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The Smart Fighter

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F17 recently participated in the Joint Warrior 2012 and CQWI (Combined Qualified Weapons Instructor Course) based at RAF, Lossiemouth in Scotland, says a blog post on the Swedish Defence website,forsvarsmakten.

Joint Warrior is a multinational exercise conducted in the UK twice a year and involves air, land and naval forces. CQWI on the other hand is an exercise that is held on an annual basis in the RAF which involves practicing in large composite aircraft under a high threat environment.

The complexity of such an exercise demands financing and realistic threat scenarios. It is difficult to train both radio- and radar- disturbed environment against a force superior in numbers in an area defended by air defence - all on your own. Many units and many capabilities must be applied, which creates great complexity.

F 17 participated in one session every day of CQWL. According to the blog post, the exercise had 40-60 aircraft participating which included HAWK, British and German Tornado, Typhoon, DA20, E3, Sentinel, and last but not least, the Gripen.

The exercise module in the exercise is a flexible one, where any changes in the structure can be made on a short notice. Both the exercises provide the participating units with valuable experience and a chance to practice various skills which are difficult to practice at home.

Photo Courtesy: forsvarsmakten​

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In an interview withNZZ, Saab vice chairman Lennart Sindahl says the new Gripen fighter aircraft will be a very new and a very modern aircraft.

“The Gripen E for Switzerland will be brand-new aircraft, built from scratch. All parts, hardware and software are new and still unused. You can be part of the rest of our group of customers and then help determine how we develop the Gripen E later,” Lennart Sindahl says.

Explaining more about the new model of Gripen, he says, “It is a newly developed aircraft, built on proven models. Important parts, such as engine, radar and weapons are new. They make the aircraft more intelligent and persevering. The Gripen E might not be the strongest or the fastest jet in the market, but will be the latest, the most modern. In modern military aviation, terminal velocity and acceleration are not important anyway, but the radar, sensors, communications and weapons are."

Read the full interview:"Der Kampf Pilot gegen Pilot ist Geschichte" in Neue Zürcher Zeitung

Photo: armasuisse

​The Gripen philosophy laid out by Gideon Singer, Technical Director, Gripen Export, Saab Aeronautics, ahead of Saab's participation at theInternational Fighter Conferencebeing held between  November 6-8 in London draws attention to key facets of the development of the aircraft over the years.

‘Gripen: When Logic is a Part of the Equation’lays out how Saab approaches the manufacture and upgrades of the Gripen with a logical and cost-effective ethos. Singer's presentation provides an  overview to help the fighter community understand how the aircraft offers substantial benefits as it is designed from the start to accommodate long-term updates. 

Singer points out that the Gripen approach of continuous development and customer shared costs takes away the huge disadvantage of the traditional approach of mid-life upgrades which are essentially "catch up" upgrades from the time of acquisition are result in a capability gap and high upgrade costs.

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The overview draws attention to the study byIHS Janewhich estimates the Flight Hour Cost of the Gripen at $4,700 per hour (2012 USD), with its closest competitor being the Block 40/50 F-16s at an estimated $7,000 per hour.

Also, a look at the comparison of Gripen’s Cost (operational, maintenance, production and development) and Operational Effect shows that for more than a decade now, the Cost has been declining even as the Operational Effect has increased consistently.

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The Saab approach stresses on cost being a part of the early design requirement on par in priority with operational and technical design goals. Other reasons behind breaking the cost trend ...


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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​

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