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Gripen to Stay Swedish.jpg
The Swedish Armed Forces has released their budget proposal that includes planned spending and planned procurement for the coming four years including a clear commitment to the JAS 39 Gripen for another 30 years, says a Saab release.

The Swedish parliament had previously decided that the Gripen system would constitute the backbone of the Swedish air defence until 2040. In the budget proposal, the Armed Forces have projected the requirement for an upgrade of the JAS 39 Gripen fleet during 2020-2030 to remain competitive.

“This clear commitment to the Gripen system is of course positive for us. We are part of the capability upgrades and can support the needs of the Swedish Armed Forces. This is also a cost efficent way for Sweden to have a competitive fighter aircraft over the coming 30 years,” says Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, and adds:“At the same time it is important to remember that the budget proposal is part of a larger process and political standpoints.”

Thailand Welcomes Gripen.jpg
Six Gripen jet fighters have landed in Surat Thani ready for handover to the Royal Thai Air Force. The fighters, flown by the Swedish pilots, landed at Wing 7 air force base after leaving Sweden on Feb 18 and stopping over in Hungary, Greece, Egypt and India en route to Thailand. Thailand becomes the first country in the region to own the advanced generation aircraft.

They are the first batch of 12 Gripen 39 C/D jet fighters that will replace the ageing F-5A/B jets. Thailand has contracted another six Gripen fighters.

Air Force Commander Itthaporn Subhawong welcomed the six jets when they landed. Two Thai air force pilots were on the aircrafts during the flight. The official hand over of the jets will take place in March.

The first six Gripen will be station in Wing 701 in Surat Thani. Another six Gripen jets and their support systems would be handed to Thailand later.

Four of the fighters are two-seaters, while the other eight, the C model, are one-seaters.The RTAF purchase of Gripens provides not only the fighter jets, but also an entire support system that includes technology transfer and training and supplementary training in advanced technology.

​“We roll into a steep dive from 19,000 ft accelerating wildly towards the ground when Robin yanks back on the stick to pull the nose up into level flight. A heady cocktail of barrel rolls, loops, wingovers and inverted flight follows before he rustles up the Glenmorangie of aerobatic maneouvres: a 360-degree hard roll in one second flat,” so writes Hindustan Times journalist Rahul Singh in his account of his ride in the Gripen at Aero India 2011 in Bangalore.Says Rahul of his flight, “My third fighter sortie stands out for the high performance, terrific maneuverability and integrated information systems that the Gripen combines”…

rahulgripen1.jpg“..I grumble that the g-meter (indicating the gravity forces battering our bodies) is rusting. I had cracked 9g on the F-16 Super Viper two years ago, but we haven’t breached 5g on the Gripen yet. He gets the drift and I steel myself for excruciating g-loads. Robin shoves the throttle into afterburner touching speeds of 0.98 Mach (1,040 kmph) and banks a hard left, punching me with a 7g body slam. I weigh 630 kg, seven times my weight. The g-suit inflates around my abdomen and legs, squeezing the blood back to the heart and brain, and preventing loss of consciousness.”

Read the full story here:Is It A Bird? Is It A Plane?​




A student of a Bangalore engineering college flew in the Gripen on Sunday February 13 after successfully going through a series of steps in the Gripen Top Guns contest which was held as part of Aero India 2011 on the website

22-year-old Shashank HR from Bangalore emerged as the Gripen India Top Gun in the month long contest organized by Defence and security company Saab for Indian combat aircraft followers and those with a dream to fly a fighter aircraft.

The top 5 finalists from across the country tested their skills on the Gripen simulator on Saturday and were judged by four top Indian and Swedish test pilots on their aircraft handling and combat skills. Shashank HR is a final year Mechanical Engineer student at the BMS College of Engineering. Shashank was first kitted out in his flight suit on Sunday morning and then extensively briefed by the Gripen Team. Shashank’s Gripen flight, which took off after the morning display, was piloted by Test Pilot Robin Nordlander.

Shashank HR is an avid gamer and qualified through the ACE level of the contest. Shashank had a 50 minute ride on the Gripen fighter aircraft and got a feel of the aircraft during his flight. The aircraft returned in a convoy flying on one flank of the Saab 2000 while the Saab 340 flew on the other. Sitting inside the Saab 2000 and watching their son fly were the parents and sister of Shashank HR, along with media persons and the ...

Gripen Top Guns finalists at the Aero India 2011.jpg
Finalists of the Gripen Top Guns contest.jpg

Finalists of the Gripen Top Guns contest with Ola Rignell.jpg

On Saturday, February 12, the five finalists of the Gripen Top Guns contest that was held in the backdrop of Aero India 2011 tested their skills on the Gripen simulator as four Indian and Swedish ace pilots judged their performance.

The five finalists for the simulator flight were Kashmera Dilip Shah (Bangalore), Chiranth Ashok (Bangalore), Selween Philip Mascarenhas (Chennai), Shaival Rajiv Sheth (Mumbai) and Shashank HR (Bangalore).

While Selween Mascarenhas flew in from Chennai, Mumbai-based Shaival had been at the Aero show well before he knew that he made it to the finals of the Gripen Top Guns contest. ( The other finalists Chiranth Ashok, Kashmera Shah and Shashank HR joined the contest from Bangalore. The excitement had also spread to the other cities. The Mumbai Midday prominently carried the news of the Mumbai contest as one of the finalists.

Suited up in their flight suits, the contest had a tight finish with Shashank HR emerging as the Gripen Top Gun who will fly the Gripen fighter on Sunday. After the contest, all five contenders went to the Gripen on static display and got a first hand look at the aircraft before meeting up with the media.


“It was a tough choice between the five finalists who gave the Indian and Swedish jury much to evaluate. Finally, Shashank was chosen among the final contenders for his performance on the simulator. We are delighted at the great response and interest in this contest. What was amazing was that people in ...


On the inaugural day, Indian Union Minister of State for Defence Mr M M Pallam Raju took a turn at the Gripen simulator.

At a well-attended press conference in Bangalore today, Saab CEO Hakan Bushke announced the company’s plan to establish a Research & Development Centre in India.

The press conference was also addressed  by Hakan Jevrell, Vice Minister of Defence, who conveyed the complete support of the Swedish government for full technology transfer. He said that Saab has a great record of delivering on its commitments and the ability to integrate different systems.

In his presentation, Hakan Bushke points out that Saab is pursuing a number of large programs in India including the Gripen IN, the anti-ship missiles (RBS-15 Mk3), the VSHORAD (RBS70 NG) and QR-SRSAM (BAMSE) as well as the Battlefield Management System being offered in collaboration with Mahindra. The Saab 340 and Saab 2000 is being offered to India as a part of the Medium Range Maritime Reconnaissance (MRMR) program and Maritime Security.

According to a Saab news release, the aim of the research and development centre is to transfer to India continuously already identified concrete programs and technologies. The Centre will form a bridge between India and Sweden, and together with an initial base of 100-300 skilled Indian engineers form the backbone of the Centre. The areas of focus would cover aerospace, defence and urban innovation including civil security. The Centre will be established in close co-operation with Indian partners and universities.

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