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​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 ...

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14 Hungarian Air Force (HuAF) Gripen fighters are being moved from Kecskemét Air Base to Pápa Air Base for at least six months, reports Hvg.hu.

According to the report, the Kecskemét Air Base is going through a transformation after which it will be both a military and a civilian airport.

The report adds that Hungarian Gripen pilots will train in Lithuania till May first half after which the move will begin.

Read the full story here.

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It was ten years ago when the Hungarian Air Force Gripen were first sent notification for a quick reaction alert. A Honvedelem.hu​ reports explains in detail how the Hungarian Gripens are used to check airspace violations.

NATO Air Policing ensures the integrity of Allies’ airspace and protects Alliance nations by maintaining 24/7 Air Policing. All airspace protection missions are carried out under the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System (NATINAMDS).  

As far as the coordination during air policing is concerned, NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centres (CAOCs) take care of that: the northern part of Europe is managed from Uedem, Germany, and the southern part from Torrejon, Spain.

Detecting airspace violation

The CAOCs have flight plans for every day and they monitor each and every movement in their assigned skies. When they notice a mysterious plane or a familiar plane deviating from its route or failing to make radio connection, they raise an alarm. 

Pilots with aircraft and missiles are kept at the ready 24*7. So when the Hungarian Air Force units receive an alert, the Gripen fighters are scrambled at the earliest. They approach the target plane and try to make a connection as per the protocols. Once verified, the target plane is escorted to an airbase or the border.

Alpha or Tango?

There are two kinds of alarms in context to airspace violations. When a real threat is detected, the unit on duty has to work on the 'Alpha command'. ...

Saab has signed an order to provide Deployable Aircraft Maintenance Facility (DAM) to the Hungarian Air Force for their fleet of Gripen C fighter aircraft. 

DAM is a mobile hangar solution that enables enhanced aircraft maintenance capacity allowing rapid deployment anywhere and anytime. The mobile hangar solution provides the same capabilities as a stationary maintenance infrastructure but at a fraction of the cost.

“This is an important breakthrough for Saab as it marks the first order of the DAM, a fairly new offering in our product portfolio. It is a proof of our continued capability to deliver support solutions allowing air forces to combine operational availability with cost efficiency,” says Ellen Molin, Senior Vice President and head of Saab’s business area Support and Services.

While operating out of remotely located and dispersed forward bases, availability of a fighter aircraft depends on a lot of maintenance related factors. To ensure high availability of a fleet, a well-equipped hangar is a must.

Saab’s First Line Maintenance Hangar provides enhanced aircraft maintenance capacity, whilst the multispectral camouflage provides protection of the aircraft and personnel. The hangar is designed for docking to the Maintenance Containers, providing a sealed and protected environment for maintenance.

The DAM facility will be delivered to the Hungarian Air Force this year.

Read the full story here.

​Here's another nice video sent by the Hungarian Air Force from the time they trained in Visdel with their MS20 upgraded Gripens.


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.

Lion Effort_Gripen0810.jpgPhoto: Istvan “TopiDoc” Toperczer​

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The two week international triannual Gripen exercise Lion Effort, that was being held at the Kecskemét airbase, Hungary has ended. Apart from practicing various missions together, the users also shared experiences of operating Gripen and best practices. 

For more images from the event, click here​.

The biggest multinational Gripen Exercise, Lion Effort 2018 starts today. Swedish, Czech and Hungarian Air Forces have sent their Gripen fighters for participation while representatives from the Royal Thai Air Force and the Brazilian Air Force will participate as observers.


The two week long exercise comprises of things like familiarity flying, aerial photography missions, aerial refueling and combat missions with participants divided into Red and Blue teams. But the participants do not just train together, they also get an opportunity to share their experiences of operating Gripen, best practices, and exchange information.

​As summers came to a close, the Hungarian Gripen pilots conducted a night flying training session in the last week of August making use of the last of the longer daylight. The fighters took off late into the evening and practiced aerial tests in the central zone of Kecskemét. There were three single seaters and one two-seater Gripens that took part in the exercise. Check out the pictures of the night flying exercise. 

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The Hungarian Air Force has been training for night flying missions using newly-delivered night vision goggles (NVGs) for the last two years now. This has further enhanced the combat readiness of the Hungarian Air Force.

Read the full story here

Image courtesy: HuAF

​Gripen presented a spectacular aerial display on 20th August in Hungary to celebrate the State Foundation Day of the country. This day is celebrated throughout the country with hoisting of the Hungarian flag, fireworks and displays like this. Gripen-Performs-At-Hungary-State-Foundation-Day-2018.jpg

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