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The Smart Fighter

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Under a blue sky all six Gripen nations meet in the air during the Aerospace Forum event that took place in Linköping, Sweden last week. A historical moment that once again marks the success that Gripen has made in the international market. Photo: Jamie Hunter.

With acquisition of a 15% stake in Akaer, Saab has clearly reinforced its engagement with the Brazilian aerospace industry while creating a base for production of Gripen NG. Saab’s stated approach to industrial co-operation in Brazil has focused not only on the product but also on investment, job creation, technology transfer, manufacturing, technical support, training and scientific co-operation. The acquisition creates a platform for Saab to funnel technologies to the Brazilian industry in the event of an award of the F-X2 contract but, importantly, does not limit itself to that situation.

In an exclusive interview to Virgínia Silveira of Brazil’sValor Econômico​ newspaper, Akaer’s President Cesar Augusto Silva, said that the goal is to transform Akaer into a company that is capable of integrating air structures and become more competitive at a global level to meet the needs of companies like Embraer and the entire airspace and defense industry around the world.

Saab’s strategy Vice President, Dan Jangblad, is also quoted as saying that 80 per of the Gripen NG’s airstructure will be built by Akaer which will also be responsible for the “structural  project of the 22 Gripen NG fighters sold to the Swiss Air Force and the 80 fighters ordered by the Swedish Air Force”.

The report goes on to say that the Akaer agreement will also act as a bridge for transfer of technologies to Brazilian companies in the event of the selection of the Gripen NG. In such an eventuality, Jangblad believes that about 40 ...

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History and the future will come together once again at the end of May when   the J 29 Tunnan “The Barrel”, the J 32 Lansen, J 34 Hawker Hunter, the J 35  Draken, AJ 37 Viggen and the JAS 39 Gripen take to the air in a continuing celebration of over a 100 years of Swedish Aviation history. On display will be more than Swedish history. A fair share of the world’s aviation history is expected to be on display with the Mustang / Spitfire, Pilatus glider, Pitts S2A Aerobatic, SK 11 Tiger Moth and the TP 84 Hercules, among others getting airborne between 31 May to 3 June, 2012 at the Second Aerospace Forum Sweden.

Set rolling in 2010, the Aerospace Forum Sweden (AFS) to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Swedish Aviation, it is the largest air show in Northern Europe. “Four days with flight in focus” is a manifestation of a long-established tradition in Sweden, a tradition where investments in education, research, technology and innovation, together with unique collaboration between operators, constructors and authorities, have produced excellent results. Being held at Sweden’s Aviation Capital, Linköping, this year’s AFS will focus on present and future challenges and is expected to get around 100,000 visitors.

Apart from the flying aircraft, on static display are expected to be the Mirage 2000D, the Gripen Thai, Gripen ETPS, Gripen SAAF, Gripen Swe, Tp84 (842 tanker), Alouette lll, B412, Helikopter rundflyg, Saab Skeldar, Saab 2000, J 28 Vampire,J 34 Hawker Hunter, among ...

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By Guilherme Queiroz

Courtesy:Hunting Opportunities ​

FAB’s 36-jet acquisition is expected to trigger a new business cycle and technology progress in the national aviation industry.

The highlight of the September 7 parade is demonstrating the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) power. Over the past years this exhibition has been incumbent on the veteran F-5 jets with four decades of services to FAB to perform. Technologically outdated and uneconomical, the old fighters have their retirement already decreed.

Their replacement is expected to be known in June when finally a conclusion for the F-X2 project is expected. The F-X2 provides for renewing the fleet to ensure national air supremacy. Both FAB and the national defense industry are equally waiting for the decision on the acquisition of 36 modern aircraft. Over the next ten years it is expected that the Brazilian defense industry will become a part of the production line of the winning bidder of the contention among French Dassault, American Boeing and Swedish Saab.

Since November 2008 when the three shortlisted companies were announced, more than 50 Brazilian companies have made supply and joint-development agreements – targeting not just a share of the contract worth between BRL 6 billion and BRL 10 billion but also the opportunity to take part in what may be a broader growth and technology-innovation cycle in the defense industry. 

The F-X2 rules set out that Brazilian industry participation is to be paramount. In addition of receiving fighter sensitive technologies the defense industry is expected to ...
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The Lion Effort, the largest Gripen Exercise of all time, got over on April 4. For nearly two weeks the five countries flying Gripens operated together. The Lion Effort exercise held at F17 air base in Ronneby, Sweden has been a major success.

“We are very satisfied with the preparation,” says Brigadier General Albert Sáfár from the Hungarian air force. 

South African Major General Tsoku Khumalos seemed to agree, “We’re doing our own flying, we’re having fun flying the Gripen. You can see the smiles on the pilots’ faces.”

After two days of familiarisation flying and a rest day, the exercise had moved into the Livex phase. During this phase large numbers of Gripens, plus the Czech ALCA aircraft operated in national and multi-national formations.

In the Livex phase over four days two waves per day were launched. “The main focus of these sorties is to perform combined air operations,” explained Major Anders Wendel, exercise director from F 17. “We will have one Blue side and one Red side and the nations will shift around their tasks. Depending on the mission we will have different combinations [of forces].”

The exercise were staged mostly over the Baltic Sea in an area roughly 200 x 150 km in size. Blue force operated from the southwest and Red force from the northeast. One of the forces defended an area, while the other performed air interdiction towards this area.

To this basic scenario is added the Swedish airborne warning and control ...

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During Lion Effort the F 17 wing and the Swedish Air Force Chief of Staff, Major General Micael Bydén, are playing host to air chiefs and other high-ranking officials from the participant nations, says a Saab Update. The exercise provides a perfect backdrop against which further co-operation and developments can be discussed.

