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The first six Saab Gripen fighters ordered by the Royal Thai Air Force will be delivered on Feb 23. The fighters will be assigned to RTAF’s Wing 7 and will be based at Surat Thani province in the south of Thailand. Thailand has twelve Gripens on order.

Air force commander Itthaporn Subbawong says he is looking forward to personally test flying the first six Gripen jet fighters, which are due to arrive next month, reports Bangkok Post.

ACM Itthaporn says the six Swedish-made Gripen fighters will be delivered on Feb 23. The jets will be stationed at the Wing 7 air force base in Surat thani province.

“As a fighter pilot I want to make test flights of the fighters, but the test flights will not be made until after the delivery of the aircraft is approved,” said the air force chief. ACM Itthaporn earlier flew on test flights of Gripen fighters in Sweden.

At the time he was air force deputy chief-of-staff. The air force later decided to purchase 12 Gripen fighters at a cost of almost 40 billion baht.

flythegripen1.jpgSaab brings to Indian combat aircraft followers and those with a dream to fly a fighter aircraft a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: To fly the world’s most advanced multi-role fighter aircraft, the Gripen, during its sojourn in Bangalore during Aero India air show between February 9-13.

For the first time ever an ordinary Indian citizen can get on to a fighter aircraft by simply answering a set of questions or flying any flight simulation of the Gripen and entering it at The Gripen Top Guns contest has an amateur and professional level challenge to test the knowledge of aircraft buffs while providing an opportunity for XBOX, PSP and Computer Games buffs the opportunity to enter their best flying effort on the Gripen and take a shot at flying the real Gripen.

The Gripen game entries will be judged by top Swedish and Indian pilots to select a few who will get a shot at flying the real Gripen Aircraft simulator. Out of the five chosen simulator ‘pilots’, one will get to fly the real thing: the JAS 39 Gripen. To top it, for those not really interested in the technical end but love the look and feel of the aircraft, the Gripen Top Guns contest opens a Model Hunt in which 12 participants will make it to the first ever Gripen India Calendar.

“Aero India is a celebration of the love of flying, of fighter aircraft and the world’s best aircraft technologies. Saab is happy to create an opportunity for ...

Three Gripens will fly in to the Aero India 2011 air show in Bangalore between February 9 and 13 at the Air Force station Yelahanka. In addition, Saab will be displaying the Saab 2000 and the Saab 340.

The Gripens and the Saab 2000 and 340 will be participating in the flight displays. Saab has pitched the Gripen IN for the Indian MMRCA programme. The Saab 2000 and Saab 340 aircraft are being fielded for the Medium Range Maritime Reconnaissance and the Maritime Patrolling requirements of the Indian Coastguard respectively.

aeroindia2011.JPGSaab will also be displaying a range of systems, including the RBS-15 Mk2 Anti-Ship Missile, the RBS-70 MANPADS missile system, missile simulators, HARD Radar, RIGS Head Up Display, Giraffe Radar and the Carabas Radar.

2011 promises to be an exciting year for the Gripen proposition as Brazil and India, two of the largest orders on the cards, reach closer to a decision and the Thai Air Force inducts the Gripen in service.

Photo: The Saab Gripen Calendar

Jamie Hunter won the 2010 Aviation Week Photo Contest Military Category with one of his Saab Gripen photographs taken in August during a visit to Linkoping, says a Saab release.

The photographer shot the Gripen NG Demo in formation with a JAS 39D in the midst of bad weather, heavy rains and low clouds over Linkoping.

A presentation by SAAB AB speaker Andreas Von der Heide during the 5th International Conference on Energizing Indian Aerospace Industry held in DRDO Bhawan, New Delhi, on “Maintenance, Repairs, and Overhauls: The International experience and lessons” made the following points:

Lesson one: Keep your customers fleet airborne at a low LCC

Lesson two: MRO starts at the drawing board

Lesson three: Work with local partners

Lesson four: Achieve full technology transfer including IP toyour local partners

Lesson five: The global MRO market presents a fantastic opportunity


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Saab gets.jpg
Saab has been awarded an interim support and services contract from ARMSCOR in South Africa involving the South African Air Force´s growing fleet of Gripen C and D advanced fighter aircraft. The agreement covers interim support services for the time until the fleet is fully operational, according to a Saab Press Release.

The Interim Product Support contract is an on demand based contract with a fixed part covering the framework for the 17 months period from the 1st November 2010 to end of March 2012. On demand services are typically Maintenance Repair & Overhaul, engineering support services in Sweden or on base in South Africa and resupply of spares.

The total value of the contract is 44 MSEK.Saab was also awarded a contract for delivering a Multi Emitter Environment Simulator for Gripen with a total value of 45 MSEK.Saab in South Africa has been contracted to develop and test an interface between the Gripen mission support system and the SAAF current intelligence system.South Africa has ordered 26 Saab Gripen C & D advanced fighter aircraft as part of the strategic defence package.

The Gripen programme for South Africa is on track according to the contract. Gripen is being used in real air policing missions, even though the system is neither fully delivered or declared fully operational.

The use of Gripen during the FIFA world cup last summer was a great success from this perspective, says the release.

Photo Courtesy: Saab

More news out of South Africa. A Saab press release reports that the Gripen weapons and sensor integration programme is moving ahead with the integration test flight with the new Thales Digital Joint Reconnaissance Pod for the South African Gripen being carried out successfully at the Saab test and evaluation facilities in Linköping, Sweden.

The integration test took place on a South African series production of the Gripen. The Recce Pod completed its factory integration tests in June this year and is now completing the integration tests on the Gripen platform. The reconnaissance pod will be delivered to the South African customer after the integration phase next year.“We are at full speed ahead regarding our weapons’ and integration program for Gripen .

The capabilities of Gripen and the ease of weapons and sensor integration are exceeding all our expectations. It is a truly remarkable platform to work with and fly. We see no boundaries and limitations for this aircraft and we look forward to continue our co-operation with our customers to keep Gripen at the cutting edge of technology”, says Gripen Test Pilot Johan Sjöstrand.

Image: South African Gripen with Recce Pod. Photo: Stefan Kalm, Saab.

Source: Recce Pod Integration Programme for Gripen at Full Speed

Six More.jpgSaab has received an order from FMV (Swedish Defence Material Administration) for six Gripen aircraft intended for the Royal Thai Air Force. The order is worth approximately 2.2 billion SEK.

The six Gripen aircraft are of the single-seat C version and the project duration is between 2010-2013. They are part of an inter-governmental transaction where FMV, as representative of the Government of Sweden, sells an integrated air-defence system based on products manufactured by Saab, including Gripen.

At a ceremony in Stockholm today, the Director General of Sweden’s Defence Materiel Administration, FMV, Gunnar Holmgren and Itthaporn Subhawong, Air Chief Marshal, Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Air Force, signed an agreement for the delivery of a further six Gripen fighter aircraft. Apart from the Gripen, Saab will upgrade the Saab Erieye radar system equipped Saab 340. This is the second phase of the co-operation between the Kingdom of Sweden and the Kingdom of Thailand, the first phase started with the agreement in February 2008.

The agreement also includes logistic support and training. Delivery of the Gripen aircraft will take place during 2013.

“The order strengthens the co-operation between Thailand and Sweden. It also serves as further proof of Saab’s ability to deliver sophisticated integrated defence systems as well as strengthening international faith in the Gripen system,” says Håkan Buskhe CEO of Saab.

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