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This year, Hungarian Air Force (HuAF) Gripen pilots will be, for the first time, trained for air-to-air refueling (AAR), reports Legiero.blog.hu.

As per the blog post, HuAF Gripen will patrol the Baltic sky in the second half of 2015 and the first half of 2016. The participating Air Force pilots must be prepared for an AAR while providing air policing duties in 2016. In order to be equipped with the AAR knowledge by that time, the pilots need to be trained this summer.

The details of the training are not available yet, but a Flyvapen C-130 tanker may be used. Last month, Hungarian Air Force Gripen practiced familiarization flights in Estonia in order to get ready for the Baltic mission.

The blogpost adds that though this AAR knowledge is not a must for the Baltic Air Policing in the last 4 month of 2015, but it would provide a lot of flexibility to the service providers.

Read the full story: Idén először tankolnak a levegőben a pumafejes magyar Gripenek​

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Saab's naval version of Gripen E for the Brazilian Navy might be a step closer now, reports Airheads Fly​.

According to the report, the Aviação Naval Brasileira (AvN) may opt to initiate dialogues regarding the development of the naval version of Gripen E, also known as Sea Gripen.

The Sea Gripen is intended for both CATOBAR as well as STOBAR operations. All the sensors, avionics and weapons and the GE 414G of the Gripen NG will be offered in the Sea Gripen. The small logistic footprint, high availability and a smaller, lighter airframe results in significant gains from a maintainability point of view. The Gripen spares inventory is therefore lighter, smaller and adds less to the load of the carrier and it takes fewer personnel to maintain the aircraft.

The Sea Gripen will also have superior sensor fusion abilities, the Selex Raven AESA radar, Infra-Red Search and Track, plus a revolutionary avionics architecture including ultra-fast databuses and Ethernet.  The system can be easily integrated with advanced weapon systems

Read the full story here.​

Hungarian Gripen in the air. Photo Victor Veres.jpg
Extra maintenance equipment for Gripen fighters are being supplied to the Hungarian Air Force by a Swedish Defense and Security Export Agency, reports UPI.com.

According to the report, the Swedish Defense and Security Export agency did not specify the equipment to be provided, but said the gear will "strengthen Hungary's capacity for taking part in international operations”.

The extra maintenance gear is being provided under a supplementary agreement to a Gripen lease contract that was signed in 2002 and runs until 2026.

It was 2001 when Hungary decided on a lease contract for 14 Gripen aircraft. The decision made Hungary one of the first NATO members to order an advanced, multi-role, latest generation fighter aircraft for national defence tasks as well as for NATO and EU missions. All aircraft were delivered in 2006 and 2007, and all 14 aircraft were in operation with the Hungarian Air Force by the end of 2008.

Read the full story here.

The Royal Thai Air Force, RTAF, arranged its traditional Children´s Day event at Don Mueang Air Force base in Bangkok, January 10th 2015. As always it became an event which attracted a huge crowd of children, parents, aviation fans and even some plane spotters from abroad. 

One main feature during the day was the aerobatic shows by two RTAF Gripen aircraft from Wing 7 in Surat Thani. Several other RTAF aircraft participated in fly-by formations, like the AU-23A Peacemaker which discharged smoke strings in the Thai national flag colours over the crowd. Most aircraft in RTAF´s inventory were exhibited on the tarmac in front of the Wing.

Saab-Avia co-arranged games and Q&A for the kids in its booth. As last year, the three top prizes were flights with the Gripen Simulator at  Avia Satcom HQ just off Don Mueang airport.

Check out the photos:

gripen_6.jpgRTAF Gripen roars as they take off in front of thousands of visitors
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gripen_3.jpgWriting autographs and posing for pictures
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A polite Thai wai for the spectators

image001.jpgCrowd gathers at the Saab-Avia booth
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The lucky winner got a framed Gripen poster
Image Courtesy: Dennis Thern and Wisarut  Tanprasert​ (the bottom two)

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Last year, Czech Air Force Gripen pilots successfully conducted air surveillance and interception missions in Iceland. In an interview with Natoaktual.cz, Czech Gripen pilot and deputy commander of the 211th Tactical Squadron, Lieutenant Milan Nykodym talks about his experience of flying in a country with different terrains and climatic conditions.

“We were very well prepared for the action over Iceland. We were not surprised or caught off guard, a situation that you cannot afford as a military pilot anyway. Perhaps I would admit that I was a bit surprised by the beauty of the scenery that I saw in the country,” Lieutenant Nykodym says.

Czech Air Force pilots flew about 150 hours over Iceland during this mission, chalking off more than a hundred takeoffs from the Keflavík Air Base.

According to Lieutenant Nykodym, the air surveillance in Iceland was a bit different as compared to the Czech Republic. The standard time period between the announcement and take off was different. Also, the fighters were kept in tough shelters so that they were not exposed to harsh weather. 

