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​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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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​.

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Flying during an airshow is a process planned well in advance. From the aerial maneuvers to flight formations to releasing flares and performing duals, every move during a display is tested, verified, approved, rehearsed for months and perfected.

In an interview with Lidovky.cz, Czech Gripen display pilot Ivo Kardoš, winner of the best display award this year at the NATO Days in Ostrava and Air Force Days, talks about his job, and nuances of air displays.

Display flying is not for the faint-hearted. It’s a challenging task that requires a lot of expertise. “An aerial display lasts for only ten minutes. But is exhausting. By the end of it, you can see me sweating like I have run for miles,” he says

"You have to love your job, or else you cannot do it."

About a standard day at work as a Gripen pilot, Kardoš says it begins with a briefing on the weather and availability of aircraft. Thereafter, pilots get the schedule of their tasks of the day. "We record our flights and analyze it later to see if there is any room for improvement."

Kardoš, who flies at about 15 airshows in a year, says the pilot has to concentrate a lot during a display flight as one has to fly very close to the ground. "We fly at a height of 100-200 yards. There is no time for mistakes. You have to display the same maneuvers you have learnt all ...

​Czech Air Force Gripen presented a powerful aerial display for the Belgian Air Force Days visitors, at Kleine-Brogel airbase earlier this month.


​Last weekend, visitors at the NATO Days in Ostrava and the Air Force Days got an opportunity to see four generations of Saab fighters in air. Saab 32 Lansen was the first aircraft to perform, followed by Saab 35 Draken, Saab 37 Viggen and Gripen. These flights demonstrated the technological advancements that Saab has undergone in the last sixty years.

Besides the individual performances, the Saab fighters also presented a dynamic display with Danish F-16, Finnish F-18.  

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Saab 32 Lansen, which took its maiden flight in 1952, was Saab’s and Sweden’s first aircraft to break the sound barrier. Equipped with surveillance radar, navigation radar and radar elevation gauges, Lansen served as an electronic warfare platform. The attack version was developed later with an innovative and highly secret weapon, called Robot 04. It was the world’s first air-to-sea missile.

Saab 35 Draken, with its unusual dual-delta wings, was considered by many to be the most beautiful design in Swedish aviation history. But it was not aesthetics that led to the unusual wing configuration. It was the requirement of a good low speed performance. The inner wing, with its strong taper transitioned to a thin outer wing with less taper and greater span. It was the inner wing that provided good performance at high speed, while the outer wing enabled good performance at low speed.

Saab 37 Viggen was the first plane outside the US to be equipped with a computer and that could also take off and ...

​The Czech Air Force Gripen which was painted earlier this year to celebrate 100 years of the Czechoslovak Air Force, demonstrated a stunning aerial display at the Radom Airshow.


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RAF Vice-Marshal Harvey Smyth recently tried his hand at flying Czech Gripen, reports Denik.cz.

His flight was a part of his visit at the Caslav Air Base ahead of the Central Hawk, a joint exercise between the Czech Air Force and the Royal Air Force. Participating aircraft included Czech Gripen, British Hawk T1, and L-159 ALCA. The British Hawk usually performs the task of an aggressor during the exercise.

Central Hawk lasts for two weeks. During the first week, Czech and British pilots perform various combat training tasks. In the second week, the participants support the ongoing Ample Strike exercise.

The exercise helps the participants to gain insights from each other's experiences and develop interoperability. "Central Hawk 2018 is an excellent example of a mutually beneficial cooperation. It brings us an opportunity to improve our skills, exchange our knowledge and experience, and make new contacts, "said Major Tomas Merta, the Czech Deputy Exercise Director.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: RAF


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Ample Strike 2018 will start next week in the Czech Republic. 

A major NATO training exercise, the Czech L-159 ALCA, L-39 ZA, Gripen, German Eurofighters and Tonadoes as well as the US B-52 bomber will participate.

Belgium, Denmark, Croatia, Canada, Estonia, Finland, Great Britain , Germany, Hungary, Italy , Lithuania, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, United States and Sweden are participating in this exercise which will start from Náměšť nad Oslavou. With 1200 soldiers and from 19 countries coming together, it will be one of the largest training exercises in Czech Republic. 

"We are focused on providing the right support to all participating countries during the exercise," says Colonel Zdeněk Gabriel from the Czech Air Force.

The main goal of the exercise is to improve the skills of forward air controllers in coordinating and directing actions of combat aircraft, and support ground operations.

This will be Czech Gripen fighters' first participation in this exercise after it acquired air-to-ground capabilities through the MS20 upgrade earlier this year. The upgrade included integration of laser-guided bombs, targeting electro-optical pod Litening III, and Alliance datalink - Link 16.

The exercise will be held between 3rd and 14th September.

Read the full story here.

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Gripen Pilot Stanislav Čejka is no stranger to breakneck speeds, the smell of gasoline, and executing gravity defying stunts mid-air. In an interview with a Czech daily, Čejka talks about his journey as a pilot, and his office i.e. Gripen cockpit. 

Čejka was interested in flying ever since he was 3, and this can be attributed to the fact that the local barracks were a short distance from his home in Dvůr. He always enjoyed gazing into the sky to look at planes, and by the time he was 16, he was paying regular visits to the local aero-club to fly glider planes. 

Cejka's main job is that of a Gripen pilot. On days when he isn’t busy flying Gripen, he leads his Flying Bulls Aerobatics team.

While he has flown several types of aircrafts over the course of his illustrious career, he maintains that his favorite aircraft is the Gripen C/D, which he considers to be his office. His career-cum-hobby as a pilot, he notes, takes him to some of the most beautiful scenic locations known to humankind, which he enjoys from the best seat in the house – a Gripen cockpit. 

But how is flying a fighter like Gripen and an aerobatics plane related? Well, according to Čejka, the two go hand in hand – the more one gets acquainted to flying fighter planes, the better one gets with maneuvering. 

"The two types of flying complement each other. The more you fly a ...

One of the most famous aerial display pilots, Captain Ivo Kardoš, presented a terrific performance for the visitors at the Bucharest International Air Show 2018 in Romania.This year, BIAS commemorated 100 years of the Romanian Air Force. The airshow was held on 28 July.​


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