

Work will begin in 2016 and will be completed in 2020. The order involves Saab’s business areas Aeronautics, Electronic Defence Systems and Support and Services.

Here are some more images from the recent "Christmas Tree" formation flight of the Gripen fighters from the Skaraborg Air Wing F7.

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A Swedish Fighter Unit (consisting of the 211th Fighter Division and the 2nd Airbase Battalion) has passed the NATO evaluation which took place a couple of weeks back, reports Forsvarsmakten.

According to the report, the Swedish Unit was training and preparing for this test throughout autumn.

“I am very happy and proud at the moment. The operation normally takes one and a half years to complete. But we have done it in six months. The team spirit is incredible,” says Carl-Johan Edström, Squadron Manager at F 21.

Countries that form NATO's Reserve Forces have to undergo an evaluation every fourth year to ensure that they are up to NATO standards. The evaluation covers the testing of the component parts and capability regarding flight operations.

Post evaluation, the entire unit has been approved as per the NATO requirements. The Unit is now ready to be deployed within ninety days if necessary.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Forsvarsmakten

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The traditional "Christmas tree” formation flight by Skaraborg Air Wing F7 took place yesterday. The formation of ten Gripen fighters flew over ten cities in West Sweden, bringing a Christmas feeling in the air in a special way. It is a very popular flight formation around Christmas and is also a good opportunity for the pilots to practice formation flying with many aircraft.​

Photo courtesy: Henrik Gebhardt​

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