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Thai News Agency (TNA) reported recently that with the delivery of the final three Gripens, the Royal Thai Air Force aspires to become a leading force in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) by 2019.

According to a report in, General Thanasak told journalists that other countries have praised the Royal Thai Air Force's procurement of Gripen fighters, and that it will integrate its information system with the Royal Thai Army and the Royal Thai Navy in the future.

On 11 September, the Royal Thai Air Force declared the Gripen Integrated Air Defense System commissioned as a fully operational part of the air force at its home base, Wing 7 in Surat Thani. The Gripen Integrated Air Defense System (GIADS) paves the way to develop RTAF’s network to connect all three military services so that they are able to jointly operate under the concept of Network Centric Operations (NCO).

“The Gripen fighters will become part of Asean's peacekeeping forces when the Asean Community (AC) is formed by 2015,” General Thanasak said.

Read the full story:  Royal Thai Air Force Targets To Become Regional Leading Force By 2019

Just five and a half years after the signing ceremony in Stockholm February 2008, the undertaking by Sweden to provide the Royal Thai Air Force with 12 Gripen C/D aircraft, two SAAB 340 AEW, radar and other systems, training and on-site support in a project called Peace Suvarnabhumi nears completion.


Members from Royal Thai Army, Royal Thai Navy, Royal Thai Air Force, the Police Force and the Swedish Ambassador Klas Molin in front of the Gripen fleet

Supreme Commander of the Thai Armed Forces, General Thanasak Patimaprakorn and Thai Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong

Lunch at the inauguration ceremony

Swedish Ambassador to Thailand, Mr. Klas Molin hands over a Gripen model to Supreme Commander of the Thai Armed Forces, General Thanasak Patimaprakorn


Despite the technological and logistic complexity, geographical distance and time difference, this project has run on time, thanks to dedicated stakeholders and skilled staff in both countries. It is the first large defense project by Sweden in Asia. 

The latest stamp of approval of this bilateral success came on 11 September as the Royal Thai Air Force declared the Gripen Integrated Air Defense System commissioned as a fully operational part of the air force at its home base, Wing 7 in Surat Thani.

General Thanasak Patimaprakorn, Supreme Commander of the Royal Thai Armed Forces, officiated over the ceremony along with RTAF Commander ACM Prajin Juntong and high ranking representatives from the Royal Thai Army and the Royal Thai Navy, watched by Thai and Swedish guests, diplomats, press and foreign military attachees stationed ...

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The outgoing Czech Government yesterday decided to mandate the Ministry of Defence to prepare and process amendments to the lease contract of 14 Gripen JAS 39 aircraft that would extend the lease by a further 12 years with an option for an additional two years. The outgoing Government’s recommendation will, if accepted, be signed by the Czech government that takes office following the October 25-26 general elections in the Czech Republic.

Vlastimil Picek, the Czech Minister of Defence in resignation, has been tasked with preparing the amendments to the contract that would enable the lease to be extended by 12 (plus two) years. It will however be down to the next Government to adopt the amended contract. The next step is for the contract to be detailed and formalized in an agreement to be signed by both the Czech Republic and Sweden. 

A news report in IHS Jane had recently quoted Czech Defence Minister Vlastimil Picek saying, "Gripen has proven to be excellent and I want to emphasize that the type of contact - the long-term lease - has proven good as well."

Daniel Boestad, Head of Gripen, Central and Eastern Europe, said, “There can be no doubt that Gripen is the best supersonic fighter solution for the Czech Republic and we are very pleased with the decision of the current Czech Government. The Gripen has proven capability and had provided excellent service to the Czech Air Force over the previous 10-year lease, and as the Gripen producer we ...

​Earlier today the National Council (Nationalrat), which is one of the two chambers in the Swiss Parliament, reached a majority “yes” vote regarding the procurement of Gripen E.

There were several motions and votations made in the Parliament, all positive for the Gripen procurement. The main votation was the endorsement of the procurement with 113 votes for and 68 against. The financing and Gripen fund law were also passed with strong majorities.

The procurement now moves to the other chamber in the Swiss Parliament, the Council of States (Ständerat), where a vote on financing is scheduled for the 18 September, and where a positive vote for Gripen E had been made earlier this year.

​Read more here​.

