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The Smart Fighter

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​It all started in 1965 when Sweden invited some British journalists to visit its Air Force and the Saab facilities. The journalists found the visit to be very fruitful and informative and they suggested that the Swedish Air Force should have its own fan club of international and Swedish journalists who would annually receive information about developments in the Air Force and the aerospace industry.

The Air Force and press officers liked the idea and starting 1966, a meeting of journalists is held every year either in London or at Le Bourget, near the northeastern suburbs of Paris.

This year, in July, about 150 journalists from all over the world gathered in London to attend this Swedish Air Force Fan Club Annual Meet, reports

Brigadier General Albert Safar, Head of the Hungarian Air Force, addressing the journalists

Swedish Air Force chief Micael Bydén was the host of the Fan Club Meeting

Hungarian Air Force Chief, Brigadier General Albert Safar, Mats Gyllander, Chairman SAFF and Micael Bydén, Swedish Air Force Chief

Swedishairforcefanclub4.jpgSwedish Armed Forces Communications Director Erik Lagersten talks to a few foreign journalists​

Guest speaker at the meeting, Brigadier General Albert Safar, head of the Hungarian Air Force, gave the journalists an overview of Hungary's experiences in establishing the Gripen aircraft in its air defenses. 

Swedish Air Force chief, Major General Micael Bydén gave an introduction of the MS 20 upgrade of Gripen C/D aircraft followed by the latest updates on it. Bydén also talked about Gripen E and the Swedish Air ...

Swedish Air Force has deployed two Gripen fighter aircraft in Gotland because of the increased training exercises in the Baltic Sea, reports Sverigesradio.

Last month, the Swedish Armed Forces said that it had increased intelligence gathering and had called in extra staff to its headquarters over the crisis in Ukraine.

According to Swedish Armed Forces spokesperson Philip Simon, the two Swedish fighter jets are part of a so-called incident rotation. Stationed in Gotland, they would be in a better position to react quickly to the situation in the Baltic.

Read the full story:Höjd beredskap med två Jas Gripen på Gotland

Image Courtesy: Swedish Armed Forces

With over 45,000 spectators, CIAF airshow was a huge success this year, reports​. According to CIAF spokesman Tomáš Bran, Czech Air Force Gripen and L-159’s performance grabbed the most limelight at the event.

Nine European countries participated in CIAF 2014 which is less as compared to the previous years. Despite that, the excitement at the Hradec Králové airport was exceptional.

The 2 day airshow started with a flight formation by Czech Air Force Gripen with C-295 and L-159 ALCA on Saturday at 11 am. Display pilot Martin Spacek later performed a solo display with Gripen as well.

Czech Air Force had 18 aircraft and almost seven dozen pieces of ground equipment on display. The visitors at the event enjoyed six hours of aerial displays on both days which consisted of 29 aerobatic flight demonstrations. 

Read the full story: Letošní CIAF vidělo 45 000 diváků

Image Courtesy: CIAF​

Czech Gripen11.jpg
Czech Ministry of Defence, along with partners from several other countries, has signed a NATO summit agreement according to which it would buy 200 affordable air-to-ground missiles for its fleet of Gripen fighters, reports

"It is a typical example of the so called smart defense, which NATO promotes," said Czech Defence Minister Martin Stropnický, after signing the agreement.

The Czech air force’s fleet of Gripen fighters, based at Caslav air base, has 12 single seat Cs and two D-version trainers. This year, the Czech government decided to lease 14 Gripen C/Ds till 2027 with an option for another two years, the report says.

The NATO summit agreement has been signed together with partners from Denmark, Norway, Spain, Portugal and Greece.

Read the full story:Česko chce levně koupit téměř 200 raket vzduch-země. Na summitu NATO podepsalo dohodu

The Swiss Air Force celebrated its 100th anniversary in Payerne last week. A Swedish contingent of 25 personnel and 3 Gripen were a part of the celebrations, reports Forsvarsmakten.