High-ranking representatives of the five Gripen nations have all visited Ronneby on the third day of the ‘Livex’ phase of Lion Effort, not only to review the exercise but to take the opportunity to discuss progress and developments within the Gripen User Group.

During Lion Effort the F 17 wing and the Swedish Air Force Chief of Staff, Major General Micael Bydén, are playing host to air chiefs and other high-ranking officials from the participant nations. Photo: Dave Donald

When asked about how the exercise was going for the SAAF contingent, Major General Tsoku Khumalo replied that, “We’re doing our own flying, we’re having fun flying the Gripen. You can see the smiles on the pilots’ faces! I think we have the best aircraft in the world.” He added that, “when we are doing our planning for the air force, we would like put it through to host Lion Effort in 2018. We would like to reciprocate what is happening here.”

Source: Gathering of the Air Chiefs

Eight planned missions – eight flights was the tally for the Hungarian detachment after the the first day’s flying during the ‘Livex’ phase. The first day also provided an opportunity for two of Hungary’s new Gripen pilots to gain their first experience of COMAO exercises, says aSaab updateon the Lion Effort.

One of the main focus areas for Hungary in Lion Effort is validating new communications equipment. “Yesterday was the first time that we could really check out the new equipment,” said Lieutenant Colonel Csaba Ugrik, Hungarian contingent commander. “The Have Quick radio worked properly, the Swedish link worked properly, and – last but not least – the Link 16 worked well.

“At home we had the opportunity to check it out between the fighters and the ground, and also in the simulator, so the pilots were familiar with the symbology and tactics,” continued Ugrik, “but yesterday was the first time we could really use it in live flying. The reports from the pilots are that ‘we are opening the world’ with Link 16. It is very useful when you are establishing tactics, and you have all of the information on the screen.”

During the first day Hungarian Gripens operated with the Swedes as Blue Force, primarily to test the Link 16 as they are currently the only nations with the equipment. The Swedish AEW aircraft was involved, too, which is also Link 16-capable. With the datalink now proven, Hungarian Gripens are now flying in mixed forces ...

​Just prior to Lion Effort the Hungarian air force sent Gripens to Vidsel in the north of Sweden for a live-firing campaign during which both missiles and guns were fired. That deployment provided excellent experience ahead of the exercise, as well as the opportunity for the kind of low-level training that is difficult to achieve in Hungary, according to a Saab update.

When the Lion Effort exercise was being planned there was an offer from the Swedish Air Force to put together some live-firing as well. In the run-up to the exercise it was planned that both Czech and Hungarian Gripens would undertake a joint live-fire exercise. In the event, timing issues meant that this was not possible, so while the Hungarians have just returned from Vidsel, the Czechs will go there after the exercise.

Hungarian Gripen C equipped with a Laser Designator Pod.

During the firing campaign the Hungarian Gripens fired eight AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles at Rb 06 (MQM-107) target drones, each of which can tow four infrared target flares from under its wings. Twelve Hungarian pilots also got experience of firing the Gripen’s 27-mm BK 27 cannon.

The firing campaign went well, achieving all of its objectives. “At Vidsel the weather can be a little changeable, but we were lucky,” said Lt Col Csaba Ugrik, chief of flight ops at the 59th Tactical Wing and commander of the Hungarian contingent at Lion Effort. “We planned to fire missiles on the Monday, but there were weather issues, so ...

Lion-Effort-2012-300dpi.pngAircraft from four of the five nations that operate the Gripen have come together for a unique exercise at F 17 Wing of the Swedish Air Force. Lion Effort involves Gripens from the Czech Republic, Hungary and South Africa, as well as those from the host nation, Sweden. Although it is not operating aircraft here, the Royal Thai Air Force has sent observers to the exercise.

All the participants in the Lion Effort exercise are now gathered at F 17. Photo: Peter Liander

Lion Effort 2012 represents not only a unique opportunity for the Gripen operators to train together, but also provides a place where the Gripen community can exchange information and share operational know-how face-to-face.

Through the Gripen User Group a close co-operation has been established between the export customers, FMV, FXM, the Swedish Air Force and Saab. It provides a continuous forum for both operational and technical data exchange, and comes as one of the many unique benefits of operating this aircraft.Experience input from each the Gripen users adds to an extensive common knowledge base.

Aircraft began assembling at Ronneby for the exercise earlier this week. The South African Air Force Gripens taking part in the exercise are the last four to be handed over to the air force, and they have been held back in Sweden so that the SAAF can participate in Lion Effort with its own machines.

From the Czech Republic comes three aircraft from 211 Squadron at Cáslav, together with three Aero L-159s. ...

​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 refuelling, according to a Saab update. After initial training at the Swedish Air Force base F17 in Ronneby, Sweden, the refuelling took place over central Sweden from a Swedish C-130 Hercules tanker.

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The first Czech Gripen air-to-air refuelling campaign took less than a week. Initial sorties were made in a two-seat Gripen, with a Swedish instructor. During the first day the Czech Gripen successfully connected to the tanker seven times. The first connections were dry-runs, followed by real air-to-air refuelling connections where fuel from the tanker was transferred to Gripen. 

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During the rest of the week the missions were flown in single-seat Gripen aircraft without an instructor.“Air-to-air refuelling capability is important for the Czech Republic as the country is a member of NATO. This capability further increases and strengthens the cooperation between Czech Air Force and other Air Forces within NATO and it will as well facilitate joint exercises within the framework of NATO operations”, says former Swedish Air Force squadron commander Robert Björklund, Saab Campaign Director Gripen Czech Republic.

Photos: Milan Nikodym, Stefan Kalm

Source:Czech Gripen Pilots Practice Air-to-Air Refuelling in Sweden

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