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Defence Minister Karin Enstrom visited Blekinge Wing F17, based in Kallinge, Sweden, last week. The minister also flew the Gripen during this visit.

According to a report in  regeringen, F17 is very important for Sweden's air combat capabilities and the government took the decision on 21 March to invest extensively in it.

“The investments made now means that we secure the future abilities both for combat aircraft and helicopters,” says Karin Enstrom.

F17 has a total 40 aircraft and its pilots train a lot to hone their safety and tactical skills. F 17 is responsible for incident preparedness. The Wing’s aircraft are at constant readiness for take-off should it be necessary to intercept, identify and, if necessary, turn away foreign aircraft that voilate Swedish territory.

Read the full story:Defense Minister Karin Enstrom visited Blekinge Wing

Image Courtesy: Catharina Berg

"Whenever Hungarians hear the word Gripen, they can translate it into two things: on one hand a perfect and a state of art fighter aircraft, and on the other hand they understand and translate the word into a fantastic long term economic programme i.e. the Gripen offset program we are realizing now," says Dr. Szabo Sandor, Head of Offset Section, Ministry of Economy and Transport, Hungary.

The video shows various Gripen operators talking about their experiences with the fighter aircraft so far and how its high performance and low cost combination makes it perfect for their operational requirements. Here is a video of Gripen's success stories.

A delegation of ten people from Thailand, led by Mr. Sutham Phanthusak, President – Senator of Senate of Thailand and Poowanida Kunpalin, Member of the House of Representatives visited Linköping to be briefed about how the work on the latest order of Thailand is proceeding.

According to Pauline Olsson, Campaign Manager at Gripen Export, both the parties discussed not just about the Gripen project and its development, but also about the Thai-Swedish Defence Co-operation in general. 

RAF Waddington.jpgCzech Air Force Gripens, along with 211th Tactical Squadron, Caslav AB (F) CON, L159 ALCA,  212th Tactical Squadron, Caslav AB (F) CON are to participate in the UK Royal Air Force’s Waddington Air Show this year.  

The RAF Waddington International Air Show is held once a year during the first weekend of July at Royal Air Force Waddington, Lincoln. It is the largest of all RAF air shows, regularly attended by over 125,000 visitors. Along with flight displays, there would be ground exhibitions and trade and craft fairs as well.

To know more about the event, please visit the RAF Waddington International Air show’s website​​.

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After being mostly on static displays in 2011 and 2012 air shows, Hungarian Gripens are all set to wow the visitors with their dynamic demonstration at the NATO Days in Ostrava & Czech Air Force Days in September this year.

A news report on the air show’s  website  says that Hungarian Air Force made its debut appearance at Ostrava in 2010 when the Gripen was presented both on the ground and in the air. In the following years, the Hungarian Gripens did not perform any aerial displays though.

“In 2011 an 2012, the aircraft has been presented only in the static park and we are happy that this year, the spectators will have a chance to appreciate the plane´s dynamic demonstration again,” says Zbyněk Pavlačík, chairman of the Jagello 2000 Association, main organizer of NATO Days in Ostrava & Czech Air Force Days.

One of the largest events of its kind in the Czech Republic and Central Europe, ‘NATO Days in Ostrava’ is a fun filled event for the entire family with static aircraft displays, flying displays, in-flight fuel refueling exercises, exhibitions, display of a wide range of air and land defence equipment used by NATO member countries etc.

Read the full story:  Hungarian Gripens are Coming Back

Image Courtesy:​

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“Gripen gives you the feeling that you have wings and you are in heaven," says pilot Martin Sonka who is flying the Gripen these days.

In an interview to Denik, Martin Sonka talked about his love for flying and shared his excitement of flying the Gripen.

“Ever since childhood, I was crazy about airplanes and everything. I lived near the airport. Aircraft flew directly above my house. It was only a matter of time before I could manage to save a few bucks and hang out at the airport,” he says.

Talking about his recent flights, he says, “I have had the good fortune that I have flown a really great aircraft. My favorite is probably the one that I fly at present: Gripen and the aerobatic Extra 300 SR. These are machines that give you the feeling that you have wings and you are heaven.”