The climatic conditions and terrains of Iceland gave ample opportunities to the Czech pilots to practice missions with different challenges.

“We got to practice flights over the sea, we searched ships using the onboard radar and worked in an environment of civil air traffic control, and much more,” Lieutenant Nykodym says.

Read the full story: Čeští tygři lovili na Islandu zkušenosti, rekapituluje pilot gripenu​

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In an interview with Diário do Grande ABC, FAB pilot Captain Gustavo de Oliveira Pascotto talks about his first flight in Gripen, his experience at the Swedish Air Force Base in Satenas and the knowledge he will transfer to all the units back home.

“It was great to get an opportunity to fly an aircraft like Gripen. The high engine performance during maneuvers and the integrated systems exceeded expectations. What surprised me the most during the flight was the full integration of systems and sensors, automatically managed by the aircraft,” he says.

About his experience at the Swedish Air Force Base, Captain Pascotto says the F7 Air Base is a facility with full infrastructure for operational air activity, and supporting staff is extraordinary. Personal and professional rapport with the squadron pilots was the main reason behind his easy adaptation at the Base. 

On being asked if he would like to give any message to aspiring pilots, Captain Pascotto said that aviation is more than a dream, considering the amount of effort that goes into becoming a fighter pilot.

“But undoubtedly, the effort is worth it in every way. I believe that it should be the same in all professions, actually. For those who wish to serve our country under the wings of the Brazilian Air Force, who wish to work for the air sovereignty of Brazil, aviation will certainly be a vibrant and promising profession. I would like to repeat the words spoken 17 years ago by my ...

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It felt like I was in one of the world’s most modern  fighters, perhaps the most modern. I have absolutely no doubt that Brazil has made the right choice. It is impressive how much information the pilot has at his fingertips. It feels like you are at the spearhead, fully equipped to defend your country”, said FAB pilot Major Renato Leal Leite who flew the Swedish fighter aircraft last year.

For a successful mission, having the right information and situation awareness is very important. It is also important that the pilot has the information filtered as per his or her requirement. A Gripen cockpit is an unrivalled mix of simplicity and sophistication. Its layout has three large colour, Multi-Functional Displays (MFD) and Hands-On-Throttle-And-Stick (HOTAS) that give the pilot a superior combat advantage: ‘don’t need, don’t show’.

Gripen pilots can acquire, retrieve, process, share and display tactical information, such as positional data for hostile and friendly units, missile engagement zones, and information from radar warning receivers.

Gripen is fitted with the Tactical Information Data Link System (TIDLS) which enables the pilot to obtain qualitative data from other Gripen, increasing group information and situation awareness and eventually enhancing the capability of force interaction.

Read more about Gripen’s features here.​

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Gripen NG, whose flexible and modular design makes continuous development and enhancements, is designed for combat scenarios in the 21st Century Net Centric Warfare (NCW) environment.

The new generation aircraft can not only accumulate information from different sources, but also process it and present it in a manner that is useful for the pilot during a mission. It has highly developed net-centric warfare capabilities, including an advanced sensor suite and strong focus on data links for sharing information within a Gripen NG tactical unit or with NATO forces.

The information advantage does not end here. The pilot can also receive data from controllers on the ground or in the air. A digital CAS and video link enables further communication benefits.

Gripen’s Data Link System (TIDLS), along with a Link 16 or National Data Link provide the following capabilities:

Data link within the Tactical Air Unit

Data link between Gripen, AEW&C and C2 centers on ground or at sea

Data link with Forward Air Controller

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From the beginning Gripen was conceived as a balanced design. Its unique mix of operational effectiveness, high technology and clear affordability is true to Saab’s tradition of offering products that are fully optimised for their purpose, while remaining always available and effective.

Click here to download the calender.

czech_gripen.jpgDefence and security company Saab received an order from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) for the extended lease of Gripen from Sweden to the Czech Republic this year. This agreement provides for the continuing support and upgrade of the Czech aircraft for a further 12 years. The order is valued at approx. SEK 576 million.

Gripen has been in service with the Czech Republic since 2005. In May 2014 a new agreement between Sweden and the Czech Republic extended this partnership for a further 12 years. As a result, the Czech Republic will continue to operate 14 Gripen C/D aircraft until at least 2027. Under the terms of this government-to-government agreement Saab acts as a supplier to FMV, which in turn provides the aircraft to the Czech Republic.

“The Czech Republic’s decision is further evidence of Gripen's high capability and great cost-efficiency. It proves again how well the aircraft stands up in global competition. As we develop the next generation of Gripen for Sweden and Brazil, we continue to see great international interest in Gripen C/D”, says Lennart Sindahl, Deputy CEO and Head of Saab’s business area Aeronautics.

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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