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Pictures from the Axalp village this morning. Today, the Swiss Air Force live firing event will take place!

Today, the Swiss Air Force demonstrates its skills to a wide public in an Alpine environment. The Gripen E/F aircraft will also debut and show its capabilities to thousands of spectators that have come to the Bernese Oberland.

Apart from fighter jets, there are also presentations of rescue and firefighting services, parascout operations and flight demonstrations by military helicopters on the programme.   

Down​ in the valley, spectators were greeted by the Saab team with refreshments and everybody seem to be in a good mood looking forward to the event.

Photos: Ann-Sofie Aktö

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When it comes to making pilots hone their skills, a simulator offers its own set of benefits. As compared to real flight training, a simulator can be a cost effective option. 

20:1, that is the ratio of the Gripen fighters’ operating costs to those of the simulator complex used by Hungarian pilots for training at Kista, a district of Stockholm Municipality in Sweden, says a report inMNO.

The report also says that in times of economic crisis and shrinking defense budgets, in addition to the congested civil air traffic in Europe, simulators can be the way to go.

The Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) in Stockholm has the Swedish Air Force Flight Tactical Simulation Center (FLSC) where the ultra-modern complex uses virtual reality tools for the complicated tasks in training Gripen fighters, including pilots from the Hungarian Defence Forces (HDF) soldiers.

The simulator consists of a set of complex networked computers that offers pilots everything from individual system familiarization to advanced tactical team training and mission rehearsal. Pilots can train with real flight like scenarios including an enemy to target. 

F 17 Gripens are participating with an English Tornado-division in flight exercise Joint Warrior 12 in Scottish Lossiemouth, says Swedish Armed Forces websiteForsvarsmakten. This year, the Air Force with eight JAS 39 Gripen will practice in all three roles - fighter, attack and reconnaissance.

Besides flight personnel, the preparation of a mission includes 172nd fighter division of an MSE: a support function for the fighter division which prepares plans and evaluates a flight mission with pilots.MSE prepares the fighter division to handle the worst if needed. It helps in intelligence gathering, fuel calculations, interpretation of reconnaissance photos, warning system countermeasures, emergency landing etc.

172nd fighter division recently went on a two and a half week long exercise in northern Sweden for the Nordic Air Meet 2012. It will now go for a new exercise in Scotland for a week. Thereafter, it will gear up to participate in the five-week aerial combat training exercise called ‘Red Flag’ to be carried out in the U.S. in January-February 2013.

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Gripen marketing team at Axalp preparing for the coming flight demonstrations in the Swiss Alps. This morning, a few enthusiasts visited our tent and tasted our warm Swedish blueberry soup. We hope for good weather for Wednesday and Thursday when the real exercise take place. The Gripen team is there to meet the people of Switzerland and talk about the Gripen fighter. 

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The flight training for the Swiss pilots who will fly the Gripen during theSwiss Air Force Axalp Demonstrationlater this week, continues on Monday. Here are some pictures from Emmen, where the Gripen E/F Test aircraft is based since Thursday last week.

Photo: Peter Liander, Saab.

Have a look at some more fabulous imageshere.

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Straight Off the warm tarmac: Photographs of the first Gripen E/F sortie in Emmen!

Photo: Peter Liander, Saab.​

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Gripen E/F revs up in the hangar at Emmen during engine tests​

Photo: Peter Liander, Saab.​

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The Gripen E/F test aircraft reached Emmen Airbase yesterday from Linköping, Sweden, says the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (armasuisse)‘swebsite.

The Gripen E/F test aircraft which has been accompanied by a Gripen D to Emmen will be in Switzerland from October 3 -12. It will be displayed to the Swiss Defence Committees on 9 October and to the general public on 10 October at theAxalp Flight Demonstrationof the Swiss Air Force event.

An armasuisse pilot and a Swiss Air Force pilot will take their turns to fly the test aircraft at the front seat. A Saab test pilot will sit on the back seat.

DSC_9507.JPGAccording to a news report inSVD Business, Håkan Buskhe confirms that Gripen will be economical and not more expensive. 

Buskhe points out that Gripen E/F will not be an entirely new aircraft. “We are not starting from a scratch with a blank paper, and therefore we are not particularly unsure of the cost of the new Gripen. Taxpayers in Sweden do not need to feel anxious, says Håkan Buskhe, CEO, Saab.

Buskhe also said that Saab can make a profit even if it sells only 80 planes, though the target is to sell 300 Gripen aircraft. “There is a potential to sell 300 Gripen aircraft. It's 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 our main advantage,” he added.

Read the full story: Saab CEO Promise: Gripen Keeps Budget​​

TheFederal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport ​of Switzerland has published theFramework Agreementbetween Sweden and Switzerland for purchase of Gripen aircraft as well as the detailed opinion of the Federal Council.

Switzerland intends to procure 22 Gripen E aircraft based on a proposal and data received from Saab and FMV/FXM during the evaluation from 2008 through 2011 and from FXM during 2012.

This Framework Agreement has been established with reference to the Declaration of lntent on Enhanced Cooperation, signed June 29, 2012, between the Ministry of Defence of the Kingdom of Sweden and the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports of Switzerland, acting for the Swiss Federal Council in the fields of security policy and defence.

The objective of the Agreement is to establish and agree on the most important elements that are the basis for their cooperation towards a government-to-government procurement of the Gripen E weapon system. These elements will be incorporated in, expanded on and finalized in a future government-to-government contract to be entered into by the Parties after approval by each Party' s political authorities.
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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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