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The Smart Fighter

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On 3-4 September Saab joined the 100th anniversary celebration of Bulgarian aviation in the Bulgarian International Aviation Festival BIAF 2011 in Plovdiv. The Swedish Air Force demonstrated the capabilities of the Gripen fighter, both in the air and on the ground, which was very popular among the 20,000 aviation enthusiasts that attended the show during the weekend, says a Saab release.

In March 2011 the Swedish Government delivered a response to the RFI issued by the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence concerning the procurement of new fighters for the Bulgarian Air Force. The Swedish offer to Bulgaria includes eight new Gripen fighters, a flexible financial solution and industrial co-operation delivered by Saab.

During the weekend Saab and the Swedish delegation were visited by Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, Defence Minister Anuy Angelov and Commander of the Bulgarian Air Force Major General Konstantin Popov.

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“We are delighted to take part in the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of Bulgarian Aviationtogether with our Bulgarian friends. BIAF 2011 has been an excellent opportunity for Sweden to demonstrate the real capabilities of the Gripen fighter in country”, says Daniel Boestad, Vice President at Saab, Central and Eastern Europe, Balkans.

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On the Saturday Saab organized a popular Gripen quiz for all BIAF visitors. Out of ten finalists, the top three were challenged in a mission in the Gripen cockpit simulator. After a thrilling couple of hours Ognyan Nyashkolov from Plovdiv was announced the winner and he was awarded with a personal cockpit demonstration by the ...

The Indian Aerospace and Defence magazine Vayu reports in its current issue that Saab CEO Hakan Buskhe during his press briefing at the Paris Air Show stated the Gripen NG was the company’s “flagship programme” and basis for future combat aircraft technologies, including those for UCAVs. The Sea Gripen Design Centre in UK will be functioning from September 2011 “using UK technical expertise in maritime jet operations”.

According to Vayu, on questions concerning the Indian MMRCA programme, Hakan Buskhe confirmed meeting with the Indian MoD delegation at the Show and anumber of clarifications were provided particularly on the AESA radar status (“tremendous progress with full Swedish Government commitment on the ES-05 AESA radar”).

Says Vayu, “This clear and unambiguous statement should be of particular import to the Indian MoD and its Air Force.”

According to Vayu, “The Gripen NG Demo flew has completed over 200 flights and is considerably modified with new avionics fit to prove future distributed modular architecture. The flight control sysem and mission functions of the aircraft have been delinked to facilitate quick changes without requalifying the entire avionics system.”


Sweden will participate with Gripen fighters at the Bulgarian International Aviation Festival (BIAF) on 3-4 September 2011.

The Swedish Air Force will participate in the event with four Gripen fighters. SwAF pilot Martin Hansson will perform a stunning air display on Saturday and Sunday. Gripen will also be shown on static display.

In March 2011 the Swedish Government delivered a response to the RFI of the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence concerning the fighter procurement. The Swedish offer includes eight new Gripen fighters, a flexible financial solution and offset to be delivered by Saab.

Representatives of Saab, the Swedish Defense and Security Export Agency (FXM) and the Swedish Armed Forces will attend the air show.

“We are looking forward to taking part in the air show and are proud to see the Gripen fighter flying in Bulgaria. It will be a show worth seeing,” says Daniel Boestad, Vice President at Saab, Central and Eastern Europe, Balkans.

Turkey has officially launched a project to build its first national fighter aircraft, according to a statement on Tuesday by the Undersecretariat for the Defense Industry, or SSM, and the Turkish Aerospace Industries, or TAI.

The project also includes the design and development of a training jet, said TAI general manager Muharrem Dörtkaşlı.

“We are starting the project of developing a national fighter aircraft,” Dörtkaşlı told journalists at a meeting in Ankara, the Anatolia news agency reported. “Along with [state-run] Havelsan, Aselsan and Roketsan, companies from the private sector will contribute to the project.”

“This is going to be a national project,” Dörtkaşlı said, though he added that the country is looking for a non-U.S. partner to develop a second air fleet, as an alternative to its existing F-16s and F-35s to come.

South Korea’s KAI and Sweden’s Saab are the two possible partners, according to a senior Turkish procurement official who spoke to theHürriyet Daily Newson Monday. The undersecretariat decided to initiate talks with TAI to design a national aircraft and a training jet during a Dec. 15, 2010.

Turkey recently had separate talks with the aeronautical authorities of South Korea and Sweden for possible cooperation in the design, development and production of a new fighter aircraft in the next decade. “Companies that we have talked to are Korea Aerospace Industries [KAI] South Korea and Saab of Sweden,” the official said.

Most of Turkey’s current fleet of F-16, are being modernized by the Lockheed Martin, and future planned F-35s are available fromU.S. influence. Only their older aircraft F-4, upgraded ...

The Swedish Armed Forces blogcarries a snapshot of the life of the Swedish pilots flying daily over Libyan territory. Johan Brolin writes (translated from Swedish with Google translator) that the preparation for a mission over Libya begins the day before.

Late in the evening, the Swedish force is told about their task for the coming days. An ATO, Air Tasking Order, is the order that tells you which targets senior NATO Staff want the Swedish Gripen to scout.

Once the orders come in, the preparation starts. First they tasks are broken down into different priorities and missions are planned for mid-air refueling, altitudes, flight paths in and out of Libya.

In addition, planning is done for any requirement that can be assigned while the plane is in the air.

By the time the pilots come to the hangar, just over three hours before take-off, MSE, the Mission Support Element, has worked for most of the night.

Everything is prepared to effectively implement execution of the mission.

According to Pilot “Kiji” (not a real name), along with the MSE we use about 90 minutes to plan and carry out the command of the mission for the same. Planning for the mission is extensive. This clarifies the times when we will be air refueling and from which aircraft, what goals we should shoot, how we behave if we have to shoot us out, the code words that apply today and what the threat looks like.

A final review of the ...


A Gripen Ad that appeared on the August 15 edition of the Indian magazine India Today,

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Sweden’s five Gripens taking part in NATO operations over Libya generate 37% of the reconnaissance reports for Operation Unified Protector, says a report in Defence Web. Eight single-seat JAS 39 Gripens at the start of April helped patrol the no-fly zone. The Swedish Government has not sanctioned ground attacks except in defence and the aircraft have been limited to reconnaissance roles.

“If there is a special target that NATO is interested in, they prefer the Swedes to perform the mission. This makes me a little bit proud,” Fredrik Bergman, commander of the Swedish air force unit, told Svenska Dagbladet.

With their reconnaissance pods, the Gripens can, from a height of 7000 metres, detect individual people. As soon as a Gripen returns from a mission, a group of technicians download all the digital photos, which are sent to NATO commanders within a few hours.

FL 02 Commander Fredrik Bergman said the performance of the Gripens in the four-month operation was impressive since they only had around a quarter of the regular maintenance resources available.

In the last days of July, the Gripen clocked past the 1000 flight hour mark in Libya. Writing in hisblog, FL 02 Commander Fredrik Bergman says that the performance in the four-month operation was impressive since they were supported by just about one-fourth of the regular aircraft maintenance resources. 

According to Bergman, “I met personally COM CJTF, COM CFAC and the CAOC Director, and their overall opinion is that Sweden’s contribution in Operation Unified Protector is of extremely high quality. Our reconnaissance image quality, high precision analysis and fast delivery impresses our clients.”


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