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The Smart Fighter

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Operations of a fighter division are always exciting and challenging. Five weeks ago, the 212th fighter division participated in the TTP exercise along with other Swedish fighter divisions and visiting units from Finland and Norway. Shortly thereafter the division headed off for the Frisian Flag exercise.

While there are major differences between the task of national defense and international efforts, the operational requirements are not very different: you must be close-knit and well coordinated teams.
Frisian Flag is an excellent exercise for developing team work, says Carl-Fredrik Edström, Head of the 212th fighter division, in a report in flygvapenbloggen.

This is the first time we havehad the opportunity to interact over the L-16 data link with other Nato countries during the exercise. The system has worked very well and it gives both safer and more effective cooperation with other Nations.

The fighter aircraft taking part in the exercise, besides JAS 39, were the F-16, the Eurofighter and the Mirage. In addition to these, there were several types of air-to-air refuelling aircraft, AWACS, transport aircraft, UAV, LV-units, command units and special forces taking part in the exercise. This provided very good opportunity to create both complex as well as realistic training environment for all participants, says Edström.

The exercise maintained a high tempo. After a kick off with slightly less complex air defense scenarios, by day 3 the exercises had escalated to more complex offensive missions with the objective of hitting land targets with tough opposition both in air and on ...

The time has come in the life of the Gripens at the Kecskemet air base when they have to undergo their first major screening. The first industry-level screening of JAS-39s takes place after they have completed 800 flying hours, reports MH 59

This April the fourth Gripen was flown to Sweden. Til​l now, the screening has been completed on both Delta (two-seat) Gripens and they have returned to the Kecskeme​t air base. The screening is a pre-planned process by which the Air Battalion of Engineers determine a year in advance the flying schedules of aircraft so that they clock in their 800 hours in a particular sequence, says the report. Every aircraft has to follow a plan so that it can reach its 800th hour in a given time frame for its scheduled screening.

The 800 hour screening is carried out at the F7 base in Satenas. The screening here is of the same level of quality as the procedure followed at the ​​Linköping Saab aircraft plant. The airframe, systems, the condition of the load bearing parts, additional installations and alterations are checked thoroughly over the course of ten weeks. Keeping deadlines is necessary as Czech Gripens are also screened here and even one delayed arrival would affect the screening process for others as well.

Read the full story here: Helycserés átvizsgálás svéd módra​

Throttle and Stick caught up with with Lt. Col Fredrik "Kodak" Holmbom of the Swedish air force during the Frisian Flag 2013 exercise at Leeuwarden air base to discuss, among other things, the reason why the Gripen is so capable for multi-role missions. Holmbom has a simple answer to that: The Gripen was designed from the very beginning so that it could easily switch between roles. 

Holmbom talks about the exercise and the effort that the Swedish Air Force puts into each mission. Talking about the lessons learnt from other countries, he points out that the Frisian exercise is a good place to learn from the different methods that each air force develops over time. As Throttle and Stick points out, "The last remark of Lt. Col. Fredrik "Kodak" Holmbom is spot on. Frisian Flag is also about international collaboration and to work as a team, despite being from different countries."

Read more inThrottle And Stick​


Focusing on the QRA procedure, a short film introduces the every day life and work of Hungarian pilots and the aircraft they fly with.  

The film captures the role that the Gripens play in the defence of Hungary with a medley of interviews with pilots and air displays. The clip draws  attention to the upcoming Kecskemet Air Show.​

The film also showcases the AN-26s as the aircraft mainly used for sending supplies to foreign mission fields.

gripen g suits.jpg
A report inmynewsdesk.comtracks the journey of an 88-year-old Swedish sewing company, Germa, that makes flight suits for Gripen pilots.

Based in Kristianstad, Germa, started with manufacturing corsets. When the fad was gone, they started manufacturing medical corsets instead. The company entered into a co-operation with the Swedish Air Force when the "Flying Barrel" J 21 first flew in 1951.            quotes Germa’s CEO Björn Holmqvist saying,”We received a contract to develop a G-suit with FMV, Air Force, and Saab. These suits support the pilots when they are exposed to high G-forces in flight. During flight, the blood is pushed down in the legs which can cause a lack of blood in the head. In the worst case, it may lead to unconsciousness. The G suits are tightened around the legs and torso with sewn air sacs and this helps the pilots to stay alert and fly the plane without any problems.”

According to Holmqvist, the reasons behind the success of the company includes high quality, unique features of the products, design, craftsmanship, product development and a huge market.

“Within two years, we aim to create a business worth Sek 28 million compared to the current 22 million,” he says.

Read the full story: Gripenpiloter flyger i svenska dräkter​​

Image Courtesy:Saab​

DAN.jpgDan Averstad, who has worked as a business director and a negotiation leader at FMV in the past, now leads the big Gripen E project at the organization, reports the Defence Materiel Administration’swebsite.

The report says that with a background as a commercial director and negotiating leader at FMV, Averstad is well prepared to take on the giant project. The fighter aircraft is being called Sweden's largest industry with sales exceeding 47 billion, in effect he leads FMV’s biggest project now.

