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The Smart Fighter

Quick Launch


extra1.jpgRecording site at the RCS measuring location. African dandelions are just as beautiful as the Swedish ones.

Klargöringsbil.jpgThe squad are called out from the bombed base to turnaround the aircraft for the next mission.​

Hängning Rb15.jpg The photographer films the RBS 15 missiles being mounted. 

Locker room.jpg The African changing room is rather spartan.

Manusläsning.jpg Preparations for just another take.

Svettig stjärna.jpgEquality is important at Saab, which obviously meant a female pilot was also needed for the film.

The new Gripen NG is a star at air shows around the globe. But for those who simply can´t get enough or just want to see more and learn about everything the Gripen NG is capable of, we produced a Hollywood style film. 

We put the Gripen NG in its optimal environment. The backdrop to the scene was a fictive war-torn African nation where Gripen NG could mean the difference between failure and success. But instead of Africa, the scenes were filmed at Saab in Linköping, Sweden. The computer-animated African landscape was added later to make it realistic.

Two days of filming were required, followed by several more for post-production. But the film is now ready and you won´t have to wait long to see it. Will Gripen NG be the first multi-role fighter to receive a star on Hollywood´s Walk of Fame? Decide for yourself. It will soon be possible to view the film on our YouTube channel on a desktop near you. The premiere is 10 January. Enjoy.

​An IHS Jane's report in 2012 showed Gripen as the smart choice for operators with cost awareness.

IHS Jane’s white paper “Fast Jet Operating Costs Cost Per Flight Hour Study Of Selected Aircraft” showed that the Gripen Operating Costs per Flight Hour – are by far the lowest of all fast jets!

Jane’s comparative study was written by Edward Hunt, a Jane’s Senior Consultant and showed clearly that the Gripen operating costs at 4700 USD per flight hour are almost half of its nearest competitor, the F-16 Block 40/50 and less than a third compared with the twin-engined competitors like the Eurofighter, Rafale and F-18 or the F-35 predicted operating costs!.

This study was based on Military / Government figures (all aircraft), disclosed international fighter competition cost figures (Rafale, F-18 E / F, Gripen), manufacturer stated figures (F-35, Rafale, F-18 E / F, Gripen) and IHS Jane’s estimates (all aircraft).

IHS Jane.jpg Read the full story: Gripen operational cost lowest of all western fighters: Jane’s​

Lion Effort4.jpg

South African Air Force (SAAF) has been delivered its final four Gripen C single seaters.

IHS Jane reports that these four Gripens were held at Linköping to take part in the Lion Effort exercise. After that, they were first ferried to Norrköping and then loaded on to the vessel Archangelgracht to reach its landing point in Cape Town, South Africa.

Flightglobal reported Magnus Lewis-Olsson, president of Saab South Africa, saying, “The Gripens delivered to South Africa are 'probably the most modern' versions of the aircraft.”

Read the full story: Final Gripens Delivered To South Africa​

swedenswissagreement.JPGOn Friday 24 August 2012, the Swedish Defence and Security Export Agency, FXM, and its Swiss counterpart, Armasuisse, signed a framework agreement on Switzerland’s procurement of 22 JAS 39 Gripen aircraft, said a FXM news statement.

This framework agreement will now form the basis of political decisions, both in Switzerland and Sweden.
“We are pleased to have reached this agreement, which will greatly benefit both countries’ defence. A partnership with Switzerland will give cost efficiency and enable, among other things, joint training,” said FXM Director-General Ulf Hammarström.

It was on 30 November in 2011 that Switzerland announced that it had chosen Gripen as part of its future air defence. The choice was made on the basis of a tender from Saab, but in connection with the decision, the Swiss Government contacted its Swedish counterpart to look at the possibilities of joint procurement. Since then, authorised by the Swedish Government, FXM had been talking with Switzerland to find the best solution for both countries with regard to the capabilities and technical contents of the aircraft, as well as delivery times and costs. FXM undertook this work in close cooperation with the Swedish Armed Forces and the Defence Materiel Administration.
The framework agreement covers three aspects. It covers the purchase of 22 Gripen E aircraft itself. The agreement means that Switzerland will make a first payment of CHF 300 million in 2014. The framework agreement also covers long-term cooperation with regard to maintenance, support and further development during the system’s lifetime. The third aspect is an interim solution – ...


On 6 December 2012 in the Riksdagen (Swedish Parliament), politicians across parties voted overwhelmingly in favour of Gripen's next generation fighter aircraft.

“It is an historic day for the Gripen, with unequivocal home political support securing the next generation fighter, Gripen is now even better placed on the export market.” states Eddy de la Motte, Head of Gripen Export at Saab.

“We see an immense interest for Gripen more than ever before from countries around the world due to its unrivalled price/performance capability.  At the same time defence budgets are ever more squeezed due to the current economic climate.” states Eddy de la Motte.

The total cost including maintenance and operation is estimated to SEK 90 billion up until 2042. 

Report 2012/13: FöU1 Expenditure 6 Defence and contingency measures - financial year 2013​​

Hungarian Gripen in the air. Photo Victor Veres.jpg

2012 has been a very successful year for the Hungarian Air Force, Pierre Farkas, Campaign Manager Gripen Export at Saab emphasizes. First of all they decided to prolong the Gripen contract for another 10 years i.e. until 2026. This year the HUAF also managed to reach 8000 flight hours with their Gripens and they also took the decision to perform air policing over Slovenia and the Baltic states. This is the very first time that Hungary and its Gripen will protect and monitor the skies over other territories under the terms of a NATO agreement.

