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Sweden’s five Gripens taking part in NATO operations over Libya generate 37% of the reconnaissance reports for Operation Unified Protector, says a report in Defence Web. Eight single-seat JAS 39 Gripens at the start of April helped patrol the no-fly zone. The Swedish Government has not sanctioned ground attacks except in defence and the aircraft have been limited to reconnaissance roles.

“If there is a special target that NATO is interested in, they prefer the Swedes to perform the mission. This makes me a little bit proud,” Fredrik Bergman, commander of the Swedish air force unit, told Svenska Dagbladet.

With their reconnaissance pods, the Gripens can, from a height of 7000 metres, detect individual people. As soon as a Gripen returns from a mission, a group of technicians download all the digital photos, which are sent to NATO commanders within a few hours.

FL 02 Commander Fredrik Bergman said the performance of the Gripens in the four-month operation was impressive since they only had around a quarter of the regular maintenance resources available.

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In the last days of July, the Gripen clocked past the 1000 flight hour mark in Libya. Writing in hisblog, FL 02 Commander Fredrik Bergman says that the performance in the four-month operation was impressive since they were supported by just about one-fourth of the regular aircraft maintenance resources. 

According to Bergman, “I met personally COM CJTF, COM CFAC and the CAOC Director, and their overall opinion is that Sweden’s contribution in Operation Unified Protector is of extremely high quality. Our reconnaissance image quality, high precision analysis and fast delivery impresses our clients.”

Source:blogg.forsvarsmakten

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The Gripen engine change procedure famously beat the hour during the Indian Air Force trials for the MMRCA. A recent requirement in Sicily for an engine change for a Swedish Air Force JAS 39 demonstrated how the aircraft manages to clock in a changeover time of a couple of hours even in the most complex of situations and the ribbing among engineers that happens when it takes a little more. For an aircraft that commits itself to availability, the Sicily episode was yet another confirmation of the commitment.

Here are some excerpts from the action on the ground from the Swedish Air Force from a write up byJohan Brolin(Google translate has been used for translating the story).

“Thursday, July 14 technicians said that an engine change on one of the JAS planes in Sicily had to be implemented. On Friday night at 20:15, the new engine arrived in a C-130 Hercules.  Activity began immediately after the engine arrived in order to have the plane with the replacement engine in operation at the earliest. It’s incredibly impressive to see, and one can almost feel the energy that exists among the staff around the plane during the engine change.

When the job was finished at midnight and it was found that the work took about three hours, ie little longer than normal, the staff jokingly agreed that it was partly due to the boss who had taken part!

After an engine change, a trial run of the engine is ...

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Photo taken over the Phi PHi Islands, Thailand by Weeranat Thanakitjanon, ThaiArmedForce.com.

Earlier this month, the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) officially declared its new air defence system consisting of the Gripen fighter and Saab 340 Erieye AEW operational.

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During a ceremony on July 8, 2011 the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) officially declared its new air defence system consisting of the Gripen fighter and Saab 340 Erieye AEW operational. The ceremony took place at the Wing 7 base in Surat Thani, according to a Saab release.

In 2008, an agreement was signed between FMV, Sweden’s Defence Materiel Administration and the RTAF for the delivery of six Gripen C/D multi-role fighter aircraft to replace its outgoing F-5 aircraft. The order also included one Saab 340 Erieye AEW, a single Saab 340 for transport purposes and a ground based Command- and Control system. A further batch of six Gripen C fighters and another Saab 340 Erieye AEW was ordered in 2010. Deliveries of the second RTAF order will be completed in 2013.

The training of Thai personnel began in 2009. Four pilots and 20 technicians were trained by the Swedish Armed Forces (SwAF). In 2010 they were back in their home country and were ready to receive the delivery of the first batch of aircraft. The first Saab 340 Erieye AEW and the Saab 340 transport aircraft arrived in December 2010, and the first batch of six Gripen fighters was flown from Sweden to Thailand in February 2011.

Since the deliveries of the first batch of aircraft, a second batch of Thai Gripen pilots and technicians has graduated from their training in Sweden.

Ten technicians have been trained in Sweden for a year and graduated in June 2011. The ...

​The Gripen NG Demo was on static display at the Paris air show. The Demo returned to flight trials on May 19. According to a report in Aviation International, the latest configuration has a new open-architecture avionics suite which allows the segregation of functions that are critical and non-critical to flight safety. Using an ethernet-based architecture, new elements that are mission-critical, rather than flight-critical, can be inserted and tested without having to revalidate the system as a whole.

According to the report, another change in the two-seater is in the rear cockpit, which now sports two large Rockwell Collins displays. The Gripen Demo can now be operated with decoupled cockpits, so that the pilot in the rear can call up different displays and perform tasks different from the pilot in the front cockpit, which retains the original displays for the time being. This functionality is an increasingly important capability for two-seaters in operational scenarios.

The demo in its Phase 3 includes the AESA radar, redesigned main undercarriage for greater internal fuel, and a more powerful GE F414 engine. The aircraft Gripen Demo is approaching its 200th fligh.

Source:Paris 2011: Saab’s Gripen Demo Shows Off Upgrades and Modifications​​

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The Gripen Demonstrator for the future Gripen NG returned to the skies in mid-May 19 with new avionics and displays. On May 19 the Gripen NG demonstrator aircraft flew with new avionics for the first time. At this stage of flight testing, after almost 200 flights, an open system architecture avionics system that separate flight critical from mission critical functionality is integrated in the aircraft. Also integrated are new Tactical Mission Computers, Ethernet networks and new Rockwell Collins displays.

 “What we’re doing now with the avionics is a much bigger step than achieving supercruise with the Demo,” Peter Nilsson, Saab’s head of air domain, told Flight Global. According to the report, following the completion of avionics testing later this year, the NG will be equipped with Selex Galileo’s ES-05 Raven AESA radar.”The next aircraft will be coming in October 2013, and is being built from scratch as an NG,” says Nilsson. This will bring a new look for the Gripen, with a longer fuselage, increased wingspan and new engine inlets.

The Gripen has also completed 160,000 flight hours during its mission over Libya. Since April 2 eight Gripen fighters, based at the Sigonella air base in Sicily, are flying daily reconnaissance and air supremacy missions. So far more than 300 recce missions have produced over 80 000 photos.

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Hakan Buskhe, Saab’s CEO, has maintained at the Paris Air Show that it has not given up its efforts to sell the Gripen fighter jet to India, despite not being invited to extend its commercial offer.

“We are monitoring the situation, and we have not packed up our things and left,” Hakan Buskhe told journalists at the Paris Air Show today. “We have an extremely good aircraft and we have not given up.”

Saab also says that it is quite comfortable with the situation in Brazil where a decision has been postponed.

Buskhe said his company stands to benefit from government cuts to defense spending because they force armies to review the equipment and contracts they have, opening an avenue for companies such as Saab to establish new orders.

“It may sound strange, but the defense cuts are beneficial to us,” Buskhe said at the press briefing. “When money is not an issue, you don’t change habits.”

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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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