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The Smart Fighter

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Gripen performed to an excited crowd at the NATO Days and Czech Air Force Days last month.

Even though the weather could have been better, the event was still attended by 145,000 people on Saturday and Sunday. According to the organizers, NATO Days are the most visited event lasting more than one day in the Czech Republic.

The most attractive of the eight-hour programme at the event included Gripen’s aerial display and its in-flight refueling with the Swedish C-130 Hercules tanker.​

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“The downturn in the US and Europe has been picked up by Asia,” says Hakan Buskhe, President and CEO, Saab AB, in an interview with the  FT’s Carola Hoyos.

Mr. Buskhe talked about the emerging markets that would provide most of the defence industry growth in future despite economic wobbles.

“There will always be a bumpy road for all the economies. However, Asia with more than 4 billion people out of the world’s total 7 billion has a great future going forward,” he says.

On being asked if the future belongs to the manned or unmanned technology, Buskhe says, “I believe the future lies in both. Sometimes the best sensors you can put into an aircraft is a man or a woman.”

“I don’t at all believe that you would find just unmanned aircraft across the globe in future. I think you need to develop them so that they can be optionally manned. The logistic platform to build a separate unmanned aircraft, to maintain it and to deploy it in action would be tremendous.”

Watch the video:  EM remain key for defence chief​​

ACE 13, the largest air exercise conducted in Europe this year came to an end last week, reports the  Swedish Air Force Blog.

According to Col. Frederick Bergman of the Swedish Air Force, the exercise proved to be a great platform for the all the participants to practice extensive flight operations and complex exercises under realistic conditions. 

Col. Bergman says that the Eagles’ performance in the exercise impressed the other participants. “From Monday, September 16 to our final flight session on 26th September afternoon, we had carried over 1,200 aircraft and had flown over 2,000 flight hours,” he says.

In an another  post​  in the Air Force Blog, Adam Nelson, chief of  171 combat aircraft division, says that during the morning sessions, the teams got the opportunity to conduct joint exercises with the divisions on Kallax as cross border training. 

“We carried out a session last Friday where two Jas 39 Gripen and two Typhoons from Kallax were at the red side and two JAS 39 Gripen and two F-18 from Rovaniemi were at the blue side. The air battle took place as MFFO (mixed fighter forces operations) where different types of aircraft are merged to interact directly,” Nelson describes.

Nelson adds that the exercise was conducted largely with the help of video conferencing which allowed them to plan, fly and evaluate together in a good way without hitting the pilots of the other bases, except in the air of course.

Over 2,000 participants from five ...

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The Sea Gripen generated a lot of interest at the recently concluded NAMEXPO 2013 held at Kochi, India. Tony Ogilvy, General Manager Aeronautics & International Head, Sea Gripen Program (SAAB) in his presentation on Sea Gripen, spoke about Saab’s plans for the development of the aircraft. 

Speaking at the fourth technical session on “Development of Advance Naval Aviation Systems and Sustainable Repair Support” on the second day of the NAM EXPO2013, Ogilvy made an extensive presentation on the upcoming Naval Version of the Gripen Fighter Aircraft. Ogilvy highlighted the importance of it’s small size and its operational versatility from both CATOBAR and STOBAR Carriers.

Ogilvy emphasized the requirement of “active partners” for the development of Sea Gripen.

Gripen presented a powerful performance at the AIRPOWER 13 in Austria this year. 

The theme of the exercise which was held at Fliegerhorst Hinterstoisser in Zeltweg on June 28 and 29, 2013 was "sovereignty and solidarity".

Over 20 nations participated in the event, showcasing about 200 aircraft at the Hinterstoisser Air Base.

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“SAAF must get Beyond Visual Range (BVR) capability in order to be a superior air force in its continent,” says Lieutenant Colonel Musa ‘Midnite’ Mbhokota, Officer Commanding 2 Squadron at AFB Makhado.

A news report in  Defence Web  quoted Mbhokota saying that if the Southern African Development Community (SADC) as a region and South Africa as a country wish to be taken seriously on the continent, a BVR capability must be introduced for the SA Air Force’s Gripen C/D fighters.

