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Winning in a modern battlespace has become more challenging with every passing day, thanks to the fast-paced technological advancements. Situational awareness, however, can turn the tables when it comes to taking decisions faster than your opponent. 

Saab Test Pilot, Martin, talks about the features of Gripen E's Wide Area Display (WAD), a panoramic high-resolution screen (19 x 8 in) that uses data fusion to provide the pilot with all kinds of flight and mission information during a flight, at the recently held Canada's Global Defence & Security Trade Show (CANSEC 2018). 

WAD shares the right tactical information with the pilot at the right time. In fact, it does more than that. It shares information in easily interpretable, information-centric icons. The pilot can reconfigure information presentation as per their requirement during a mission.


With WAD, the pilot can toggle between different screens simultaneously, and also opt for full screen mode for any of the functionalities for the sake of superior situational awareness. “Fighter aircraft today need to have tactical supervision over a greater physical area as compared to aircraft of the past, owing greatly to the invention and prevalence of BVR (Beyond Visual Range) missiles. The Wide Area Display comes in very handy in providing this data, “says Martin.

Brazilian company AEL Sistemas (AEL) is Saab's supplier of WAD. The first simulator with WAD was presented by Saab in April this year.​


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The fifth generation of fighter aircraft was defined in the 1980s and was characterized by an emphasis on positional awareness and stealth. However, it’s been quite a while since then, and the focus has gradually shifted from overtly relying on stealth and tactical positioning to Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, collectively grouped as ISR capabilities. Since the Gripen E/F is being developed to have these capabilities, and with several advanced software features that are considered breakthroughs in defence, Bill Sweetman of Aviation Week had argued that it could well be called a sixth generation fighter.

Explaining some of the key concepts of Gripen evolution in a recent interview with HushKit, Richard Smith, Head of Gripen Marketing, points out that the pace of technology probably makes the concept of “generations” redundant: “We have understood that the future of air combat is going to be defined by technology – and we have built a system that truly adapts and embraces new technologies in a way that will keep us ahead of 21st century threats – fast. This is achieved through our deep and long experiences in sensor fusion and a revolutionary avionics system. For me, it means that the talk of generations, I hear so much of from within the industry just no longer means anything at all. The technology we have now, the ideas Saab engineers are working on, ensure that Gripen quite literally transcends all generations.”

About Gripen's thrust-to-weight ratio, Smith says that it is certainly enough. "The ...

The five-day Swedish Air Force Exercise, AFX18, came to an end on May 30th at the Ämari Air Base near Tallinn, in Estonia. Eight Gripen fighters from the F7 Wing of the Swedish Air Force were deployed. Along with the hosting nations, Estonia and Sweden, the air forces of Finland, France and Spain also took part in the aerial exercises over the Baltic Sea in the air space shared between Estonia and Sweden. 

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The primary purpose of training was to put pilots through simulated air combat situations. This time around, the difficulty level of the exercise was upped a notch. The aircraft tried out new tactics and manoeuvres during the air combat exercises while refining processes and methodologies tested in previous exercises. 

The ground team in Ämari Air Base worked day and night to keep the aerial exercises up and running. The Swedish team collaborated with their Estonian colleagues and were in charge of the safety of the aircraft and the airport perimeter.​

Read the full story here

Image Courtesy: Swedish Armed Forces 

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Saab is confident that Gripen E is the right fighter for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), reports Skiesmag.com.

According to Richard Smith, Head of Gripen marketing and sales, there are plans of a visit by a Canadian delegation in near future​. Smith, however maintained that there were no plans for a flight evaluation yet. 

Smith added that Saab is in continuous dialogue with the Canadian Government and expects a draft proposal in the third quarter of 2018.

Emphasizing that Gripen will be a good fit for the RCAF operations, he said, “Operational requirements in Canada, including the high north, the Arctic and forward operating bases are very similar to Sweden".

Canada is a country that contributes to numerous NATO operations. They are currently active in Eastern Europe and are a part of the Global Coalition against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. In their missions, the RCAF is faced with varied threats in different weather conditions. The Air Force is in need of fighters that can be equally effective against insurgents and terrorists, and also render anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) strategies ineffective.  

Read the full story here.

​SwAF Gripen pilots trained for night flying recently. This training is conducted every few months by the Swedish Air Force.

Flying a fighter aircraft at night is a different experience for pilots, as they have to be much more aware of their surroundings in low light. The goal of exercises like this is to increase the combat readiness of the SwAF Gripen fighters.​​

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The successful first flight of Gripen E in June 2017 was a check in the box and a step towards the first delivery to customers.

Photo: Stefan Kalm

Click here to download the calendar.

The Čáslav Air Base had sent four Gripen fighters to participate in the NATO Tiger Meet 2018 last month. With 47 flights in total, these fighters logged in more than 54 hours in the air.

One of these Gripen fighters, which had a motif that celebrated 100 years of the Czechoslovak Air Force, also won the third prize for the most beautiful camouflage.

​Take a look at how Czech Gripen with different motifs on their tails perform various exercises at the NATO Tiger Meet 2018.

​Gripen wowed the visitors at the SAAF Museum Airshow which was held at the Swartkops air force base earlier this month. The theme of this year's airshow was "The indomitable spirit".​ The airshow was organised at the Air Force Base in Swartkop, Pretoria.​

 


​General Micael Bydén, Supreme Commander Swedish Armed Forces, elaborates on how the MS20 upgrade has acted as a gamechanger over the Baltic Sea.

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For the first time ever, a Swedish contingent of eight Gripen fighters is in Estonia for an annual Swedish air exercise called AFX18.

These Gripen fighters are currently based at the Ämari Air Base. Flights have been scheduled through the day with aerial exercises mostly happening in the Swedish airspace.

The Estonian Air Force is also participating in the exercise. Commander of the Estonian Air Force, Colonel Riivo Valge said, "This is the first joint exercise between the air forces of Estonia and Sweden after the restoration of Independence. It is definitely an interesting challenge for both parties and it provides an excellent opportunity to practice cooperation with different countries."

Besides Gripen fighters, more than 90 personnel from the Swedish Air wing F 7 Sotenäs are also in Estonia. In addition to Sweden and Estonia, Finland, France and Spain are also taking part in the exercise.

AFX was first held in 2010. The exercise aims to develop high availability of the Swedish fighters and hone the participating pilots' skills to perform in high conflict scenarios for long durations. 

AFX18 will end on 31st May.

Read the full story here

Image Courtesy: Forsvarsmakten​

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