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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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Last month, Saab successfully completed a test flight by a Gripen E aircraft with the Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) for the first time.  

The flight included two Meteor missiles and the Gripen E aircraft (designated 39-8) was operated from Saab’s airfield at Linköping, Sweden.

“The aircraft continues to perform as smoothly as we have seen throughout the whole flight test phase flying with external stores. I’m really looking forward to the upcoming steps in the flight test programme, taking us closer and closer to completing weapon integration. Meteor makes Gripen E extremely capable in the air dominance role”, says Robin Nordlander, Gripen experimental test pilot, Saab.

Read the full story here.

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Know your Gripen E fighter better with this infographic. 

For a larger layout, click here.​​

Gripen E has successfully completed the first tests to verify the ability to release and launch external payloads. Watch the video.​

 

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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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The first Gripen E test aircraft, 39-8 jettisoned one external fuel drop tank and fired an IRIS-T air-to-air missile this month at Vidsel Test Range in the north of Sweden.

These tests are the latest steps in the Gripen E flight test programme preceded by the carriage trials in July and form part of the weapon integration work.

“As a pilot, flying with external stores such as drop tank and missiles is important to allow for evaluation of how the aircraft behaves with the stores attached. This test was also used to evaluate the effect of releasing and launching the stores on the aircraft. The highlight was of course to pull the trigger and watch the missile fire away. It also brings us closer to making the aircraft ready for its operational use”, says Marcus Wandt, Experimental Gripen Test Pilot at Saab.

Gripen E's first prototype flew its debut flight in June 2017. Since then, the Gripen programme is on track. In October 2017, Gripen E prototype went supersonic for the first time. The next two prototypes 39-9 and 39-10, have already left the production line at Linkoping, and are currently undergoing verification ahead of their first flights, which is scheduled for 2019.

Read the full story here.

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Eight Swedish Gripen fighters and three Rafale fighters were part of a two-week long exercise called Bernadotte. The joint exercise, which was held in France, was an opportunity for both the air forces to test their inter-operational capabilities.

The exercise consisted of missions that depicted general threat scenarios. The idea was to learn to operate under unfamiliar conditions, and with different kinds of fighters. 

"When we train with foreign nations, the goal is always the same - to be interoperable," said Guillame, Commander of the 3/30 "Lorraine" Squadron, and organizer of the exercise. 

The exercise lasted for two weeks.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: French Air Force

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​Flying The Flag

A Swedish Air Force Gripen rides the afterburner climbing rapidly in the sky over its homeland.

Photo: Rich Cooper/COAP Media

​Sweden has been experiencing one of the hottest summers in a long time due to which wildfires have become a common phenomenon all throughout the Arctic circle. 

To control one such forest fire which had spread near the military range in the country, Swedish emergency management authorities took Gripen's help to drop a single 500-pound class GBU 12 bomb. The strong air pressure from the explosion can help extinguish the blaze just like a puff of air can blow out a candle. 

The Gripen fighters flew 3000m above ground, and with high precision, the pilots targeted the front of the line of the fire where they dropped the bomb. Once they hit the target, the 500 pound explosives managed to extinguish the flames. 

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