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The Smart Fighter

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1.jpg2.jpg3.jpg4.jpg The 172nd Squadron of the Swedish Air force participated in an air combat exercise last week, over the Baltic Sea with the French Air force (Armée de l'air française). SwAF deployed four Gripen fighters from Ronneby, Sweden while the French started with two Mirage 2000-5 from the Ämari Air Base in Estonia.

The exercise was conducted in line with the Finnish-Swedish Training Event – the Swedish government’s understanding with countries surrounding the Baltic Sea to strengthen security cooperation. Over the years, the two countries have participated in a series of drills with the air forces of the NATO members temporarily present in the Baltic states, as part of FSTE. Exercises like this are a great opportunity for pilots to train with different fighters and develop interoperability. 



172sqn Gators

Swedish Air Force

Five Czech Gripen fighters will be deployed for another mission in the Baltic States in the second half of 2019.

The fighters have been earlier deployed in the Baltic States in 2009 and 2012. For the previous missions, five Gripen fighters and about 95 personnel, mostly from the 21st Air Force Base of Caslav, have been sent.

Czech Gripens' NATO air policing of the Baltic States is in favour of the NATO Integrated Air Defence System – NATINADS. As a part of the air policing mission, Gripen pilots are at the ready 24*7, and are expected to take-off within 15 minutes of being alerted.

Read the full storyhere.

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Saab will begin flight tests with a new jamming pod by 2020, reports Shephard Media.

This self-protection system, also known as the Arexis Jammer Pod, was launched last year in September. The pod works on the DRFM (digital radio frequency memory) and AESA technology. DRFM digitally captures the signature of the radar-guided threat and then emits a jamming signal to confuse the incoming missile, usually by giving it a ‘false target’.

“We see a huge interest in the airborne electronic attack pods. In NATO, there is a need for airborne electronic attack…there is a capability gap,” says Petter Bedoire, head of marketing and sales for EW at Saab.

Once the Jammer prototype will be integrated with Gripen, the fighter’s EW capabilities, which already boast of ultra-wide brand digital receivers, high powered signal amplifiers, gallium nitride and electronically scanned array jammers, will be considerably boosted. 

As per Saab, Arexis also includes an advanced Electronic Attack (EA) application, with EW technologies adapted to the lower frequency ranges that are required to jam modern anti-stealth air defence systems. The EA application provides high output power and is packed in a pod to make it a role-specific solution.

Bedoire says the Jamming Pods mean a significant leap in technology, and will be the most advanced self-protection system for a fighter.

As a part of the test flight of Gripen equipped with the jammers, radars will illuminate the aircraft, and it’ll be tested whether the aircraft will ...

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The Hungarian Air Force sent five Gripen fighters to participate in this year's NATO Tiger Meet (NTM 2018). The fighters flew 60 hours during the 12 day exercise.

The Tiger Meet this year involved 24 squadrons contributing 70 fighters and 10 helicopters. The exercise saw 1500 personnel from the 16 participating countries coming together for joint air exercises which involved different aircraft types and operational procedures. The Tiger Meet gave pilots an opportunity to collaborate and learn from senior pilots of other air forces.

Hungary has been participating in the Tiger meet since 2014. This year too the participating team took away learnings from joint operations and complex air combat simulations with 70 aircraft operating simultaneously in air-to-air and air-to-ground tasks. The Ground staff too were a part of the operations, manning the ‘war rooms’ during the exercises.

Read the full story here

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Between 18th and 29th of this month, Czech Gripen pilots will train with USAF pilots as a part of an international military exercise Sky Avenger 2018. The exercise will be held at the Czech air base in Caslav, 80 km east of Prague.

“Arrivals of F-16 and KC-135 are scheduled for Friday, June 15. The exercise will be started with introductory briefings, and the first flight events will take place in the afternoon,” said Tomás Maruščák, a senior management representative at the air force base.

Sky Avengers 2018 is planned in two stages. In the morning, fighters will take part in Composite Air Operations or COMAO missions. In the afternoon, the pilots will practice aerial combat and direct air support tasks. Ground handling procedures and aerial refueling will also be a part of the training process.   

The Czech Air Force, along with the supersonic Gripens, will deploy L-159 Alca Battalions from the Caslav base, and Mi-24/35, Mi24/35 and Mi-171 helicopters from Namest nad Oslavou, south Moravia. 

Czech Air Force's collaboration with the Texas and Nebraska National Guard began in 1993 with a goal to assist Czech forces in joining NATO. Over the years, the cooperation has grown to include commanding, cyber security, and protection against weapons of mass destruction.  

