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The Smart Fighter

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On Saturday, as Jacob Zuma swore to protect the Republic of South Africa and serve the nation, the occasion was gloriously marked by an aerial display, including a formation flypast by the South African Air Force, showcasing its Gripen fighter jets, reports

The lead Gripen, painted in the colours of the African national flag, was flown by the Commanding Officer of 2 Squadron based in Air Force Base Makhado, Limpopo, Luitenant Colonel Musa Mbokota.

The unique formation flypast was in the shape of "20", marking South Africa's 20 years of democracy.

The aerial display was a hit with the crowd at the inauguration who cheered with ululation and vuvuzela blasts.

Read the full story: 20 Years flypast wows inauguration crowd

Czech Republic is ready to extend the autumn mission of its Gripen fighters in Iceland if NATO requires it, reports the Prague Post.

The defence ministry's spokesman Jan Pejsek told the Czech media that though Czech Republic has not received any official request from the NATO headquarters yet, it is ready to comply with NATO’s request for extending Gripen’s air policing period. 

“We, the ministry, have no problem with it,” Pejsek said.

Martin Stropnický, Defense Minister, Czech Republic also spoke about the NATO request during his visit to the Čáslav air base.

“Our Iceland air policing this autumn, which was planned for three weeks, is to be extended at least twice, but it will probably be longer,” Stropnický said. 

Physically, the planes will only be on the island for about three weeks. The mandate approved in 2012 provides for a maximum stay of five weeks. For the rest of the time, the Gripens would only fly to the northern Atlantic Ocean from the Czech Republic in case of danger.

The Czech Gripen will provide aerial surveillance to Iceland between September and December.

Read the full story:  Czechs will accede to NATO request to protect Iceland for longer​


The IRST for Gripen E is produced by Selex in Scotland and called Skyward G. IRST stands for Infrared Search and Track and is an electro-optical system mounted in the nose of Gripen E. Its sensor sits on top of the nose, just in front of the canopy, and is looking forward in a wide sector registering heat emissions from other aircraft, helicopters and from objects on the ground and sea surface. The IRST is a passive sensor, meaning that it never emits any energy. It only listens for energy coming from other sources. The tactical advantage of a passive sensor is that it will not give your position away. Opponents will have no indication whatsoever that Gripen E is using its IRST to monitor their activities.

IRST Summing up:

  • Totally passive – nobody knows you are looking
  • Senses heat from aircraft, tanks, ships
  • Range can be many times more than visual range
  • Enables silent attacks​

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It's not just that today's fighter pilots are more skilled and can do more tasks, it takes more knowledge, says Carl-Fredrik Edström, division manager at the 212th fighter division at F 21, in a Forsvarsmakten report. 

In the 1990s, it was completely different times. While one pilot was a fighter pilot, another was attack or reconnaissance pilot. Today it is more complex. A Gripen pilot must be capable of undertaking all the roles - fighter, attack and reconnaissance - both in a national and in an international context.

Today's advanced and efficient Gripen systems requires a pilot to have a wider range of skills and be well prepared for the tasks to be performed. For example, to manage all systems and sensors, pilots must have a wider range of skills in all roles, explains Edström.

Edström who has flown Viggen in the 90s, says that the way pilots fly a fighter aircraft now is different from before. “In the 90s, I used to sit in the plane and fly, getting information continuously during the mission. I can fly in the same fashion today, but then, I would not be extracting the maximum capability out of the Gripen system,” he says.

Today, a pilot sits with a thick block on his knees that is filled with information to carry out the mission. Even the smallest detail is co-ordinated. Today, the threat is higher and the excercises are more complex. The pilots also need to interact with air, naval and ground ...

Hungarian Air Force Gripen performs at Susreti za Rudija, an annual event organized to commemorate Rudolf Perešin, a pilot and the hero of the "Croatian War of Independence 1991-1995".

Pilots have their own set of jargons and expressions. Here are some of the common terms used by top guns.

Hands On Throttle And Stick

Modern fighters have every imaginable control function mounted on either the stick (right hand) or the throttle quadrant (left hand), so that the pilot need not fumble around in the cockpit.

Head-Up Display

A transparent screen mounted on the dashboard on which pertinent data from flight instruments and weapons systems are projected. The HUD eliminates the need to look down into the cockpit to read instruments.

Identification Friend or Foe

An electronic means of identifying aircraft, part of the military's transponder system that tells other jets and ground crews if a dude is a good guy or a bad guy.

Read the full story to learn more about the lingo: Pilot Language​

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Today at 21.45 CET, Saab will receive the honor of ringing the closing bell at the NASDAQ Stock Exchange in New York.

Saab’s listing on the NASDAQ OMX Stock Exchange, starting from the year 1998, has been instrumental in the company’s success and brand building. 

The closing bell ceremony will be accompanied by a short film featuring Gripen, live at the Market Site Tower. 

The ceremony is live, not archived, so it is important to watch in real time.  Watch the closing bell ceremony and the short film livestream here tonight.

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The joint Parliament and the Swedish Government Committee on Defence Policy's chairman Cecilia Widegren announced at a press conference that the number of Gripen Sweden intends to order has increased from 60 to 70 as per a new proposal, reports Expressen.

According to Widegren, besides the number of Gripen, the number of submarines has also been increased to five in the new proposal. 

The Defence also wants the Swedish combat units to be more accessible and the Swedish Navy to be more active in the Baltic Sea. The new proposal aims to increase the cooperation with other countries and organizations like UN and NATO.

The proposal will be submitted to the government soon.

Read full story: Beredningen vill ha tio nya Gripenplan​

Gripen embodies engineering excellence, innovation and clever solutions by bringing together performance, cost-efficiency and industrial cooperation into one, smart fighter system.​

Jan-Ola Nordh, a Gripen Instructor at second division F7, beat a Swedish gliding record on May 4, reports forsvarsmakten.

Jan-Ola flew across a predetermined path with three break points, covering a distance of over 100 miles.

Besides making a gliding record, Jan-Ola also flew 38 hours, covering a distance of 350 miles. The first weekend in May offered suitable weather conditions with ample sunshine and cold wind.

Jan-Ola has previously flown AJS37 Viggen at F6 Karlsborg and F10 Ängelholm and will, along with others, represent Sweden at the World Championships in Finland.

Read the full story: Gripenpilot slog svenskt segelflygrekord

Image Courtesy: Pamela Persson

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