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The Smart Fighter

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"We are pushing two generations ahead. Gripen has a strong market position, and development of the new 'E' variant is progressing in line with time and budget estimates," says Ulf Nilsson, Saab's head of aeronautics at Saab's annual Gripen seminar. For Sweden's order of 60 planes, a first test aircraft will soon be ready. Saab's incremental platform development methods result in shorter lead times to customers, he says.

As per the latest update at the Seminar, the Brazil programme is at full speed ahead. 50 Brazilian engineers who have arrived in Linkoping are now an integrated part of the Gripen program.

Ulf also talked about why Saab believes in true technology transfer. “Why do we want to share our technology? While our competitors see technology sharing as a risk, we see it as an opportunity. This is the way to grow forward and gain new partners. To achieve sustainability in the transfer of technology program, we have to build technology around the program. It’s a strategic decision for Saab and Sweden,” he says.

Unveiled during the Gripen Annual Seminar, this video shows some behind-the-scene highlights from the first next generation Gripen test aircraft in production. 

“The partnership with Saab will be more than Gripen. It would be a natural step to jointly develop a new product, a successor to the Gripen,” said Jackson Schneider, president and CEO, Embraer.

“We will inaugurate our plant in August-September. It will be our base for cooperation with Saab, and that's where we will adapt the Gripen aircraft for our Air Force’s needs and develop the two-seater version of Gripen NG,” he added.

According to Schneider, Gripen is the perfect plane for Latin America. 

Schneider said that the Gripen programme is important for Brazil because it is an important step in boosting an already large aerospace and defence industry.

“But it is still Saab in Sweden that will deliver most of the Gripen NG fighters and by 2019, both the Swedish and the Brazilian Air Force will get their first Swedish-built Gripen E,” he maintains.

Read the full story here.

Swedish Air Force Gripen has now been integrated with the MBDA Meteor air-to-air missile (AAM), reports UPI.

“After extensive testing by FMV and the Gripen Operational Test and Evaluation unit, all of the new MS20 functions including the Meteor missile are now fully integrated with Gripen. The Swedish Air Force is now in its Initial Operational Capability phase with the Meteor. The Meteor missile is currently the most lethal radar-guided missile in operational service, and the Swedish Air Force is the only operational user so far. I am very proud and satisfied to have the Meteor in the inventory of my air force” said Major General Mats Helgesson, Chief-of-Staff of the Swedish Air Forces.

This missile can shoot down airborne threats launched from a distance of more than 100km. Its unique solid-fuel throttleable ducted rocket, also known as a ramjet, allows the missile to maintain very high speed all the way to the target, giving increased stand-off and disengagement ranges and greater ability to chase and destroy highly agile moving targets.

As per Saab, BVRAAM’s unrivalled no-escape-zone (three times greater than any current BVR missile) will dominate the future air-to-air battlespace, giving a decisive capability to Gripen and its pilots.

The missile has been jointly developed by Sweden, France, Italy, Spain, Germany and Great Britain.

"Combined with the IRIS-T heat-seeking missile, we have the best air-to-air weaponry you can find in the world," said Major General Helgesson.

Read the full story here.

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For its next Iceland mission, Czech Gripen fighters would be armed with AMRAAM (air-to-air) missiles. It will be the first time when Czech Air Force pilots would get an opportunity to train with AMRAAM outside the country.

“For pilots, this will be a new experience and opportunity to train outside the Czech territory," says Czech Defence Minister Martin Stropnický.

The participating contingent includes 70 personnel and four Gripen fighters. Most of these personnel are the ones who have not participated in the Iceland mission in 2014 and 2015. Currently, these 70 men and women are undergoing training e.g. SERE (survival, evasion, resistance and extraction) training. The first group will leave for Iceland in September.

"Air Policing mission type is among the main tasks of the Army of the Czech Republic in the framework of our activities in this year's foreign operations. We strive to expand the range of deployability of our Air Force," said Chief of General Staff, Czech Armed Forces, Joseph Bečvář.

