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Ahead of the recent Paris Air Show, members of the Gripen User Group met up in Paris on 20 June to add Brazil as the newest member of the group.

The Gripen User Group is made up of representatives of countries that operate the Gripen fighter. Before Brazil, the last induction in the group was that of Thailand in 2010. The Gripen Users Group holds a bi-annual conference to share the participants’ experiences of flying the fighter. The Group shares information, and the discussions revolve around Gripen’s operational, maintenance, logistics, engineering and safety matters.

The User Group also conducts ‘Lion Effort’ - a tactical exercise aimed to improve interoperability between the Gripen operating countries. Hungary will host Lion Effort in 2018. 

Read the full story here​.

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A week after Gripen E's successful maiden flight, it was time for the second flight on 22 June. Test pilot Robin Nordlander piloted this 68 minutes flight in which several tests like take-off with afterburner and aileron rolls, were conducted. The test programme is going as planned and more flights will follow.

Photo: Stefan Kalm

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Czech Air Force's 'Wildcat' was ranked as the second best tiger painted aircraft at the NATO Tiger Meet 2017, reports Afbcaslav.cz​.

The Meet was held between 5 and 16 June. Several dozens of training missions were carried out by Czech pilots in the framework of the prestigious NATO tiger squadrons exercise.

Image Courtesy: Afbcaslav.cz

​During the Seinäjoki International Airshow, a Czech Gripen performed a 360 degree turn over on the runway before its flight. Watch it in action.


​Catch Gripen in action as it performed a stunning aerial display at the annual SAAF Museum air show at AFB Zwartkop last month. The airshow was held on 06 May. More than 30,000 visitors attended the event.

Saab test pilot Marcus Wandt explains how he prepared for Gripen E's first flight.

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Last week, Thursday, June 15, Gripen E made its maiden flight. It was a fantastic moment and so did our followers think in our social channels as well. Here is a compilation of posts from our Twitter followers showing their love. Get the best of Gripen E Twitter posts here​.​

​"Gripen made its maiden flight with fully qualified software for the revolutionary avionics system. This gives us the confidence that the rest of our program will run on schedule," said Jonas Hjelm, Senior VP and Head of Saab Business Area, Aeronautics during a press conference yesterday.

“It is a historic moment for Saab.”

Hjelm added that from the beginning, Saab has maintained that Gripen E is a smart fighter. “And it is smart in so many ways. With the split avionics, we can adapt Gripen to meet the requirements of future, that too in a very short lead time. This means Gripen E pilots will always be ahead and prepared for ever-evolving battle scenarios.”

"We did it. It was indescribable. Magic," said the super excited Marcus Wandt, test pilot who flew Gripen E. Wandt said that if someone asked him five years back about the number of expected safety checks after a maiden test flight, he would have said five maybe.  “But today, with Gripen E, there was not a single malfunction. It was super stable,” he said.

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At 10:32 am today, Gripen E took off on its maiden flight, flown by a Saab test pilot. The aircraft (designation 39-8) left from Saab’s airfield in Linköping, Sweden and flew over the eastern parts of Östergötland for 40 minutes. During the flight, the aircraft carried out a number of actions to demonstrate various test criteria including the retracting and extending of the landing gear.

“The flight was just as expected, with the aircraft performance matching the experience in our simulations. Its acceleration performance is impressive with smooth handling. Needless to say I’m very happy to have piloted this maiden flight,” says Marcus Wandt, Experimental Test Pilot, Saab.

Read more here.

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Four Czech Gripen fighters and 30 Czech personnel are currently participating in the NATO Tiger Meet 2017 in Landivisiau, France, hosted by Flottille 11F squadron of the French Marine Nationale. As per the custom, one of the participating Gripen had a colourful tiger scheme on its tail.

The training missions in the Meet included simulated air combat exercises like search and destroy targets and rescue operations, and aerial refueling.

"The best part of the exercise is, of course, its extent and duration. You can find out the effectiveness of your own aerial combat tactics and complex mission planning," says the commander of the participating Czech squadron Lt. Col. Jaroslav Tomaňa.

Two days of the NATO Tiger Meet, 8th and 14 June, were Spotter's Days. On these two days, visitors could see and photograph all the participating fighter jets at five different spotting locations. 

NATO Tiger Meet 2017 will end tomorrow.

Read more here​.

Image Courtesy: Afbcaslav.cz​
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