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The Smart Fighter

Quick Launch

The Thai cabinet has approved a 3.29 Billion Baht budget for the Royal Thai Navy to modernise its frigate HTMS Naruesuan´s computer systems and enable it to link up with RTAF Gripens, writesBangkok Post.

The electronic communication systems on the twin frigates “Naresuan -Taksin’ will allow communication between the frigates and Thailand’s JAS-39 Gripens. Early this year, the navy had also installed a similar electronic communication system on Royal Narubes vessel to connect with the Gripen’s advanced early warning system, according

Check out also the videoOver The Horizon Legends of Air Power on You Tube on Royal Thai Air Force.

South Africa's Defence Minister, Mrs Nosiviwe Mapisa-Ngqakula does a live national TV interview at  Africa Aerospace & Defence 2012 (AAD2012)  this morning.


It takes a lot of spinning around to make a Gripen pilot. The spinning, though, first happens on the ground on a dynamic flight simulator (DFS) which is a combination of a flight simulator and a centrifuge. The main parts are a large motor, a 30 feet arm and a two degrees of freedom gondola where the pilot is placed. The pilot is in control and flies the DFS like an aircraft with his stick and throttle. He gets response both visually and through the generated G-load.

The DFS sits insidethe Flight Physiological Centre, located at Linköping which trains pilots for the real mission.The Flight Physiological Centre has been supporting the Swedish Armed Forces with aviation medical expertise for almost 50 years now. The Centre offers training packages, medical tests and treatments, research facilities and advanced techniques for measuring physiological responses in humans.

The dynamic flight simulator is cheaper and more efficient than flight tests in many cases. The Swedish Air Force primarily uses the DFS for pilot training, especially for JAS 39 Gripen pilots. The Gripen is much more demanding on the pilot than previous aircraft because of the rapid G-onset and the ability to maintain high G-loads.

Presentation and design of the cockpit are areas that can be tested in a more realistic environment in the DFS than in a conventional simulator. For example color displays and helmet mounted displays. Physiological studies regarding breathing at high G-loads and registration of blood pressure oxygen saturation ECG can be performed in the ...

RTAF Image.jpg
The 18thProgram Management Review meeting for the second batch of Gripen 39 C/D in Thailand took place between 3 and 7 September at the Holiday Inn hotel, Chiang Mai.

According to RTAF’swebsite, Air Marshal Araya Ngampramuan, Deputy Chief of Staff Royal Thai Air Force chaired the meeting along with Sweden’s Colonel Per Nilsson.

Photo: Delegates of the National Program O​ffice during the meeting in Chiang Mai

Photo Courtesy:RTAF​


The Meteor programme is near conclusion of the pre-production phase with the first production weapons due by the end of the year, says an article in the September issue of Aerospace International and reproduced on Royal Aeronautical Society'sAerospace Insight Blog.

The Meteor,the new beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) system being developed for the Typhoon, Gripen and Rafale,is fitted with external air intakes and air ducts which are closed until the missile is clear of the launch aircraft. After the weapon has been dropped, the engine is started. Once the missile has achieved spontaneous sustained ignition  in the initial boost phase, the air intakes are opened, enabling the weapon to transition to ram-combustor ignition and then to continuous throttle control.

Meteor has been test flown aboard a Eurofighter Typhoon, Gripen and Rafale. The pre-production guided firing campaign was conducted at a number of test ranges, including Vidsel  in Sweden, the Hebrides in Scotland and Parc Aberporth in Wales. The test firings were conducted from a Gripen and a Tornado fighter, including firing at targets flying at altitudes both above and below the aircraft, as well as at different altitudes aiming at slow and fast-moving targets approaching and moving away. The trials included testing how well the missile released from the aircraft,  how the missile seeker coped with finding targets through ‘clutter’ and the robustness of the launching aircraft’s airframe while manoeuvring before and after launch. The firing campaign also tested the missile against both missile countermeasures ...

Africa’s largest exhibition of air, sea and land capability Africa, Aerospace and Defence 2012 (AAD2012) kicks off on 19 September in the city of Tshwane at AFB Waterkloof.

