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Ample Strike 2018 will start next week in the Czech Republic. 

A major NATO training exercise, the Czech L-159 ALCA, L-39 ZA, Gripen, German Eurofighters and Tonadoes as well as the US B-52 bomber will participate.

Belgium, Denmark, Croatia, Canada, Estonia, Finland, Great Britain , Germany, Hungary, Italy , Lithuania, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, United States and Sweden are participating in this exercise which will start from Náměšť nad Oslavou. With 1200 soldiers and from 19 countries coming together, it will be one of the largest training exercises in Czech Republic. 

"We are focused on providing the right support to all participating countries during the exercise," says Colonel Zdeněk Gabriel from the Czech Air Force.

The main goal of the exercise is to improve the skills of forward air controllers in coordinating and directing actions of combat aircraft, and support ground operations.

This will be Czech Gripen fighters' first participation in this exercise after it acquired air-to-ground capabilities through the MS20 upgrade earlier this year. The upgrade included integration of laser-guided bombs, targeting electro-optical pod Litening III, and Alliance datalink - Link 16.

The exercise will be held between 3rd and 14th September.

Read the full story here.

​As the Brazilian Air Force goes through an extensive restructuring process, the Gripen E programme is all set to deliver significant operational leaps.

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Gripen Pilot Stanislav Čejka is no stranger to breakneck speeds, the smell of gasoline, and executing gravity defying stunts mid-air. In an interview with a Czech daily, Čejka talks about his journey as a pilot, and his office i.e. Gripen cockpit. 

Čejka was interested in flying ever since he was 3, and this can be attributed to the fact that the local barracks were a short distance from his home in Dvůr. He always enjoyed gazing into the sky to look at planes, and by the time he was 16, he was paying regular visits to the local aero-club to fly glider planes. 

Cejka's main job is that of a Gripen pilot. On days when he isn’t busy flying Gripen, he leads his Flying Bulls Aerobatics team.

While he has flown several types of aircrafts over the course of his illustrious career, he maintains that his favorite aircraft is the Gripen C/D, which he considers to be his office. His career-cum-hobby as a pilot, he notes, takes him to some of the most beautiful scenic locations known to humankind, which he enjoys from the best seat in the house – a Gripen cockpit. 

But how is flying a fighter like Gripen and an aerobatics plane related? Well, according to Čejka, the two go hand in hand – the more one gets acquainted to flying fighter planes, the better one gets with maneuvering. 

"The two types of flying complement each other. The more you fly a ...

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RTAF Gripen has completed 10,000 flight hours now. The milestone was achieved at the Pitch Black 2018 exercise.

"We owe this success to our people, everyone who has been on duty with dedication," an RTAF Commander said.

It’s been ten years since the RTAF placed the order for the first time for the delivery of 6 Gripen fighters from Saab, back in February 2008. Deliveries began around 2011 for two single seaters (Gripen C) and four two seaters (Gripen D). They further ordered 6 more around 2010, which were delivered in two phases in 2013. 

Since then, Gripen has been a mainstay of the Royal Thai Air Force.

At the recently concluded Exercise Pitch Black, the fleet of Thai Gripen performed various drills and exercises alongside Air Force fleets of India, Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, United States, and Singapore. 

One of the major goals of the exercise was to increase the combat readiness of the participating air forces. More than 4000 personnel and 140 aircraft participated in the exercise.

The exercise proved to be very fruitful for the RTAF pilots as they enhanced their knowledge and experience while dealing with new battle tactics and major, tactical, combat, modern weapons. Further, it strengthened their relationship with the other participating nations. 

For more information of RTAF Gripen’s participation at Pitch Black 2018, click here.

Image Courtesy: RTAF

Located in the city of São Bernardo do Campo in São Paulo, SAM will be one of the main future production plants under the Brazil gripen programme. So what will be its exact role? Watch the video to find out.

​For someone like Julia who always wanted to build something, a career as an assembly operator at Saab has been a great learning experience. 

Drilling machines in different shapes and sizes is the most common tool used at the stations. Julia has always been careful and precise. And these qualities come in handy while using these machines while building the central fuselage, the biggest part of Gripen E. 

What is the role of GAC-Saab in the Brazilian Gripen Program? Created in October 2015, the GAC-Saab is indispensable to monitor and control the contracts relating to the acquisition of 36 fighters.

Saab recently announced the launch of RBS15 Gungnir next generation anti-ship missile system at the Farnborough International Airshow 2018.

While Gungnir may look like one of the previous RBS15 versions from the outside, its capabilities are more advanced. More than a mere anti-ship missile, it gives Gripen all-weather capability and operational flexibility like never before.

Gungnir is offered in both air-launched and surface-launched configurations, and has an increased range of more than 300 km. Since it is a flexible launch platform, it can conduct coordinated attacks with multiple missiles against a wide range of naval and land-based targets.

The missile system also promises complete maneuverability without any dependence on GPS or data link. Gungnir is not just made for today's littoral environment, but can also be integrated with pre-existing RBS15 infrastructure to adapt the system for future.

The name Gungnir is from Scandinavian mythology and refers to the Norse god Odin’s spear which never missed its target. RBS15 Gungnir is the system level name whilst in the air-launched configuration the missile is called the RBS15 Mk4 Air.

Test pilots say they have the best job in the world. What do you think? Here, Mikael Olsson who is a test pilot, tells you what it is like to evaluate and test the Gripen fighter. 

Before he became a Gripen test pilot, Mikael used to be a pilot for the Swedish Air Force. After serving a number of years in the SwAF, he found himself at Saab, facing new challenges and learning new things. As a test pilot, Mikael’s job responsibilities include conducting test flights to check the in-flight operations and capabilities of Gripen. Apart from flying, he spends a lot of time at design meetings, sharing his knowledge, experience and expertise as a pilot with development engineers, helping them devise design solutions and take decisions.

There are two segments into which test flights are divided – experimental test flights and system test flights. In experimental flights, the physical capabilities and limits of the aircraft are put to the test, such as checking stability during supersonic flight, or checking the highest achievable speed at maximum load capacity. In system test flights, tactical features of the fighter such as sensors, weaponry, communication and EW capabilities are examined.

“Being a part of developing a highly advanced and modern fighter just like the Gripen is something very rare and unique, and it’s a dream for many engineers and pilots, and for me, that dream is reality”, says Mikael.

Watch the full interview here.

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Developing new generation fighters on schedule is no mean feat. As per a recent case study, Hardware-in-the-loop systems have helped Saab reduce flight testing. Hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) systems being used for testing Gripen E’s multiple line-replacement units (LRU).

The LRUs make up several integral components of Saab’s smart fighter, such as flight control and tactical systems, sensors and avionics equipment. Needless to say, each of these components are tested many times. These tests are complex processes, and in some cases, the response and performance of 40 interconnected LRUs are tested together. 

Engineers examined a number of commercial off the shelf (COTS) products as I/O test Gripen E’s HIL systems before narrowing it down to National Instruments’ (NI) PXI and CompactRIO platforms. The aforementioned COTS products were so chosen because of their stellar modularity and expansion abilities come in handy when testing the response of LRUs to various different simulated signal types aping real life scenarios. In other words, these technologies allow testing engineers to test several of Gripen E’s flight capabilities in a closed environment of a lab or a hangar without ever taking off, saving fuel and cutting down on the risk.

Read the full story here.

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