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The Gripen E/F Test Aircraft has now been introduced to the Swiss people. It happened yesterday during the Swiss Air Force spectacular annual flight demonstration at the Axalp-Ebenfluh shooting range.

Every year, this event attracts thousands of spectators that hike up the mountain for hours to reach the shooting range, which is situated at more than 2, 000 meters above sea level. This year was no exception and it is estimated that approximately 10, 000 people witnessed the event.

The Gripen E/F Test Aircraft was flown by a Swiss pilot in the front seat, with a Saab test pilot in the back seat.

Saab took the aircraft to Switzerland after having been invited by armasuisse, which is responsible for the acquisition process of a new fighter to replace the Swiss Air Force´s ageing fleet of F-5 Tiger. The Swiss government officially declared their type selection of Gripen as the replacement in November last year.

Photo: armasuisse/Swiss AF (Top, middle) and Peter Liander/Saab (bottom)

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The Swiss and the Swedish pilots flying the Gripen E/F Test Aircraft have received a new set of helmets. These are of course the standard Gripen helmets, but are unique because they have a special design that symbolizes the growing cooperation between the Swiss and Swedish Gripen community.

The picture shows armasuisse chief test pilot Beni Berset and Richard Ljungberg, chief test pilot at Saab after a test flight in the Swiss mountains whilst preparing for the Axalp demonstration.

Photo: Peter Liander/Saab​

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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.

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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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