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Vayu’s Angad Singh strapped into a Saab Gripen at Aero India 2017, for a ‘hands on’ experience of a lifetime!

“Arm seat,” says a voice in my ear. This is the point of no return, as I head to Yelahanka’s 3-kilometre runway in the rear seat of a Saab Gripen D. I depress the catch that secures the ejection seat arming mechanism and push the switch from the ‘safe’ position to ‘armed.’ This simple action, more than anything in the past ninety-odd minutes, drives home the reality of what is about to happen.

“Seat armed,” I reply, trying my darndest to sound like a fighter pilot. I am not certain I succeeded. 

Waves of heat radiate off the asphalt runway, baked by the midday sun. Holding short to the north side of the runway as we line up are two Tejas LCA trainers, readying to depart after us. Behind us and lined up to the right of the centreline is another two-seat Gripen D. We wait for what seems like an eternity, made worse by the nerves that seem to amplify the discomfort of my g-suit. In reality it was probably only a few seconds from line up to ATC clearance for take-off. My pilot, Saab’s Wing Commander Flying, Hans Einerth, doesn’t waste time or words – he releases the brakes as soon as ATC gives him the word. 

This is not so bad, I think to myself. My anxiety begins to subside as we gather speed in much ...

Jonas Jakobsson, Experimental Test pilot at Saab takes you through a Gripen simulator and explains how it demonstrates the capabilities of the Swedish fighter.

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Hungarian Gripen fighters have been scheduled to perform aerial displays after almost seven years at the NATO Days in Ostrava & Czech Air Force Days this year.

Hungarian Gripen fighters have participated in the Czech event many times before but it was mostly kept on static display. This year, a Hungarian Gripen will perform aerial display along with a Czech Gripen.

‘NATO Days in Ostrava & Czech Air Force Days’ is the largest and the most popular air-defence technology event in the Czech Republic and Central Europe. About  200,000 visitors attend the event every year.

The event will on 16 and 17 September this year at Ostrava Leos Janacek Airport.

Read the full story here.

​Gripen was one of the biggest attraction of Aero India 2017. The aerial displays at the airshow left visitors wanting more.

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Last week, Czech and German fighters executed a joint training in the airspace of the Federal Republic of Germany. Two Czech Gripen fighters carried out aerial fights with two German Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft.

The agreement to conduct the joint training regime was signed on 15 February in Brussels by the Czech and German Defence Ministers, Martin Stropnicky and Ursula von der Leyen. "The document confirms our resolution to create more intensive joint training scenarios and, at the same time, share our knowledge and experiences. Germany is one of our key strategic partners both inside and outside the NATO region," said Martin Stropnicky.

The exercise was carried out to increase mutual cooperation and improve inter-operability between the armed forces of the two countries. 

The one-and-half-hour training consisted of three combat scenarios. The flights were carried out within the format of aerial combat manoeuvring 2 on 1, 1 on 1, and 2 on 2 combats. The joint training is being conducted once in every two weeks.

​​ What is most important for a fighter pilot? To have more information than the opponent, says Mats Thorbiornson. And that is what makes Gripen unique. 

A former aircraft technician with the Swedish Air Force, Mats Thorbiornson is now a Gripen test pilot. With experience in flying Saab’s Viggen, and around 40 to 50 different kinds of aircraft from the U.S., Russia and France, Mats has tested his mettle when it comes to flying and maintaining fighter aircraft. He was one of the Gripen pilots present at Aero India 2017. 

So how did an aircraft technician become a pilot? On being asked, Mats said that during his tenure in the Swedish Air Force as a technician, he had the opportunity to write the pilot test and he performed well in it. The rest, as they say, is history.

For a man who has been flying Gripen for so long, he says that his favourite part of the Gripen fighter is its versatility as an aircraft. Gripen’s ability to perform air-to-air, and surface-to-air missions makes it a viable multi-role fighter. With just the push of a few buttons, one can switch missions on-board the aircraft.

The ease of flying Gripen is best demonstrated when one gets to manoeuvre the aircraft. As Mats says in another interview withDeccan Herald​, “One feels very safe when doing manoeuvres in a Gripen. You feel absolutely secure when you are flying in low altitude, negotiating a bad weather or while involved in a dangerous mission because ...

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The Czech Air Force has logged more than 10,000 flight hours with Gripen. Performing NATO air policing missions and successfully participating in international exercises.

Download the calendar here.


Photo: Jörgen Nilsson

​ “It’s always been a dream to fly Gripen,” says Group Captain Suneet Krishna, who made that dream come true at Aero India 2017. Formerly a Mirage 2000 pilot and an LCA test pilot, Suneet now flies corporate jets.

Suneet talks about his Gripen flight. 


With 18 years of experience in flying Gripen, André Brännström has immense admiration for the aircraft. Speaking at Aero India 2017 at Yelahanka Air Base, Bangalore, André talked about his experience of flying Gripen in different weather conditions.

​Gripen for India is about partnerships, air power and cooperation, says Mats Palmberg, Vice President, Industrial Partnerships, Saab.

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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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