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On Wednesday 10 October, the Royal Thai Air Force, RTAF, received its second Saab 340 AEW aircraft from Sweden at Wing 7 in Surat Thani where it is based. Officials from FMV, Sweden´s Defence Material Administration, participated in the handover ceremony. This aircraft, equipped with the Erieye radar, is part of phase 2 of the government-to-government air defence system contract signed in 2008 between Sweden, represented by the FMV, and Thailand, represented by the RTAF. 

Phase two includes six Gripen C aircraft. They will be delivered to RTAF during 2013. The first phase is already delivered. Phase one consists of two Gripen C, four Gripen D aircraft, one Saab 340 AEW aircraft, one Saab 340 aircraft, radar systems, weapons and training. 

Photos: Saab 340 aew ceremony

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Gripen offered some spectacular flight displays in the Swiss Alps in front of thousands of excited spectators on 11 October.

According to a news report in theDaily Mail, the Swiss Air Force showed off its skills with a death-defying show at the Axalp. The report says the Gripen E/F fighter, which was seen creating a sonic boom, was one of the star attractions of the show near Meiringen along with the F18 jet and the Northrop F-5E Tiger II fighter.


Top & Middle:armasuisse/Swiss AF

Bottom: Stefan Kalm, Saab

Read the full story: 

Peak performance: Daredevil pilots put on spectacular display in the Swiss Alps

Also, have a look at some exclusive 360 ° panoramic pictures of Gripen: 

Gripen Close Up

Swedish Defence and Security Export Agency (FXM) has submitted an offer of eight Gripen C/Ds to Croatia to replace its squadron of MiG 21. The offer which was submitted last week also includes a support and training package for Croatian pilots and technicians along with a financial solution.

“We are pleased to present this offer which has been prepared in close collaboration with Croatia. The system has excellent capabilities to protect a country’s airspace and to participate in international missions. It fulfills NATO requirements for interoperability. Gripen is one of the most cutting edge fighters in the world while being efficient and robust with low life cycle costs at the same time,” says Peter Göthe, Deputy Director-General at FXM, in a report on the FXMwebsite.

“In order to ensure that the Croatian Air Force remains operative without interruption when its current MiG-21s are decommissioned, Sweden offers a solution where the Gripen C/D aircraft can be operative as soon as within one year after a contract is signed,” says Jerry Lindbergh, Programme Director for Croatia at FXM.

In an another news report inVecernji list, Gripen campaign Director for Croatia, Pierre Gauffin says that instead of continuing with an old aircraft, Croatia has the choice to buy a technologically advanced and affordable Gripen.

“The Swedish government (through FXM) believes it can offer an extremely affordable price. We are confident that the country has the option of acquiring a new generation multi-role combat aircraft,” he says.

Read the full story: 

Sweden makes an offer to Croatia on Gripen​

'Do not throw more money at MiGs 21, you ...

"Swiss agreement opens doors for more business,” writes former Swedish Defence Minister Sten Tolgfors in a report    

According to the report, Switzerland’s cooperation is very important for Sweden and it is now clear that Gripen offers fighter capabilities at an acceptable cost. Gripen is already present in five countries and is a serious candidate in several ongoing contracts.

Tolgfors also writes that Sweden has found an ideal partner in Switzerland, a partner that has its own know-how to contribute. The Sweden-Switzerland partnership will increase Gripen's long-term credibility even more. It is good for both Sweden and its defence, he concludes.

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On Friday morning, approximately 60 journalists and photographers visited the Emmen Airbase in Lucerne, Switzerland, for a press briefing about the Gripen E/F Test Aircraft. They were invited by armasuisse, who gave briefings about the Gripen system and the aircraft.

The event ended with a flight demonstration with the Swiss/Swedish crew.​

Photo: Stefan Kalm

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The Gripen E/F Test Aircraft has now been introduced to the Swiss people. It happened yesterday during the Swiss Air Force spectacular annual flight demonstration at the Axalp-Ebenfluh shooting range.

Every year, this event attracts thousands of spectators that hike up the mountain for hours to reach the shooting range, which is situated at more than 2, 000 meters above sea level. This year was no exception and it is estimated that approximately 10, 000 people witnessed the event.

The Gripen E/F Test Aircraft was flown by a Swiss pilot in the front seat, with a Saab test pilot in the back seat.

Saab took the aircraft to Switzerland after having been invited by armasuisse, which is responsible for the acquisition process of a new fighter to replace the Swiss Air Force´s ageing fleet of F-5 Tiger. The Swiss government officially declared their type selection of Gripen as the replacement in November last year.

Photo: armasuisse/Swiss AF (Top, middle) and Peter Liander/Saab (bottom)

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The Swiss and the Swedish pilots flying the Gripen E/F Test Aircraft have received a new set of helmets. These are of course the standard Gripen helmets, but are unique because they have a special design that symbolizes the growing cooperation between the Swiss and Swedish Gripen community.

The picture shows armasuisse chief test pilot Beni Berset and Richard Ljungberg, chief test pilot at Saab after a test flight in the Swiss mountains whilst preparing for the Axalp demonstration.

Photo: Peter Liander/Saab​


Pictures from the Axalp village this morning. Today, the Swiss Air Force live firing event will take place!

Today, the Swiss Air Force demonstrates its skills to a wide public in an Alpine environment. The Gripen E/F aircraft will also debut and show its capabilities to thousands of spectators that have come to the Bernese Oberland.

Apart from fighter jets, there are also presentations of rescue and firefighting services, parascout operations and flight demonstrations by military helicopters on the programme.   

Down​ in the valley, spectators were greeted by the Saab team with refreshments and everybody seem to be in a good mood looking forward to the event.

Photos: Ann-Sofie Aktö

When it comes to making pilots hone their skills, a simulator offers its own set of benefits. As compared to real flight training, a simulator can be a cost effective option. 

20:1, that is the ratio of the Gripen fighters’ operating costs to those of the simulator complex used by Hungarian pilots for training at Kista, a district of Stockholm Municipality in Sweden, says a report inMNO.

The report also says that in times of economic crisis and shrinking defense budgets, in addition to the congested civil air traffic in Europe, simulators can be the way to go.

The Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) in Stockholm has the Swedish Air Force Flight Tactical Simulation Center (FLSC) where the ultra-modern complex uses virtual reality tools for the complicated tasks in training Gripen fighters, including pilots from the Hungarian Defence Forces (HDF) soldiers.

The simulator consists of a set of complex networked computers that offers pilots everything from individual system familiarization to advanced tactical team training and mission rehearsal. Pilots can train with real flight like scenarios including an enemy to target. 

F 17 Gripens are participating with an English Tornado-division in flight exercise Joint Warrior 12 in Scottish Lossiemouth, says Swedish Armed Forces websiteForsvarsmakten. This year, the Air Force with eight JAS 39 Gripen will practice in all three roles - fighter, attack and reconnaissance.

Besides flight personnel, the preparation of a mission includes 172nd fighter division of an MSE: a support function for the fighter division which prepares plans and evaluates a flight mission with pilots.MSE prepares the fighter division to handle the worst if needed. It helps in intelligence gathering, fuel calculations, interpretation of reconnaissance photos, warning system countermeasures, emergency landing etc.

172nd fighter division recently went on a two and a half week long exercise in northern Sweden for the Nordic Air Meet 2012. It will now go for a new exercise in Scotland for a week. Thereafter, it will gear up to participate in the five-week aerial combat training exercise called ‘Red Flag’ to be carried out in the U.S. in January-February 2013.

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