Swiss company Starrag will supply milling machines worth 7 million Swiss Francs for Gripen E production, reports the Air Power blog.  

"Starrag is both a competent and competitive partner,” says Roland Spiegel, Senior Purchasing Manager at Saab Aeronautics.

According to a  Saab note, Starrag CEO Frank Brinken says, “We share common values, see customers at the centre of our thinking and actions, believe in sustainable long-term business and go the extra mile to surpass customers’ expectations.”

“Working with Saab is a natural match.”

Saab and Starrag have been working with each other since 1992. Starrag’s high tech machines will be delivered in 2015. These machines will produce aluminum details that would need less key and slot joints and fewer notches, allowing bigger and fewer pieces to construct the Gripen E fuselage.

Read the full story:  Empresa suíça fornece à Saab máquinas para produção do Gripen E

Starrag Contract Valued At 7 Million Francs​

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In the  Independent Online​  it says : Pretoria - The Hawks and Gripen aircraft acquired through the 1999 arms deal have proven highly deployable and adaptable, the Seriti Commission of Inquiry heard on Monday. 

SA Air Force combat systems director Brigadier General John William Bayne said last week that the Gripen acquired by SA was not the same aircraft that the Swedish air force flew originally as the climatic and operating conditions in SA differ from that of Sweden. 

“It was designed to operate in different environments and different equivalent areas. The Gripen is well-suited for the African battle-space for the future to support the country as strategic natural asset,” Bayne said.

Another news report in jacaranda fm​ says that Gripen has got a glowing review by the Seriti Commission of Inquiry.

The report quotes John Bayne saying, “Compared to previous fighter planes, the Gripen generally had an edge because of its night vision capabilities, though South Africa's acquisitions were not yet fitted with this competence.“

"The cockpit is designed to be able to operate with night vision goggles. This gives the crew the ability to see at night. This technology is well established in our helicopter line and has been used extensively.”

Bayne told the commission that the aircraft were also "gender friendly".

"We have three female fighter pilots currently. One of them is fully qualified on the Gripen and has flown in exercises," he said.

Read the full story:Hawks, Gripens met requirements

Arm Deal ...

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Gripen fighters were patrolling the skies to secure President Barack Obama’s visit to Stockholm, Sweden on 4-5 September.

Besides Gripen, the Armed Forces’ Erieye systems and radar surveillance systems Giraffe AMB provided surveillance over Stockholm’s airspace during the visit. The area around the radar sites were temporarily designated as protected areas.​

Read more: Försvaret hjälper till att skydda Obama​​

Image Courtesy: Stefan kalm

Thailand Gripen.jpg
Three SAAB Gripen C aircraft ordered by Thailand safely arrived 4 September at their home base Wing 7 in Surat Thani, Thailand. The aircraft were received by happy RTAF pilots and officers. 

These were the last of twelve Gripen C/D aircraft Thailand agreed to purchase in a G2G integrated air defense agreement with Sweden signed early 2008. RTAF will inaugurate the operational ´Gripen Integrated Air Defense System´ on 11 September with a ceremony at Wing 7. 

The ferry flight took off from Linköping, Sweden, 30 August, on a route that took them to Greece, Jordan, Qatar, Oman and India before Thailand. They spent a total of 16.5 flight hours before touch down at Wing 7.

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The Swedish Air Force, with the Gripen, won the prestigious main “Smik Trophy", the prize for the best flying display during the show at the Slovak International Air Fest (SIAF) 2013 last weekend.

SIAF, organised by Slovak aviation agency (SAA), is one of the most important air shows in Central and Eastern Europe with around 700 participants. Visitors at the event got a chance to ask their queries about Gripen, take pictures, sit in the Gripen simulator, and experience the sensation of controlling the state-of-the-art supersonic jet.​

The Air Fest was attended by around 100,000 visitors.

​At the recently held International Air Demonstrations Air Show 2013 in Radom, Poland, Czech Gripen’s aerial performance gained as much attention as its special new scheme applied on its tail, fin and canard.

The first AIR Radom with the participation of international aircraft was organized in 1991. Gripen attended this air show for the first time in 1998. Besides the aerial performances, the event boasts of defence industry equipment displays, photo exhibitions, meetings with historians and aviation writers and even politicians.

This year, the air show was held on 24 and 25 August.​

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