“We took the lead last year with some of our aircraft passing 1,400 hours of flying time”, says major Jaroslav Tomaňa (38), commander of Czech Republic Air Force 211. taktické letky (tactical squadron) in an interview with AIRheads↑FLY.
“We are at the forefront of JAS 39 C/D Gripen operations. In 2015 we will celebrate ten years of flying this aircraft. So far, the Čáslav Gripens have spent 16,840 hours in the air in total.”
As AIRheads↑FLY interviews one of the pilots, it is early morning and just outside the squadron building, preparations for the first sorties of the day have already started. Usually during this time of year, an old, truck with L-29 Delfin engine is used to clear the runway of ice. Now it is used for clearing the apron of Sahara sand.
The 211 squadron consists of 127 professionals, including 17 qualified Gripen pilots. Five Czech Gripen pilots are stationed elsewhere e.g. with the general staff in Prague. 211′s mission is to protect the airspace of the Czech Republic and its NATO allies.
Read the full story: AHF↑Inside: The Czech Prize Fighter
Recently, aviation magazine AFM took a closer look at the history of Gripen and the factors that keep it ready to meet the future challenges. AFM paid a visit to the Saab development facility in Linköping and talked to Björn Johansson, the chief engineer on the Gripen E/F project about the technology that goes into the development of the new generation aircraft.
According to Björn, when the SwAF looked at potential future threats, it came up with a list of requirements for a new aircraft, including the need for extended range; increased weapons payload and more hardpoints; a MIL-STD 1760E Class 2 weapon pylon interface and further adaptation to modern standards; an upgraded sensor suite with active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar; improved communication and fighter link including satellite communications (SATCOM); an improved EW capability; a quick software-update capability; and a low life-cycle cost.
“The first thing we did was to find an engine that could do the job. It had to be powerful enough, cost effective, and reliable and fit in our existing airframe with reasonable modifications. We basically had two choices – the GE F414-400 or a modified RM 12. The choice fell on the F414, an existing and well proven engine (2.5 million-plus hours) with many of the safety features that were required on the RM 12 already implemented in the basic design. It has more thrust and approximately the same built-in centre of gravity [CoG] as the RM 12 in a similarly sized package. Some initial modifications were made to adapt it ...
This interview was written by Mario Sabino and published on Veja Magazine (Yellow Pages), February 2014.
Hakan Buskhe, CEO of Saab, the company that sold the Gripen jets to Brazil, explains how education and the need to do more with less are key to the success of his company and his country.
Anyone arriving at Saab's offices in Stockholm, located on one floor of a small building without doormen, is shocked by the frugal atmosphere at what is one of the most cutting-edge companies in the armaments industry with almost 15,000 employees and which beat the Americans and the French to win a contract to supply Brazil with 36 fighter Jets – the Gripen NG, for Next Generation – at a cost of $4.5 billion. However, according to the 50-year-old company CEO Hakan Buskhe, it is this philosophy of simplicity which is behind Sweden's success. Before another trip to Brazil last week to meet with the commander of the Air Force and the minister of Science, Technology and Information, he granted us the following interview.
In 2009, when former President Lula announced that the government had chosen French jets to rebuild the Brazilian Air Force, what was the reaction like at Saab?
I hadn't joined the company yet, I arrived in 2010, but I heard that Saab executives and employees felt that the announcement by Brazil's former president came like a bolt of lightning out of a clear blue sky. It was totally unexpected, given their strong relationship with ...
Iceland Air Meet 2014, which came to an end last week, proved to be a successful exercise barring some weather issues. A wide range of air defence related exercises including interoperability exercises and aerial refueling were conducted.
A Swedish JAS 39 Gripen (left), a Norwegian F-16 and a Finnish F/A-18 Hornet participating in an air exercise at Iceland Air Meet 2014
On Thursday, 20th February, the last Swedish Air Force Gripen left Iceland and headed towards Luleå.
“Unlike a regular exercise, IAM2014 lets participants choose what they want to practice along with a control on the level of threat. It is also a very good exercise for the younger staff of the participating flight divisions,” Louise Levine, a participating pilot from the Swedish Air Force says.
“Flying against aircraft other than our own JAS 39 Gripen gives an excellent training to the younger pilots,” Louise adds.
“We thank Iceland for its hospitality, beautiful and harsh weather and the nice flights. But we especially thank for the fish, which is always in plenty in this dramatic country,” says another participating pilot, in a forsvarsmakten report.
Image Courtesy:Iceland Air Meet
Flygflottilj F 21
Read the full story: Adjöss och tack för fisken! Tomma tankar
Saab has started conversations with Brazil regarding the transfer of technology that allows the country to manufacture and develop Gripen NG jet fighters, reports Prensa Latina.
