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​"A Gripen simulator is not just for training," says Anders Lotsson of  Computer Sweden, emphasizing that unlike earlier, simulators are now playing a crucial role in the development of the Gripen.

Lotsson recently took a tour of Saab's Gripen factory in Linköping and he explains that a lot has changed in the way an aircraft is developed now.

“Earlier they built the airplane first and then the simulator. Nowadays, it is the other way around. An aircraft now begins its life as a simulator,” he says.

According to Lars M Karlsson, Head of Training and Systems at Saab, it is very important to test fly an aircraft on a computer screen before flying it in air.

"Simulate first, then fly," Karlsson, says. "The later one discovers an error, the more expensive it will be to fix it."

A simulator’s role is not limited to just training any more. Simulators continue to play a role even after the planes have been delivered. Data from aircraft in active service are used to recreate problems and defects in order to improve the product, Lotsson explains.

Read the full story:  Flygplanet byggs med hjälp av mjukvara​

​Gripen made two stunning displays in Roskilde last weekend where the bi-annual Roskilde Air Show was held. The Gripen C that carried out the flight display was piloted by Martin Hansson from the Swedish Air Force F-17 wing and the Danish crowd was presented with the magnificent flight capabilities of the Gripen multirole fighter. 

Saab’s stand was perfectly located in the centre of the ground display and the two-seater Gripen D on display just outside the Saab tent attracted a lot of interest from the visitors. Saab officials and personnel from the Swedish Air Force were present to inform about Gripen’s excellent qualities.


Although the weather could have been better, a lot of people had gathered to see the different types of helicopters and aircraft, both on static display and in the air​.

Gripen_Iceland Meet.jpg
Gripen will participate in the Iceland Fighter Meet 2014 (IFM14) which will bring together fighter aircraft from NATO member Norway (F-16 Fighting Falcon) and from partner countries like Finland and Sweden, to conduct a wide range of air defence-related flying activities, reports

These activities, according to the report, would include air combat training between dissimilar aircraft types, defensive and offensive counter-air operations and high-value airborne asset attack and protection.

The exercise will be held as a part of the NATO's Iceland peacetime preparedness mission and aims to train the pilots and fighter controllers in the joint Nordic operating environment and to develop the crisis-management capability of the air forces. 

Read the full story:  NATO and partners to conduct air-defence flying training over Iceland​​

After their first air to air refueling (AAR) experience over Czech Republic in April this year, Czech Gripen pilots participated in a similar exercise over the Krkonoše mountains recently,

According to one of the airmen, Petr Dřevecký, the relatively difficult manoeuvre during an AAR requires full attention and precision. The whole operation takes place at a speed of over 500 kmph and the edge of the basket is at 20 cm from the aircraft´s canopy at the moment of the connection. It is also important to take turbulence into account as it may complicate the connection. 

Dřevecký explains that participating in AAR training is necessary for potential deployment in NATO´s air operations and various missions. 

“Today, when missions take more than two hours, this ability is required. It increases both the time of aircraft operation in the air as well as the effectiveness of aircraft use. During the campaign in Libya, flights of the Swedish Gripen lasted for four to six hours,” he says.

The AAR was divided into two phases and the pilots managed to connect with the tanker five times on an average during each phase. Three Gripens were a part of this training.

Read the full story:  Tři a půl hodiny v gripenu. Stíhači se zdokonalují v tankování za letu

Czech and Hungarian Gripens will be participating in the upcoming event Ramstein Rover 2013 which would start on 2 September and will go on for three weeks. About two hundred Forward Air Controllers from nineteen NATO countries will be taking part in the exercise.

According to Ramstein Rover 2013’s official website, the NATO exercise for Forward Air Controllers (FACs), Ramstein Rover 2013 (RARO13) draws on the facilities and training environment presented to the Alliance by the Czech Republic, the host nation, and the participation of NATO FAC teams and aircraft to Namest nad Ozslavu.

With so many nations participating, the exercise provides a solid platform for “collective” training. The exercise is managed by the Allied Air Command - AIRCOM located in Ramstein, Germany. All allied forces present at the event will train together with the Czech Air Force and Ground Forces.

Image Courtesy:Ramstein Rover 2013​

Gripen pilots in Hungary are currently participating in a water survival course in the swimming pools of the Szolnok Helicopter Base. The training prepares them for emergency ejection over water. These pilots would next be trained in the cold sea waters of Sweden, reports a NolTV programme​.