There will be a Spotter’s Day on June 20th when aviation enthusiasts can take pictures or make videos at the air base. Photoshoot will be organized one hundred meters from the take-off and landing ...

Winning in a modern battlespace has become more challenging with every passing day, thanks to the fast-paced technological advancements. Situational awareness, however, can turn the tables when it comes to taking decisions faster than your opponent. 

Saab Test Pilot, Martin, talks about the features of Gripen E's Wide Area Display (WAD), a panoramic high-resolution screen (19 x 8 in) that uses data fusion to provide the pilot with all kinds of flight and mission information during a flight, at the recently held Canada's Global Defence & Security Trade Show (CANSEC 2018). 

WAD shares the right tactical information with the pilot at the right time. In fact, it does more than that. It shares information in easily interpretable, information-centric icons. The pilot can reconfigure information presentation as per their requirement during a mission.

With WAD, the pilot can toggle between different screens simultaneously, and also opt for full screen mode for any of the functionalities for the sake of superior situational awareness. “Fighter aircraft today need to have tactical supervision over a greater physical area as compared to aircraft of the past, owing greatly to the invention and prevalence of BVR (Beyond Visual Range) missiles. The Wide Area Display comes in very handy in providing this data, “says Martin.

Brazilian company AEL Sistemas (AEL) is Saab's supplier of WAD. The first simulator with WAD was presented by Saab in April this year.​

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The fifth generation of fighter aircraft was defined in the 1980s and was characterized by an emphasis on positional awareness and stealth. However, it’s been quite a while since then, and the focus has gradually shifted from overtly relying on stealth and tactical positioning to Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, collectively grouped as ISR capabilities. Since the Gripen E/F is being developed to have these capabilities, and with several advanced software features that are considered breakthroughs in defence, Bill Sweetman of Aviation Week had argued that it could well be called a sixth generation fighter.

Explaining some of the key concepts of Gripen evolution in a recent interview with HushKit, Richard Smith, Head of Gripen Marketing, points out that the pace of technology probably makes the concept of “generations” redundant: “We have understood that the future of air combat is going to be defined by technology – and we have built a system that truly adapts and embraces new technologies in a way that will keep us ahead of 21st century threats – fast. This is achieved through our deep and long experiences in sensor fusion and a revolutionary avionics system. For me, it means that the talk of generations, I hear so much of from within the industry just no longer means anything at all. The technology we have now, the ideas Saab engineers are working on, ensure that Gripen quite literally transcends all generations.”

About Gripen's thrust-to-weight ratio, Smith says that it is certainly enough. "The ...

The five-day Swedish Air Force Exercise, AFX18, came to an end on May 30th at the Ämari Air Base near Tallinn, in Estonia. Eight Gripen fighters from the F7 Wing of the Swedish Air Force were deployed. Along with the hosting nations, Estonia and Sweden, the air forces of Finland, France and Spain also took part in the aerial exercises over the Baltic Sea in the air space shared between Estonia and Sweden. 



The primary purpose of training was to put pilots through simulated air combat situations. This time around, the difficulty level of the exercise was upped a notch. The aircraft tried out new tactics and manoeuvres during the air combat exercises while refining processes and methodologies tested in previous exercises. 

The ground team in Ämari Air Base worked day and night to keep the aerial exercises up and running. The Swedish team collaborated with their Estonian colleagues and were in charge of the safety of the aircraft and the airport perimeter.​

Read the full story here

Image Courtesy: Swedish Armed Forces 

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Saab is confident that Gripen E is the right fighter for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), reports

According to Richard Smith, Head of Gripen marketing and sales, there are plans of a visit by a Canadian delegation in near future​. Smith, however maintained that there were no plans for a flight evaluation yet. 

Smith added that Saab is in continuous dialogue with the Canadian Government and expects a draft proposal in the third quarter of 2018.

Emphasizing that Gripen will be a good fit for the RCAF operations, he said, “Operational requirements in Canada, including the high north, the Arctic and forward operating bases are very similar to Sweden".

Canada is a country that contributes to numerous NATO operations. They are currently active in Eastern Europe and are a part of the Global Coalition against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. In their missions, the RCAF is faced with varied threats in different weather conditions. The Air Force is in need of fighters that can be equally effective against insurgents and terrorists, and also render anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) strategies ineffective.  

Read the full story here.

​SwAF Gripen pilots trained for night flying recently. This training is conducted every few months by the Swedish Air Force.

Flying a fighter aircraft at night is a different experience for pilots, as they have to be much more aware of their surroundings in low light. The goal of exercises like this is to increase the combat readiness of the SwAF Gripen fighters.​​

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