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The Smart Fighter

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Anna1.jpg“You don't have to be a man to control an aircraft,” says Sweden's first, and so far the only female fighter pilot Anna Dellham in an interview with the Hungarian Daily Népszabadság.

Anna who first dreamt of becoming a ballet dancer, then a vet and then an engineer says one does not need to be masculine in order to become a pilot.  

“I'm not tough or masculine at all. This is not required in my work. You just have to believe in yourself and feel that you want to achieve something. You also need an inner assurance that you are able to get there. This way of thinking is not determined by your sex, it can develop both in girls and boys. The so-called inner human strength is not closely linked to typical manly behaviour”, she says.

Anna started flying with Saab-105 developed in the 1960s and then she flew the Viggens. According to  Népszabadság, there are many female pilots in the USA. However it is not the same in Europe.  Anna is the second woman pilot to fly Gripen following the South-African flight lieutenant Catherine Labuschagne (who first flew 2 years ago).

According to Anna, large speed can hardly be sensed at high altitudes. The fourth-generation Gripen can fly at 2100 km/h, and beyond. It is only as one descends a bit lower that one feels the landscape rushing past at a horrifying, and yet, captivating speed, she says.

Read the full story:Ballet-Dancing With ...

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After a very successful participation in the Axalp live firing event last October, Gripen was back in Switzerland.

On 17-18 January the Swiss defence procurement authority armasuisse organized presentations of the Armament Program 2012 (AP12) at Emmen Airbase. The focus of the presentation was the Gripen E which has been selected by the Swiss Federal Council to replace the current Swiss fleet of F-5 fighters. 

The Gripen fighter system, represented by the Gripen F Demonstrator and a Gripen C, was presented to Swiss parliamentarians, press and media as well as representatives of Swiss industry. The attendees also got an opportunity to take a close look at the aircraft, fly in the Gripen simulator and of course see the aircraft flying.

During the week, Swiss test pilots from armasuisse and the Swiss Air Force performed several flights, including a display routine.​

Defence Watch’s guest writer Kyle Meema says in a two part series in Ottawa Citizen that Gripen is best suited for Canada as an alternative to the F-35.

“Saab has three versions of its Gripen fighter jet. Of those models, I propose that Canada procure the “NG” model that is currently in development and scheduled to be introduced in 2017. It is the third generation of the Gripen fighter. Based on the Gripen C/D airframe, the Gripen NG will have new and improved sensor technology, fuel capacity, engine, and potentially thrust vectoring. It is to the Gripen C/D what the F/A-18E/F is to the F/A-18A/B. It is a very capable fighter and the ideal candidate to replace Canada’s aging CF-18s,” Kyle says.

Gripen and the Eurofighter are compatible with all the weapons Canada currently has, the future MBDA Meteor, and every other NATO compatible weapon. Additionally, Gripen NG will expand and improve on its features i.e. it will include the ES-05 Raven AESA radar, an upgrade over the Gripen C/D’s PS-05/A radar.

Both Eurofighter and Gripen are very impressive and capable fighters. Though equal in performance, the cost of the Gripen makes it the clear winner, he says.  

Gripen not only has low initial procurement costs ($60 million per plane as compared to Eurofighter’s $125 million and F-35A’s estimated $107 million per plane by 2017), it also has the least expensive operating costs at approximately $4,700 per flight hour. The Eurofighter costs $18,000 per flight hour and the F-35A costs as high as $21, 000 per flight hour.

Gripen’s overall ...

On 11 January 2013, the Swedish Gripens which were on their way to the United States to participate in the Red Flag 2013, successfully completed air refueling  over the Atlantic with the help of two KC-10 American aircraft.

According to a post in the  Air Power blog, each KC-10 formed a group with four Gripens as they were crossing the Atlantic. This was the first time that an aerial refueling was done over thousands of miles above the Atlantic Ocean involving Swedish Gripens.

The Swedish Gripen will participate in the Red Flag exercise which would start on 17 January at Nellis AFB in Nevada. Gripens will take part in the exercise along with the U.S. aircraft, Netherlands' F-16s and Singapore's F-16s.

