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The Smart Fighter

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An article on Atlantic Community's 
website​ had good things to say about Gripen’s capabilities demonstrated during the Libyan mission.

The mission in Libya was Sweden's first air deployment after the 1960’s United Nations operation in the Congo. During the mission, the Swedish planes flew 570 operations and some of these missions were simply police enforcement of the no-fly zone. 

Overall, Sweden provided 2,770 reconnaissance reports to NATO. Due to past training exercises with the Allies, and because of the excellent capabilities evident in its Gripen aircraft, Sweden deserves high marks for the quality of its interoperable defences and excellent troops, the article says.

Read the full story  here​

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The Kecskemet International Air Show will take place next week on August 3 and 4 and Hungarian Gripen pilots are all set to perform at the event.

According to International Air Show’s  website, the air show will take place for nearly 7 hours on both days of the event. Besides solo performances, many formations of military, civilian and old aircraft will be featured.

The first air show at Kecskemét was held on 18 and 19 August 1990. This year, over 100,000 guests are expected to attend the event. In addition to the aerial displays and performances, the airbase would also have a lot on the ground display. 

According to the Air Show’s website, Gripens from Hungary are expected to fly at more than 10 shows in Europe this year, adding to the reputation of the Hungarian Air Force. Hungarian Gripen pilots are preparing to attend the Kecskemét Air Show with a formation featuring several aircraft.

For registration and information on tickets, please visit International Air Show’s website

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With the economic meltdown, defence budgets are facing major cuts around the world. Demands are getting tougher day by day. According to Saab’s CEO Hakan Buskhe’s  presentation ‘Breaking The Thought Barrier’, these tough demands however can benefit Saab.

“Our customers always demand more functions for less cost and that is rather unique in the defence industry. It is normal for other industries. But I believe that it is possible also in our business,” Buskhe says. 

He also stressed that these tougher demands have changed the market equation and competitiveness along with efficiency is the key thing now.

“Being a rather big defence company in a small country, spending 1 billion US dollars a year on R&D, we have to be lean as the Swedish state cannot bear all our investments. So we invest ourselves.”

There is an increased demand for an aircraft with multi role capabilities at an economical price. “This is something that will change the purchase pattern,” he says.

Read the full presentation here:  Breaking The Thought Barrier​

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Saab has signed 37 contracts for 54 million Swiss francs this year so far including 12 new contracts in Switzerland, reports swissinfo.

By the end of last year, Saab had realized SIP business worth 250 million francs, completing orders from 102 Swiss companies. According to the report, a quarter of these contracts come from French speaking Switzerland. 

The turnover of the companies in the French speaking Switzerland is however only 15% of the total, though Saab aims to bring it to 30%. "We are not there yet, but things will improve soon," says Saab spokesman Mike Helmy.

According to an another report in agefi, Markus Niederhauser, President of the French-speaking group for defense equipment and security said that business contracts are planned to take place first in the French-speaking Switzerland before spreading further to Sarine.

In May, Director of Marketing for Europe Saab, Richard Smith was quoted saying, “A percentage of 30% of the amount should be reserved for French-speaking Switzerland, 65% in German-speaking Switzerland and Ticino 5%. The share of the pie reserved for Romandie exceeds its population quota, because we recognized that it actually contributes to 30% of Swiss GDP."

Earlier this year, Saab visited Zurich, Geneva, Payerne, Martigny, Hitzkirch and Lucerne to inform regional manufacturers about the opportunities for Swiss Industrial Participation (SIP) and to find new business partners linked to the potential Swiss acquisition of 22 Gripen E fighters.

Saab is committed to deliver SIP of at least 300 million before the Gripen ...

“What a ride, my eyes wobbled frantically between the aircraft instruments and the sky that engulfed me,” says Xavier Alonso, describing his experience of flying the Gripen with test pilot Hakan Wallen.

