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Croatia, which issued Request for Proposals (RFP) for the acquisition of up to 12 modern multirole fighter aircraft in July this year, is close to deciding which fighter aircraft will become part of its Air Force. The choice is ultimately down to the F-16 or the upgraded Gripen C/D, reports DEFENDER.hr.

Responding to the RFP, Saab has offered the new Gripen C/D with the latest MS20 package which is currently operated by the Swedish Air Force. According to Pierre Gauffin, Director Gripen Croatia, Gripen has some clear advantages over its competitors in Croatia. Unlike the other offers, Gripen is not a second hand aircraft which means it will stay relevant for years to come. Also, as compared to F-16, Gripen has been a multi-role fighter from the beginning. It also has a history of successful operation in other countries of the region.

The MS20 upgrade makes Gripen a technologically superior aircraft for many reasons. The upgraded Gripen are integrated with the MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile and Boeing GBU-39 Small-Diameter Bomb, improved radar modes and a new laser designation pod (LDP), among other things.

As per the bid, Saab will supply the first two Gripen planes in 2020 just before the anniversary of Operation Storm, the last major battle of the Croatian War of Independence. The company also said that air policing capability will be available in late 2021 and full operational capability will come in 2024.

Read the full story here.

Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President, Saab, gives an update about Brazil Gripen programme and transfer of technology.​

Join our display pilot André from the inside the Gripen cockpit as he shows his full display programme. 

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The Czech Gripen fleet has been over a decade in service. The outstanding performance of the system, as demonstrated during NATO exercises and deployments, has increased interest from other Central European countries.

On a sunny afternoon at the Czech Republic’s Čáslav military air base, Captain Jan Ducha stands beside the runway awaiting the return of one of the 14 Saab Gripen that he swears he loves and nurtures like his own children.

 “Beautiful, no?” smiles the commander of Čáslav’s Maintenance Operational Centre, as the Gripen’s grey delta wing and canard silhouette finally materialise against the green of the surrounding countryside. “We’ve had these planes for over a decade now, but watching them come in still gives me pleasure.”

 In June 2004 the Czech and the Swedish government signed a 10-year, leasing agreement for 12 single-seat Gripen C and two twin-seat Gripen D. The first flight took place less than a year later, in April 2005.

 “Apart from the Swedes themselves, the Czech air force was the first to fly the Gripen,” notes Lieutenant Colonel Jaroslav Míka, Commander of Čáslav’s 211 Squadron. “It was we Czechs who proved that the Gripen was fully NATO-compatible.”

Read the full story here.

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Brazilian company AEL Sistemas exhibited the Gripen cockpit's Wide Area Display (WAD) at the recently held International Seminar of Defense (SEMINDE) in Brazil.

"Participating in SEMINDE is an opportunity to demonstrate the technological capabilities developed in the defense and technology center of the south of the country," said Sergio Horta, president of AEL Sistemas.

WAD is a multi-purpose display system with full-colour, large-screen (19 x 8 in) with continuous image presentation and the state-of-the-art touch-screen controls capability. AEL Sistemas was contracted to develop WAD and the head-up display (HUD) for Gripen in 2015. This year, the Brazilian company launched the first prototype panel of WAD.

Besides WAD, AEL Sistemas also displayed the advanced helmet mounted display (HMD) system, called Targo at the seminar.

Read the full story here.

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The best players of the Gripen Fighter Challenge game, who competed against each other at SIAF 2017, spent one entire day with Czech Gripen pilots at the 21st tactical Air Force Base in Čáslav.

Slovak International Air Festival (SIAF) 2017 took place during the last weekend of August at Sliač airport in Slovakia. One of the biggest attractions of the whole event was the Saab Experience Hangar. Apart from getting to know about a series of products by Saab, the winners could test their abilities in the Gripen Fighter Challenge game as well. 

The reward for the top five players in the game was an excursion to the Air Force Base in Čáslav which happened on Tuesday, 31 October. 

When the winners reached the Air Base, there was a short introduction to welcome them, followed by which they were familiarised with the basic tasks at the Air Base. 

The winners were then taken for a tour of the local museum of aviation history. After that, the excursion continued with a visit to the airport’s biological protection station where the winners, thanks to an interesting lecture, learned about the predators that protect the runways and the airport surroundings from not only birds but wild animals as well. 

After a hearty lunch in the military canteen, the winners were taken to a point next to the runway where they watched the last pre-flight preparations of five Gripen aircraft. After the pilots took off to their regular missions, the winners went to the Gripen hangar, ...

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In the last few years, with about a hundred professionals participating in the Brazil's Gripen programme, Akaer, Saab's Brazilian partner, is about to complete a million work hours in the project.

The Akaer team that works on various Gripen projects, comprises of engineers, human resources and planning personnel, quality management experts, structural designers etc. So far, these professionals have worked on the development of Gripen’s rear and central fuselages and weapon pylons.

One of the participating structures designers, Flavio Teramoto has travelled to Sweden about 10 times so far.  “Being selected to participate on the development of a fighter is alone a huge emotional moment. Signing off on the FX-2 program and being a part of Gripen E’s first flight in Sweden were other special experiences. Now, the big expectation is to see the aircraft in Brazil,” he says.​

Akaer, based out of in São José dos Campos in São Paulo, is the first Brazilian company to partner with Saab. The partnership started in the year 2008 with Akaer being contracted to develop parts of Gripen fuselage. In May 2012, Saab took 15% stake in Akaer, and in January 2017, another 10%.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Akaer

Last week, Saab showcased groundbreaking products, services and solutions – including Gripen, at the Defense & Security 2017 in Thailand. Saab's Rob Hewson talked about the complete networked air defence solutions that the company has delivered to Thailand.

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Saab has taken to the sky over Dubai with the Gripen fighter appearing at the Dubai Airshow between 12 and16 November 2017, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Dubai Airshow was first held in 1986. It was called The Arab Air then. Over the years, it has grown to be one of the biggest defence events in the world. The previous airshow in 2015 had a participation of 1,103 exhibitors from 63 countries.

"The Dubai Airshow is one of the last few really, really big international airshows," Jonas Hjelm, head of Saab's aeronautics business, says in an interview with Aviation Week. "The reason we took Gripen this year was that it is a gathering place for many of our existing customers, and also, we hope, for our potential future customers from all around the world.”

About the status of the Gripen E programme, Hjelm says, "So far, everything is as per the plan. We're even a little bit ahead. A couple of weeks ago, we flew supersonic for the first time. We're now getting some very good test data out of the program; we also have two more test aircraft that are now in production."

This year, Gripen will be seen in Dubai after an absence of about 12 years. Saab is exhibiting at Stand 540. Two Gripen fighters are at the airshow: one is on static display outside the exhibition hall and the other one is performing aerial display on all days of the ...

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The Czech Air Force recently had a photo shoot featuring all the aircraft at the Caslav Air Base including Gripen,  L-39 Albatros, and L-159 ALCA.

"It was truly unique," said Tomáš Maruščák, a spokesman for the 21st Tactical Air Force Base in Caslav. "Nothing similar or this big has been conducted in the recent history of the Czech Air Force.

The preparations for the shoot took almost three hours. Besides the fighters, pilots and ground staff were also a part of this shoot.

Caslav Air Base, located in the northeast of the city, has been home to Gripen fighters since 2005 now. This photo shoot was aimed at capturing unique shots of Caslav Air Base track with all the aircraft and machines it houses.​

Image Courtesy: Czech Armed Forces

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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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