Amongst the three Swedish Air Force Gripen, one was for static display and the other two performed at the event. The airshow was organized on two weekends with training days during the week which also attracted crowds. According to Swedish display pilot Stefan Kaarle, who was a part of the contingent, training exercises during the week were a prerequisite for flying at the celebration displays on the weekends.

Stefan, who has been a demonstration pilot in different types of aircraft since 1999, says that AIR 14 is one of the best planned performances he has ever attended.

Pilots from all over the world flew 184 displays with a grand total of 50 hours during Air14 Payerne.

Read the full story here: Svenska flygvapnet på flyguppvisning i Schweiz

South African Air Force Gripen will participate with a flying display at the Africa Aerospace and Defence 2014, an exhibition of air, land and sea technologies next week.

The airshow, which is to be held at AFB Waterkloof, Centurion in the City of Tshwane, South Africa, would have air demonstrations, mobility track demonstrations, parachute drops and aerobatic and static displays of fighter aircraft from various countries.

A Youth Development Programme (YDP) forms an integral component of the AAD show, as a part of which, children and youth will get to interact with people in the aviation sector and participate in other YDP activities at AAD 2014. The programme aims to create awareness about careers in the defence and aviation sectors. 

The airshow would be open to trade visitors between 17 and 19 September and to general public on 20 and 21 September. 

Know more about the event here.

​RTAF Wing Commander Chareon “Tonic” Watanasrimongkol, who has the experience of participating in Pitch Black exercise for a long time now, talks about his experiences and the objective of the exercise. 

Exercise Pitch Black 2014, the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF’s) largest and most complex air exercise, was held in the Northern Territory from 1-22 August 2014.​

gripen ng 19.jpg
In an important step to strengthen cooperation between the two countries, Defence Ministry of Brazil and Sweden have signed a technical Memorandum of Understanding on partnership in the field of military aeronautics, reports Defesanet.

The MoU has been designed to build enhanced cooperation on access and use of fields and test facilities, support in the Gripen aircraft user group, training and expertise of pilots and technicians and assistance for certification and quality assurance.

The agreement was signed by the Chief of Joint Staff of the Armed Forces (EMCFA), General Jose Carlos De Nardi, and Deputy Minister of Defence of Sweden, Carl von der Esch.

“This is a big step in the cooperation between our countries. The agreement was eagerly awaited by Brazilians, especially Brazilians in the Air Force," said General Nardi.


Czech Gripen 10.jpg
The Czech Republic, Slovakia and Sweden have signed a letter of intent agreeing to co-operate on using the Saab Gripen fighter, reports Flightglobal.

“Today's signing will lay the foundation for bilateral co-operation around a common airspace surveillance of Slovakia and the Czech Republic,” a translation of a statement from the Swedish defence ministry on 30 August said.

According to the report, signing of the letter of intent by Slovakia paves the way for a potential Slovakian acquisition of the Gripen fighter aircraft.

Slovakia is looking forward to replace its aging fleet of ten Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29AS (single-seat) and two MiG-29UBS (two-seat) fighter aircraft in the next few years and it is believed it may look to lease the Gripen, like its regional counterparts Hungary and the Czech Republic.

An earlier news report in IHS Jane’s​ quoted Slovak National Armament Office Director Róbert Tibenský saying that Slovakia will seek to emulate the neighboring Czech Republic and Hungary and lease a new type of combat aircraft to prevent a gap in its supersonic fighter capability.

Since January 2014, Slovakia is in discussions with the Swedish Government regarding leasing Gripen C/D. However, as per the report,  there will be an open competition and therefore nothing is final yet.

Read the full story: Slovakia creeps closer to Gripen agreement

It took several months of preparation to conduct this one and a half hour photographic mission successfully. The video shows Czech Air Force aircraft Gripen, L-159 Alca and L-39 Albatros in an air to air formation for the mission.

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