Meanwhile in Sweden, the Swedish Air Force and FMV successfully integrated the MBDA Meteor BVRAAM missile last week. The integration was a part of the MS20 upgrade which delivers a host of new capability options for air-to-air, air-to-surface and ISTAR missions plus many improved mission systems and other changes.

Read the full story here​.

In the 11 years in service, Czech Air Force Gripen have clocked in over 21,300 flight hours. 

"We have operated the fleet without serious defects or even air accidents. Common technical defects related to the planes' operation are comparable with those appearing in the other types of planes," says David Kudrna, Chief Engineer of the Military Air Base in Caslav.

In the last 11 years, the country has used Gripen in the most versatile manner. The Czech Gripen fighters have been successfully deployed in four NATO missions - airspace protection of Baltic countries and Iceland. The aircraft are also sent to participate in exercises like Lion Effort, NEW FIP and Ramstein Guard NATO.

The Czech Gripen fighters will soon get an upgrade which includes ground attack capabilities, and an improved CBRN system that allows Gripen to stay operational and effective in the event of a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attack.

The Czech Republic first signed a contract for leasing Gripen C/D fighters in 2004. The contract was renewed again in 2014 as per which the Czech Air Force will use Gripen fighters until 2027.

One of the main reasons why Gripen was selected by the Czech Republic is that it was fully NATO compatible and interoperable. The aircraft supported all NATO priorities for standardization of doctrines and procedures, including NATO standard datalink communications plus an air-to-air refueling system.

Read the full story here.

​What do we need to build a perfect fighter? And would that fighter stay perfect for tomorrow as well?

At the Farnborough International Airshow 2016, Saab test pilot Marcus Wandt tells how Gripen is the perfect fighter, today and tomorrow.​

Capt Peter Fällén from the Swedish Air Force performed his award winning flying display at the Farnborough International Airshow. The weeklong Airshow is being held in the UK.​

Gripen C_140616.jpg
With a new weapons system, enhanced protection for the pilot and longer service intervals, MS20 gives a real boost to the entire Gripen platform.

The Gripen design allows Saab to constantly upgrade the system and tailor solutions. Let’s take a closer look at the latest operational upgrade and combat enhancement for the Gripen fighter.

The new MS20 capability enhancement for Gripen C/D involves a whole series of improvements and new functionality, both in terms of the aircraft itself and the ancillary support and training systems.

“MS20 is part of the continuous upgrades to the Gripen Materiel System (MS) that we undertake to meet changes in the challenges faced by our customers. The Swedish Armed Forces have generally had their Gripen aircraft upgraded every three or four years, with minor updates in between,” explains Hans Pettersson who is a contract manager at Saab.

The upgrade is now being offered to international customers which are flying a C or D version of Gripen, and the Czech Republic has already signed up for it. In addition to a basic package, each customer can customise their order with optional upgrades depending on their specific national requirements.

“MS20 is designed as a basic package with a number of optional add-ons to allow it to be customised. Our long-term design work, which is based on an evolutionary approach, means that we do not develop separate tracks, but carry out gradual functional enhancements that we can then base our customisations on. It’s cost-effective for our customers,” says ...


​Between 11 and 17 July, Saab will present Gripen at the Farnborough International Airshow.

This year, Saab breaks new ground in meeting with its customers, industry colleagues and friends from around the world with the launch of the Saab Experience. Besides Gripen, visitors can get to know Saab's products like airborne surveillance, ISR, air defence and radar, digital air traffic management, air support and commercial aerospace technology inside the Saab experience.

During the airshow, Saab Test Pilot Marcus Wandt will talk about how to build the perfect fighter. Saab Gripen Programme Update has been scheduled on 12 July, Tuesday at 10:00 am. ​

Know more about Saab's participation at Farnborough​ International Airshow 2016 here.

​You have never experienced Gripen like this before. If you are ready to fly, download our new game - Gripen Fighter Challenge. 

The missions you can select include "Take To The Skies", "Arctic Recon", "Dam Circuit" and "Show of Force". These missions will test your aero savviness, in terms of reflexes, concentration, and execution of flight patterns.

You can download the game on Google Play and App Store.​

Link to downloading the game is here and here​.

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