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With 18 years of experience in flying Gripen, André Brännström has immense admiration for the aircraft. Speaking at Aero India 2017 at Yelahanka Air Base, Bangalore, André talked about his experience of flying Gripen in different weather conditions.

​Gripen for India is about partnerships, air power and cooperation, says Mats Palmberg, Vice President, Industrial Partnerships, Saab.

So, what’s the big difference between flying fighter jets a couple of decades back and today? When asked this question, Gripen test pilot Anders Håkansson had this to say:

“There were no computers when I began my career in the Swedish Air Force and we didn’t have the luxury of trying and testing on the simulators as we have today. I began my career by flying the Saab 37 Viggen, a mighty aircraft, before I started handling the Gripen.”

“Over the last two decades, technology has changed everything in the world of fighter planes. From taking-off to coordinating with the ground forces, technological advancements have transformed the way pilots fly today. Anders, who has trained many Gripen pilots, says that the younger generation knows computers and hence can adapt to technology in a better way. There is no need to teach them step by step. They just need to be taught how to handle the system and do the tactics since they are fast learners,” he adds.

Anders is a veteran of the Swedish Air Force for almost 30 years and was one of the Gripen test pilots who participated in Aero India 2017. He has the experience of flying Gripen for 17 years and has an acute understanding of the capabilities and specifications of the aircraft.

From A/B to C/D and E/F, Gripen has come a long way over the last few decades. According to Jonas Jakobsson, another Gripen test pilot, the fighter has undergone several design changes ...

“Are you ready, Jugal?” 

These were the four words that marked the most awaited moment of his life for India Today’s Senior Special Correspondent Jugal R Purohit who got an opportunity to fly Gripen at Aero India 2017.

Jugal flew Gripen alongside Captain Fredrik Barske of the Swedish Air Force, who briefed him about the fighter’s various capabilities: air-to-air attack, air-to-ground attack, reconnaissance, jamming enemy aircraft and networking with friendly fighters to lead a coordinated attack. 

Jugal underwent a series of medical tests including blood profile, urine profile and electrocardiogram (ECG). He also received a backseat briefing to understand the usage of things like ejection seats and get a hang of communication during the flight. Within a few minutes, they pulled up to 20,000 ft, flying at the speed of sound.​

"From looping to barrel roll to split to vertical climb up to 20,000 ft from low level, each of these manoeuvres we underwent made me realise the essence of training," he says.

At the end of the flight, Jugal became the 1,807th member of the Gripen club which consists of a few royals, mostly uniformed personnel and a handful of enthusiasts.

Read the full story here.

The Gripen design allows Saab to constantly upgrade the system and tailor solutions. Here's a quick run-through of the revolutionary inside of our fighter.

At Aero India 2017, Gripen's Full Scale Replica (FSR) is the center of attention at the Saab stall.​

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The revolutionary thinking behind the Gripen programme has once more ensured Saab’s delivery of one of the world’s most advanced fighters. Gripen E is a fighter not only fit for purpose today but ready and adaptable for events beyond tomorrow’s horizon.

Gripen, an advanced fighter system

The world renown Gripen project was initially created as a result of a synergy between university, industry and government. Known as the ‘triple helix’ this model has long been employed by Saab to ensure highly sophisticated technological advancement.

Eva Söderström, Head of Industrial Cooperation, explains, "This has existed for many years in Sweden, although at the time it was not known as the ‘Triple Helix’ – it was a model we used: academia, industry and a governmental body. We did this to develop the Gripen program and we did it because it worked."  Söderström makes a simple point that can sometimes get lost when talking of management models "It worked." The Triple Helix is certainly far from a conceptual idea at Saab but rather it is a working method.

Read the full storyhere

​The eleventh edition of Aero India has kickstarted at Air Force Station, Yelahanka, Bengaluru, today. Saab is exhibiting its world-leading capabilities in air power, aircraft, ground-based air defence and surveillance systems, as well as naval technology at the event. Here are a few snapshots from day one.

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Defence Minister of India Manohar Parrikar visits the Saab stall​

16603087_1497432060269291_5816459101857243384_n.jpgJan Salestrand, State Secretary, Ministry of Defence, along with Håkan Buskhe, President and CEO, Saab, inaugurate the Saab stand

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Saab test pilot Jonas talks about the world's smartest and the most modern fighter jet - Gripen

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Defence and Security Company Saab offers to set up the world's most modern ecosystem and facility in India, to manufacture Gripen E for India and the global market. From this unique industrial base India will accelerate its ability to design, develop, manufacture, modify and enhance new fighters for the future.

The state-of-the-art facilities for India would include a dedicated Gripen Design Centre, a major production facility equipped with the latest manufacturing technologies and robotics systems, a radar and sensor centre, final assembly plus test and verification centres. The facilities to be set up would also deliver depot-level maintenance, repair and overhaul and design services. This fighter technology ecosystem would support the full spectrum of production capabilities for India, including parts manufacturing and sub-assembly.

"Saab is offering an industrial facility that will be the centre-of-gravity for the Made-in-India Gripen. It is an unrivalled offer that will set new standards in aeronautical engineering excellence for decades to come, should India procure Gripen," says Saab India Chairman Jan Widerström.

In close cooperation with Saab, engineers and technicians from Indian partner and supplier companies will live and work in Sweden and at global partners' sites, they will be trained at today's production facilities, to gain the knowledge and experience needed for transfer to Indian-made Gripens once India's own facilities are operational.

Read the full storyhere​.​


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A fighter aircraft pilot’s life is full of tough challenges and experiences. In a profession where mistakes can lead to life-or-death situations, it is imperative that they are equipped with the best facilities in order to perform their task to the best of their abilities. 

The nature of a pilot’s job sometimes requires flying high and in extreme conditions. Atmospheric pressure and composition at certain heights put the pilot in situations where the lack of proper equipment could be very harmful. To face such conditions, pilot suits have to be equipped and built with the capability to sustain the pilot under duress.

Due to the stress that the suit faces as a result of being exposed to rough conditions, it has to be checked and approved every 6 to 12 months. Such tests include assessing the equipment hoses and pipes which are prone to leaks, condition tests and pressure tests.

The pilot can choose a three lettered code for each piece of equipment and accordingly, a unique serial number is assigned to each piece. A Gripen pilot’s suit works as a system with each piece having a very specific function, thus making it necessary to wear and maintain each of them. Each pilot also wears absorbent innerwear that absorbs sweat and humidity while preventing condensation. The suits also come in fire and water resistant variants.

Each part of the suit serves a very specific purpose e.g. the jacket has multiple storage options for emergency (medical kits, tools etc.), floatation ...

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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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