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​2015 was a year when Gripen fighters completed 10 years of service in the Czech Republic. It was the year when Czech pilots reached the milestone of 20,000 Gripen flight hours. It was also a year in which the Czech Gripen fighters were deployed in a range of exercises and missions. Here are some of the highlights of the year that went by:

Joint training with British fighters at Čáslav Air Base

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Between 12 and 16 March 2015, 10 Czech pilots and 30 Royal Air Force personnel participated in the Quo Vadis exercise at Čáslav Air Base. The exercise battle, which had training sessions and one-on-one and two-on-one combat sessions, ended up in a draw.  

Czech Republic hosted the Lion Effort this year

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Teams from various Gripen operating airforces like Hungary, Thailand and Sweden were in the Czech Republic in May 2015 to attend the international exercise 'Lion Effort'. The exercise coincided with the celebrations of ten years of operation of Gripen in the Czech Republic.

The Iceland Mission

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Between July and August 2015, Czech Gripen fighters and about 70 personnel were sent to Iceland to provide aerial surveillance to the country. Over 70 training flights were conducted as a part of this mission. This was the fourth time the Czech Gripen had been deployed to provide aerial surveillance to NATO States and the second time they had been deployed in Iceland.

Read the full story here​.

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Saab has received an order from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) for the development and series production of countermeasures dispensers for the Gripen fighter. The order value amounts to SEK223 million.

The order supports development and series production of countermeasures dispensers for chaff and flares for Gripen E and C/D. This will enhance the defensive capabilities of the aircraft.

Work will begin in 2016 and will be completed in 2020. The order involves Saab’s business areas Aeronautics, Electronic Defence Systems and Support and Services.

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What makes the Gripen NG development unique and cost effective is a combination of a model based design and reduced parts count. Both ensure that the Gripen E development is on time and in sync with the latest technologically advanced processes.

The model based development ensures that design errors are detected early and not late in the development process. The system allows verifications to be conducted in simulators and as a result, fewer test flights are needed. So, while almost 4,000 sorties were required to prepare the C/D model, the new test platforms should fly only a combined 1,200 times.

According to Lars Ydreskog, Saab’s head of aerospace operations, a model-based design technique is generating huge benefits for the Gripen E project.

“You can show the operator how they will do something in 2023, before you’ve done anything in the development,” he notes.

At the Dubai Air Show 2015, Head of Saab’s aeronautics business area Ulf Nilsson said that Saab has dramatically reduced the number of parts in Gripen development through modular design. 

For example, for Gripen NG, currently one machine part is being used to manufacture a radar frame, but the number of machine parts was more than 20 for the same in Gripen C. This not only delivers cost efficiency, but also means that every new aircraft will be less complex and quicker to put together.

A lot of these efficiency measures come from Saab's experience in the Gripen’s conversion from the A/B to C/D. With every new ...

At the Dubai Air Show 2015, Ulf Nilsson, Head of Saab’s aeronautics business area, revealed that the New Generation Gripen has reached its final assembly stage. These are some of the images from the production process.

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According to Ulf Nilsson, model based designing fits extremely well within the Gripen program.

“We had less [production line] feedback on the first aircraft than we have on the running production of the [Gripen] C/D,” he says in an interview with the Flightglobal​.​

"The big news for the Gripen program is that we are moving into the production phase now. We can see the benefits from the model based design. I think we are the only company that has adopted a model based designing in all disciplines. And now we can say it fits extremely well within the Gripen program," says Ulf Nilsson, Head of business area, Aeronautics at the Dubai Air Show. 

Dubai Air Show is the biggest aerospace event in the Middle East which is held after every two years. It boasts of 1,100 exhibitors from over 60 countries. The event started on 8 November and ended on 12 November​.

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The first group of our Brazilian colleagues landed in Sweden last year. In this first round, 46 employees from Embraer and two from AEL Sistemas have made their way to Linköping. By February this year, the next group of 4 people will arrive. Around 30 people in total will arrive during the spring, with another 40 people due in the autumn of 2016.

