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Martin Sonka1.jpg
“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

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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 ...

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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.


Photo: Participants of the Gripen User Seminar

Recently, Gripen User´s Group held a meeting where representatives from different countries who fly the Gripen got together and shared experiences. Saab, too, was given the opportunity to host a Gripen User Seminar to listen to user feedback and share its vision for the Gripen fighter.

The seminar also gave us an opportunity to present planned upgrades and tell the group how the Gripen C/D and E systems can benefit from each other, explains Pauline Olsson, one of Saab´s representative.

Saab also secured valuable insight from the users’ experiences and from questions regarding the development of Gripen C/D.

To us it is very useful to meet the user countries in this forum, says Pauline Olsson. Sweden, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Thailand participated in the Gripen User´s Group meeting. The countries used the opportunity to compare their experiences and discuss their long-term requirements.

Photo: Local Sami,Pauline Olsson,Campaign Manager - Gripen Export and Robert Björklund, Head of Air Domain

Gripen User´s Group is held twice a year and the location varies from time to time. Swedish Armed Forces was the host for the latest meeting and the event took place in the northern part of Sweden. Beyond interesting discussions on the Gripen fighter, the participants also got to see and experience things not related to the Gripen system. Reindeers for instance - an exotic encounter for anybody, especially if you happened to come from a Gripen country on the other side of the planet.

Facts: Gripen User´s Group has been created to facilitate the exchange of experience ...


Starting last week of April, Saab teams are visiting ten locations in Switzerland, including three in the French region, and Lugano. The aim is to inform regional manufacturers on opportunities to cooperate and find new business partners. At the same time, experts are visiting Saab selected companies, to strengthen existing relationships and develop new ones.

In accordance with armasuisse tender requirements, Saab will deliver a Swiss Industrial Participation Programme (SIP) valued at 100 percent of the Gripen contract value. The Saab SIP shall support the regional distribution of industrial participation business that is built on strong commercial foundations.

The Gripen Industrial Cooperation road show aims explaining SIP and canvassing Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) from all Swiss regions.The SIP programme will be conducted within a time frame of ten years after signature of the Gripen contract. The SIP will develop closer economic, industrial and cultural ties between Switzerland and Sweden. 

The tour made its first stop on the 24th afternoon, the Chamber of Commerce in Zurich. Segndo Henry Johansson, vice president of Swiss Gripen, says that what is sought is "commercial partnerships with viable long-term, sustainable impact. This is a criterion of armasuisse," says a report in Air Power.

Pius Drescher, who represents defense contractors in the industry association Swissmem, confirms the importance of the SIP program: "The generation of business volumes for the Swiss industry should always happen in an effective and sustainable. This counts especially for the defense industry and security. "

Read more here: 

Gripen and Switzerland: ...

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​

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