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“The weapon systems and avionics of RTAF Gripen 39 C/D are the latest available technology, or we can even say ‘state of the art’,” says the RTAF Commander-in-Chief, ACM Prajin Juntong, in an interview with the editor of Battlefield Magazine, Sompong Nondhasa.

Air Chief Marshal Prachin Jantongtook over as the country's 22nd Air Force Commander recently, saying his target was to make the RTAF Asean's best air force within two years. In his interview with the Battlefield magazine, he gives an overview of the RTAF and how he plans to enhance the potentials and capabilities of the air force.

Here is the translated version of his interview:

For future upgrade, how will the RTAF enhance Gripen performances and capabilities, in terms of pilot, weapon system, radar, etc.?

Prajin Juntong: RTAF will continuously upgrade performances and capabilities of the whole Gripen system:    

Pilots and Support Personnel 

Over the years, RTAF has been conducting professional military pilot training, focusing on knowledge, flying skills and experiences. For Gripen pilots, after completing their training in Sweden, they were assigned to SQ 701, completed combat readiness training, and continued tactical training, as well as participated in multilateral exercises. Recently, we sent pilots and technicians to observe the flying training in the Lion Effort exercise. Once every three years, this exercise is conducted among the Gripen user countries with the main purpose of sharing knowledge and experiences in both flying and aircraft maintenance.

As a part of the Gripen 39 C/D Procurement Program, RTAF sent pilots and fighter controllers to train at the Swedish Air Force Tactical Simulation Center, or FLSC, with the objective of further developing flying skills, ...

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Hungarian Gripens were quick and impressive as they received a Tango Alert at the Kecskemét Air Base in the frame of a media event at the beginning of last week, reportsHungarian Business News portal.

This Tango Alert was the training of the Alfa Alert that happened several times in the recent past in the Hungarian Air space. Colonel engineer and Commander József Szűcs says that anything can happen at any time in the air space and last year 32 planes entered Hungarian air space without establishing contact with air control.

Ever since the MiG 29s retired in 2009-2010, a Gripen fleet of 14 aircraft were responsible for the protection of the Hungarian air space. The Gripen fleet was complete in 2007 and it contained 12 single and 2 double seated Swedish fighter jets. Hungarian JAS 39 aircrafts were created for “Jakt”, “Attak” and “Spaning” and participated at a live firing exercise in Sweden at spring 2012.

At the air show organized for the representatives of the media, Brigadier General Nándor Kilián informed press representatives that ever since Gripens completely took over the policing of Hungarian air space, the quality of Hungarian air defence has substantially improved. 

He also mentioned that 10 foreign staff members used to fulfil the tasks of operation, but this number has in time been reduced to three Swedish operators. Reconnaissance and airspace monitoring capacities have improved, and the operation of Gripens at the air base necessitated some renovation work. 

Read the full story:Gripen ...

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In January, a new generation will become ready. A new generation of fighters and pilots, working together to make a difference – to the nations we represent, and to the people we protect. Tune in on 10 January to hear our story.

Watch the teaser here: Gripen NG: Get ready for the new generation

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​Once again Gripen is shown to be the smart choice for operators with cost awareness.

Jane’s recent white paper “Fast Jet Operating Costs Cost Per Flight Hour Study Of Selected Aircraft” shows that the Gripen Operating Costs per Flight Hour – are by far the lowest of all fast jets!

Jane’s comparative study was written by Edward Hunt, a Jane’s Senior Consultant and shows clearly that the Gripen Operating Costs at 4700 USD per flight hour are almost half of its nearest competitor, the F-16 Block 40/50 and less than a third compared with the twin-engined competitors like the Eurofighter, Rafale and F-18 or the F-35 predicted operating costs!.

This study was based on Military / Government figures (all aircraft), disclosed international fighter competition cost figures (Rafale, F-18 E / F, Gripen), manufacturer stated figures (F-35, Rafale, F-18 E / F, Gripen) and IHS Jane’s estimates (all aircraft).

The Operating Costs included: Aviation fuel, consumable supplies, operation and maintenance, unit level manpower, system improvements, capital charges, Depreciation and amortisation.​

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 Read the full story: Gripen operational cost lowest of all western fighters: Jane’s​


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A Swiss TV report recently showed scenes of historical and current Gripen factory in Linköping, reports a blog post in theAirpower blog​.

