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A group of Swedish Air Force pilots met their Brazilian counterparts last month and talked about operating Gripen and discussed the associated infrastructure and logistics.

The pilots were accompanied by the Saab Campaign Director in Brazil and the Swedish Defence Attaché, Lieutenant Colonel Christer Olsson. The meeting was aimed at increasing interactions between the pilots of the two countries. The Brazilian pilots also got to know about the various aspects of Gripen operation in Sweden and about the necessary adjustments for receiving the aircraft.

"Brazil is a strategic partner in the Gripen NG programme. As Sweden and Brazil will operate the same plane, it is very important to know each other, "explains Colonel Christer Olsson.

Colonel Olsson also added that this meeting was important not just for Brazil, but also for Sweden. During these interactions, the Swedish pilots also got an opportunity to understand how things work at the FAB Air Force.  “There would be more such exchanges in future,” he says. 

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Fab.mil

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One of the biggest projects today for the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration,​ FMV, is the MS20 upgrade of the Czech Gripen fighters.

MS20 upgrade includes integration of the MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile and Boeing GBU-39 Small-Diameter Bomb, ISTAR missions plus, improved radar modes and a new laser designation pod (LDP).

The Czech Republic's first Gripen lease contract for 10 years was signed in the year 2004. In 2014, a new agreement was signed for a further 12 years. So the Czech Republic will continue to operate 14 Gripen C/D aircraft until at least 2027. It was this agreement that included several hardware modifications and system functionality upgrades for the Czech fighters.

Officials from FMV and its Czech counterpart meet four times a year, alternately in Prague and Stockholm, to discuss the upgradation process. According to an FMV report, some of the MS20 features for the Czech Gripen fighters will be different as compared to that of the Swedish Air Force fighters.

“There is a delicate interaction task, especially because they obtain a lot of hardware themselves to be reconciled with our packaging and delivery of Version 20 Czech Republic,” says Mikael Löfgren, project manager for the Gripen Czech Republic.

The upgrades of the Czech fighters are due in 2018.

Read the full story here.

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The SAAF's Lieutenant Colonel Musa Mbhokota, who has clocked over 2000 flying hours on eight different aircraft types, including Gripen, is all set to become Officer Commanding AFB Overberg.

Mbhokota was one of first six SAAF pilots who went to Sweden to understand the Gripen fighter system when South Africa placed the Gripen C/D order in the nineties. He was also the first black pilot to assume command of 2 Squadron, which operates the SAAF’s Gripen fighters. He first flew Gripen in the year 2002 in Sweden.

Mbhokota will assume his first base command later this month.

Read the full story here​.

​Full throttle. Just as the Gripen E programme is going at full speed, the GE F414G engine is doing the same in the test aircraft. Engine on.

Validation and verification activities such as tests in rigs and simulators have been performed and the ground test period is in full swing. The way model based development has been implemented, has been successful. "Power on" and engine starts are just two examples of important milestones that has been accomplished during the last months.

“We are encouraged about the progress in the programme. The aircraft is responding really well to all our test and verification activities. Since the rollout in May, we have performed major milestones such as powering on the aircraft and engine start. What is left before we can take off, is software qualification to formally prove what we already informally know through our extensive testing,” says Lars Ydreskog, Head of Operations at the Aeronautics business area.

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​With Gripen your pilots have everything they need to fly, fight and come home safely.

Photo: Sören Nielsen​

You can download the calendar here​.

In an interview with IHS Jane's, Saab test pilot André Brännström elaborates on Gripen features and explains how the fighter maintains the highest level of capability.

"We have a range of capabilities - from air-to-air, to air-to-ground and recce. And Gripen is easy to fly. By just pushing a knob, I can go air-to-ground from an air-to-air mission. We can also do it together. I can do a close air support and an air surveillance at the same time," Brännström says.

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Saab has sent a response to Finland's Request For Information (RFI) on a new fighter, reports IHS Jane's.

"We have responded to Finland's RFI, which actually was more like a request for proposal [RFP], and we will now wait for their response," the head of the Gripen programme, Jerker Ahlqvist, said.

Saab is offering the Gripen E/F model aircraft for this particular requirement.

Last year in October, Finland formally launched the HX project to replace F/A-18C and seven F/A-18D Hornets that have been in service since the mid-1990s.

Finland will analyze the information from the various RFI responses and develop its final requirements for the HX project. A formal RFP will be sent out in 2018 and the announcement of the selection of new fighters is due in 2021. 

Read the full story here.

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Batch VIII Gripen pilots are now combat ready. A ceremony to celebrate their achievement was held last week at Wing 7.

Image Courtesy: RTAF

Since the unveiling of Gripen E in May 2016, the programme has seen great progress. Validation and verification activities such as tests in rigs and simulators have been performed and the ground test period is in full swing. The way model based development has been implemented, has been successful. "Power on" and engine starts are just two examples of important milestones that has been accomplished during the last months.

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With Gripen E, Saab has taken all the knowledge and experience from more than 75 years of building aircraft and put it into a fighter designed to adapt to changing threats and operational requirements, such as bigger areas to defend and new threat scenarios.

Gripen E has a revolutionary avionics system which ensures that the future is built in from the beginning. The avionics system separates flight critical functions from tactical features allowing customers to update the system and so get the latest capabilities faster and at lower risk. Future upgrades, changes and functionalities can be made by adding “apps” without needing to requalify the entire system.

Read the full story here​.

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Saab and Brazilian aerospace conglomerate Embraer inaugurated the Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN) in Gavião Peixoto, in the state of São Paulo yesterday.

The GDDN, located at Embraer premises in Gavião Peixoto - where the Gripen Flight Test Center and the Gripen Final Assembly will also be based - will be the hub for technology transfer and fighter development in the country. Partnering Saab and Embraer would be AEL Sistemas, Atech, Akaer and the Brazilian Air Force through its research department DCTA.

A Brazilian Government report quoted Colonel Julio Cesar Cardoso Tavares saying, "This project will allow Brazil to have autonomy to build fighter aircraft in future. It is a facility to back the country's efforts to develop high performance fighters."

The GDDN includes the development environment and simulators required to undertake the fighter development work. In addition, the GDDN is connected to Saab in Sweden and the industrial partners in Brazil, securing both technology transfer and efficient development.

“We have a long-term commitment to Brazil. The launch of the GDDN is a key milestone in the Brazilian Gripen programme as it will be the basis for the technology transfer and fighter development in the country,” said Håkan Buskhe, CEO and president of Saab.

Read the full story here.

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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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