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Varga_Hungarian Gripen Pilot.jpg“I always loved aerobatics, I like the low flying. I am not saying that I am the best, but if you want something with your heart and soul, you can do it,” says Gripen demonstration pilot Major Szabolcs Varga talking about his journey to Gripen cockpit.

“Aviation was my childhood love. My grandfather was into sports flying and he was friends with Tibor Onczay who served in the World War II as a military pilot. My childhood years were spent listening to the stories of these two pilots,” Major Varga says.

Talking about his beginning years, he says,” I was born in Borsod County which did not offer much opportunity to fly, but I had to do it. So I chose to pursue my aviation studies in Kossuth Lajos Secondary Technical School in Budapest which offered majors in aircraft mechanics. It provided a good foundation to me. “

Major Varga then cleared the entrance for Hungarian initial pilot training and began studying at the Szolnok Aviation Technical College. He flew various aircraft including Yak-52 and MiG-21. In 2007, Varga was sent to Sweden to practice his flying skills on Gripen. He spent four months there flying Gripen A/B as a part of the training. Starting 2008, Major Varga started flying Gripen C/D and has completed 500 flight hours on the aircraft ever since.

About the best feature of a Gripen maneuver, Major Varga says, “The tight turning radius makes a spectacular Gripen maneuver, especially in case of the  smoke trails demonstration ...

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The Hungarian Air Force Gripen will protect the airspace of Slovenia this year, reports XPatLoop.

Like Luxembourg, Iceland, and the Baltic States, Slovenia also does not have its own air policing capabilities. The country is provided surveillance by other NATO members. Prior to Hungary, Italy was assigned to provide air policing to Slovenia.

Besides, Slovenia, Hungarian Gripens will also join air control operations in the three Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia in 2015. 

If everything goes as planned, Hungary will have to relocate four Gripens and their crew to Lithuania from 2015 on without compromising its capabilities to defend its own air space, says the report.

Read the full story: Hungarian Gripens In Charge Of Nato Air Control Over Slovenia​

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Gripen has the world's most advanced military technology, says Muni Perez, a former Brazilian Air Force pilot in a report in

Perez first talks about Gripen’s fly-by-wire system which enables everything to be controlled by a computer. For example, if the pilot gives a command to turn an aircraft, it goes through a computer first which analyzes if the aircraft can move safely at that time without damaging its structure.

A Gripen cockpit boasts of various advanced features including HUD, HMDS, multifunction displays and HOTAS. An HUD (Heads Up Display) helps a pilot to concentrate on flying the aircraft without having to look down for information. An HMDS (Helmet Mounted Display System), on the other hand enables the pilot to get all the information on the helmet itself, making it easier to focus on the mission even while looking outside the cabin.

The report adds that Gripen is made to be network connected i.e. it is in constant contact with other aircraft, stations and units on land and ships, sending and receiving data from sensors, radar and imaging through the DataLink system.

“Technology is constantly evolving. Saab provides an access to the source code of the system which makes it possible to upgrade the aircraft according to Brazil’s needs, and at a cost much lower than competitors,” the report says.

Read the full story: Computador voador: conheça o Gripen, novo caça comprado pelo Brasil​

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Gripen Blog wishes its readers a very happy new year! 

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Defence and security company Saab has received steady state support contract for South African Gripen, says a Saab Press Release.​ The order has a total value of SEK 180 million over the years 2013-2016. The South African Air Force has been operating the Gripen fighter system since 2008 when the first Gripen was delivered. 

The operations of the Gripen fighter system in South Africa have previously been supported by Saab through short-term interim support contracts.The steady state support contract that is now signed between Saab and Armscor enables Saab to conduct support operations in a sustainable manner with a long-term horizon, with high efficiency and availability.

Through the steady state support contract, typical support services like engineering support, maintenance, repair and overhaul and spares replenishment will be carried out. The contract also includes technical publications amendment services. The total value of the contract is SEK 180 million over the years 2013-2016.​

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Frans Dely

Technology transfer was an important criterion in the FX2 so that the new fighter aircraft could be assembled in Brazil itself giving a push to the local defense industry.