The TV report shows scenes from the streets of Linköping, probably to show the impact of the presence of Saab's (one of the largest employers in the region) aircraft factory in the city historically.

Read the full story and see the TV report:Swiss TV report shows Gripen factory in Linköping, Sweden

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During the annual Swiss Air Force flight demonstration on 11 October, the Gripen E/F test aircraft made its long awaited Swiss debut in front of thousands of excited spectators at the Axalp-Ebenfluh shooting range. Below is the link to a film  of the performance in the amazing environment.

Watch it here:Saab Gripen at Axalp​

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Today in the Riksdagen (Swedish Parliament), cross party politicians voted overwhelmingly in favour of Gripen next generation fighter aircraft.  

“It is an historic day for the Gripen, with unequivocal home political support securing the next generation fighter, Gripen is now even better placed on the export market.” states Eddy de la Motte, Head of Gripen Export at Saab.  

In the end, 264 members of parliament voted in favour with 19 against the procurement of between 40-60 Gripen fighters.

“We see an immense interest for Gripen more than ever before from countries around the world due to its unrivalled price/performance capability.  At the same time defence budgets are ever more squeezed due to the current economic climate.” states Eddy de la Motte.

The total cost including maintenance and operation is estimated to SEK 90 billion up until 2042. 

Read the full story:Report 2012/13: FöU1 Expenditure 6 Defence and contingency measures - financial year 2013​​

Photo courtesy: Per Kustvik

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Air Internationaltakes the journey through time to mark the completion of the Gripen fleet for the South African Air Force in its December 2012 issue. Guy Martin writes an overview of the South African Air Force JAS 39 Gripen, the most advanced western fighter aircraft operating in the African continent, and the success of the acquisition programme across its different dimensions.

In November 1998, South Africa announced the procurement of 28 Gripens and 24 BAE Systems Hawk MK 120 lead in fighter trainers and became the first export customer for Gripen. The final four Gripens were delivered in August this year after modifying them according to the latest standards.

SAAF Gripen pilots flew their first solo in October 2008. In October 2010, SAAF’s first four pilots successfully completed their first operational conversion course. SAAF Gripens also participated in the security operation of 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup. With around 2214 SAAF personnel deployed for the security at the event and Gripens flying 259 hours, 2010 World Cup was SAAF’s largest defence operation.

“We have learnt so much in terms of its capabilities, which we never would have learnt if it was not for the World Cup. It accelerated both the deployment of our aircraft and the learning process together with its aircrews ability to utilize the weapon system of the Gripen optimally,” Air International quotes Lt Gen Gagiano of South African Air Force as saying.

South Africa was the first Gripen nation to have the BAE systems/Saab/ Carl Zeiss Optronics Cobra Helmet Mounted Display (HMD). The helmet displays both air-to-air ...

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Gripen pilots from various countries attended a two day event recently in Linköping, Sweden to discuss their experiences from the daily use of Gripen, says a blogpost in the Swedish Air ForceForsvarsmakten​.

The seminar started with a story told by by Stig Holmström on how the journey of Gripen started in Linköping and about how Gripen’s first flight happened. This was followed by the pilots telling their experiences with Gripen.

Pilots from Czech Republic and Hungary talked about the experiences of being involved with NATO preparedness along with their normal flight training operations. South African pilots shared their stories about flying in the African heat and how Gripen is being used for various purposes there i.e. from air defence to supporting the chase of poachers in the South African National Parks. 

The seminar concluded with a briefing on the latest development work on Gripen E and the experiences of the Swedish Divisions around ongoing and planned activities.

Read the full story:Gripen seminar in Linköping

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Red Flag 13-2 is going to be held between 21 January and 1 February, 2013. Gripens, along with the U.S. aircraft, Netherlands' F-16s and Singapore's F-16s will participate in the event. 

Red Flag is a realistic combat training exercise which takes place in the north of Las Vegas on the Nevada Test and Training Range. This area, with more than 12,000 square miles of airspace and 2.9 million acres of land, is ideal for military training.

According to Nellis Air Force’swebsite, around 90 aircraft are scheduled to depart Nellis twice every day. There will be 1900 targets, realistic threat systems and enough battle like scenarios for participants to hone their combat skills.

Read the full story: RedFlag 13-2 to be held 21 Jan - 1 Feb

Photo:A Gripen fighter at the Red Flag exercise in Nevada 2008. Photographer: Sara Burlage/Försvarsmakten

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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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