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Hungarian Gripens will perform air policing over Slovenia and the Baltic states in the near future, under the terms of NATO agreement, says a news report on thewebsite of the Hungarian Government​.

Hungarian Minister Csaba Hende announced at an event held in Miskolc last week that while Hungarian Gripens are expected to participate in the Baltic Air Policing between 2015 and 2018, they will also perform air policing over Slovenia soon.

“Like Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia do not have air forces. On their accession to NATO, it was decided that instead of the costly development of air forces and procurement of aircraft, Slovenia and the Baltic states would focus on other units of their armed forces and declare them to the North Atlantic Alliance. As the airspaces of these states must be defended and guarded too, this task will be carried out by the aircraft of the Hungarian Air Force,” Csaba Hende said.

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Chief of Staff Swedish Air Force Major General Micael Bydén writes in theforsvarsmakten blog about his participation in the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI)’s “Chief of the Air Staff’s Air Power Conference” in London. The theme of the conference was “Strategic Partnerships for Air Power in the future”.

British Defence Minister Philip Hammond and Chairman of the NATO Military Committee Danish General Knud Bartels in their speeches noted that many European countries are facing reduced defense budgets where they would need to reduce volumes both in terms of personnel and material.

Bydénin his presentation on "A Partner Air Force Contribution to Future Conflicts" spoke of the Swedish air force; what it does (actions) and how it does (personnel and equipment).

“It is obvious that we are attracting attention among our international partners. Sweden and Swedish Armed Forces are mentioned in several contexts, including operations in Afghanistan and Libya. This is a positive picture painted by us. Generally speaking, we form a good example for many countries. Although we are a "little country" with limited resources, we supply capability both nationally and internationally. I note that it impresses others”, Bydén concludes in his blog post.

Read the full story:Conference

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Sweden is participating inCRUZEX 2012, being held at Natal Air Base, Brazil, between 4 and 16 November. About 280 personnel from 12 countries and 1800 personnel from BANT have participated in the event that provides a virtual environment for practicing exercise commands and control capabilities.

With personnel from Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, United States, France, United Kingdom, Peru, Sweden, Uruguay and Venezuela, this year's edition of CRUZEX has the largest number of participants ever in the exercise.

This year's CRUZEX, the largest combined air combat exercise in South America, does not have real flights for the first time in its history. 

CRUZEX, coordinated by the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), aims to train air forces in planning joint operations. FAB follows the model used by the North Atlantic Treat Organization (NATO) for international conflicts. Brazilian and foreign military will be able to practice inside the context of a modern unified command and control structure, as well as to exchange experience and knowledge.

Watch the videos of Cruzex 2012

​Sweden will participate in the Red Flag air exercise 2012 to be held between 19 January and 2 February 2013, says aSwedish Government Press Release. Red Flag is a multinational air exercise held alternatively at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada and Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska.

According to Swedish Defense Minister Karin Enstrom, the Red Flag air exercise is important to fully practice with the JAS 39 Gripen and to simultaneously interact with other countries. About 8-10 Gripens would participate in the exercise.

The Armed Forces have previously participated in Exercise Red Flag with fighter units in 2006 in Alaska and 2008 in Nevada.

The purpose of the exercise is to train and prepare pilots for sharp combat situations. The exercise is made up of different parts, performed with increasing difficulty.

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Czech air force pilots completed nine sorties against Russian aircraft that violated the airspace of the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, says deputy commander David Schreier in a report inCTK.

These three Baltic States do not have air forces of their own. Various NATO country pilots are appointed to protect their airspace. This year, the Czechoslovak air force took over the mission from the Polish air force in September.

"We have conducted nine sorties that resulted in us providing valuable information for the NATO anti-aircraft defence system, “Commander Martin Pelda said.

Czechs were appointed to protect the Baltic area for the first time in 2009. As compared to that time, they saw an increased number of violations of the airspace during this year's mission. During the whole period of the last mission, they only had eight sorties.

