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Czech Air Force Gripens will perform air displays at the Memorial Air Show 2013 in Czech Republic. The Air show will take place at Roudnice airport on 22 and 23 June.

The Memorial Air Show was first held in 1991 to thank wartime Czech pilots. This year, the Air Show will be fun-filled and spectacular.  The full range of Czech military equipment will be displayed and pilots would put on air shows with both historical and contemporary aircraft. 

Though the event starts on 22 June, visitors can get a glimpse of various aircraft entering the Roudnice airport on 21 June.

The Memorial Air Show’s  website​  provides a good view of the planned activities.​

The daily routine and the work of a Gripen pilot now features in a video made by Hungary’s Népszabadság Online​ on the everyday activities and challenges of Captain Péter Tősér serving at the Kecskemét air base.

Just as it is for many other pilots, flying became Péter’s obsession and calling as a result of an unexpected turn of events. He joined his school friend on a trip to the Kecskemét military hospital where students had to attend their medical check up as part of the pilot school’s application procedure. None of the applicants qualified for the tests except him, even though he showed up without the intention to apply. He joined the course and ended up becoming a professional combat pilot.

The video takes us through a typical day in the life of a Gripen pilot. After viewing the daily schedule, the tasks are assigned. Pilots stay in the duty area and in the case of an alert they have to leave within a minute. Once inside the aircraft, they go through the authentification procedure and take off. Last year they had to respond to alpha alerts on six occasions.

In 2015 the Baltic air policing mission starts for the Hungarian air force. The report points out that while engagement are unlikely, it is not unusual to be challenged by intrusions by full armed aircraft violating the airspace. 

Pilots typically retire at the age of 40. Péter has seven years to go and he hopes to fly as ...

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“Joint exercises, training and procurements are becoming important these days,” says Peter Ringh, Head of Gripen, campaign, Denmark at the recently held Fighter Nordic Conference 2013.

The conference, which was held for the first time, took place on 29 and 30 May in Copenhagen and had a strong focus on Nordic cooperation, interoperability and the importance of joint training.

Presenters from the Swedish Air Force as well as from the Norwegian, and Finnish Air Forces together with colleagues from other European Air Forces shared their experiences on international operations exercises such as the Unified Protector in Libya and Red Flag. 

"As many countries today are facing cutbacks in defence spending, interoperability, joint execises, joint training, and even joint procurements between nations are becoming more and more important. This conference gave me a very good understanding about how far we have come in that respect. And of course, it is always great to hear that our customers are satisfied with our products”, says Peter Ringh.​

Image: Frans Dely

Gripen impressed a huge crowd with its air displays at the 'Časlav Open Day 2013' on 25 May 2013 at the Časlav airport. The event is held once every two years and this year it was devoted to the 95th anniversary of the Air Force.

Thousands of visitors were present at the air show which presented a good mix of modern military and vintage aircraft, static displays and aerial demonstrations. Flight demonstrations went on for almost 12 hours. An exhibition on the 95th anniversary of the Air Force was also held.

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To promote the Kecskemét Air Show 2013 in Hungary, a lorry is travelling to 10 cities with four-dimensional digital demonstrations, telling the story of the Hungarian Air Force, Gripen fighters and the training process of Hungarian Gripen pilots.

According to Hungarian daily Szekesfehervar, the four-dimensional digital demonstration includes aircraft simulators, aviation-related memorabilia and pictures. The visitors can also take part in blue box photography where they can get their pictures clicked as Gripen pilots.

Hungarian military aviation completes 100 years in 2013 and in this year the Kecskemét Airshow is going to be huge with around 25 countries participating.

Another Hungarian daily, MNO quoted Hungarian Defence Minister Csaba Hende saying, “Our soldiers deserve to be seen and met by hundreds of thousands of people and it is important for us to show the general public just how committed, value-added work is done within the framework of the Hungarian army, and of course we also hope that an increasing number of young people feel they should join the Army. "

The Kecskemet International Air Show will take place on August 3 and 4. 


Image Courtesy:International Air Sow and Military Display 

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FMV’s shop in Dubai is providing maintenance services to a Czech Air Force Gripen at the moment. 

