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​In early 2016, SwAF upgraded their Gripen C/D fleet to the MS20 configuration. Here are some photos of their upgraded Gripen aircraft armed with both Meteor missiles and Advanced Medium-Range Air-To-Air Missile (AMRAAM).

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A group of 16 fighter pilots, 4 flight controllers and other personnel from the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) recently undertook a week-long course with Gripen simulators at the Swedish Air Force Combat Simulation Centre (FLSC) in Stockholm, Sweden.

The objective of this course, which included theoretical studies in Brazil, was to familiarize pilots with controls in the Gripen cockpit and understand the fighter system before it arrives in the country. During the week-long course, participants had the opportunity to train in complex scenarios and learn basic combat techniques, tactical datalinks and situational awareness using Gripen simulators.

Each pilot attending the course had flown at least 500 hours in a fighter aircraft. During the course, they went from theory to practice almost immediately and the degree of difficulty in the scenarios increased rapidly, ending in a very complex Beyond-Visual-Range (BVR) combat scenario.

“The pilots are able to fly Gripen in the simulators after only an hour here at the course. The advantages of Gripen is not only in its radars, sensors, weapons and other capabilities, but also the outstanding Human Machine Interface (HMI) that makes Gripen easy for the pilot to use and maneuver. This is something that we can see in the simulators as well,” says Colonel Ricardo Rezende, Leader of the Fox team responsible for the operational issues regarding implementation and developing operational concepts of Gripen in Brazil.

Four out of the 16 pilots who attended the course will be chosen as Gripen pilots ...

Thirty years ago, Gripen took off on its very first flight. The designated test pilot was Stig Holmström. Last year test pilot Marcus Wandt took Gripen E on its first flight. The two pilots met up for a chat.

​Here are some photos and an action-packed b-roll video from the first test flight of the second Gripen E test aircraft. Test pilot Robin's smile and thumbs-up says it all!

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The traditional Christmas tree formation flight was conducted yesterday by Skaraborg air wing F7 with 12 Gripen. This is both a nice tradition that is followed every year and also a good exercise for the pilots flying in formation in such a big numbers. 

Next week air wing F17 in Ronneby and F 21 in Luleå, as well as the Air Force Flight School plan to fly their Christmas tree formation too.

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After a rigorous Combat Readiness Training that started on 25 March 2013 and ended on 5 July 2013, eight Gripen pilots are all set to be a part of  units F21 and F17, says the Swedish Air Force blog forsvarsmakten.​ 

“We are pleased with their accomplishments and wish them luck in the future and welcome them back when they are ready to step into the instructor role,” says FVI's Carl Nordberg.

During the training, students completed Phase A of the weapons system training which involved management of both radars and weapons. Thereafter in Phase B, they put into practice their knowledge against airborne targets.​

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A report inmynewsdesk.comtracks the journey of an 88-year-old Swedish sewing company, Germa, that makes flight suits for Gripen pilots.

Based in Kristianstad, Germa, started with manufacturing corsets. When the fad was gone, they started manufacturing medical corsets instead. The company entered into a co-operation with the Swedish Air Force when the "Flying Barrel" J 21 first flew in 1951.                   

Mynewsdesk.com quotes Germa’s CEO Björn Holmqvist saying,”We received a contract to develop a G-suit with FMV, Air Force, and Saab. These suits support the pilots when they are exposed to high G-forces in flight. During flight, the blood is pushed down in the legs which can cause a lack of blood in the head. In the worst case, it may lead to unconsciousness. The G suits are tightened around the legs and torso with sewn air sacs and this helps the pilots to stay alert and fly the plane without any problems.”

According to Holmqvist, the reasons behind the success of the company includes high quality, unique features of the products, design, craftsmanship, product development and a huge market.

“Within two years, we aim to create a business worth Sek 28 million compared to the current 22 million,” he says.

Read the full story: Gripenpiloter flyger i svenska dräkter​​

Image Courtesy:Saab​

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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​

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Not many Air Force pilots have assisted in leading an Air Force of more than fifty aircraft in attack. However, this has been done twice during the Red Flag this year, reports forsvarsmakten.

According to one of the pilots, the planning for such a mission begins about 36 hours before the aircraft takes off with an Air Tasking Order (ATO) issued.

The ATO describes the task assigned to each unit, number of aircraft that will fly along with their strategies. There is also a section describing generally what applies to the mission, acceptable risk and higher managerial objectives. In this case, it is about breaking through enemy air defenses to eliminate the enemy's ability to conduct terrorist operations and ability for chemical warfare.

After all the preparations and briefs and a final inspection of the aircraft, a group of commanders and four Gripens (loaded with missiles and GBU-49) are all set for the mission.

"War starts when the escort begins to sweep the area and I note with satisfaction that it is quite good to have stealth aircraft on our side. The escort followed by SEAD aircraft start to disrupt and destroy the enemy air defense positions. In the end it is our turn and we follow in their tracks on the way towards the target area", says blogger writing under the name Captain "Tank".  

Read the full story:  Swedish pilot leads mission on great exercise​

Image Courtesy:  forsvarsmakten​

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