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Batch VIII Gripen pilots are now combat ready. A ceremony to celebrate their achievement was held last week at Wing 7.

Image Courtesy: RTAF

Since the unveiling of Gripen E in May 2016, the programme has seen great progress. Validation and verification activities such as tests in rigs and simulators have been performed and the ground test period is in full swing. The way model based development has been implemented, has been successful. "Power on" and engine starts are just two examples of important milestones that has been accomplished during the last months.

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With Gripen E, Saab has taken all the knowledge and experience from more than 75 years of building aircraft and put it into a fighter designed to adapt to changing threats and operational requirements, such as bigger areas to defend and new threat scenarios.

Gripen E has a revolutionary avionics system which ensures that the future is built in from the beginning. The avionics system separates flight critical functions from tactical features allowing customers to update the system and so get the latest capabilities faster and at lower risk. Future upgrades, changes and functionalities can be made by adding “apps” without needing to requalify the entire system.

Read the full story here​.

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Saab and Brazilian aerospace conglomerate Embraer inaugurated the Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN) in Gavião Peixoto, in the state of São Paulo yesterday.

The GDDN, located at Embraer premises in Gavião Peixoto - where the Gripen Flight Test Center and the Gripen Final Assembly will also be based - will be the hub for technology transfer and fighter development in the country. Partnering Saab and Embraer would be AEL Sistemas, Atech, Akaer and the Brazilian Air Force through its research department DCTA.

A Brazilian Government report quoted Colonel Julio Cesar Cardoso Tavares saying, "This project will allow Brazil to have autonomy to build fighter aircraft in future. It is a facility to back the country's efforts to develop high performance fighters."

The GDDN includes the development environment and simulators required to undertake the fighter development work. In addition, the GDDN is connected to Saab in Sweden and the industrial partners in Brazil, securing both technology transfer and efficient development.

“We have a long-term commitment to Brazil. The launch of the GDDN is a key milestone in the Brazilian Gripen programme as it will be the basis for the technology transfer and fighter development in the country,” said Håkan Buskhe, CEO and president of Saab.

Read the full story here.

​Experimental test pilot, André Brännström explains how a Gripen fighter simulator works and how it demonstrates the capabilities of the fighter.

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Hakan Buskhe, CEO and President of Saab, says his company is very keen to supply Gripen fighters to the Indian Air Force and is ready to transfer the entire product planning capability to India. 

“I think we have an extremely good offer. We are building our latest aircraft which will be delivered to the Swedish and the Brazilian air forces as well. We started in 2013. It’s the latest technology. The product is totally digital and we have all the new sensors. So, we will be able to offer the best technology to India," Buskhe said.

Saab's offer includes setting up an aircraft industry and true transfer of technology. According to a Hindu news report, Saab also plans to set up a training academy to train pilots in operating the Gripen.

“More than the production, we have shown our keenness to build up the full capacity in India. Everything from research and development to production planning to developing the complete supply chain, can be done here in India. We are good at technology transfer. We are doing the same in other parts of the world as well," he adds.

Read the full story here.

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As per a report in theAsia Times, Saab is in pole position to secure a deal to sell its Gripen C/D fighter aircraft to the Philippine Air Force.

Recently, a Swedish delegation, led by Minister of Enterprise and Innovation Mikael Damberg, went to Manila to inaugurate the re-opened Swedish Embassy and discuss industry and infrastructure investments. Key future business opportunities for Saab in the Philippines include the Gripen fighter, naval combat systems, maritime and air traffic management systems, and training systems and solutions. 

Saab has already opened an office in Manila to support its Gripen campaign in the country.

“I see great opportunities to deepen our trade relations with the Philippines by promoting Swedish solutions. I believe that a Swedish embassy in Manila will help to open doors for increased Swedish exports and encourage new contacts,” Mikael Damberg says.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Tefan Kalm

​To fly in the Icelandic weather conditions, there are some preparations that have to be done. Here, Capt. Martin Špaček, a Czech Air Force Gripen pilot, describes how the daily life as pilot during the air policing mission in Iceland could look like.

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The video shows how Czech Gripen fighters perform their Quick Reaction Alert duties within the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System.

For many years now, NATO has been deploying Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) assets, provided by its member nations, for intercepts in places like Iceland and Baltic States which don’t have their own air forces.

During the recent participation in the Icelandic Air Policing, Czech Gripen fighters were slated to take up Quick Reaction Alert duties for initial certification process.  The Czech Air Force has been part of the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System (NATINAMDS) since 1999. This year was the first time when the Czech Air Force executed a twofold Quick Reaction Alert (Intercept) mission – one at home and one in Iceland.​

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Mikael Damberg, the Swedish Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, was in India last week to discuss the Gripen offer, reports DN.se.

Mikael Damberg, Saab's Chairman, Marcus Wallenberg and Saab President and CEO, Håkan Buskhe, along with a delegation of Swedish business leaders called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss long term business and partnership opportunities for Swedish manufacturers.

Saab and a few other fighter aircraft manufacturers had received a Request for Information (RFI) from India three weeks ago. India wants an offer in which the production of the aircraft would take place under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Make in India' programme.

“We support Saab's interests because we have good experience of the Gripen fighter system. Saab also has a unique and exciting strategic partnership with Brazil which lets us have a much wider cooperation with the country,” says Mikael Damberg.

“PM Modi called for deeper cooperation with Sweden and Swedish companies and also wanted to see closer defence policy cooperation,” he adds.

Read the full story here.

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During the Icelandic air policing mission, the Czech Air Force got an opportunity to train together with NATO Naval Forces in the waters outside Iceland.  

Three Gripen fighters joined in an exercise, in which Languedoc, a French frigate, Thetis, a Danish patrolling frigate, and Thor, the Icelandic coast guard's modern vessel, participated along with several helicopters. The exercise took place some 80 km southwest of the Icelandic coast and the main task of the Czech pilots was to simulate an attack on the Languedoc frigate, a state-of-the-art vessel the French Navy acquired this spring. 

The vessel is equipped with anti-aircraft missiles, and the Czech JAS-39 Gripen aircraft had to check the readiness of the ship’s crew. For the Czech pilots, the exercise was an opportunity to train for flying on low altitudes above the sea. 

"For Gripen, the lowest flight limit is 30 meters above the sea. However, since we do not fly at low altitude so often, we chose a safer variant of the minimal flight altitude of 100 meters," one of the participating pilots, Tomáš Merta, said. 

The Czech Air Force Iceland air policing mission ended last week and the pilots had logged a total of 166 flight hours.

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