BVR capability comes from highly integrated weapons system, new generation AESA radars and advanced data link systems. Infra Read Search and Track (IRST), Helmet Mounted Display (HMD) and advanced BVR missiles guarantee superior close combat performance.

“Exercise Lion Effort in Sweden had proved that if you don’t have a BVR missile in a BVR environment, you are no factor,” Mbhokota says.

Read the full story:  SAAF must get BVR capability to be relevant on the African continent​

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According to Saab, there is an increased interest for Gripen E in regions including Asia, where Thailand already operates a version of the jet, Europe, South America and sub-Saharan Africa, reports  Bloomberg.

Saab says that this interest is concurrent with the order from the Swedish Defence Material Administration (FMV) for the development of Gripen E and the beginning of the assembly of the system.

“The business opportunities seem to be quite promising,” Saab Chief Executive Officer Hakan Buskhe said in the statement. 

“The rising interest for Gripen reflects the long-term analysis of the market for Gripen E as the most cost-efficient and modern state of the art multirole fighter jet system,” he adds.

Read the full story:  Saab Lifts Gripen Combat Jet Market Outlook on Emerging Markets​


Fredrik Süsskind is greeted on his arrival to Wing 7. Image: Sukasom Hiranphan​


Wing 7 Commander, Group Captain Manat Chuanprayoon welcome Fredrik Süsskind (to the left) and his fellow pilot. Image: Sukasom Hiranphan​

Two swedish ferry pilots and one Thai pilot, all happy about the Gripen delivery to air Wing 7. Image: Sukasom Hiranphan​

Mj Fredrik Süsskind is a Gripen Project Test Pilot with FMV. He is also a Gripen ferry flight pilot, who has twice delivered new Gripen aircraft to the Royal Thai Air Force, the latest this September. Gripenblogs asked Fredrik about the long haul ferry flights from his perspective.

How did you prepare for the ferry flight?

The planning started directly after the last delivery in April this year. We were supported by the SwAF who assisted us in all parts during the planning phase.

Was this your first ferry flight?

Personally this was my second ferry flight to Thailand. 3 out of the 5 pilots had previously participated in ferry flights to Thailand.

For how long do you fly each leg? Do you bring any special equipment or rations with you, kept in the cockpit, for the different parts of the ferry flight?

The legs varied between 2h 40minutes down to 1h 15minutes. The most challenging thing during this season is the weather (thunderstorms), heat and possible dehydration. We need to drink a lot in order to stay focused. Once you close the canopy the temperature goes sky high so you really need the air conditioning that the A/C provides on ...

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The demonstration of the unique display of refueling in flight of two JAS-39 Gripen from KC-130 tanker.​

Major Jaroslav Tomaňa from 211th wing of Tactical Air Force in Čáslav received a special memorial crystal plaque award from Daniel Boestad, Head of Gripen Export, CEE.


Chief of General Staff of the Army of the Czech Republic, Lieutenant general Petr Pavel handing over the Scholarship diplomas to Staff Sergeant Pavel Hammer and Corporal Vladimir Krejci. . 

During the weekend Saab participated as a general partner of the NATO Days 2013, the largest public air, military and security show in Central Europe, at LeošJanáček Airport Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Almost 145, 000 visitors that attended the air show had the opportunity to enjoy the Gripen fighter on static display as well as a fly by performed by Czech Air Force, especially the demonstration of the unique display of refueling in flight by two JAS-39 Gripens from KC-130 tanker. Another highlight of the air show was the Swedish Air Force Historical Flight dynamic display with its Saab AJS-37 Viggen aircraft.

Czech pilot awarded for 1,000 flight hours 

On Saturday, 21st September, Major Jaroslav Tomaňa from 211th wing of  Tactical Air Force in Čáslav received a special memorial crystal plaque award for 1,000 flight hours with JAS-39 Gripen fighter jet.

“I really appreciate this award and I would like to express my gratitude  for a very good cooperation between the Czech Republic and the Kingdom of Sweden, which lasts since 2004“, says major Tomaňa, the awarded ...

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Gripens from the 21st Tactical Air Force Base Čáslav are all set to perform aerial displays and an in-flight refueling together with Swedish KC-130 tanker at the 13th NATO Days in Ostrava this weekend. 
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