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Developing a fighter for less than 2 billion Euros is made possible by a number of factors and strategic decisions taken at the programme’s beginning. Finding less expensive ways to develop advanced products, which Saab describes as 'breaking the cost curve’, is one, reports Defence Aerospace​.

Strategies like buying a new engine (GE F414G) or ES-05 Raven AESA radar, and not developing these systems from a scratch – which can be an expensive process - have played an important role as well. But integrating these systems into Gripen E without spending a lot on integration cost was not easy.

According to Jerker Ahlqvist, Head of the Gripen programme, this was solved by adopting new ways of working, including model-based systems engineering (MBSE), model-based development (MBD), and agility. This is to say that the company’s simplified management structure was prepared to react quickly and adapt to change.

The report also mentioned two other factors that helped minimize cost. Saab allows engineers to take decisions without the interference of upper management or committees, which results into a faster development process.

The second factor, which in different guises is on the lips of every executive, is the sense that the company has a duty not only to develop the combat systems needed by the Swedish military, but to develop them at a price the country can afford, the report says.

Read the full story here.

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Training Gripen pilots to develop tactics, techniques and procedures is important to enhance the military capabilities of the user country. Exercises like TTP play an important role in this.

This year, the exercise began with the onset of spring in Sweden. The participating Gripen fighters were upgraded with the MS20 configuration this time. Exercise TTP has been a little different every year in terms of number of days, location, number of participants and even the theme. For example, during last year’s exercise, the focus was on international composite units, with participants practicing offensive operations together. This year, the focus has shifted to national units and defensive operations.

According to a report in Forsvarsmakten​, the planning of the exercise is almost like scripting a movie. At first, TU-JAS (Tactical Development JAS) and the exercise management work on the idea. Thereafter, all the elements like managing participation units, basing, and transportation are planned. Each participating unit also has its own goals which are also considered. After all the planning, the exercise management creates a thread of realistic scenarios.

TTP is beneficial for all participants and the learnings help improve the capabilities of the Swedish Air Force, the report adds.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Forsvarsmakten

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The Royal Thai Air Force and the Royal Thai Navy conducted a joint training exercise between 30 April and 10 May 2017 to improve interoperability between the two divisions.

The exercise was held at the upper gulf of Thailand’s coastline, the coastline of U Tapao International Airport and the training ground of the Royal Thai Navy in Ban Jan Klam district, Chantaburi province.

Among other things, the Royal Thai Air Force Gripen pilots were tasked with providing reconnaissance images to the Royal Thai Navy personnel. The marine operational support included targeting aerial targets in the ocean.

It has been two years that the Royal Thai Air Force and the Royal Thai Navy successfully linked data systems between a surveillance-early warning aircraft equipped with Erieye radar system and Gripen fighter and HMS Naresuan. The integrated radar signals help increase the tactical capacity of both military forces to coordinate operations with improved efficiency.

The observations made during the assessment of the exercise would help in improving the skills and proficiency of aerial and ground operation units of The Royal Thai Air Force and Royal Thai Navy in future.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: RTAF

Video: Matichon tv

​A Hungarian Gripen fighter and a Gripen simulator were sent to Croatia last week to demonstrate the capabilities of the fighter at a presentation event.

The visitors at the event included Croatia’s deputy prime minister and minister of defence Damir Krstičević, and commander of the air force. The visit was organised so that the Croatian delegation could get familiarised with the Gripen fighter.

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Image Courtesy: Mr. Cacic​

Throwback to ACE 2015

Fighter pilots from Sweden, Finland and Norway are preparing hard for the upcoming Arctic Challenge Exercise (ACE 2017) which would be held between May 22nd and June 2nd.

ACE is held once in every two years. This time, around 3500 personnel and almost 100 aircraft, including tankers, will be a part of the exercise. ACE seeks to enhance interoperability among the participating nations. Various tactics and procedures will be practiced in realistic threat scenarios.

The exercise will be conducted from three air bases: Norrbotten Wing in Luleå, Sweden, Bodø airbase (Bodo hovedflystasjon) in Norway and Lapland Air Command (Lapin lennosto) in Rovaniemi, Finland.

Besides Gripen, participating aircraft include the F-18, F-16s, Tornado, and the Mirage 2000. Exercise scenarios will focus on international peacekeeping operations under a UN mandate.​

Read the full story here.

​Thai Naval Academy visited Wing 7 last week to study base operations. Here are some pictures from the visit.

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Image Courtesy: RTAF

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The transfer of technology through cooperation with Saab is extremely significant for increasing the technological competence of Brazilian industry," says Jackson Schneider, President and CEO of Embraer Defence and Security.

"Embraer and the other companies committed to this programme will benefit from the transfer of knowledge," he says. "It will make it possible for them to carry out future upgrades to the Gripen fleet and to compete in the market for coming generations of fighters."

Embraer has always been an important partner of Saab in Brazil’s Gripen programme. The opening of GDDN was a key milestone in the Gripen technology transfer programme. The GDDN is located at Embraer premises in Gavião Peixoto in the state of São Paulo. According to Schneider, GDDN can be described as a project work station with professionals mainly from Embraer and Saab, but also from other Brazilian industry partners and the Brazilian customer.

"We can use the Gripen Design and Development Network for future joint projects, such as an export version of the two-seater Gripen. We are also discussing potential additional cooperation outside the Gripen programme."

Schneider considers the project a first-class opportunity for both Embraer and Saab to exchange knowledge."Both companies are very experienced in the aeronautical market and this is a great opportunity to improve our expertise in the development and manufacturing process of a high -standard modern combat aircraft," he says.

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Czech Air Force's biennial event 'Open Day' will be held at the Čáslav airport this month and Gripen's aerial display will be the main attraction at the show.

Besides Gripen, participants include Patrouille Suisse, Belgian F-16 Demo and Flying Bulls Aerobatic Team.

Open Day will be held on 20 May.

Read the full story here.

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The Hungarian Air Force has made numerous achievements during their years with Gripen – everything from international exercises to air policing. That deserves a thumbs up.

Photo: Daniel Nilsson

You can download the calendar here​.

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South African Air Force Gripen fighters have been confirmed to participate in the annual SAAF Museum air show at AFB Zwartkop next month.

The annual air show, which will be held at Air Force Base Swartkop, is expected to be attended by more than 35,000 visitors. Besides Gripen, Oryx and A109 helicopters, Casa 212 transport, and BAE Hawk combat aircraft are also scheduled to participate in both static and aerial displays during the air show.

Gripen's performances include flyovers and demonstration of air strikes with Hawk jets and Rooivalk attack helicopters.

SAAF Museum Air Show will be held on 6th May 2017.

Read the full story here.

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