In an exclusive report in Tribune DeGeneve, Xavier Alonso talks all about the 45 minutes he spent flying the Gripen and that he felt like a knight of the sky for a while bringing back all the memories of comics of Tanguy and Laverdure, Håkan Wallen being Michel Tanguy.

As Gripen slowed and stabilized its speed over the sea,  Alonso was asked if he felt good. “I spluttered in my mask a response that expressed both the happiness in my head dealing with this new sensation and the discomfort of a knotted stomach.”​

Image Courtesy: Helena Lundin

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"We have received a number of new inquiries about Gripen from many Asian countries. Several of them have come up in the last 3-6 months," said Hakan Buskhe, CEO, Saab to Direkt last Friday.

According to the news report, despite weak market conditions, interest for Gripen has shot up in Asia recently.

"Our system is very well suited to the Asian market. The Thai use of Gripen has been noted," Buskhe said.

In April this year, Thailand received three new Gripens from Sweden's Defense Export Agency FMV, bringing Royal Thai Air Force's Gripen fleet to nine.


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Over the next few weeks, we will recap some of the stories that have made news in the first half of 2013.

“Sales of the current models of Gripen and the next generation model may exceed 300 units in the next two decades.” says Eddy de La Motte, head of Gripen Exports.

According to a Bloomberg news report earlier this year, Saab is hopeful about Gripen’s export prospects as F-35 buyers are considering other option now due to budget constraints.“We can now offer a fixed price, fixed performance and fixed timetable,” Eddy said. “The outlook is better than anything I have seen.”

Read the full story: Saab Says Gripen Export Chances Rise as F-35 Buyers Review Plans

Image: Peter Liander

Ulf Nilsson.JPGWith the beginning of the development of the first test aircraft of the new Gripen E called 39-8 at Saab Aeronautics in Linköping, there are speculations about its features and how different it will be as compared to Gripen’s previous models.

In an interview with nyteknik, Ulf Nilsson, head of Gripen Sweden explains about the new test aircraft under construction. Nilsson says that the new test aircraft is being constructed using a completely new hull, aluminum and composite. However there are reused components from Gripen C/D as well.

“A large number of parts would come from different systems,” he says. Nilsson also says that the new hull of the Gripen E will be longer, thicker and heavier than the previous Gripen NG demonstrator. The Gripen E may also include a new radar and a new engine.

Read the full story: Saab bygger första Gripen E


After a rigorous Combat Readiness Training that started on 25 March 2013 and ended on 5 July 2013, eight Gripen pilots are all set to be a part of  units F21 and F17, says the Swedish Air Force blog forsvarsmakten.​ 

“We are pleased with their accomplishments and wish them luck in the future and welcome them back when they are ready to step into the instructor role,” says FVI's Carl Nordberg.

During the training, students completed Phase A of the weapons system training which involved management of both radars and weapons. Thereafter in Phase B, they put into practice their knowledge against airborne targets.​


Visitors at theRoyal International Air Tattoo (RIAT)​ are in for some spectacular aerial displays this year as Gripens from the Swedish and Hungarian Air Force are all set to perform at the event. 

Gripens from 1 Sqn, 59 Tac Wing of the Hungarian Air Force along with Swedish Air Force's Gripens would take to the skies as part of this summer's thrilling seven-hour flying display.

Held annually each July at RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire, the Royal International Air Tattoo, billed as the world's largest military airshow, has gained the well-earned reputation as one of the UK's top outdoor family events. The Royal International Air Tattoo will be staged at RAF Fairford over the weekend of 20 and 21 July 2013.

With over 250+ aircraft participating each year, upwards of 130,000 visitors and support from the Royal Air Force and some of the world's leading aerospace companies, the Royal International Air Tattoo is among the world's largest military airshows.

This year's Royal International Air Tattoo goes with the theme of 'Celebration of Aviation Excellence'.

Read more about the participation of Gripen at RIAT´s website. ​​

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