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Hungarian Gripen in the air. Photo Victor Veres.jpg

2012 has been a very successful year for the Hungarian Air Force, Pierre Farkas, Campaign Manager Gripen Export at Saab emphasizes. First of all they decided to prolong the Gripen contract for another 10 years i.e. until 2026. This year the HUAF also managed to reach 8000 flight hours with their Gripens and they also took the decision to perform air policing over Slovenia and the Baltic states. This is the very first time that Hungary and its Gripen will protect and monitor the skies over other territories under the terms of a NATO agreement.

“We are delighted that Hungary has taken a long term strategic decision to continue operating Gripen and has thereby chosen to continue in partnership with Sweden and other Gripen operators,” said FXM Director General Ulf Hammarstrom after signing the contract.

“The news that Hungary extends the Gripen contract by ten years is extremely positive. Once again it confirms that Gripen is one of the world’s leading fighter aircraft that meets the operational, technical and cost requirements of the market,” said Lennart Sindahl, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area, Aeronautics, Saab.

The Hungarian Gripens practiced eight planned missions in the Lions Effort 2012. Lion Effort, being the biggest Gripen exercise of all time, gave Hungarian Gripen pilots a chance to hone their skills and two of them even got an opportunity to experience their first COMAO exercises.  One of the main focus areas for Hungary in Lion Effort was also to validate ...

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This year, Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) proudly celebrated its 100 years of flying (1912-2012). To mark the event, they launched a centennial book with breathtaking pictures of Gripen, shot by world class military aviation photographer Katsuhiko Tokunaga. They also launched a special commemorative stamp featuring the Gripen as a part of the celebrations.

In June, the RTAF Gripens completed 1000 flight hours. This achievement was highlighted by the RTAF Commander ACM Itthaporn Subhawong when he paid a visit to Wing 7 where all Thai Gripen aircraft are based.

In September, Air Chief Marshal Prachin Juntong took over as Thailand’s 22nd air force commander and in his speech he said that he aimed to make the Royal Thai Air Force, ASEAN’s top air force in the next two years.

This year, the Thai cabinet approved a 3.29 Billion Baht budget for the Royal Thai Navy to modernize its frigate HTMS Naruesuan´s combat management system and enable it to link up with RTAF Gripens. The electronic communication systems on the twin frigates “Naresuan -Taksin’ will allow communication between the frigates and Thailand’s JAS-39 Gripens.

In October, the Royal Thai Air Force, RTAF, received its second Saab 340 AEW aircraft from Sweden at Wing 7 in Surat Thani. Officials from FMV, Sweden´s Defence Material Administration, participated in the handover ceremony. The aircraft, equipped with the Erieye radar, was part of phase 2 of the government-to-government air defence system contract signed in 2010 between Sweden and Thailand. 

Phase two includes six Gripen ...

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2012 proved to be very eventful for the CZ Air force with several operational milestones reached and celebrated. Robert Björklund, Campaign Director for Czech Republic, Gripen Export Team at Saab, is very proud of the achievements and international cooperation which, he emphasizes, creates a great bank of experience for all Gripen airforces. This is a short summary of the Czech Gripen year.

Earlier this year in February, Major Jaroslav Tomaňa and Captain Petr Dřevecký of 21 tactical air base in Čáslav, the Czech Republic became the first pilots in the history of the Czech Air Force to perform air-to-air refueling. 

Later, Saab announced its Gripen Czech Offset Program annual performance report that declared a delivery of 25.6 billion CZK as of December 2011. The report also said that 100% of the value of total offset obligation to the Czech Republic was delivered ahead of schedule.

Starting 1 September, Czech Air Force took over the mission of protecting the airspace of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania from Poland. The Gripens are on a Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) in this NATO led mission. The Czechs have been appointed for the task until January 4, 2013.

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.

In October, Gripen users from South Africa, Hungary, Czech Republic, Sweden and Thailand came together to share their experiences of operational use of the ...

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The year 2012 will go down in the history of the Gripen as the year when Sweden affirmed its commitment to the next generation of a platform that has redefined the category. A resounding yes for the Gripen in Swedish Parliament came from 264 Members of Parliament who voted in favour of procurement of between 40-60 Gripen fighters.

“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.” said Eddy de la Motte, Head of Gripen Export at Saab.

The much awaited parliament discussion ended favourably for Gripen, making it even more attractive for interested countries around the world.

The decision for the next generation capped a year that can be best characterized as one where the global popularity of the Gripen was demonstrated time and time again. It was a year that saw countries that fly the Gripen take their appreciation to even higher levels. For Sweden, it was time to be a party to the celebrations.

In March and early April, Sweden hosted the very successful Lion’s Effort at F17 air base in Ronneby. For nearly two weeks the five countries flying Gripens operated together. With a rich experience from Operation Karakal, (NATO’s Operation Unified Protector over Libya), the Swedish personnel had a lot to share at the event, not only the experience of working in a combat environment from a tactical viewpoint, but also the experience of operating as an integrated part of a large multi-national force.

In May, history and ...

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On 13 December 2012, an era ended at the F 7 Wing, when the last sortie of the Gripen A and B was conducted. This last flight was coordinated as a “Christmas Tree flight” according to tradition - the oldest versions of Gripen were flying in a Christmas tree formation. The flight marked the end of an era that started in 1996 with the addition of JAS 39 Gripen to the F7 Wing, reports forsvarsmakten​.

Read the full story:Christmas marks the end of an era

Photo Courtesy:forsvarsmakten

“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, ...

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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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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