According to a report in G1 News, Defence Minister Celso Amorim says,"There is an effective arrangement for technology transfer."

Wall Street Journal quoted Lennart Sindahl, head of Saab's aeronautics business segment saying, "The plane will roll out from a Brazilian factory."

"There will be a supply chain in Brazil," he adds.

G1 News also quoted former trade unionist, now mayor, José Pimentel saying, “It is a great new window of opportunity for the Brazilian industry because when you talk about fighter aircraft production, it involves the entire supply chain that can be involved, including a set of companies in the automotive sector, which may turn out to be defense industry suppliers.”

Read the full story: CEO da Saab diz que empresa está preparada para colaboração industrial

New Gripen Fighter to Be Built at Brazil-Based Plant, Saab Executive Says

Saab has received an order from the Swedish Defense Materiel Administration, FMV to integrate MBDA's Meteor missile system on Gripen E fighter aircraft, reports UPI.

"The additional order secures the implementation of integration of the weapon system Meteor for Gripen E," said Ulf Nilsson, head of Saab's Gripen product unit. "It also confirms Gripen's position as the leading fighter system with a flexible design that offers great possibilities to integrate new capabilities."

The Meteor programme sees the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden joining together to provide access to technology and expertise across Europe. MBDA is the Prime Contractor.

The order is worth almost $29.3 million.

Read the full story: Saab to integrate Meteor missiles onto Gripen E fighters

Hungarian Gripen pilots completed 10,000 flight hours recently and to mark the occasion, an event was organized with the Hungarian Minister of Defence Casaba Hende as the honorary guest.

A news report in Mix Online quoted Hende saying,"Gripen is a great system for our defence force as it multiplies its capabilities."

Addressing everyone at the event, Hende also added that Gripen gives better services while reducing the financial burden to half. 

"It was a good decision to choose Gripen," Hende said.

Read the full story: Hende: jó döntés volt a Gripen választása​

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The decision to choose Gripen NG for Brazil was made after analyzing all the facts, says Brazil's Defense Minister Celso Amorim.

"The choice as we all know was made after much study and careful consideration, and we took into account performance, effective transfer of technology and cost; not only the acquisition cost, but maintenance cost as well. The choice was based on the best balance of these three factors," says Amorim.

According to a news report in​, the Defence Minister also informed that the next step will be the contract negotiation which would take another 10 to 12 months and the transfer of resources to the Swedish company will only be made after that.

The fighter aircraft procurement program to replace the existing fleet for the Brazilian Air Force Força Aérea Brasileira (FAB) has faced a series of delays and has taken more than a decade. The program started in 2001 and was suspended in 2003. In May 2008, FAB announced that it has restarted the program shortlisting three aircraft: Rafale, F-18 Super Hornet and Gripen NG. These candidates then submitted their proposals to the government of Brazil and on 18 December 2013, Brazil's Defense Minister Celso Amorim announced that Gripen will replace the fleet of Mirage 2000.

Read the full story: Governo anuncia compra de 36 caças suecos Gripen por US$ 4,5 bilhões

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Saab has, within the framework of a previously signed agreement with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) for Gripen E, received a serial production order amounting to SEK16, 4 billion for operations during 2013-2026. The order includes modification of 60 Gripen C to Gripen E for Sweden with initial deliveries in 2018.

FMV has today placed an order for modification of 60 Gripen C to Gripen E with initial deliveries in 2018. This is the third order under the agreement with FMV for Gripen E that was made public on 15 February 2013. Other orders within the agreement are as follows:

  • Development of Gripen E to Sweden during 2013-2023 – orders received on 15 February and on 22 March 2013.
  • Mission-specific equipment and support and maintenance for Gripen E to Sweden, and;
  • ​Delivery of 22 new Gripen E, and related equipment to Switzerland, if Switzerland decides to acquire Gripen E. During August and September 2013 both chambers of the Swiss Parliament voted yes to the procurement of Gripen E and a referendum on the procurement is expected in 2014.

Read the full story: Saab Receives Serial Production Order For Gripen E To Sweden​

Image Courtesy: Stefan Kalm

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