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Aurora 2017 proved to be the perfect platform for the Swedish and Finnish Air Forces to train together, reports Forsvarsmakten.

All armed forces - land, air, and sea, trained together at the largest Swedish defence exercise this year.  During the exercise, the 172nd Fighter Squadron from the Blekinge Air Wing, F17, was based at Hagshult base outside Värnamo with six Gripen aircraft to defend Sweden against attacks. With them was a unit from Finland with five F-18 Hornet aircraft.

The report says that though the Swedish and Finnish operating methods and thinking are not very different, it doesn’t mean the joint exercise was simple in any way. One challenge, for example, was that the Finnish aircraft were larger in size and hence carried more fuel than Gripen. This put extra fuel supply demand on the base. 

The Swedish and the Finnish squadrons occupied different ends of the Hagshult base and fought side by side, defending their base during various scenarios.

“Our operational effectiveness is good. Our reception here at Hagshult has been excellent and virtually everything has worked flawlessly from day one,” says the Finnish contingent commander and pilot, Tomi Böhm.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Forsvarsmakten

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In an interview with Jane's, Richard Smith, Gripen's head of marketing and sales, said that the company's offer of new-build Gripen C/Ds fully meets Bulgaria’s requirements.

“We have offered new-build Gripen C/D fighter aircraft that fully reflect the short and long-term security interests of Bulgaria, which includes NATO interoperability and meets the demanding deadlines set by Bulgaria. Delivery time is clearly one of our competitive advantages, together with our ability to offer flexible payment schemes and Gripen’s low life-cycle costs. We believe that these are the grounds for our down-selection in April by the government-appointed independent committee of experts," he said.

Bulgaria had sent a request for proposals (RFP) for the procurement of a new type of combat aircraft to Italy, Portugal and the United States, and Sweden in December 2016. Earlier this year, Gripen C/D was shortlisted as the preferred aircraft over the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon, offered by Portugal as a second-hand procurement, and Italy's surplus models of the Eurofighter Typhoon. As a part of its offer, Saab promised to deliver the first aircraft within 18 months of contract signature.

Read the full story here.


Gripen’s pilot interface gives outstanding situational awareness – meaning total control in even the most challenging environments.

Photo: Markus Dussy

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Since 1952, Swedish borders have been monitored day and night, all year around. No matter what time it is, Swedish territorial borders are being monitored. All over Sweden, there are radar stations constantly scanning the air and over land and sea.  When needed, the armed forces alert Gripen fighters to identify and intercept foreign aircraft. 

Several units of the Air Force are made up of Gripen fighters. It is the first operational fighter equipped with Beyond-Visual-Range-Air-To-Air-Missile, Meteor. Today, there are three air wings and six divisions equipped with Gripen fighters in the Swedish Air Force. The fighter aircraft has the ability to carry out operations against targets on the ground, in air and over water, with extreme precision, a high degree of flexibility and power. These units also conduct intelligence gathering missions and are always ready to defend Sweden's territory.​

Read full story here​.

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Two Czech Gripen fighters and an L-159 ALCA light combat aircraft during Ample Strike 2017

The Czech Republic led exercise Ample Strike had fighters logging in 600 flight hours and conducting hundreds of missions this year.

"We began these types of exercises 15 years ago. In 2002, we had eight aircraft and only one Czech team of forward air controllers cooperating with British teams. Now, we have 39 aircraft from 18 countries comprising more than 1,200 soldiers taking part," said the Director of the exercise, Colonel Zdenek Bauer, when addressing the media before the exercise.

The Czech Republic has hosted the exercise for four consecutive years now. The exercise is planned around developing and improving joint coordination of air and ground forces

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Czech Armed Forces website

AEL Sistemas has launched the first panoramic panel of the Gripen fighter, reports​.

"We are proud to deliver the prototype panel on schedule, helping Saab engineers to move forward with the integration work on the aircraft," says Sérgio Horta, president of AEL.

Saab selected AEL Sistemas (AEL) as a supplier in Brazil two years back for providing wide area display (WAD) and the head-up display (HUD). Both the WAD and HUD development programmes started in January 2015.

The WAD for Brazil’s Gripen NG aircraft is a single intelligent and full-redundant multi-purpose display system, full-colour, large-screen (19 x 8 in) with continuous image presentation and the state-of-the-art touch-screen controls capability. It is the primary source of all flight and mission information in the cockpit.

Saab and AEl Sistemas have also signed a contract for transfer of technology that focuses on developing human-machine interface (HMI) and workshops for avionics maintenance.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: AEL Sistemas

Aurora 17, one of the main Swedish military exercises, is underway. About 19,000 personnel are participating in the exercise.

One of the main tasks during the exercise was that of dispersed operations in which Gripen pilots practised take-offs and landings from normal roads.

The exercise is aimed at building a stronger defence and increasing the overall capability of the Air Force to face an attack on Sweden. Military units from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Lithuania, Norway and the USA are also participating in the exercise.

​Richard Smith, Head of Marketing & Sales, Aeronautics, Saab, explains what a Gripen Aggressor can do.​

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To be able to dominate your opponent, one needs to train with the best adversary. Training with world class opponents ensures the squad is ready to take on the most unexpected scenarios during a mission.

Realising the growth of adversary air combat training market, Saab has now launched the Gripen aggressor - the latest derivative of Gripen C. Gripen Aggressor provides an exceptional, dissimilar opponent aircraft system against which pilots will sharpen and refine their combat skills so as to fight and win against an advanced enemy threat.

“There is a major difference in the capabilities provided by the aggressors on the market today and what the need is for the coming years. In order to train as you fight, you need to fly advanced combat tactics against peer and near peer opponents like the Gripen Aggressor. Essentially world-class pilots need to train against world class opponents and that is the Gripen Aggressor”, says Richard Smith, head of Gripen marketing & sales at Saab.

The full-scale replica of Gripen Aggressor was unveiled at the DSEI exhibition in London last week. Saab is pitching Gripen Aggressor for RAF’s ASDOT (Air Support to Defence Operational Training) programme. One and two-seater Gripen fighters are already being used for the UK Empire Test Pilots’ School training. 

Besides ASDOT, Gripen Aggressor is also Saab's proposed solution for the United States Air Force’s Adversary Air (ADAIR).

Read the full story here.

Visitor at the Slovak International Air Festival (SIAF) watched the performance of  the top Czech Air Force display pilot, Captain Ivo Kardoš this year.​ The aerial display was the highlight of the festival. 

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