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​Last week saw the African Aerospace and Defence 2012 expo at Waterkloof AFB in Pretoria, South Africa. More than 40,000 trade visitors from 28 countries attended the exhibition while 95, 000 members of the public attended the event on the air show days.

AAD is the biggest defence exhibition in Africa and Saab was there in force. Saab showcased the MSA 340 and hosted Ministers and Generals from across the continent. The Gripen fighter was, of course, the highlight of the air display as it did two shows each day. The final climb of every display, when display pilot Johannes "Blokkies" Joubert released a full load of flares was especially appreciated.

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Saab also hosted the Minister of Defence's dinner where Magnus Lewis-Olsson, Saab SA CEO and South African Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, both held speeches underlining the strong bond between Saab and South Africa. 

The AAD 2012 coincided with a final milestone in the Africa’s Gripen programme, as the last four Gripens aircraft arrived in the country this week.

"The AAD offers an excellent opportunity for Saab to showcase its very broad portfolio to the continent and beyond. We took that opportunity and although we proudly market our flagship product, being the host nations first line of defence, we had, and took, the chance to promote everything from security to naval products as well, “says Magnus Lewis- Olsson , CEO Saab south Africa.

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Jerker Ahlqvist, newly appointed General Manager Aeronautics in South Africa comments, "The main Gripen contract has been ...

Tan Sri Rodzali Daud.jpgThe Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) might lease Gripen aircraft for its Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA) programme, says a news report inThe Sun.

In an interview with The Sun, RMAF chief Tan Sri Rodzali Daud said that Gripen is a cost effective option because buying new fighters would need huge financial expenditure.

Rodzali Daud said that Gripen’s evaluation process for the MRCA programme was still on and its strengths and weaknesses were being documented. Talking about the number of Gripens to be leased if Saab’s offer is accepted, he said "preferably it will be 18 planes as specified in the MRCA".​

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The Swedish Defence and Security Export Agency,FXMis in talks with the government of the Czech Republic over the extension of the country’s Gripen lease.

“We view the Czech-Swedish partnership regarding Gripen as very important and we are certain that reaching an agreement is the most beneficial solution for both countries,” the Swedish embassy said.

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In an interview with Engineering News, President of Saab South Africa Magnus Lewis-Olsson said that there are opportunities for South Africa, and other countries, to participate in the development of the New Generation Gripen.

He said that South Africa has fantastic capabilities in the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and in local companies. 

Magnus Lewis-Olsson also said that though Sweden would buy the New Generation Gripens, it would use its current Gripen C and D models as well which would be upgraded and could have some of the technologies and systems from the New Generations versions. South Africa too can have a similar mid-life upgrade of its Gripens which could include active electronically scanned array radar and new electronic countermeasures.

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The weekend show of NATO Days in Ostrava & Czech Air Force Days on Saturday and Sunday of September 22 and 23, 2012, saw more than 208,000 visitors to the Leoš Janáček Ostrava Airport. The most attractive part of the programme belonged to 250 minutes of flying displays, with highlight of aerial refuelling of Czech Gripens by the C-135FR tanker of the French Air Force. 

One of the largest events of its kind in the Czech Republic and Central Europe, ‘NATO Days in Ostrava’ is a fun filled event for the entire family with static aircraft displays, flying displays, in-flight fuel refueling exercises, exhibitions, a wide range of air and land defence equipment used by NATO member countries etc.

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Watch the video on Youtubeshowing a great Gripen air display at the Örebro Airshow held at Örebro airport in Sweden.

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South African Air Force (SAAF) has been delivered its final four Gripen C single seaters.

IHS Jane’sreports that these four Gripens were held at Linköping to take part in the Lion Effort exercise. After that, they were first ferried to Norrköping and then loaded on to the vessel Archangelgracht to reach its landing point in Cape Town, South Africa.

Flightglobalreported Magnus Lewis-Olsson, president of Saab South Africa, saying, “The Gripens delivered to South Africa are 'probably the most modern' versions of the aircraft.”

The South African/Brazilian-developed A-Darter air-to-air missile has already been integrated in the South African Gripen along with the Thales digital joint reconnaissance pod. “The SAAF's aircraft have also received a helmet-mounted display, which is a first for the Gripen,” Lewis-Olsson added.

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Three pilots from SAAF Base Makhado 2 Squadron: Gys van Der Walt, Squadron OC; Hano van EVK, training officer; Jacob Labuschagne, Ops Pilot; posing at SAAF Gripen at AAD 2012.

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The Thai cabinet has approved a 3.29 Billion Baht budget for the Royal Thai Navy to modernise its frigate HTMS Naruesuan´s computer systems and enable it to link up with RTAF Gripens, writesBangkok Post.

The electronic communication systems on the twin frigates “Naresuan -Taksin’ will allow communication between the frigates and Thailand’s JAS-39 Gripens. Early this year, the navy had also installed a similar electronic communication system on Royal Narubes vessel to connect with the Gripen’s advanced early warning system, according toScandAsia.com.

Check out also the videoOver The Horizon Legends of Air Power on You Tube on Royal Thai Air Force.

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South Africa's Defence Minister, Mrs Nosiviwe Mapisa-Ngqakula does a live national TV interview at  Africa Aerospace & Defence 2012 (AAD2012)  this morning.

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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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