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To meet the challenges of supporting the Gripen in extreme weather conditions with temperature dropping down to -25 degrees, the Swedish Air Force ground personnel have to be ready and prepared all the time. Kent Löving writes in the forsvarsmakten​ about how the task of getting an aircraft battle ready and back in the air in, sometimes, five minutes is the challenge that keeps technicians going. 

One needs people on the ground to put planes in the air and, for that, the whole business of  reloading, refueling, checking engines and making sure that the required missiles are loaded correctly is critical to keeping planes in the air. 

Read a short account of the life of a Gripen technician in Eye On Technology

Image Courtesy: forsvarsmakten​

​RTAF Gripen performed a spectacular aerobatic act at the LIMA’13, Malaysia’s top air show, that ended last Sunday. The video shows Gripen's magnificient aerial displays in a clouded sky. 

A Gripen simulator was also on display at the Saab stand. Organised after every two years, LIMA'13 offered strategic opportunities for traders and industry members to network and showcase their latest products. 

Here are a few snapshots from the event:

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RTAF Gripen at LIMA'13

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RTAF Gripen taking off for the air display
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Maj. Gen. Micael Bydén, Chief of Staff of the Swedish Air Force and his RTAF conterpart Marshal Prajin Juntong greet each other 

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Royal Thai Air Force Gripens are being prepared for the show

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Malayan pilot, flying the Gripen simulator

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Hungarian Gripen fighters are likely to defend Slovenia's airspace in the near future, says a news report in BAON.The agreement between Defence Minister Csaba Hende and Slovenian counterpart Ales Hojs Lendava was finalized in Slovenia. Csaba Hende said that the agreement for involvement of Hungarian Defence Forces in the defense of Slovenian airspace was preceded by several years of preparatory work. He said that the final agreement is expected to be signed in May.

“The definitive agreement signed between the two countries must be authorized by the governments." Csaba Hende said.

Read the full story: Kecskemét fighters will also protect the airspace of Slovenia​

Image: Victor Veres

​The sun shone and the crowd beamed as two Gripens flew by at noon on Saturday, to open the day’s racing at the Swedish Ski Games in Falun, central southern Sweden. 

Saab is sponsoring the Swedish Ski Games in Falun in 2013, 2014 and in 2015 when the town plays host to the Nordic World Ski Championships.

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​A spectacular military exercise was held in Hajmáskér, Hungary, where the operations of the infantry and the armoured corps were completed with the support of Gripens in the air. The Gripen fleet managed to annihilate all land targets, but as one of the pilots puts it, the simulator programme would give a much more realistic report of the mission’s success. 

At the end of the exercise, the military displayed the vehicles that were used in the rescue operations last weekend, when a large number of the population got stuck on the roads due to the amount of snow and a major accident.

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Sweden, the only NATO Partnership for Peace member to have sent an operational fighter squadron to Red Flag, is being hailed for the Gripen’s evolution, reportsFlightglobal.

The report quoted US Ambassador to Sweden Mark Brzezinski saying, "The Swedish air force was not invited to Red Flag as a casual courtesy. Instead, the Swedish air force and its pilots earned their seat at the Red Flag table."

"By performing ably in operations like Unified Protector over Libya, where the Swedish air force performed their reconnaissance role brilliantly, the Swedes have shown their capacity and ability to produce results," Mark adds.

Read the full story:Sweden hails Gripen's evolution at Red Flag

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LIMA’13, Malaysia’s biggest air show, kickstarts today at the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre, Langkawi, Malaysia. 

First held in 1991, Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) brings together the latest technology and products from the aerospace and defense industries.

The air show attracts more than a hundred thousand visitors, hundreds of exhibitors from the international aerospace industry and numerous government, military, scientific and trade delegations. 

Saab will be presenting its range of cutting-edge technologies at Stand A75. RTAF’s Gripens will perform displays at the event. 

The latest Gripen simulator will be at the show as well.

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RTAF Gripen makes an air display at Don Muang airport on Saturday 23 March

The Royal Thai Air Force sends one RTAF Gripen to participate at the LIMA´13 air show at the Malaysian island Langkawi. The aircraft will perform aerobatics for the visitors. The air show begins today and will run until 30 March.

Photo: Dennis Thern​

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“Sales of the current models of Gripen and the next generation model may exceed 300 units in the next two decades.” says Eddy de La Motte, head of Gripen Exports.

According to a Bloomberg news report, Saab is hopeful about Gripen’s export prospects as F-35 buyers are considering other option now due to budget constraints.

Eddy De La Motte said in an interview that a lease of fighters to Malaysia, a new sale to Finland and a follow-on deal with Thailand are possible in future.

The report further says that Saab has secured Gripen’s future with an agreement from its home country, Sweden, and Switzerland to jointly develop the new version to be delivered from 2018.

“We can now offer a fixed price, fixed performance and fixed timetable,” Eddy said. “The outlook is better than anything I have seen.”

Read the full story:Saab Says Gripen Export Chances Rise as F-35 Buyers Review Plans

Image: Peter Liander

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A report inDenikgives an overview of the detection system (mobile security system) used by the Czech Air Force and describes how the Czech Army is totally satisfied with the SMD module deployed to the Czech Gripen aircraft.

Sensor system is needed to guard the space around an aircraft. Detector modules are spaced around the circumference of the machine at a maximum distance of 150 m (depending on the terrain). This creates a narrow curtain around the supersonic aircraft. If someone or something gets too close, the sensing cable immediately triggers an alarm.

The monitoring workstation is located at a distance of hundreds of meters from Gripen.  Once an alarm is triggered, it appears on the computer screens in the control room and then the military police immediately takes action against intruders.

The report says that the Czech Army is satisfied with the detection system. "We are using Mobile Detection System from Sieza companies for several years and we are happy. For a military cooperation, there has been no serious incident, "says Colonel Petr Lanka, Caslav base commander, who was also the commander of Task Organization for Baltic Air Policing 2013.

The SMD module has also proved itself in Iraq. The system is able to operate in the most difficult weather conditions and at the same time is well protected against damage during transport and handling. Built-in batteries allow operation of the system without a power source.

Read the full story: Fighters on earth today CzechPolice special technique

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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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