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​Financial Times’s Carola Hoyos used to think that the movie Top Gun had influenced the way fighter aircraft pilots stride towards their aircraft, that their gait is a result of watching the movie too many times. 

When she recently test flew Gripen with Saab’s chief test pilot Hans Einerth, she realized that clearly, there were things that Tom Cruise did not tell.

There really is no other way to move in a G-suit, for the air cavities that run down each leg force the wearer to widen his – or her – gait. Add the helmet, whose oxygen mask makes carrying it anywhere other than wedged between hip and armpit almost impossible, and the Tom Cruise impersonation is complete, she says.

Carola also realizes that It took almost an hour to get dressed for the ride – six times longer than the 10 minutes it takes the Gripen to fly the 150km from Linköping to reach its training area above the Baltic sea.

“Putting on the heavy g suit and testing the oxygen mask brings home like nothing else the dangers involved in putting your body through forces it was never designed to withstand in a plane that has not undergone the safety tests all commercial jets require,” she says.

Chief test pilot Hans Einerth, however assures her that he can fly so calmly that she would think she is sitting on a sofa.

As the duo flies faster than the speed of sound, Carola is in for a surprise ...

_SKA9604 copy.jpgThe joint Parliament and the Swedish Government Committee on Defence Policy's chairman Cecilia Widegren announced at a press conference that the number of Gripen Sweden intends to order has increased from 60 to 70 as per a new proposal, reports Expressen.

According to Widegren, besides the number of Gripen, the number of submarines has also been increased to five in the new proposal. 

The Defence also wants the Swedish combat units to be more accessible and the Swedish Navy to be more active in the Baltic Sea. The new proposal aims to increase the cooperation with other countries and organizations like UN and NATO.

The proposal will be submitted to the government soon.

Read full story: Beredningen vill ha tio nya Gripenplan​

_SKA0023.jpgRecently, aviation magazine AFM took a closer look at the history of Gripen and the factors that keep it ready to meet the future challenges. AFM paid a visit to the Saab development facility in Linköping and talked to Björn Johansson, the chief engineer on the Gripen E/F project about the technology that goes into the development of the new generation aircraft.

According to Björn, when the SwAF looked at potential future threats, it came up with a list of requirements for a new aircraft, including the need for extended range; increased weapons payload and more hardpoints; a MIL-STD 1760E Class 2 weapon pylon interface and further adaptation to modern standards; an upgraded sensor suite with active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar; improved communication and fighter link including satellite communications (SATCOM); an improved EW capability; a quick software-update capability; and a low life-cycle cost.

“The first thing we did was to find an engine that could do the job. It had to be powerful enough, cost effective, and reliable and fit in our existing airframe with reasonable modifications. We basically had two choices – the GE F414-400 or a modified RM 12. The choice fell on the F414, an existing and well proven engine (2.5 million-plus hours) with many of the safety features that were required on the RM 12 already implemented in the basic design. It has more thrust and approximately the same built-in centre of gravity [CoG] as the RM 12 in a similarly sized package. Some initial modifications were made to adapt ...

Gripen_Iceland.jpgIn February this year, Swedish Air Force Gripen flew over Iceland for the first time as a part of a Nordic Air Exercise, reports Expressen.se​.

According to the report, Sweden had sent seven Jas 39 Gripen aircraft from F21 in Luleå to Iceland to participate in this exercise.

“This is a further step forward in NATO’s excellent cooperation with Finland and Sweden: it is the first time that we have flown together over Iceland,” said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

The Iceland Air Meet 2014 (IAM2014) brought together participants from NATO members Iceland, Norway, the Netherlands and the United States, and from partner countries Finland and Sweden, supported by NATO AWACS.  

The exercise continued till 21 February.

Read the full story: Nu flyger svenska Jas-plan över Island

Image Courtesy: Louise Levin/ Swedish Armed Forces​​

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Defence and security company Saab´s new self-protection system ESTL is now airborne. The premier flight was carried out on a Gripen in early June 2014.

ESTL is an efficient self-protection system for virtually any type of fixed-wing aircraft where ESTL is installable on a mission-to-mission basis. Depending on mission profile, ESTL can be configured for different threat scenarios. ESTL provides covert sustainable pre-emptive dispensing, missile warning, forward firing of flares and cocktail dispensing.

“ESTL offers enhanced survivability in combat and conflict situations. Traditional Countermeasures may encounter difficulties with the latest generation of AAMs and SAMs, but the ESTL concept includes a module of forward firing flares. This, together with the missile approach warning sensors and an optional chaff capability, makes ESTL a powerful shield against the latest missile developments,” says Carl-Johan Bergholm, Head of Business Unit Electronic Warfare Systems at Saab. 

Read the full story:Premier Flight For Self-Protection System ESTL​

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Danish Air Show was held last weekend at Karup Air base in Denmark. Saab had a tent in the exhibit area where visitors could get information about the company and Gripen. 

The Swedish Air Force was also there with three Gripen from wing F17 in Ronneby.

The crowd at Karup was mostly Danes but there were quite a few Swedish and German visitors as well. Around 120, 000 people visited the show and they could see an impressive air display from Gripen and also from many other airplanes.

Gripen was also on static display so people could take a closer look and ask questions to pilots and technicians. For the fans of historical airplanes, there were also retired Saab Draken fighters on the ground from the Danish Air Force.

A USAF KC-135 stratotanker refuels the Swedish Gripen off the coast of Sweden earlier this month during the Baltic operations.

The Baltic Operations Exercise (BALTOPS 2014) was conducted out of Powidze Air Base Poland. The exercise aims to improve maritime security in the Baltic Sea through cooperation among regional allies. It provides the participating personnel an opportunity to engage in realistic air combat training to build experience, teamwork and strengthen NATO interoperability.

NATO and military forces from 12 countries including Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden participated in the exercise.​

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Swedish Air Force Gripen will participate in the Danish Air Show this weekend.

Visitors at the event can see Gripen on static display as well as in the air.

The Danish Air Show was initially called “Open House”. The first "Open House" in the Royal Danish Air Force was organized in 1959 and since 1961 it has been a recurring event, which has been held at various airbases all over Denmark. 

To give it a more international image, the name of the event was changed to “Air Show” in 2005.

The Air Show's primary purpose is to inform the public about the tasks the Royal Danish Air Force performs as well and to present the different equipment it uses.

Danish Air Show will be held at Karup Air Base on Sunday 22 June. ​

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The Swedish Air Force Gripen will be on static display and performing at the Royal International Air Tattoo airshow in July this year.

The first Air Tattoo was organized in 1971 with only 100 participating aircraft. The show became international in 1976 and gained prominence with each passing year. 

Now, with over 250 aircraft participating and almost 130,000 visitors attending the show, the Royal International Air Tattoo is considered not only the world's largest military airshow but also one of the UK's premier outdoor events for families.

As Formula 1 racing driver Jenson Button puts it, “All the thrills, excitement and noise of a Grand Prix- but in the air!”

The operational theme at the Air Tattoo this year is ‘Partnership’. The Air Tattoo provides an important focal point for global military engagement at both the strategic and tactical level.

You can watch Gripen’s performance at RIAT 2013 here.

The airshow will be held between 11 and 13 July at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, England.

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Norrbotten Wing conducted Gripen flypasts at a number of locations in north and western Sweden to celebrate the National Day on Sunday.

National Day of Sweden is celebrated in honour of the election of King Gustav Vasa on 6 June 1523 as well as the adoption of a new constitution on the same date in 1809.

Image Courtesy: Norrbottens Flygflottilj F 21

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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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