“In addition to being a project that implements a lot of money, it is also an important project for the Armed Forces based on the operational needs as they see before them. Development of Gripen E is about upgrading the current Gripen system and ensuring their operational usefulness beyond 2040. The project is a prerequisite for Gripen which can continue to be the backbone of the Air Force and the Swedish military,” says Averstad.

Averstad explains that FMV's task is to ensure that the project meets parameters of  time, cost and performance."Since the Gripen E will be in operation nearly 20 years, our focus is also to drive the development of a cost effective solution in what we call the maintenance phase during the long period that the aircraft will be used by the Armed Forces. We look for costs during the life cycle and not just for development and acquisition, because we are working to get the lowest cost for the whole as possible, says Dan Averstad.​

The Gripen E project is not just about the aircraft, but ...

EMM4505 Liander (2).jpg
Saab's chief test pilot Richard Ljungberg and Armasuisse’s chief test pilot Beni Berset conducted the live Gripen automatic gun (cannon) firing at Axalp recently and were very happy with the results, reportsforsvarsmakten.

A total of five flight sessions took place along with two so-called "hot runs", with live firing cannon against targets. The firing was done at a range that was a little outside the Axalp village. Surrounded by mountains, the terrain and environment is a challenge in itself.

The two test pilots evaluated aircraft for shooting in the mountainous environment at the Axalp firing range and were very satisfied with the evaluation, especially with the aircraft's "behavior", the report says.

Read the full story:Evaluation of Gripen At Axalp​

Louise Levin shares accounts of the Frisian Flag exercise held in Netherlands recently. His reports explain how a typical day went at the exercise and how the mission got complicated and challenging as Azhir, the fictitious enemy force, brought into play more skilled resources and more advanced equipment to the battlefield.

Describing the air exercise, Norman, a fighter pilot, says that ahead of Wednesday, they had received  information that Azhir might attack any time between two and three in the afternoon at the international coalition's main base in Leeuwarden. Commanding officials chose Wednesday to muster troops at Leeuwarden in defense of the base. This time, the enemy was better armored with more skilled resources.

Three minutes after half-past two, the Belgian Mission Commander called out "Norman 25, Bow 33 - Jameson". The Belgians were running out of missiles and wanted reinforcements. “Group number three and I fired our first missiles against the enemy in the West but had to dodge the enemy's counter". Norman describes the various parts of the air exercise,

On return to base, the mission training leaders analyse the exercise. "The enemy has not been able to affect any of our protected areas. Our side has 39 kills against three losses. I note that we have done very well even though we ran short of weapons and ran into radio interference."

Read the full stories:  

A Day On The Line​ by Louise Levin

Defensively by Louise Levin

Image Courtesy: forsvarsmakten​​

Saab’s vision is to have Gripen representing around 10 percent of the accessible market. The market reality however comes with its own set of challenges. Eddy De La Motte, Head of Gripen export, describes how Gripen is all geared up to meet these challenges head on, in a presentation "Gripen-Like No Other”.

Uncertain Threats

One of the biggest challenges is that of uncertain threats which include UAS becoming more expensive and a need for extended flight hours. To tackle such issues, Gripen is equipped with the best situational awareness of all. It is also designed to be upgraded which gives its customers the flexibility to add capabilities according to their customized needs.

Limited Budgets

Budget constraints play a vital role too. Today’s market demands a low life cycle cost and affordable upgrades (which are very important to cope with future requirements). Gripen provides the lowest acquisition and operational cost and it offers embedded training.


Airforces are looking for freedom and flexibility with technology. They demand true technology transfer. Gripen provides flexibility with several weapon providers, holistic view and a full mission cycle.


One of the major design criteria for Gripen has been its NATO interoperability. Gripen has STOL capability, small logistical footprint, NATO links etc. It is capable to operate on standard NATO radio frequencies for voice communication, uses standard NATO measurements like knots, feet, miles etc., can carry pylons with standard NATO connectors for armament, and can transmit data over standard NATO encrypted links.

Read ...

Nordic Fighter Conference  will be held between May 29-30 in Copenhagen, Denmark. 

Lieutenant Colonel Rickard Nystrom, Head, Fighter Requirements, Swedish Air Force will be making a presentation on "Future Plans for Sweden’s Gripen Fleet" explaining the reasons behind the decision to further develop the Gripen aircraft and how the Gripen will continue to be a relevant operational tool for the Swedish Air Force. He would also discuss about the plans to ensure sustainability as the Gripen is developed.

Lieutenant Colonel Jaroslav Mika, Commander, 211 Squadron, Czech Air Force will be presenting on “The JAS 39 Gripen; a Czech Perspective”. The presentation would explain why the JAS 39 Gripen and the benefits of using this particular platform to meet the requirements of the Czech Air Force. He will also speak on training methods used to ensure pilots operate safely and efficiently when on missions and on the future role of the Gripen; the potential to expand its capabilities to defend Czech air space.

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