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At Paris Air Show 2013, Saab announced that it is working on an unmanned version of Gripen to keep the program viable for another 30 years, reports  Bloomberg.

"The concept would follow the development of the Gripen E, an upgraded model of the jet Saab is developing for the Swedish and Swiss air forces," Saab CEO Hakan Buskhe said.

The Bloomberg report says that the emergence of increasingly sophisticated air defenses is driving military planners around the world to explore greater use of unmanned planes to mitigate risk to personnel. Describing the concept, Hakan Buskhe, in his presentation at the Paris Air Show 2013 said that customers can acquire a fleet of aircraft that can operate both manned and unmanned as per the need; the dull and dangerous tasks can be remotely piloted. It would be an optionally manned version and hence a more cost effective solution. 

In an interview with  Ny Teknik, Eddy De La Motte, Head of Gripen Export says, “There was a huge amount of interest and we got a lot of questions about the new concept.” 

Read the full story:  

Saab Working on Unmanned Gripen to Keep Combat Jet Competitive

"Valfritt flyga Gripen med - eller utan pilot"​

You can watch the webcast of the Gripen briefing by Hakan Buskhe, President and CEO, Saab at the Paris Air Show 2013:  Breaking The Thought Barrier​

Hungarian Gripens were recently sent to participate in Adriatic Strike 2013, a five day long military exercise in Slovenia, reports honvedelem

The exercise focussed on Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) which refers to a soldier who operates a special system and is constantly in touch with the staff of the nearby combat aircraft, providing them with information for attacking a target. 

“In practice, this means that the land based force and the air force have to work towards the same end.  JTAC is the link that supports this”, says Brigadier General Albert Sáfár.

Besides Hungary, soldiers from Slovenia, America, France, Croatia, Montenegrin, Italy and Austria also participated in the exercise.

Read the full story:Csapás az égből

Gripen at Axalp  Liander 5095.jpg
“There are many Thurgau companies that offer specialized, high quality and competitive products and can be viable partners for companies like Saab,” says Thurgau based economic promoter Marcel Räpple.

In an interview with Swiss dailyTagblatt​, Marcel Räpple says that he can see good opportunities for eastern Switzerland in the Gripen E programme. 

“Saab has obtained a comprehensive overview of the industrial capabilities of Eastern Switzerland. This increases the chances of our economy benefiting suitably in conjunction with the potential fighter jet purchase. From this perspective, the economic offices in the cantons of St. Gallen, Thurgau and both Appenzells have supported the information event initiated by Saab,” Räpple says.

Read the full story:Ostschweiz ist bei Saab jetzt ein Begriff

“The potential to sell Gripen is greater today than it was five years ago. This is because Gripen is cost-effective,” says Hakan Buskhe, President and CEO, Saab.

A news report in SVD highlights that with reduced defence budgets, the demand for economical fighter aircraft is bound to rise.

SVD quoted Hakan Buskhe saying "We are, in fact, the only ones who have broken the cost curve. Gripen C became cheaper than the Gripen A. Gripen E gets even cheaper.”

The report adds that Saab is planning to sell more Gripen C aircraft during the current decade and is also aiming for the next big step:  to develop an unmanned aircraft.

Hakan Buskhe assures the Swiss taxpayers that they do not need to worry as the future costs will not be higher than what Saab and the State has agreed to.

“I deem the risk that costs would increase is equal to zero. I guarantee the price we signed on. It is actually unique for a company to give something like this in writing," says Håkan Buskhe.

Read the full story:  Saabchefen förbereder förarlös version av Gripen​


There was a great deal of interest in the "optionally manned" Gripen concept presented by Saab at the Paris Air Show on Wednesday. You can watch the webcast of Gripen briefing from Paris Air Show - 'Gripen The Crown of Swedish Aviation Industry' by Mr. Lennart Sindahl, Senior Vice President and Head of business area Aeronautics  here​.

​Gripen Chief Test Pilot Richard Ljungberg is at the Paris air Show where he talks about the main advantages of flying the Gripen.

“The main advantage of flying the Gripen for the pilot is the displays and situational awareness that he gets when he is in the air. I have good control over what is around me. Also, the ease of operating a Gripen is there. It is a pilot friendly aircraft,” Richard Ljungberg says.

Paris Air Show1.jpgSweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt at Saab pavilion​

During Paris Air Show, many people took the opportunity to visit the companies that exhibit their products and systems. On Monday, Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt visited Saab's pavilion where many thought provoking products are on display. Carl Bildt was shown the tactical UAV system Skeldar, the Gripen simulator and the Remote Tower concept.


Saab´s CEO Håkan Buskhe presenting Gripen in the 'Breaking The Thought Barrier' web cast at Paris Air Show


Visitors listening to the Hakan Buskhe's briefing at the Saab pavilion

Check out here:Saab At Paris Air Show


The interest for buying Gripen has increased since the governments of Sweden and Switzerland have decided to buy the new version of the plane.

”We have about 15 countries who are interested in Gripen”, Saab´s CEO Håkan Buskhe told Svenska Dagbladet ​at the air show in Paris.

Read the full story: Stort intresse för Gripen i Paris​​

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The Swiss industry will benefit from the Gripen purchase through direct and indirect offsets, says a news report in the Swiss magazine Tagblatt adding that some eastern Swiss companies have already initiated talks with Saab for business partnerships.

According to the report, Karin Jung, director of the Office of Economics in Appenzell believes that Gripen purchase would be beneficial for eastern Switzerland. "This is why we pushed for the Gripen Roadshow to come to Eastern Switzerland," she says on behalf of her colleagues in the cantons of St. Gallen, Thurgau and Appenzell Innerrhoden.

Saab has been active in Switzerland for decades and has operations in Bern, Thun and Meyrin. The report also mentions that Willi Weder, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at WZW Optic AG in Balgach, has had very good experience with Saab and its offset transactions. “For over 25 years, we have been working with Saab and we are generating an annual turnover of around one million francs from these offset transactions,” he says.

Read the full story:  Am Netzwerk von Saab teilnehmen​

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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. 

The reference to articles and news reports does not imply endorsement or validation of the views of the authors of the stories.

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