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The Smart Fighter

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​Tina Thorner, a professional co-driver and a businesswoman fulfills her dream of flying a fighter aircraft. 

"My life became complete this week! I got to fly the Swedish Air Force and Saab’s pride: JAS 39 Gripen! What an aircraft! It showed me that one should never give up on their dreams," she says.

“I could actually fly the plane myself. I did a roll, I did a loop, I crossed the sound barrier and I was up there for an hour, not feeling ill, nothing and I just loved every second of it,” Thorner says.​

​Elisra, Elbit’s wholly-owned subsidiary has been selected by Saab for the integration and delivery of its Passive Airborne Warning System (PAWS-2) onboard the Gripen fighter, reports ASD News.

According to the Elbit Systems subsidiary, PAWS-2 was selected after a comprehensive in-depth evaluation and testing of the system (including a comparative live fire test) in various scenarios.

PAWS-2 is an IR based combat-proven Missile Warning Systems designed to strengthen tactical aircraft safety and survivability. It provides warning to aircrew in the presence of hostile missiles and automatically activates onboard countermeasures such as flares, DIRCM, etc.

Read the full story: Elbit to Provide EW Systems for Gripen Fighter System

Sindahl2.jpg"If you go back to 1950s, what was important was how fast you could fly an aircraft and how well you could control a combat situation. But that is not enough for today,” says Lennart Sindahl, Senior Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Aeronautics, at a Saab presentation on Innovation on the occasion of Nobel Week in New Delhi, India.

Sindahl, in his speech explained how aircraft designing and manufacturing process have undergone a change in the last few decades.

“Situational awareness is extremely important in a combat situation now. You need to have a very good view of the environment around you. So consequently the sensors have become very important.”

“We have been working since the early 1980s on the Gripen system. And we are now contracted by the Swedish government to develop the third generation of Gripen. We started working in the 1980s, building a very Swedish Gripen. Then we saw an opportunity to export the fighter aircraft, and we knew we needed to develop a new version of Gripen. Technology was going forward, customer’s needs were going forward and that is why we started working on Gripen C/D,” Sindahl says.

Sindahl adds that when a system is designed, it should be designed for many years and hence one needs to be very flexible with weapon integration, surveillance system etc.

“In the 1950s when you designed an aircraft, you could say that five per cent of the design would be useless soon as technology was growing very quickly. ...

Czech Gripen0_4.jpg
“An extension of the Gripen lease seems to be the best option for the Czech Republic,” says the recently elected president of the Czech Chamber of Deputies, Jan Hamáček.

According to a news report in the Czech online, John Hamáček assures that in case they manage to form a government led by the Social Democrats, they would probably extend the Gripen lease after knowing all the details of the Swedish offer.

“Social democracy promotes long-term preservation of supersonic aircraft, so that the Czech Republic is able to provide adequate protection to its airspace. Currently, the Swedish Gripen lease renewal appears not only as the most economical, but also as the best option from the perspective of military-technical skills,” Hamáček says.

Read the full story: Gripeny se jeví jako nejlepší řešení, říká šéf Sněmovny Hamáček​

Sweden has decided to contribute a squadron of Gripen fighter jets and a mine-sweeping ship to NATO Rapid Reaction Force (NRF), reports The Local.

In 2014, around 120 Swedish service personnel will join the NRF. An additional eight Gripen fighters and  an amphibious unit will be sent by 2015.

The initial contribution of eight planes and the minesweeper will be a part of the NRF's reserve forces. "This means that they will be available for deployment as part of the NRF reserve force during this period. They will be in Sweden, but they will be ready for duty," Sweden's Defence Minister Karin Enström told the TT news agency.

The NRF is made up of land, air, naval and Special Forces units committed by NATO nations for a twelve-month period. Partner countries can contribute to the NRF once their participation has been approved by the North Atlantic Council and the forces designated meet the required NATO standards.

Read the full story: Swedish Fighter jets to Join Nato Response Force​

According to Saab, a focus on realistic requirements has helped the Swedish industry and government teams integrate weapons on the Gripen faster and at lower cost than similar efforts elsewhere.

In an Aviation Week report, Bill Sweetman talks about the weapons from outside that have been successfully integrated with Gripen so far in a cost effective way.

The list includes the Raytheon GBU-49 Enhanced Paveway II laser-plus-GPS bomb and Diehl Iris-T infrared air-to-air missile (AAM), which were integrated in 2006-09 and the flight testing of Thales Digital Joint Reconnaissance Pod for South Africa's Gripens in 2011.

