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​At the Baltic Air Policing, the deployed Hungarian Air Force contingent is on a 24 hour alert. According to the Airbase Blog, Baltic Air Policing in the earlier years were conducted in harsh conditions. However, things have improved a lot with practice, preparedness building and introduction of four new hangars.  Have a look at these images to catch a glimpse of a typical day of the Hungarian contingent members at the Šiauliai Airbase.

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Gripen outside the hangar

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Sign for the FOD (Foreign Object Damage) check. This ensures that any object that does belong in or near the aircraft has been removed. Examples of such objects include a stone or any tool that has been left behind by mistake.

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The hangars are equipped with facilities like air conditioning systems and computers.

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Engineers inspect everything including weapons and fuel before the aircraft is sent for the air policing.

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The Hungarian tanks at the ready.

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And so are the pilots.

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A minibus takes the pilots to the aircraft.

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Whether it is a training (Tango) or sharp (Alpha) alert, every second counts. The movements of the pilot are pre calculated and well rehearsed.

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All set for the take off.

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Up in the air in the lead role in Baltic Air Policing.

Image Courtesy: Airbase Blog 

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As per a SVD.se news report, the next generation Gripen is garnering a lot of interest and Saab is very optimistic about a new deal.

With the successful implementation of the Brazilian Gripen deal, Saab is looking forward to offer its star fighter to more potential customers. Ulf Nilsson, Head of Saab’s Aviation operations, expressed that Gripen attracted the attention of buyers at the recently concluded Dubai Air Show. 

“We received a lot of enquiries about our agreement with Brazil and on the development process of Gripen,” he says.

Nilsson did not mention any particular country but said that Saab is in conversation with several potential customers and a new Gripen deal may happen as early as the next year.

Saab has also received an order for the new ERIEYE radar system worth SEK 11 billion. The UAE purchased the new system and plans to mount it on Canadian made Bombardier aircraft. The ERIEYE system is capable of detecting activity in air, on land and at sea. 

Read the full story here.

​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​.

Gripen fighters from both the Czech and the Hungarian Air Forces have been conducting several air policing missions during the last few years. But what is typical for an air policing mission and what happens when the radar picks up an unidentified aircraft? How does an air interception actually work? Watch the video to know about the various stages of an air interception.

​"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 yesterday​.

​A contingent of four Hungarian Gripen fighters is on Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) at the Šiauliai airbase in Lithuania. Since 1st September the Hungarian fighters have been stationed in Lithuania as part of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing Mission. 

On the 8th of November they performed a tango (training) scramble on a Lithuanian Air Force C-27 J Spartan. Along a majority of training scrambles, a dozen alpha (actual) scrambles have been undertaken by the Hungarian Gripen since their deployment in September.

"We have intercepted different types of aircraft already. We intercepted Su-27 Flankers and An-26 transport aircraft, and also some civil aircraft. It’s our job to go up there and see what unknown aircraft near the Baltic States are up to. We follow NATO’s rules of engagement on each intercept,” says Hungarian Gripen pilot Viktor Langó.

Read the full story here.

​Exercise Trident Juncture 2015, NATO’s biggest exercise in a decade, was concluded last week. Personnel from NATO's Allied and partner nations were training together at the exercise to improve their operational readiness and interoperability.   

As a part of this exercise, six Swedish  Air Force Gripen flew with F-16s and F-18s from Finland, Norway, USA and Portugal. Here are a few snapshots from the exercise.

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Image Courtesy: Norrbottens Flygflottilj F 21

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Saab has received an order from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) to provide support and maintenance for Gripen during 2016 on behalf of the Swedish Armed Forces. The contract value is SEK154 million.

In 2012 Saab signed a contract with FMV for performance-based support and maintenance of the Gripen fighter. This latest order for services in 2016 is confirmation of an option held under that 2012 contract. The order includes support and maintenance operations with a focus on technical support, publications and component maintenance to support the continued operation of Gripen.

“This order for performance-based support and maintenance guarantees efficient operations and availability for the Gripen fighter over the coming years,” says Jonas Hjelm, Head of Saab´s Business Area Support and Services.

Read the full story here.


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On September 10 this year, Royal Thai Air Force Gripen completed 5000 flying hours, a short four years after they were inducted. The first batch of Gripen fighters for the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) had been delivered in February 2011.

Since then, the Gripen squadron at Wing 7 in Surat Thani has been up in the air a lot and employed at a number of different missions. The key to this quick attainment of the milestone rests as much with the competence of the Royal Thai Air Force personnel as with the high serviceability of the fleet.

RTAF Gripen’s recent deployments include a reconnaissance mission in the Andaman Sea to locate any illegal migrations. RTAF Gripen and Saab 340 Erieye AEW have been a part of this mission since June this year. Further, Thai Gripen pilots are today testing their skills against top guns from other air forces by participating in joint exercises. ​Earlier this year, at the Thai Boomerang exercise, personnel from the Royal Thai Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force tested out interoperability between the Thai and the Australian forces. In March this year, Thai Gripen took part in Exercise Cope Tiger 2015, a trilateral air exercise conducted by Thailand, Singapore and the United States. Five RTAF Gripen participated in the exercise along with about 90 military aircraft and 1200 personnel from the air forces of the three countries.

Read the full story here​.

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In a recent training exercise, SwAF Gripen technicians from air wing F7 practised Gripen aircraft maintenance under field conditions near forests, reports Forsvarsmakten.

“It has been a long time since we conducted a training exercise of this kind,” says Stefan Moback, Planning Officer at the 2nd Aviation Services Company. The last such exercise was held in 2004.

The training took place in a tent near the woods, a couple of kilometers from the Gripen hangars at F 7 Såtenäs. In these tents, maintenance of Gripen fighters can be done like it is done in the original hangar.

The tents are approximately 250 square meters wide and 6 meters high. They are supplied with electricity and heat to provide a good working environment even when it is cold and wet outside. The tents also have special containers which are connected for the safety material and for personnel.

Since the exercise was held after a long time, things were kept simpler and the staff had no pressure in the form of external threats. “We do not practice all of it in the first time,” says Moback. “We will build up the complexity of the exercise in terms of technology and staff, but we should do so after proper planning.”

Read the full story here.

Image courtesy: Forsvarsmakten​

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