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The Smart Fighter

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​South African Air Force pilot Captain Ndzuta talks about Gripen at the recently held Durban Land, Sea and Air Festival. He also talks about what inspired him to be a fighter aircraft pilot. Gripen's performance was one of the main attractions at the event.

“Gripen is one of the leading fighters in the world which are currently in service. One can fly at approximately 2470 kms per hour and can pull upto 9Gs i.e. nine times the normal gravitational pull,” Captain Ndzuta says.

“It is an awesome aircraft to fly,” he adds.

Swedish Air Force Gripen participated in a Baltic region training event last week, reports forsvarsmakten. This was the fourth time Sweden participated in the region’s Incident Preparedness training event operated by NATO.

The training event was designed to improve participating units’ coordination and emergency procedures. Two U.S. fighters also participated in the event along with the Gripen.

The training provided a scenario in which a transport plane loses radio contact with the supervising flight lines and is heading into Swedish airspace. The Swedish team had to identify the plane/target first, take the necessary steps and escort the plane towards the Baltics.

Once the session is over, JAS 39 Gripen landed at the air base Siauliai in Lithuania and the participating F 17 team sat to discuss the exercise, share experiences and talk to media.


Image Courtesy:NATO​

​Gripen E Chief test pilot Richard Ljungberg talks about the Gripen NG test aircraft and its testing process. 

"Gripen E will be a modern and a high performance aircraft and as a pilot in the Gripen E, I will be confident to meet any threat that shows up," he says.

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Saab has successfully performed the first flight with the new sensor IRST (Infra Red Search and Track) which will feature in Gripen E, according to schedule. The IRST does not emit a signal and can, without revealing the aircraft’s own position, silently detect, track and identify all types of targets.

The IRST for Gripen E is produced by Selex in Scotland and is called Skyward G. It is a passive sensor: it does not emit any energy but only listens for energy coming from other sources.

“The first flight in the Gripen E test aircraft with IRST has been performed with very good results. Multiple targets were detected, tracked and identified and the system works perfectly as expected. IRST is a new sensor on Gripen, which allows pilots to see great distances in several directions,” says Saab’s Wing Commander Flying Hans Einerth.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Stefan Kalm​

Cold Response, the multinational armed forces exercise in Norway, came to an end last week. Forsvarsmakten​'s Louise Levin and Mats Carlsson write about the exercise and the experience of the participating F21 team.

The goal of Cold Response was to provide the participating air forces an opportunity to train a multinational operation in the subarctic climate.

According to the report, it is very important for a pilot to have information about the enemy's terrain. Jas 39 Gripen allows multiple assignments during one sortie. It makes combat aviation a resource for ground troops. Within seconds, pilots have a direct contact with the Forward Air Controllers on the ground who can provide valuable intelligence and carry weapons effort.

According to Colonel Olof Granander, Cold Response 2014 was both educational and challenging and all the participating units got to experience what it is like to be under pressure and how to keep the combat high on equipment and personnel.

"I am very pleased with this year's Cold Response, all the participating units achieved its goals under very difficult conditions," says Colonel Granander.

Read the full story: Högintensivt, imponerande, taktiskt och säkert

Stödjer markförbanden från ovan​

Image Courtesy: Forsvarsmakten​

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Sweden and Czech Republic will connect their simulation centers for training Gripen fighter pilots, reports

Last month, bilateral consultations between the Czech and Sweden’s Ministries of Defence were held in Stockholm and Linköping. The objective of the consultations was to assess specific projects in order to expand the existing cooperation between the two countries in the field of defense. The central theme of the existing cooperation between the two countries is Gripen.

According to Department of Defense, Czech Republic, the first new major training events will link simulation centers in the Czech Republic and Sweden in the second half of this year. 

There is a gradual increase in the number of countries using the Gripen and the extensive skills and experience of the Czech party with these aircraft," informs the Ministry.

Read the full story: ČR a Švédsko propojí své simulátory pro výcvik pilotů gripenů​

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Gripen could well be the future of air combat, says Bill Sweetman in an Aviation Week report.

If “fifth-generation” means more than “the ultimate driving machine,” a sixth generation will emerge. Saab can argue that the JAS 39E Gripen, rather than some of the wildly expensive-looking artist's concepts we have seen, is the first such aircraft, says the report.

In aerospace, the lead in materials and manufacturing has gone to the commercial side. Fighter aircraft are expensive to design and build, regardless of the smartest engineering.

“Gripen NG has been designed with these issues in mind and hence it may earn the generation 6 tag. Software comes first: The new hardware runs Mission System 21 software, the latest roughly biennial release in the series that started with the JAS 39A/B,” says Bill Sweetman.

Also, Sweden's ability to develop its own state-of-the-art fighters has long depended on blending home-grown and imported technology. Many parts of the new generation Gripen have been brought from outside Sweden. The JAS 39E engine is from the U.S., the radar from Britain and the infra-red search and track system is from Italy. Much of the airframe may be built in Brazil.

Sweetman adds that what should qualify the Gripen NG for a “sixth generation” tag is what suits it most for a post-Cold War environment. The requirements were deliberately constrained because the JAS 39E is intended to cost less to develop, build and operate than the JAS 39C, despite doing almost everything better.

As one ...

Czec Gripen1.jpg
According to a news report, Czech Republic's Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky says that the Czech Air Force is ready to send planes including Gripen to protect the airspace near Ukraine if it is asked.

"It is not that we would offer something in advance. We are just ready at our level so that if we are asked, we have the capacity to deliver," said Stropnický.

Czech Gripen pilots have been involved in protecting the airspace over the Baltic States before. Later this year, they will also be sent to Iceland to participate in a similar, focused mission, adds the report.

Read the full story:  Česko může poslat gripeny na ochranu nebe na východě

Production of the new Gripen is done primarily in Linköping and work is already in full swing. Test flights, where critical subsystems and their interoperability are tested to minimise risk, are already well underway. First delivery is planned for 2018. As previously reported, development is proceeding according to plan and contracts have been signed with all major subcontractors.

One of our engineers tells her story.

The new generation Gripen will be equipped with sensors that can detect low-radar-cross-section (RCS) targets, and will provide the pilots in a Gripen formation with a new level of situational awareness, says Bob Mason, Selex-ES marketing director for advanced sensors.

According to a report in the Aviation Week, Gripen E will have three Selex-ES sensors and a new identification friend-or-foe (IFF) system with three electronically steerable antenna arrays, which matches the radar's range and field of view.

Mason describes that the IRST is capable of detecting low-RCS targets at distances compatible with a beyond-visual-range missile launch.  Confirming that the Selex IRSTs have tracked low-RCS targets, he says, “We have seen them.” 

The report adds that Selex IRSTs have undergone a lot of changes, the most important one is the development of algorithms, based on operational experience and the analysis of real-world imagery, that look at IR signatures in detail, including variations of color and brightness within the target, in order to filter out false alarms caused by everything from birds to barbecue grills.

“The IRST can give the radar a very accurate azimuth and elevation to the target, which allows it to focus its energy and increase the probability of achieving detection and track on a low-RCS target,” Mason says.

Read the full story: Gripen Sensors Claim Counter-Stealth Performance

Read more about the AESA Radar here.

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