Marco Antonio Raupp, Brazil’s Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, met Hakan Buskhe, President and CEO, Saab on Tuesday to discuss about initiating technology transfer and co-operation between Brazilian and Swedish defence companies.
The minister talked about a national program called "Science without borders", which will be an important tool to create the new technology for Gripen NG manufacturing process.
"The intention is to combine our interests for strengthening the partnership", said Mr. Raupp.
Read the full story: Brazil-Sweden Talks Step up to Transfer Gripen NG Technology
Hungarian blog, 'Air Base' gave an overview of a typical weekday at the Kecskemét air base with pictures. When work at the base starts early morning, the temperature is below the freezing point, but three Gripen are already out of the hangar.
The aircraft’s hydraulic system holds the pressure needed for breaking
The towing-bar is taken off first after the arrival to the zone
Towing-bar, oil, extra tyres and other equipment are kept on the volvo truck
Preparation is followed by filling in the documents. Gripen is ready to take off
Gripen's 'engine start' is checked by two technicians
Pilot checks the aircraft and the documents
Pilot and technician salute when the aircraft starts moving
Gripen takes off and the stand-by aircraft is towed back to the hangar.
Flying in the rain!
The snow slowly melts down from the zone’s concrete. The temperature rises over 0 Celsius and luckily there is no wind
Checking is essential, for both inside and outside of the aircraft
The work on the cold concrete is tiring. As Gripen is build low, all the checking has to be done in squating position or on the knees or like this.
Oil level check followed by refill if needed
Gripen is back at the hangar.
The video shows the experience of Brazilian naval aviator, Romulo Sobral visiting Saab in Linköping, trying his hands at the simulator first and then flying the actual Gripen.
The purpose of Sobral’s visit was to verify that the design requirements of the Gripen confer flight characteristics that demonstrate their conversion potential into a naval version without major and fundamental design changes.
"With Gripen, I am no longer limited to my own range of vision, but I can see much farther away from me, getting an early awareness of what is happening, says FAB's fighter aircraft pilot Carlos Afonso de Araujo who tested the new generation Gripen and gave approval for its purchase.
Carlos has made a detailed report verifying the capabilities of the new Gripen. In an interview with Mediacon News, he talks about the aircraft’s technical aspects that caught his eye.
Carlos says that Gripen is a very easy aircraft to fly and control, adding that it accelerates very fast and can reach high altitudes with high speed while maintaining its performance.
Gripen can receive information from sensors and radars that are very distant: on the ground, or even from other aircraft. This gives the pilot a situational awareness advantage. This technology has never been used before in Brazil. With the current fighter aircraft in the country, a pilot’s vision is limited to the radar’s detection capabilities.
"Gripen is a new dimension. It is not like exchanging an old car for a new one. It is a radical, complete change. It is a new generation aircraft with new concepts, new tactics, new possibilities ", Carlos says.
Read the full story: Piloto que aprovou Gripen para Brasil diz que alcance de visão é diferencial
The Iceland Air Meet which is being held starting February 3, at Keflavik involves a high degree of collaboration between Finland, Sweden and Iceland, reports forsvarsmakten.
The report on the Iceland Air Meet says that the effort started in mid-December when heavier equipment were transferred followed by other intensive logistics requirement. The exercise is conducted within the framework of Nordic cooperation.
The Iceland Air Meet 2014 is the first exercise in which the air forces of Finland and Sweden have been deployed in Iceland. The objective of the exercise includes improving deployment and interoperability, providing additional training opportunities and further integration of the Swedish air force units under NORDEFCO and PFP cooperation, with a view to meet future security challenges. Around 300 people took part in the Iceland Air Meet 2014.
According to News of Iceland, the Nordic Foreign and Defence Ministers met last Thursday in Keflavík and had discussions focusing on recent developments in Nordic security cooperation, practical cooperation in the Arctic, NATO partnerships as well as cooperation in international crisis management.
Read the full story: Rapport från Iceland Air Meet 2014
Image Courtesy: Louise Levin
These are some snapshots from the Iceland Air Meet in which Gripen fighters from the Swedish Air Force are participating for the first time.
The Iceland Air Meet 2014 (IAM2014) brings together participants from NATO member nations Norway, Iceland and the Netherlands, and from partner countries Finland and Sweden, to conduct a wide range of air defence-related flying activities.
Image Courtsey: Norrbotten air wing F 21
Welcome to the official Gripen blog by Saab. This site features information and commentary about the Gripen fighter jet.
The Gripen Blog shares stories and discussions on the Gripen aircraft. The Blog does not vouch for the authenticity of the reports from other publications that have been quoted.
The reference to articles and news reports does not imply endorsement or validation of the views of the authors of the stories.