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SA Gripen.jpg
A Gripen fly-past commemorated 30 years of South African Air Force Base, AFB Makhado's service last week. The fly-past was followed by an aerial display.

AFB Makhado is the SAAF fighter base where the country’s Gripen fighters, BAE Systems, and Hawk fighter trainers are stationed. AFB Makhado, which was opened on 14 October 1987, houses 2 Squadron, one of the most prestigious units in the SAAF. 

AFB Makhado received its first Gripen in March 2008.

Aurora, one of the main Swedish military exercises, had the Air Force taking on both sea and ground targets this year. Here are some images from the exercise.

Image Courtesy: Luftstridsskolan and Forsvarsmakten

The Indian Air Force will start the process to acquire single-engine jets very soon, according to Chief of Air Staff, B S Dhanoa.

“The RFI for the single-engine fighter is likely to be issued very soon,” Dhanoa said addressing a press conference. He also added that IAF will give priority to the single-engine fighters as the twin-engine fighters will cost more.

The fighter jets will be produced jointly by a foreign aircraft maker along with an Indian company under the recently launched strategic partnership model which aims to bring in high-end defence technology to India, reports the Economic Times.

Saab's Gripen offer to India is in line with the Government’s plans for “Make in India” where Saab, in partnership with Indian companies, will work on developing capability at all levels within the country.

Read about Saab's offer to India here.

swedish gripen3_peterliander.jpg The Swedish Air Force is participating with eight Gripen and an Argus airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft at the Finish Air Force exercise Ruska 17.

The exercise, that started today, has more than 60 aircraft and about 4,500 personnel participating. The goal of the exercise is to train the Finnish Defence Forces to work with other kinds of aircraft.

Ruska is Finland’s largest military exercise. This is the second time that SwAF Gripen have been sent for participation. The eight Gripen aircraft will act in both offensive and defensive roles during the exercise.

Ruska 17 will end on 13 October.

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In an interview with, Swedish Air Force fighter pilot Henrik Björling explains how it feels like to fly a Gripen fighter.

“Gripen is my favorite fighter. It's an airplane built for the pilot. It's easy to fly and perform in,” he says.

Talking about how a regular day at work looks like, Björling says that it starts early. At first, there is a meeting with the Project Manager to discuss the flight plans of the day. This is followed by some test flights, desktop work, regular training processes etc. 

Björling understands that people are impressed with his profession, but he has his feet firmly planted on the ground. “Movies and games paint a glamorous picture. In reality, we are ordinary people who are lucky enough to fly a Gripen during our working hours,” he says.

Read the full story here.

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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

Download the calendar here.​


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

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