The Airbase Blog takes a close look at how munitions are loaded on a Gripen fighter at MH 59, Szentgyörgyi Dezső Airbase, Kecskemét.
Right from day one, the Hungarian Gripen fighters had the capability to use NATO interoperable weapons including Laser Guided Bombs (LGBs) like GBU-12, and non-directional Mk 82 bombs.
A lot of theoretical and practical training goes into how these bombs are supposed to be handled. First of all, based on the training needs of the pilot, it is decided which weapon will be integrated to Gripen. While moving a bomb, all the necessary documents are checked first. All important data is mentioned on a felt attached to the bomb.
Thereafter, based on the training requirement at the Air Base, the bomb is assembled and prepared for integration.
Four trained personnel carry out the bomb suspension process in Hungary. One of these personnel is responsible for keeping a close watch on all the steps involved. He or she also makes sure no one is aboard the fighter during the suspension process, and that there is no one smoking in the area either.
Before the bomb is brought near the plane, the right kind of suspension rack (normal or emergency) is placed in the pylon. Then, an adapter, customized for lifting different kinds of weapons, is also brought in.
The bombs, in the meantime, are placed horizontally on a frame, all strapped and ready to be integrated to Gripen. Once brought near the plane, the other three people lift the bomb and place it at the right point. The ground fuse is then inserted to prevent the weapon cover to move. This fuse is removed only just before flight.
Once the bomb is all set at the right place, the frame on which the weapon was brought, is moved away from the fighter. The adapter is also removed. All the wires and hooks are checked again. In the end, the bomb's details are written in the aircraft book. A technical report is also made to record the entire weapon integration process.
Last year in June, the Hungarian Air Force Gripen, for the first time ever, dropped a bomb at the Vidsel firing range in Sweden during an exercise. Personnel at Kecskemét practiced this entire weapon integration process several times before and during the mission.
Read the full story here.
Image Courtesy: Airbase Blog