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Saab has received an order from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) to support and maintain Gripen this year.

According to FMV, the order includes support and maintenance activities and supplies like ground equipment, component maintenance and technical publications for the JAS 39 Gripen. The order is worth 174 MSEK. 

"This order is fundamental for efficient and accessible operations with the Gripen system in the current year," says Lars-Erik Wige, Head of Saab's Support and Services business area.

The support and maintenance work will take place at Saab's facilities in Linköping, Arboga, Järfälla, Gothenburg and Östersund.​


Pilots posing for pictures after receiving their wings
Air Force Chief Micael Bydén with lieutenant Rebekah Haendler

A new Swedish Air Force cadet comprising 22 pilots including a woman pilot received its wings on a graduation ceremony last week, reports forsvarsmakten​.  

This was the third consecutive year when a joint degree program for pilots to fly aircraft, transport aircraft or helicopter was conducted. This year's batch was divided into 12 helicopter pilots, eight fighter jet pilots and two transport aircraft pilots.

“I have wanted to become a pilot all my life, thanks to my grandfather, who was a field aviator once,” says Nils Schylström, a proud pilot, after receiving his wings.

Among the graduated pilots was Ensign Rebecca Haendler who drew special attention for being a woman pilot.

“It is nerve-wracking but I am very happy, especially for being back home in Sweden to meet my family and my boyfriend. I still look forward to returning to Germany to complete the next part of my education,” she says.

The wings were distributed by General Micael Bydén following which the pilots and the guests at the ceremony were treated to an air show with JAS 39 Gripen and two helicopters.

The graduated Gripen pilots will now go to F7 in Såtenäs to learn about the flight system for about a year.

Read the full story: Nya piloter fick sin guldvinge​

Image Courtesy: Mats Gyllander

Inside the plant premises, one cannot help but notice the smiles of the engineers. "We have a lot of work now" says Jonas Jakobsson, Gripen test pilot.

A report in describes the simplicity of the location of the Gripen manufacturing plant in Linköping and the spirit of the people involved in the making of the new generation aircraft.

The high-tech fighter jet and the political impact of the Brazilian order contrast with the simplicity of the manufacturing plant’s premises: Gripen is mounted in a modest setting of wooden houses from the '40s and '50s, the report says. 

"Sometimes we need to paint the site," said one of the technicians. In the parking lot, hundreds of bicycles dominate the landscape.

Read the full story:  Na paisagem fria e modesta, nasce o novo jato de combate

Gripen_AAD 2014.jpg
Preparations for Africa Aerospace and Defence 2014, an exhibition of air, land and sea technologies, which is to be held in September, have started. 

South African Air Force Gripen will participate with a flying display at the event.

AAD 2014 will be held at AFB Waterkloof, Centurion in the City of Tshwane, South Africa with about 347 exhibitors from 26 countries participating. An exclusive website for the event was launched last year. 

The event will be held between 17 and 21 September with the first three days reserved for the trade visitors and the last two days for the general public to view a range of aerobatic as well as static displays.​

Photo Courtesy: AAD 2014​ website​

"To have a good surveillance capability, the possibility to move with the right equipment, to exact targeting will be very important in the future years, “says Saab CEO and president Hakan Buskhe in a video interview.

The video explores the biggest threats in the coming 10 years. The industry leaders talk about the threats as well as about the important capabilities for air forces to have in future. ​

In a Gripen Handbook story, pilots from various air forces come forward to talk about the features of Gripen and how it has proven to be a combat ready multi role aircraft.

“Gripen is combat-proven,” says Micael Bydén, Swedish Air Force Chief Staff, adding that Gripen has shown its capabilities during the NATO mission over Libya.

“Our aircraft proved fully compatible with all NATO equipment. It was very well integrated into all systems and we were a full partner of the combined forces. Avionics and equipment were equal to those of other nations,” Bydén says.

According to Czech Air Force Commander Jiří Verner, the radar along with sensors, weapons, training and maintenance, all work smoothly together. Even the pilot’s suit, helmet and underwear are part of the system, which has a positive influence on cost and operational performance.

“We like Gripen for being a complete system,” Verner says.

Gripen NG Demo.jpg
According to the Air Power Blog, Jackson Schneider, president, Embraer Defense and Security, said that the company will discuss the role of Embraer in the chain of production of 36 aircraft with Saab soon.

Schneider told Brazilian media before leaving for the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2014 in Switzerland that the role of Embraer in the production of Gripen for the Brazil Air Force is yet to be defined. 

"It is still too premature to define precisely Embraer‘s responsibility in the process. However, we will be involved in the project for sure, "said Schneider.

Read the full story:Embraer deve conversar com Saab sobre caças em fevereiro

Gripen Brazil Deal.jpg
Brazil's Defense Minister Celso Amorim met Sweden's Secretary of State for Defence Carl von der Esch last week to discuss about the progress on the Gripen deal, reports Defsanet

“The Brazilian defense industry and I are optimistic about this partnership, " Amorim said.

The Swedish delegation also met with the Secretary General of Ministry of Defence, Ari Matos Cardoso who said that he is creating a Working Group (WG) which will monitor the entire process of purchase of the aircraft. The Working Group should be created and formalized by the end of February.

According to the Swedes, the important thing at this point is for the representatives of both the countries to communicate and stay abreast of the proceedings, the report says.


Image Courtesy: Brazil Ministry of Defence

Gripen NG11.jpg
Saab’s success has been due to its ability to remain competitive by designing combat aircraft which meet market requirements in terms of high performance, price and delivery, reports The Conversation.

According to the report, there are many factors responsible for Saab, a relatively small firm from Sweden, managing to find success in a highly competitive, multinational market with huge development costs.

Exports of Gripen are also dependent on a variety of factors other than the combination of high performance and low-cycle cost that makes Gripen unique. . Examples include generous technology transfer and financing packages, favorable offsets as well as offers of bilateral collaboration between governments, the report says.

Read the full story: Defence minnow Saab humbling multinational aerospace Goliaths​

Roman Jakič, Minister of Defence of the Republic of Slovenia and Csaba Hende, Minister of Defence of Hungary at an agreement signing event on Monday

Hungary will jointly provide  the air policing of Slovenian air space with Italy from this year, which Italy has solely provided as an Alliance contribution since Slovenia’s accession in 2004.

The task is similar to the Hungarian air policing mission: securing the defence of the air space and the security of air travel, and visually identify aircraft in breach of international aviation and radio regulations in the air space.

Efficient defence of the sovereignty of the Hungarian air space will be provided on a continuous basis even when Hungary will provide air policing to Slovenia. Hungarian pilots will benefit from the increased operational experience through this task. This internationally recognized contribution will be beneficial to the entire Hungarian air defence.

The Hungarian Government’s plan is for the Gripen aircraft of the Hungarian Defence Forces to begin the air policing tasks in the spring of 2014.

Photos. Viktoria Hamori

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