“We are delighted that Hungary has taken a long term strategic decision to continue operating Gripen and has thereby chosen to continue in partnership with Sweden and other Gripen operators,” said FXM Director General Ulf Hammarstrom after signing the contract.

“The news that Hungary extends the Gripen contract by ten years is extremely positive. Once again it confirms that Gripen is one of the world’s leading fighter aircraft that meets the operational, technical and cost requirements of the market,” said Lennart Sindahl, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area, Aeronautics, Saab.

The Hungarian Gripens practiced eight planned missions in the Lions Effort 2012. Lion Effort, being the biggest Gripen exercise of all time, gave Hungarian Gripen pilots a chance to hone their skills and two of them even got an opportunity to experience their first COMAO exercises.  One of the main focus areas for Hungary in Lion Effort was also to validate ...

Thai Gripen.jpg

This year, Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) proudly celebrated its 100 years of flying (1912-2012). To mark the event, they launched a centennial book with breathtaking pictures of Gripen, shot by world class military aviation photographer Katsuhiko Tokunaga. They also launched a special commemorative stamp featuring the Gripen as a part of the celebrations.

In June, the RTAF Gripens completed 1000 flight hours. This achievement was highlighted by the RTAF Commander ACM Itthaporn Subhawong when he paid a visit to Wing 7 where all Thai Gripen aircraft are based.

In September, Air Chief Marshal Prachin Juntong took over as Thailand’s 22nd air force commander and in his speech he said that he aimed to make the Royal Thai Air Force, ASEAN’s top air force in the next two years.

This year, the Thai cabinet approved a 3.29 Billion Baht budget for the Royal Thai Navy to modernize its frigate HTMS Naruesuan´s combat management system and enable it to link up with RTAF Gripens. The electronic communication systems on the twin frigates “Naresuan -Taksin’ will allow communication between the frigates and Thailand’s JAS-39 Gripens.

In October, the Royal Thai Air Force, RTAF, received its second Saab 340 AEW aircraft from Sweden at Wing 7 in Surat Thani. Officials from FMV, Sweden´s Defence Material Administration, participated in the handover ceremony. The aircraft, equipped with the Erieye radar, was part of phase 2 of the government-to-government air defence system contract signed in 2010 between Sweden and Thailand. 

Phase two includes six Gripen ...

Czech Gripen.jpg

2012 proved to be very eventful for the CZ Air force with several operational milestones reached and celebrated. Robert Björklund, Campaign Director for Czech Republic, Gripen Export Team at Saab, is very proud of the achievements and international cooperation which, he emphasizes, creates a great bank of experience for all Gripen airforces. This is a short summary of the Czech Gripen year.

Earlier this year in February, Major Jaroslav Tomaňa and Captain Petr Dřevecký of 21 tactical air base in Čáslav, the Czech Republic became the first pilots in the history of the Czech Air Force to perform air-to-air refueling. 

Later, Saab announced its Gripen Czech Offset Program annual performance report that declared a delivery of 25.6 billion CZK as of December 2011. The report also said that 100% of the value of total offset obligation to the Czech Republic was delivered ahead of schedule.

Starting 1 September, Czech Air Force took over the mission of protecting the airspace of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania from Poland. The Gripens are on a Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) in this NATO led mission. The Czechs have been appointed for the task until January 4, 2013.

Czechs were appointed to protect the Baltic area for the first time in 2009. As compared to that time, they saw an increased number of violations of the airspace during this year's mission.

In October, Gripen users from South Africa, Hungary, Czech Republic, Sweden and Thailand came together to share their experiences of operational use of the ...

Swedish Gripen.jpg
The year 2012 will go down in the history of the Gripen as the year when Sweden affirmed its commitment to the next generation of a platform that has redefined the category. A resounding yes for the Gripen in Swedish Parliament came from 264 Members of Parliament who voted in favour of procurement of between 40-60 Gripen fighters.

“It is an historic day for the Gripen, with unequivocal home political support securing the next generation fighter, Gripen is now even better placed on the export market.” said Eddy de la Motte, Head of Gripen Export at Saab.

The much awaited parliament discussion ended favourably for Gripen, making it even more attractive for interested countries around the world.

The decision for the next generation capped a year that can be best characterized as one where the global popularity of the Gripen was demonstrated time and time again. It was a year that saw countries that fly the Gripen take their appreciation to even higher levels. For Sweden, it was time to be a party to the celebrations.

In March and early April, Sweden hosted the very successful Lion’s Effort at F17 air base in Ronneby. For nearly two weeks the five countries flying Gripens operated together. With a rich experience from Operation Karakal, (NATO’s Operation Unified Protector over Libya), the Swedish personnel had a lot to share at the event, not only the experience of working in a combat environment from a tactical viewpoint, but also the experience of operating as an integrated part of a large multi-national force.

In May, history and ...

xmas Gripen.jpg
On 13 December 2012, an era ended at the F 7 Wing, when the last sortie of the Gripen A and B was conducted. This last flight was coordinated as a “Christmas Tree flight” according to tradition - the oldest versions of Gripen were flying in a Christmas tree formation. The flight marked the end of an era that started in 1996 with the addition of JAS 39 Gripen to the F7 Wing, reports forsvarsmakten​.

Read the full story:Christmas marks the end of an era

Photo Courtesy:forsvarsmakten

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