Read the full story:From gliders to Gripens, it is the dream of every boy

Image Courtesy:Martin Sonka

Hungary Gripen.jpg
Gripen fighters were alerted recently when an aircraft coming from the direction of Romania, heading for Venice entered Hungarian airspace without establishing any contact, reports the Hungarian daily Hirado.

According to the report, Gripen pilots saw and identified the small aircraft. The aircraft was then detected by a radio link from the relevant control service after which it left the country’s airspace.

The report adds that the Gripen alert was necessary in order to protect the Hungarian airspace and to maintain the safety of the Hungarian citizens.

The last Gripen alert took place on 15 October 2012, when an A380 passenger plane coming from Dubai violated Hungarian air space. At the time, just like last week, two Gripens were doing their exercise routine in the airspace of Taszár.

Read the full story:Gripen fighters alerted for a motor test flight​


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Illustration of a Sea Gripen 

By Romulo Sobral

Besides Brazil, Saab identified future demand for naval fighters in countries like India, Italy and the UK, which, in the coming years will be commissioning new aircraft carriers in their navies. According to Saab, there is a real and viable market for this type of aircraft. Aiming this market, the company is already developing a naval version of JAS-39 Gripen, which aims to be a variant of its newest product, the Gripen NG (Next Generation). This new version was named Sea Gripen.

According to Saab, the requirements established by the Swedish Air Force (Flygvapnet) so that the Gripen had STOL capabilities (Short Takeoff and Landing), i.e. ability to take off and land from short stretches of road, caused the aircraft to present performance and flying qualities similar to those required for aircraft specifically designed to operate from an aircraft carrier.

It was to verify in practice, the "natural vocation" of Gripen to become a naval fighter that I was invited to conduct a flight in Gripen D (two-seater) at the headquarters of Saab in Linköping, Sweden.

The purpose of the flight was to verify that the design requirements of the Gripen confer flight characteristics that demonstrate their conversion potential into a naval version without major and fundamental design changes. Even with very little flight time, the flying qualities present in the aircraft quickly became clear to me. The Saab team, led by Tony Ogilvy, already has identified and mapped all the areas that need special ...

Frans Dely SA2.jpg
South Africa’s  Denel​ has started producing power cartridges locally for Gripen, says a news report in BD Live.  

According to the report, Denel makes most of the components for the aircraft flown by the South African Air Force, which now includes the explosive cartridges fitted below the pilot’s seat to help propel the seat into the sky in an emergency.

"We have successfully qualified the ejection-seat cartridges for the Hawk and Gripen aircraft, and the Hawk is currently flying with South African manufactured components," says Denel’s Pretoria Metal Pressings (PMP) division’s CEO Carel Wolhuter.

Martin-Baker, a British firm, would monitor the manufacturing of the Gripen cartridges.

Read the full story:Denel’s PMP produces cartridges for Hawk, Gripen ejection seats

Image Courtesy: Frans Dely

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As part of the Gripen proposal to Switzerland, Saab is committed to providing a Swiss Industrial Participation (SIP) programme that is both extensive and far-reaching. Saab has over the past four years met with hundreds of potential Swiss partners, companies and key persons to jointly identify potential projects for industrial co-operation and offset.

A Saab presentation explains how the Swiss Industrial Participation Programme will ensure long-term sustainable and commercially viable business growth by developing close co-operation and partnerships.

The Saab SIP programme will support the regional distribution of Industrial Participation business that is built on strong commercial foundations. A large portion of the Swiss partners in Saab SIP projects are Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs).

The main objectives of the programme include transfer of new cutting edge technologies and additional know-how and development of new and additional long term opportunities for Swiss industry.

The program also aims to secure and create new employment opportunities throughout Switzerland and open up access to foreign markets.

 “Saab is committed to delivering long term benefits for Switzerland through a comprehensive Swiss Industrial Participation programme. We are convinced that Gripen will prove its value for Switzerland and that our increased industrial co-operation will tie our countries closer together in a mutually beneficial manner” says Hakan Buskhe, president and CEO, Saab AB.

Read the full presentation here.

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