Over time, around 350 Brazilian engineers will journey to Sweden to take part in courses and on-the-job-training within the framework of the Gripen to Brazil programme. Their arrival will coincide with new phases in the programme. This first phase will include many systems engineers and software developers. Pilots, flight test engineers, production engineers, and so on will be arriving a bit further down the line.

Read the full story here​.

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Gripen pilots, from left: Lt Col Tomás Fekete (Hungary), Lt Col Jörgen Axelsson (Sweden), Lt Col Jaroslav Míka (Czech Republic) and Captain Chayot Sawansan (Thailand)

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Maintenance manager Jan Ducha carries out a service check on a Gripen during the Lion Effort exercise.

jaroslav_slezak__pavel_svec_sid-16-copy.jpgTechnician Jaroslav Slezak and pilot Pavel Svec carry out final checks on the Gripen prior to take-off from the Čáslav airbase in the Czech Republic.

The Czech Gripen fleet has been around for ten years now and has proved its capability via its participation in numerous exercises and NATO deployments. "It was we Czechs who proved that Gripen was fully NATO-compatible, "says Lieutenant Colonel Jaroslav Mika, Commander of Caslav's 211 Squadron.

“Apart from the Swedes themselves, the Czech air force was the first to fly Gripen,” notes the Lieutenant Colonel.

Czech Gripen’s first flight took place in 2005. The contract which was signed a year earlier included a ten year lease agreement for 12 Gripen Cs and two Gripen D model trainers. During the initial years of the agreement, thirteen Swedish military experts were sent to the Czech Republic to provide Gripen conversion training and technical support to Czech pilots. This included personnel from SwAF and Saab. Gradually, the number of these experts was decreased and this month, the last three experts came back to Sweden as well.

In the last ten years, Czech Gripen have been deployed to a number of exercises that are designed to promote solidarity between NATO air forces. For example, between October and ...

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Saab and Boeing are working in collaboration to develop a trainer aircraft for the USAF. Saab has been working on this project for a couple of years with a team both in St Louis and in Linköping and Saab CEO, Håkan Buskhe has complete confidence in their entry into the T-X competition. 

Along with the T-X trainer, Saab is working on the development of the new generation of Gripen fighters and there will also be a two-seater variant of the Gripen NG. 

"We really have not been doing so many aircraft types since the 50s," Buskhe says.

On being asked about new markets for Gripen, Buskhe says that there are many possibilities but he cannot say much. Swedish Air Force had earlier announced that it cannot lend any more Gripen C/D. Buskhe says that Saab can still export Gripen C/D variant adding that it is possible to supply new C/D fighters in 18 months. 

Read the full story here.​

The Saab 105, Viggen, Draken, and Tunnan fighters, Saab’s classic military jets, joined the Czech Air Force Gripen in a fly by at the Ostrava’s NATO Days and Czech Air Force event this year. The classic jets were operated by the Swedish Air Force Historic Flight. “It was wonderful to see Gripen join the Swedish Air Force Historic Flight in Czech skies,” said Daniel Boestad, head of Gripen for Central and Eastern Europe.

Video courtesy: Jagello2000

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The Royal Thai Air Force and the Royal Thai Navy successfully linked data systems between a surveillance-early warning aircraft equipped with Erieye radar system and Gripen fighter and HTMS Naresuan this year, reports ASTV Manager Online.

This was the first time that the Royal Thai Air Force and the Royal Thai Navy worked with integrated radar signals using technology from Saab.

According to the report, the linked data systems will integrate usage of modern equipment, which will help increase the tactical capacity of both military forces to coordinate operations with improved efficiency.

As per the Royal Thai Navy, once the implementation is done, there will be an integration of radar signals from both types of radar from both military forces. This will improve target detection, information sharing and joint attacks.

The “Data link” system between surveillance-early warning aircraft Saab 340 AEW&C and Gripen and frigate HTMS Naresuan will let airborne fighting units and sea fighting units share tactical information with each other. They will now “see each other” and “see the target together” which is very useful for a successful mission, the report concludes.

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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