The first three days of the exhibition will have trade and static displays for trade visitors from more than 28 countries. 12 National Pavilions from India, Russia, Turkey, Italy, Germany, Belgium, China, USA, UK, Romania, Pakistan and Brazil will be featured and are expected to stimulate business for local and international companies involved in the growing defence, general aviation and security industries.

For the public, the Airshow days are on 22 and 23 September. There would be breath-taking aerobatic displays and also static displays of aircraft, trucks and armoured vehicles.

For young students and learners who want to experience the world of flight simulators, vehicle simulators and model building, there would be a Youth Development Programme as well. As a part of this programme, Industry Representatives at the exhibition would provide information about careers in the aerospace and defence industries.

For more information on the event, visitors are requested to visit the Africa Aerospace and Defencewebsite.

When DefesaNet’s Jr aerospace analyst Vianney Rille visited SAAB in May 2012 to evaluate the Gripen, it was an altogether different experience for him for he was not looking at a finished aircraft but at an aircraft under development, the Gripen NG.

“Far from the booklets, advertising brochures and salesman presentations, I was lookingfor the most recent progress in the development of theNext Generation multi-role fighter that couldjustify the self-titled Smart Fighter and Best Single Engine up to now,” Vianney Rille says in a DefesaNet Special report Gripen - A ticket to the future.

Talking about his experience of flying the Gripen, he says it is pretty agile, pleasant to fly, has friendly interfaces as Stig Holmström (first pilot to fly the Gripen) told him. “I did all maneuvers recommended by the experienced pilot in order to explore the aircraft envelope. But the “iPhone App” way of thinking was the boldest chapter of a weeklong visit. Like a Smartphone, this concept comes from a split avionics architecture, where Flight Critical Systems are separated from the Tactical. This way, you can make changes, adaptations and improvements in the Tactical avionics without interfering with the aircraft flight characteristics and control systems."

Read theDefesaNet Special report Gripen - A ticket to the future.

Decisions on large strategic defence material acquisitions are often subject to debate. Since the announcement of the Swiss type-selection of Gripen on 30 November, the Swiss acquisition process has been subject to great interest and debate among several stakeholders.

On 8 September 2012, the Swiss Air Force Officers Society AVIA invited its members to an information meeting on the evaluation and acquisition of the new fighter of the Swiss Armed Forces  (TTE). AVIA had invited Swiss and Swedish officials as well as industrial representatives including Saab to be present on the discussion panel.

According to the organizers, the main objective of the information event on 8 September was to let the Swiss Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport, DDPS, the Swedish delegation with the Ambasador, the Defence Attaché, the Swedish Defence and Security Export Agency, FXM,  and Saab as the manufacturer of Gripen to rectify and respond to common misconceptions about the evaluation, the type-selection and the fighter aircraft itself.
"This meeting was an excellent opportunity for us to meet and discuss with the AVIA group and other invited stakeholders. Some important clarifications regarding the process and the Gripen fighter were made and we welcome open discussions in forums like this", says Richard Smith, Campaign Director for Gripen in Switzerland. Richard continues, "We are convinced that Switzerland has made an excellent choice of fighter for the future, an advanced fighter that meets the high requirements of a modern air force. It is the most cost-efficient option for Switzerland ...

According to a news report in the Swedish dailyBusiness World, Saab’s Head of Gripen Exports Eddy de la Motte says that Saab’s goal is to export at least 300 Gripens within the next ten years.

“If this objective is achieved, Saab will have 10 percent of the available market,” he added.

Eddy de la Motte also said that Saab’s visions include the establishing of Gripen NG as the world’s leading single engine multirole combat fighter, and to launch a Sea Gripen version for selected markets, within a joint development programme. 

The Gripen simulator at the Slovak Airshow (SIAF) 2012 was a big hit with visitors lining up at the Saab stall for a simulated flight. 

“It is like a full mission simulator, so you would be able to do almost everything that you can do in real life. You can try and train and do everything you do when you are preparing for a live mission or exercises,” said pilot Peter Fallen at the event.

Watch the video showing Gripen’s participation at the Slovak Airshow 2012 onYouTube.

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