According to an FMV  news report, the aircraft reached Dubai during late April after 1200 flight hours, when the Czech and Swedish personnel conducted a joint arrival inspection.

Describing the maintenance process, Joakim Shield, one of the flight engineers working in the shop says, “In addition to supervision, we make modifications. For example, the antenna is moved to get a better reception, ILS (Instrument Landing System) is modified and we do a modification of the pilot OBOG (Onboard Oxygen Generator) which produces the aircraft's own oxygen supply.”

The report explains that once the monitoring is complete, the aircraft is tested in a special test hall where it is held by heavy ropes. The technicians working in the cockpit are instructed from the control room about systems to be examined.

“We check that there is no vibration in the engine and we go through different emergency systems to ensure that they work. We also run the engine right through, from idle to maximum power. It usually takes four seconds,” says Åsa Boström, maintenance engineer.

Read the full story:  FMV gör underhåll av tjeckiska Gripenplan​

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About 180 class eight students in Ronneby, a small town in the south west of Sweden, visited the F17 to know how armed forces work and to get professional information about career in defence, reports forsvarsmakten​

The students were divided into nine groups spread over nine stations where they were explained about the different professions that defense can offer.

Armed Forces members who described their job roles included pilots from the F 17 and the third helicopter squadron, the air traffic controllers in transportable air traffic control towers and the maintenance team working on a fully armed Gripen. 

Besides getting professional information from the experts, the students also got an opportunity to try airbase hunters’ uniform and equipment, masks etc.

“I can imagine becoming a technician, I like to fiddle with things,” said Kajsa Engblom, one of the students.

Read the full story:  Ronneby testing industry days instead of TET

Image Courtesy: Kent Löving, forsvarsmakten

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As a part of Saab’s commitment to deliver SIP of at least 300 million, its specialists met industrial companies in Payerne, Switzerland recently to discuss business opportunities in the Gripen E programme, reports  4 traders.  

Former Swiss Air Force commander Christophe Keckeis, in his welcome note, explained how Gripen E meets all the requirements of the Swiss Air Force and how these requirements also mean great business opportunities for Swiss companies.

"The need of the Swiss Air Force to replace the aged Tiger aircraft is not questioned. It is necessary and urgent. At the same time this need offers an opportunity to many Swiss enterprises, especially Small and Medium Sized companies to position themselves for Industrial Participation," Keckeis said.

The report says that the Gripen programme comes with great business opportunities in both defence and non-defence industry and Saab has also visited Zurich, Geneva and Lucerne in recent past to look for new business partners.

"We look for long-term, commercially viable business partnerships with a sustainable impact. It is one of the criteria specified by armasuisse. The work has to be carried out systematically and with great detail, which also takes time," said Henry Johansson, Vice President Gripen Switzerland. 

Saab will visit a total of ten cities including St. Gallen, Lugano, Bern and Basle to meet various defence companies for industrial co-operation. 

Read the full story:  Saab meeting industry in Payerne​

Image Courtesy: Peter Liander

Norrbotten Air Force Wing (F21) has reached Bodo, Norway, to participate in the Arctic Fighter Meet 2013, reports Louise Levin of  forsvarsmakten

The Arctic Fighter Meet is carried out over one week every year by the air forces of Norway, Finland and Sweden. Fighter aircraft pilots get to match their skills against different aircraft types. 

Pilots practicing against the same type of aircraft soon get to know everything about the aircraft. The Arctic Fighter meet enables them to test their skills against aircraft with different performance parameters and capability. The Meet becomes a learning ground for pilots as they take on aircraft with different thrust, different performance at different altitudes, varying weapon systems and radar systems, says Levin.

The exercise is especially useful for young, less experienced pilots as they get an opportunity to fly against older and more experienced pilots from other countries flying a different type of aircraft. The flight sessions are followed by a briefing from senior pilots helping the young pilots to learn a lot.

In addition to the tactical lessons we draw at the Arctic Fighter Meet, the exercise helps increase the confidence among the participating units and their countries. 

Also, by practicing together, we get to know each other which helps us to work together more affectively and solve any tasks we may face in the future, Levin says.

Read the full story:  Approaching the border, from across the border

Image Courtsey:  forsvarsmakten

A recent article on Atlantic Community's website​ has 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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