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"It is our turn now," says Eddy De La Motte, Head of Gripen export in an interview recently talking about the prospects of Gripen in global markets. Responding to questions on the eve of Aero India, Eddy says that Saab wants to enable India in its aerospace ambitions and believes that the Gripen technologies should be a part of that equation. Here are the excerpts.

How is the Gripen performing in the international market?​

Saab has had a terrific year. The Swedish Parliament voted overwhelmingly for the next generation Gripen, following on the heels of the agreement with the Swiss Government. The Swedish Government has now announced that Sweden will buy 60 Gripen E fighter jets from Saab and has given the approval to Swedish Armed Forces to place a contract with Saab, and we are expecting it early this year. 

Among other milestones from 2012, the extended Gripen lease from Hungary and the delivery of the final aircraft of the South African order are key.

As we see the various opportunities around the world, Saab’s goal is to export at least 300 Gripens within the next ten years. When this objective is achieved, Saab will have 10 percent of the available market. 

There is a real potential to sell 300 Gripen aircraft. It is not unrealistic. Since our new version is more fuel efficient and can carry more cargo than our twin-engine competitors, it has opened up new markets for us. Gripen's low operating cost is a key advantage.

We see an immense interest for ...

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The  Air Force Blog says that the Red Flag 2013 went well from a Swedish perspective. The Swedish team completed almost all planned businesses. All the missions were completed with high precision and they were able to effectively defend themselves against hostile air defense. They were able to operate in the dark, collaborated on the L16 and perform tactical AAR.

The Swedish contingent commander, Colonel Anders Segerby said that the experience gathered at the Red Flag is going to be very helpful. "Soon, the data from the mission would be analyzed. The experience gathered at the exercise would be invaluable if the unit is involved in a situation to defend Sweden and also for international efforts like the Libyan Mission in 2011," he said.

Photo Courtesy: Air Force Blog

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Aero India 2013 at Bangalore was an occasion for Flight Test Director Ola Rignell and Gripen Top Gun Shashank H R to catch up on the progress of the Gripen NG program and talk about the Gripen. It was also good time to catch up on the two years since Shashank won the coveted Gripen Top Guns contest and took his seat on the magnificient machine.

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Gripen7.jpgGripen Top Gun Shashank HR interacting with Ola Rignell, Flight Test Director, Saab

Gripen 8.jpgLeft to Right: Jan-Ake Bramby, Gripen Campaigns, Gripen Export, Aeronautics, Joanna Sjolander, Marketing Director, Aeronautics​, Robert Bjorklund, Vice President, Head of Air Domain, Saab, Anna Sverker, Senior Manager, Product Integration, Saab Aerosystem and Ola Rignell, Flight Test Director, Saab​

​Hakan Buskhe, President and CEO of Saab said at the Aero India 2013 yesterday, "India is one of the largest market for defence and security. We can offer technology transfer and partnership. I believe we have a good future in India." 

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“We need to be very efficient for the development of the next version of the Gripen,” says Flight Test Director, Saab, Ola Rignell, at a session on Flight testing of Gripen E - the Next Generation Gripen, at the Aero India 2013 International seminar.

Ola Rignell gave a presentation on the challenges faced during the testing of Gripen E and about finding the technical solutions to overcome them.

Speaking during the technical session, Mr. Rignell said, “Budget of the Swedish defense forces is limited as Sweden is a fairly large country with a small population of about 9 million people, which means that we have to do things differently. To produce an aircraft like Gripen we need to have a grown technology and a competent arena.”

Within the Swedish flight test community; there are three different players: Saab, FMV (the procurement agency) and the Swedish Air Force operational test unit. All the three agencies have worked very closely throughout the Gripen history, but are now to do even better.

“So far, together, we have managed to produce Gripen A/B and Gripen C/D. The C/D version is operational in five different countries. The Gripen A/B became operational in 1995 and by the year 2003, the C/D version became operational,” said Mr. Rignell.

“In the A/B verification, we started off with the five tests of the basic airframe and then we had to continue with the single seat verification. Simultaneously, we started off with the development of the B version. The development ...

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Indian Ambassador to Sweden Banashri Bose went to visit Östergötland at the invitation of County Governor Elisabeth Nilsson Harrison where she paid a visit to the SAAB Gripen facility in Linköping as well.

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By Shashank H R

On a cold January morning, I lined up my Gripen on Runway 09 at Yelahanka, slammed the throttle forward to full afterburner power and took it off the ground. After pulling off a few aerobatic manoeuvres in the clear blue sky, I returned for landing. But, hold it right there! All of this was done only in a PC-based flight simulator for the purpose of entering the unprecedented ‘Gripen Top Gun’ contest which was held by the connoisseur of defence and aerospace products, Saab, prior to Aero-India 2011. 

The grand prize for the winner was going to be a flight in one of the world’s most technologically advanced, multi-role combat aircraft, the Gripen. Having been an aircraft enthusiast for years, I had learnt about the outstanding capabilities of the Gripen, witnessed its performance at one of the previous air shows, and considered a flight in the aircraft truly an honour. This is exactly why I wanted to win!

Almost a month later, on a busy, routine day, there came a moment of big surprise; my heart literally skipped a beat after the contest organizers themselves called me for a quick telephonic interview. And on the day that followed, I was informed that I have been selected as one of the five finalists out of the 2500 participants. At this point of time, I was really on cloud nine!!

On 12th of February, the four other potent finalists: Kasmera Shah, Shaival Sheth, Selween Mascarenhas and Chiranth ...

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Not many Air Force pilots have assisted in leading an Air Force of more than fifty aircraft in attack. However, this has been done twice during the Red Flag this year, reports forsvarsmakten.

According to one of the pilots, the planning for such a mission begins about 36 hours before the aircraft takes off with an Air Tasking Order (ATO) issued.

The ATO describes the task assigned to each unit, number of aircraft that will fly along with their strategies. There is also a section describing generally what applies to the mission, acceptable risk and higher managerial objectives. In this case, it is about breaking through enemy air defenses to eliminate the enemy's ability to conduct terrorist operations and ability for chemical warfare.

After all the preparations and briefs and a final inspection of the aircraft, a group of commanders and four Gripens (loaded with missiles and GBU-49) are all set for the mission.

"War starts when the escort begins to sweep the area and I note with satisfaction that it is quite good to have stealth aircraft on our side. The escort followed by SEAD aircraft start to disrupt and destroy the enemy air defense positions. In the end it is our turn and we follow in their tracks on the way towards the target area", says blogger writing under the name Captain "Tank".  

Read the full story:  Swedish pilot leads mission on great exercise​

Image Courtesy:  forsvarsmakten​

Eddy de la Motte, Head of Gripen Export, comments on the F-16 replacement process in the Netherlands

2013 will be an exciting year for the Dutch Air Force and for Dutch politics. The reason: there is a decision to be taken on the new fighter to replace the outdated F-16s, says a report in  Een Vandaag​.
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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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