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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.

Trident Juncture is one of NATO's biggest exercises in recent years. More than 51,000 personnel from 31 countries are participating in this exercise. There are about 250 aircraft and helicopters, 65 vessels and 10,000 vehicles involved. The exercise is being conducted in Norway, Sweden and Finland.

One of the main goals of Trident Juncture is to test NATO Response Force's capabilities. For Swedish participants, the exercise is a great opportunity to work with different air forces, and operate different weapon systems, connection systems etc. A lot of coordination is also required by Gripen pilots to fly with multiple fighters (as many as 50).

A usual morning for SwAF Gripen unit participating at the Trident Juncture 2018 involves a set of exercises. In the morning, they have AM Wave, which usually consists of small missions. In the afternoon and evening, all largescale exercises are performed. Night time flying is usually similar missions with night vision goggles.

Trident Juncture 2018 will end on 23rd November.

Read the full story here.

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At the ongoing Indo Defence, Indonesia’s biggest defence and security exhibition, Saab is showcasing its products like Gripen, RBS 70 NG and Saab 2000 Erieye Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C).

Saab supports Indonesia’s desire to modernise its armed forces and advance local high-technology industry. Following the introduction of Law 16/2012 for the defence industry, Indonesia is on its way towards self-sufficient defence capabilities and Saab is ready to comply with all the obligations of these strict procurement rules. 

Read the full story here​.​

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.

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Swedish Air Force Gripens are currently participating at one of the biggest NATO exercises called Trident Juncture 18 in Norway.

Military forces from more than 31 countries are participating in the exercise. the exercise is aimed at increase interoperability amongst NATO nations and member countries and prepare for uncertain threats.

During the exercise, the Swedish pilots will fly four Gripen fighters two to three times a day. During the exercise, there are times when about a hundred aircraft are in the air. Therefore a lot of planning a rehearsals are a part of the Trident Juncture exercise.

"We are here to develop our ability to cooperate with other countries, mainly with the United States and Finland. It is all about practicing military strategy. We are mostly acting in the air defense role, and also in the field control role, which will come in later in the exercise, "says Swedish Division Manager Joakim Saviniemi.

Read the full story here.

Photos: Louise Levin, Jerry Lindbergh/Försvarsmakten

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​Defence From Above

Since 2006, the Hungarian Air Force Gripen have tirelessly protected their skies from wing MH59, Kecskemét.

To download the calendar, click here​.

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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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Here is one more Gripen fun fact for you to chew on.​

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“Saab's Gripen is the best option for Philippines in terms of price and capability,” said Delfin Lorenzana, Secretary of National Defense of the Philippines.

In an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA), Lorenzana said this inclination is a result of a lot of research on the requirement and options available. Lorenzana also stressed on the need for new fighters in Philippines.

“The acquisition of multi-role jetfighters is badly needed to protect the country’s airspace,” he said.

According to Lorenzana, cost will be an important factor while making the final decision. "The F-16 supersonic jet fighter interceptors are more expensive in comparison to the Gripens," he said.

Earlier this year, President Rodrigo Duterte had approved the MRF (Multi-Role Fighter) acquisition in principle, building a momentum around the programme.

Saab has been in dialogue with the Phillipine Air Force for several years now. Based on the discussions with PAF's technical working group, Magnus Hagman, Campaign Director, Gripen and airborne systems, had told the press at the recently held ADAS 2018 exhibition that Gripen C/D with MS20 upgrade and Mk4 radar should be the perfect fit for the Philippine Air Force.

PAF currently operates F-50 jets that were purchased from South Korea.

Read the full story here.

​Gripen performs at the NATO Days in Ostrava & Czech Air Force Days. One of the biggest security shows in Europe, NATO Days in Ostrava & Czech Air Force Days presents the resources and the capabilities of the Czech Republic and its allies in the field of defence and security.

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