Read the full story: On the way to Red Flag, Swedish Gripen refueling over the Atlantic

Photo:Swedish Armed Forces​

Today Swedish Minster of Defence, Karin Enström, announced that Sweden will buy 60 Gripen E fighter jets from Saab, says a statement issued by Saab.
Saab notes that the decision is within the span previously discussed, both by the Government and the Swedish Armed Forces, in order to meet future defence needs in Sweden until 2042.
This decision once again shows the broad support both from politicians and authorities for Gripen being the back-bone of Swedish air defence for many years to come. It is also proof that Saab has developed a high technology multi role fighter which answers up to defined needs on the market.
FMV has previously said they are expecting a development order for the next generation Gripen in the beginning of 2013. This means that Gripen will be the only next generation fighter which de facto is produced in the western world. This is a proof of strength that shows Saabs high level of innovation and technological competency.
We have held continuous and fruitful discussions with relevant authorities. These talks will now continue until there is a formal order in place.

The Swedish government has approved the purchase of 60 new Gripen jet fighters, according to reports in media today.

Defence Minister Karin Enström has told Swedish Television News (SVT) that this is a historic decision.

“We think it is good that the Defence now is permitted to buy the 60 Gripen aircraft. They correspond to the military’s operational needs up until 2042”, she says.


SAAF’s fighter pilot Blokkies Joubert, who flew a Gripen for the first time in 2001 as a part of an industry technology transfer program talks about some of the features of the modern aircraft in a recent  video.

“The Gripen is easy to fly. Though it is a modern aircraft with lots of complex features, but once things are clear, it is carefree to fly,” Joubert said.

“Gripen is like most of the modern aircraft. It has a fully integrated cockpit, not only in terms of display but also in terms of flight control.  The display gets us flight information, tower information etc. Additionally, we also have an application to look and wherever you look, the display would follow your eyesight and you can use that to designate missiles or to designate weapons,” he added.

Watch Blokkies Joubert talking about Gripen:  Gripen Pilot - Blokkies Joubert - SAAF Saab JAS-39


The Thai cabinet approved a 3.29 billion Baht budget for the Royal Thai Navy last year to modernise its frigate HTMS Naruesuan´s computer systems and enable it to link up with RTAF Gripens, writes Bangkok Post

The electronic communication systems on the twin frigates “Naresuan -Taksin’ will allow communication between the frigates and Thailand’s JAS-39 Gripens. Early in 2012, 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 to
Check out also the video Over The Horizon Legends of Air Power on You Tube on Royal Thai Air Force.​

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Saab presented a successful show at Farnborough 2012 where it unveiled the SELEX Galileo Raven AESA Radar and the new Saab 340 MSA (Maritime Security Aircraft)

Gripen air displays, flown by Saab test pilot Fredrik Muchler, was a daily highlight at the show apart from the Gripen NG which stamped its authority as the best in class multi-role fighter under development.

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The active SELEX Galileo Raven ES-05 AESA radar on the Gripen NG debuted at the Farnborough International Air Show last year. The Gripen NG test aircraft is now flying with a Raven ES-05 AESA radar installed, following extensive testing with an earlier AESA prototype.

Speaking at the unveiling of the AESA on the Gripen, Head of Gripen Exports, Eddy de la Motte said, “We had been flying with the earlier prototype. We are now starting the flight testing of the pre-production radar Raven ES-05 AESA. We are happy with the cooperation with Selex. This radar, together with our data links, our human machine interface, our missiles and other sensors will give the Gripen some very unique capabilities that no one else will match.”

A report in DefenseNews​ says between 60 and 80 Gripen NGs are expected to be equipped with the radar, in addition to 22 aircraft proposed to be sold to Switzerland.

The highly reliable AESA transmit-receive module technology incorporated in Raven ES-05 significantly improves system availability leading to reduced lifecycle costs. SELEX Galileo AESA Radars delivers greater performance and higher reliability than comparable mechanically scanned radars and offers all the advantages of multi-function AESA arrays with significant through life cost savings.

Read the full story: Gripen NG Takes To The Skies With New AESA Radar​

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