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Category: TECHNOLOGY

During a two-week training at the Vidsel Air Base, Hungarian Gripen fighters were put through various training exercises to test the new capabilities that come with the MS20 update.

With its huge test and training area, the Vidsel Air Base is an ideal place for the six Hungarian Gripen fighters to train. "Technically, the MS20 capabilities have already been integrated to the fighters. But it is time to train the team to use the new features," says Lennart Zettergren, who is responsible for training at FMV, export division.

As a part of the MS20 update, Hungarian Gripen's engine control system, aircraft control system, and avionics system have gone through a software update. Pilot-machine interface, link functions, and radar functions have been updated as well. 

"So many changes are not easy to incorporate in a short span of time. There are several challenges. But the seamless cooperation between Saab, FMV and Hungary has made the modernisation of the Hungarian Gripen fleet possible despite a tight schedule," says Kristian Saf Pernselius, Project Manager for Gripen, Hungary at FMV.   

Read the full story here.

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Pilots and other personnel from the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) have participated in several operational exchange programmes so far to get an understanding of Gripen operations. For example, at a recent visit to Hungary, Major-Brigadier Jefson Borges learned about the latest Saab offerings for Gripen and interacted with Gripen operators as they shared their experiences of working in a combat environment from a tactical and logistical viewpoint.

Before that, Brazilian pilots attended the Lion Effort Exercise 2018 in October. Lion Effort was a great opportunity to see multiple Gripen operators train together, performing air-to-air and air-to-ground missions using BVR and Infrared missiles.

Currently, two FAB officials are travelling to Thailand for a three month training programme where they will understand in detail, the operational challenges, and get a brief on logistics, and support systems as well.

"The learning curve is very huge. In a short span of time, FAB has to be able to adapt to the new systems and use them for different mission scenarios," says Col. Aviador Ricardo Guerra Rezende, President of the Fox Group which is dedicated to the operational management of the Brazilian Gripen programme.

Read the full story here.

Image Source: FAB

It is critical that the person in the cockpit has full confidence in the capabilities of the aircraft. So the opinion of the FAB pilots about Gripen is extremely relevant! 

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Last month, Saab successfully completed a test flight by a Gripen E aircraft with the Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) for the first time.  

The flight included two Meteor missiles and the Gripen E aircraft (designated 39-8) was operated from Saab’s airfield at Linköping, Sweden.

“The aircraft continues to perform as smoothly as we have seen throughout the whole flight test phase flying with external stores. I’m really looking forward to the upcoming steps in the flight test programme, taking us closer and closer to completing weapon integration. Meteor makes Gripen E extremely capable in the air dominance role”, says Robin Nordlander, Gripen experimental test pilot, Saab.

Read the full story here.

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Gripen is designed for minimum turnaround time. So, how long does an air-to-air combat set-up take?

We believe it’s a human right to feel safe. Of course that goes for Gripen pilots too. That’s why we created the CBRN respirator (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear defense). Providing the pilot the power he or she needs to detect, neutralize and mitigate invisible threats enhances the protection of the individual pilot, the force on the battlefield - and not least - the civilians.

Gripen E has successfully completed the first tests to verify the ability to release and launch external payloads. Watch the video.​

 

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Denel Dynamics' fifth generation air-to-air missile A-Darter, which has previously been integrated with the South African Air Force Gripen, has completed its final qualification tests, reports Defence Web.

"All that is left is paperwork, which I expect to be completed by April next year," Japie Maré, Denel Dynamics A-Darter Progamme Manager said.

A-Darter is a short-range air-to-air missile to be used during aerial combat. It has the capability to lock on to a target even after launch, making sure the target aircraft's sensors don't see it coming. 

Successful A-Darter Missile firings with South African Gripen were first conducted in 2010, verifying the integration between the missile and the Gripen aircraft. As a part of the test, the missile was fired 22 times from Gripen excluding six “fire clearance” missile launches. Ever since, several verification tests have been successfully completed. In September this year, A-Darter cleared guided missile qualification tests.

According to Mare, A-Darter could be launched at a target at right angles to it and more (180 degrees) to the fighter aircraft. “If you can still see the target, you can launch it. We’ve done some of those launches; it’s almost like an over-the-shoulder shot,”  he says.

Read the full story here.

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When it comes to efficient development, Gripen E leads by examples. From model based development to segregated avionics, several prcendents have been set. And now, in an effort to make the Gripen E development even more fficient, Saab, the Swedish Armed Forces, and the Swedish Defence Material Administration (FMV) re now carrying out joint validation and verification of the combat aircraft system.

In the development of earlier versions of Gripen, validation and verification was generally carried out consecutively. To perform joint verification in which the three parties participate from the outset results in greater sophistication and efficiency in operations. The number of repeat tests is reduced and any measures that need to be implemented are recognised earlier.

- I am very happy over the enhanced co-operation between Saab, FMV and the Swedish Armed Forces. I believe this is the key to success and for delivery in time and in line with what is agreed with the customer. We will continue to develop and strengthen our co-operation for further efficiency in the programme, says Jonas Hjelm, head of Saab business area Aeronautics.

Sweden's most important industrial project?

"Joint testing affords us an opportunity to collaborate with industry at an even earlier stage of development. This reduces the risk of late and expensive reworking in the development programme. Moreover, this is perhaps Sweden's largest and most important industrial project, and it's at the cutting-edge of technology. And for this reason it is, of course, also very exciting ...

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The first Gripen E test aircraft, 39-8 jettisoned one external fuel drop tank and fired an IRIS-T air-to-air missile this month at Vidsel Test Range in the north of Sweden.

These tests are the latest steps in the Gripen E flight test programme preceded by the carriage trials in July and form part of the weapon integration work.

“As a pilot, flying with external stores such as drop tank and missiles is important to allow for evaluation of how the aircraft behaves with the stores attached. This test was also used to evaluate the effect of releasing and launching the stores on the aircraft. The highlight was of course to pull the trigger and watch the missile fire away. It also brings us closer to making the aircraft ready for its operational use”, says Marcus Wandt, Experimental Gripen Test Pilot at Saab.

Gripen E's first prototype flew its debut flight in June 2017. Since then, the Gripen programme is on track. In October 2017, Gripen E prototype went supersonic for the first time. The next two prototypes 39-9 and 39-10, have already left the production line at Linkoping, and are currently undergoing verification ahead of their first flights, which is scheduled for 2019.

Read the full story here.

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