Read the full story: Pilots started nine times to protect the skies over the Baltics

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Kecskemét neighborhood in Hungary saw an amazing sight as the 14 Hungarian Gripens gave a spectacular in flight display last week. 

A news program onRTL Klubshows an extensive report about the Hungarian Gripens in operation. According to Brigadier General Nándor Kilián, it was an unusual formation flight as all the 14 Hungarian Gripens took part in it.

The report explains the importance of the fleet of Hungarian Gripens and also mentions several successful Alpha Alerts of the past few weeks (4 successful alerts in 60 days). 

Various TV reporters and journalists got the opportunity to watch the historic moment from the board on an An-26 flying at the altitude of 4000 meters.

According to the leaders present at the event, both the pilots and the Gripens performed well during the maneuvers. 

Watch the extensive report:Patrolling the Sky

Watch another video of the display:Hungarian Air Force JAS-39 Gripen 14 ship formation flyby over LHKE

Photo Courtesy: TOPIDOC

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A video of the Czech defence forces captures theBaltic air-policing missionof the Czech Air Force. The mission is a NATO air defence Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) to guard the airspace over the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.Within the Alliance, preserving airspace integrity is conducted as a collective task using fighter aircraft for Air Policing. Air Policing is a purely defensive mission. The Air Force of the Czech republic guarded Baltic states in 2009 and 2012 with JAS-39C Gripen jets.

​Bulgaria’s Defence Minister Anyu Angelov says that Bulgaria will need to buy eight new or used fighter jets for its air force in 2014, and that it might consider Gripen, reportsTengri News.

The purchase of new fighter aircraft has been delayed by Bulgaria till now because of financial constraints. The report says that Angelov rules out the purchase of jets from EADS or Lockheed Martin due to price issues but confirms that there is a possibility of considering Gripen.

"The possibility to buy new Gripen jets is still standing however and will be reviewed on an equal footing with the rest of the second-hand offers," Anyu Angelov says.

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When the Royal Thai Air Force, RTAF, decided to publish a book that celebrates its 100 years of flying (1912-2012), they hired world class military aviation photographer Katsuhiko Tokunaga.

Tokunaga spent several weeks in Thailand this year flying with the RTAF aircraft, from old workhorses like C-130 to the brand new Gripen, shooting spectacular air-to-air photos and equally great pictures of men and machines on the tarmac at RTAF Wings all over the kingdom.

The result is a high quality paper photography book spanning over 176 large pages, with bilingual captions in Thai and English. And yes, there are plenty of great Gripen shots in this volume! 

Book facts: ISBN 9749752511, 176 colour pages measuring 300 x 220 mm. Book comes in hard box. Total weight 1.5 kilo.The book is sold at THB 895 in Asia Books stores in major Thai cities as well as online for slightly less from Asia Books, linkwww.asiabooks.com

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Gripen users from South Africa, Hungary, Czech Republic, Sweden and Thailand came together to share their experiences of operational use of the supersonic fighters at the recently held Gripen conference in Czech Republic, says a news report inDefence Aerospace.

Representatives of the five countries discussed operational issues and maintenance, logistics and safety issues in the use of the Gripen and shared their varied knowledge with each other. The final document of the Conference called "Action List" represents a set of shared knowledge, information and the "know-how" for effective operational use of the aircraft.

"Individual users accumulate different experiences in operating these aircraft, for example, due to different climatic conditions. We share different experiences and information during the conference and found that some of them are very similar. After the evaluation, we can be better prepared for the challenges ahead, “says Czech Gripen pilot, Maj. Petr Michenka.

According to Maj. Michenka, one of the frequently discussed topics at the conference was that of "Aircraft Cross Servicing", which means situations in which a pilot would be able to prepare and leave an airport that does not have the appropriate technical support for the Gripen.

The Gripen User Group conference is held twice a year.

Photo Courtesy: Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic

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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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