Trainees have to become familiar with the use of the survival kit and they must follow a specific procedure in order to stay alive in the freezing cold water until the rescue team arrives. According to the training officer, the challenge lies in the weight of the equipment which, together with the flight suit, weighs as much as 17 kg. Submersion in water only adds to the weight.

Gripen from Wing F17 in Ronneby will participate at the Roskilde Air Show, the biggest air show in Denmark, this weekend.

One Gripen will perform air displays while one Gripen will be on static display so there are great opportunities to watch the advanced multi role fighter live. 

Saab’s exhibition stand will have Gripen on display and Saab officials will talk to visitors and answer their queries about the fighter aircraft. The Gripen air display is scheduled on both days. The displays will take place at 1600 hours on Saturday and at 1232 hours on Sunday.

Held first in 1995, the Roskilde Air Show which is organized at the Roskilde Airport every alternate year, aims to promote interest in aviation. The event also aims to inform students about training opportunities within aviation, both civilian and military. Students present at the event would get to know about career options in the field.

The event promises to offer a thrilling experience to visitors of all ages with its airshow and exhibitions. About 15,000 to 20,000 visitors are expected to attend the event, depending on weather.

To know more about the Roskilde Air Show, please visit the air show website.

Gripen E.jpgDesigning a fighter aircraft is the fine art of making the right compromises, explained Björn Johansson, Chief Engineer Gripen E/F, in a presentation called “What is Gripen E” at a seminar earlier this year in Stockholm.

Johansson, who happens to be the first pilot to log more than 1000 hours on Gripen, started the presentation by talking about the Swedish Air Force’s requirements between 2020 and 2040. As compared to Gripen C/D, the Gripen E/F should have an extended range and increased weapon payload, Mil-Std 1760E cl. 2 weapon pylon inter face among other things, he says. 

There were two possible solutions to Sweden’s future requirements, Johansson pointed out: A new “white paper” project with technically no set limits/constraints could have been started. This would have involved extensive testing and would have been more expensive. Alternatively, the existing Gripen could be modified by reusing deigns and parts and this would be a less expensive and hence a better option.

Johansson said that the Gripen (NG) Demonstrator programme was able to show that the Gripen could be modified to meet customer requirements on range, payload, new sensor suite/weapons/electronic countermeasures. The Gripen NG Demo also demonstrated that it was possible to install an engine with higher thrust, an AESA-radar, a new avionics system and carry more internal fuel. Further, this approach reduced cost and lead time by 60%, thanks to new processes and new supplier strategy, MBD for airframe design, MBSE for systems development. Most important, the Gripen Demo significantly reduced risks involved in the development of the ...

​​Gripen presented an amazing flight display at the Kecskemét airshow held in the beginning of August this year. The Kecskemét International Air Show is a two-day long air show held since the early 1990s at the Kecskemét Air Base of the Hungarian Defence Force. This year, the airshow celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Hungarian Air Force.​ Over one hundred thousand people turned up to watch the displays during the two day event.

Czech Gripen2.jpg
“Gripen’s strongest asset is its cockpit layout,” says 2013 Czech Air Force display pilot Capt. Martin Spacek in an interview with Gareth Stringer of  Global Aviation Resource.

Spacek joined the Czech Air Force in 1997 and began his flight training in the year 2000 on the Zlín Z 142. He then trained on the L-29 Delfin and L-39 Albatros and finally on the L-159 ALCA. Spacek trained on the L-159 ALCA for about six years before getting his hands on the Gripen.

Spacek is now flying the Gripen for the last three years, completing around 300 hours on the Swedish fighter aircraft. He stresses that Gripen is very easy to fly and the quality of the pictures that pilots get on the radar is excellent.

“It is a very light aircraft, with just a single engine of course, and it is also very maneuverable, but I think its strongest asset is the cockpit layout. It is a very friendly layout for the pilot,” Spacek says.

According to Stringer, underneath that good looking exterior, the cockpit is dominated by a head-up display and three large multi-function displays, benefits from HOTAS (Hands On Throttle And Stick) technology and its PS-05/A pulse-doppler X-band radar. This was developed by Ericsson and GEC-Marconi and is based on the latter’s advanced Blue Vixen radar for the Sea Harrier FA2.

Read the full story:  Airshow exclusive – Interview​

Image Courtesy:  Armed Forces Of Czech Republic

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