According to Gideon Singer, technical director for Gripen exports and Lisa Abom, head of the Saab project office for engineering and weapons, Saab devotes 14% of integration costs to planning and coordination.

“One lesson is to reach early agreement,” they said. This means defining and clearly interpreting requirements, limitations and the approach to testing. 

This year in June, Saab conducted its first test firing of the version of the Meteor radar-controlled air-to-air missile, developed for mass production.  The test firing demonstrated the separation from the aircraft and the link function between the aircraft and missile, as well as the missile's ability to lock in on the target. The test firing was also used to verify the command support that has been developed for the pilot.

Sweden will be the first air force to field the new missile, with the Gripen MS 20 package in 2015. That upgrade will also include the GBU-39 Small ...

Marcus Wallenberg.jpg"Gripen meets the Swiss requirements. It is at the forefront of technology and is also the most effective solution in terms of costs," says Saab Chairman Marcus Wallenberg in an interview with

Wallenberg says that while the Gripen was developed to deal with the threats of the cold war, the Gripen E has taken a technological leap over the previous versions in controlling costs.

“Saab's approach is to provide high value products at reasonable prices. However, technology is advancing. The landscape is not the same as it was ten years ago. Each manufacturer shall, to remain competitive, not only maintain a cutting edge technology but also be very attentive to the issue of costs,” Wallenberg says.

Talking about the division of the offset transactions between various parts of Switzerland, Wallenberg says, “Saab is committed to follow the directions of Armasuisse which is accountable for the distribution of the offset transaction. All cases must be concluded on a commercial basis.”

Read the full story:  Marcus Wallenberg: «Un "non" au Gripen ne mettrait pas Saab en péril»

Frans Dely_Gripen1.jpg
Saab has received an order from the Swedish Materiel Administration (FMV) to provide technical system support to the Swedish Armed Forces next year, reports the UPI​.

The order is a further option under a previously signed agreement with the FMV for performance-based support and maintenance of Gripen. This contract allowed additional orders until 2016.

The technical support package includes support for the Swedish Armed Forces and FMV in the form of operational and technical support, equipment follow-up, proposed modifications, continuous updates, environmental technology plus warehouse operations for replacement units.

"With this order, Saab contributes to an effective and accessible Gripen operation for Sweden in the coming year," says Lars-Erik Wige, head of Saab's Support and Services business area.

The order is worth SEK 107 million.

Read the full story:  Sweden extends Saab support for Gripens​

Image Courtesy: Frans Dely

Hungary Gripen6.jpg
On Wednesday last week, Hungarian Air Force Gripen were sent alerts when an aircraft approaching from Austria failed to make any contact, reports, Blikk.

It was almost dinner time when the siren went off at the Kecskemét airbase. After dark, the first signal came that the alert would be an “alpha” one. The technicians quickly prepared two Gripen aircraft, and ten minutes later they were in the air to surround the “silent” plane, which was located at 30,000 feet. 

The plane violating the Hungarian air space was a Qatar Boeing-777. The pilot was informed that he should establish radio contact with the air control and the aircraft finally established contact. The two Gripens escorted the Boeing from a distance of 1-2 miles.

According to the Hungarian pilots, there used to be more such cases in the past, but in 2013 only two such incidents have taken place. 

“When the ‘prey’ is a passenger aircraft, people often take photographs of the Gripens from the windows. Sometimes when a smaller aircraft is chased, the pilot usually looks quite shocked as the Gripens pull up beside it”, the pilot said.

Read the full story:Ő tessékelte ki a katari repülőgépet​

Gripen For Denmark.jpg
Defence & Security Company Saab has launched a new website dedicated to Gripen for Denmark.

Saab is a long-term partner to the Danish Armed Forces and has delivered several products and systems to the country including Draken Fighter Jets, Arthur Weapon Locating Systems and Double Eagle ROV – MCM.

Earlier this year, Denmark had announced that it had reopened the type selection process for a new fighter aircraft and Gripen was one of the options it was looking at. Last month, a Danish delegation led by the Minister of Defence Nicolai Wammen met officials at FXM to see the production process of the Gripen.

Saab plans to deliver offset transactions valued at 100 percent of the Gripen contract value, creating huge business opportunities for the Danish industry.

​To know more about Saab’s industrial cooperation package for Denmark, and about Gripen E, please visit Gripen For Denmark​

The site is launched in both English and Danish language.

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