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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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With the latest order of Wide Area Display (WAD), Head-Up Display (HUD) and Helmet Mounted Display (HMD) for SwAF Gripen E/F fighters, AEL Sistemas becomes one of Saab's biggest global suppliers.

Saab selected AEL Sistemas (AEL) as a new supplier for Gripen NG in Brazil in the year 2015. And now, the Brazilian company has extended its role to exporting its displays for the Swedish Air Force.

"We are pleased that the choice of display configuration is the same for the Brazilian Air Force and the Swedish Air Force Gripen E/F fighters. This standardises the two fleets with a state-of-the-art cockpit display and further honours the Saab-AEL partnership. Both the WAD and the other devices are unique and offer Gripen E/F pilots a situational awareness that did not exist in the past," says Sergio Horta, president of AEL Sistemas. 

The WAD for Brazil’s Gripen NG aircraft is a single intelligent and full-redundant multi-purpose display system, full-colour, large-screen (19 x 8 in) with continuous image presentation and the state-of-the-art touch-screen controls capability. It is the primary source of all flight and mission information in the cockpit. 

A number of simulator training sessions with Brazilian and Swedish pilots have established that with WAD, receiving, fusing and presenting data is much simpler than before.

According to Jonas Hjelm, Head of Business Area Aeronautics at Saab, the screen provided by AEL Sistemas is more intuitive, and therefore, will be easier to operate by future fighter pilots who are accustomed to handling touch-screens ...

Akaer’s partnership with Saab began long before the Gripen Brazil contract was signed. Back in 2009, Akaer was already a part of the Gripen design team, and was involved in small work packages with Gripen. It all started with developing the real fuselage structure (designing the structural parts and conducting the stress analysis of these parts), and engineering. Then they started working on the gun section and electrical projects. Today, Akaer is working in the development of the two-seater aircraft.

One of the first Brazilian companies to have partnered with Saab, Akaer boasts of a portfolio of more than half a million hours of work dedicated to the Gripen programme since 2009.

“They have done the development of structural details, the rear fuselage for both the Swedish and now the Brazilian version (Gripen E). We have a long-lasting relationship with Akaer,” says Mikael Franzen, Head of Business Unit Gripen Brazil-Saab. 

“And now they are involved in the development of the two-seater aircraft as well. We are giving more and more work to Akaer,” he adds.

While Brazil benefits from this wide-ranging technological transfer programme, this relationship between Akaer and Saab is equally valuable for Saab which is constantly looking for new partners to develop new products and services. Saab hopes that Akaer will be able to participate in other projects in Brazil and abroad in future. One of the major reasons of the success of technology transfer programme in Brazil is partnerships like Saab ...

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On 26 November, Saab completed the successful first flight of the second Gripen E test aircraft.

The second Gripen E test aircraft, designated 39-9, took off on its maiden flight at 09.50 am on 26 November 2018. The test flight was operated from Saab’s airfield at Linköping, Sweden, with Saab test pilot Robin Nordlander at the controls.

“Some people think being a test pilot is the most exciting job in the world and it should be. Flying Gripen E means breaking no sweat though, even on a maiden flight such as this. The flight was so smooth and 39-9 a real pleasure to pilot. I am looking forward to getting it back in the air again and soon putting the new systems to the test,” says Robin Nordlander, Experimental Test Pilot, Saab.

Read the full story here.

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F 7 Såtenäs had their Gripen pilots practise for emergencies and quick reaction missions earlier this month.

The exercise was a complete surprise for the division's staff. 24 hours after the launch of the emergency chain of commands, the 72nd fighter division had redeployed its personnel and equipment, including three Gripen fighters, and was able to start completing the tasks at the Halmstad airport. The fighter division continued to operate from Halmstad Base until Wednesday afternoon, after which it re-grouped at the home base Såtenäs.

The ability to operate from dispersed bases is very important for SwAF. "For the past three years, F 7 and the Air Force have taken several important steps in that direction," said Lars Helmrich, head of Skaraborg's air wing, F 7. 

“With the exercise this week, we continue to strengthen the ability of the Air Force to operate from several bases. This increases the accessibility of the Air Force as well.”

Read the full story here.

Photo courtesy: Forsvarsmakten​

​Trident Juncture 2018 helped NATO allies and member countries test their military capabilities in  Norway, the North Atlantic and the Baltic Sea. The two week long exercise had over 50,000 personnel, 250 aircraft, 65 ships, and up to 10,000 vehicles participating.


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Videos: Shape NATO

Photos: Louise Levin

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 the AM Wave, which usually consists of small missions. In the afternoon and evening, all large scale exercises are performed. Night time flying is usually similar missions with night vision goggles.

Trident Juncture 2018 ended on 7th November.

Read the full story here.

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