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The Ramstein Guard exercise series are conducted by the Combined Air Operations Centres (CAOCs) under the NATO Electronic Warfare Force Integration Program (NEWFIP). This year the program was held from 23 to 27 November in the Czech Republic Airspace. Members of the 25th anti-aircraft missile regiment operated out of the 21st tactical air force base in Caslav. Czech Air Force Gripen aircraft along with L-159 light fighters took part in the base defence exercises which included defence against attacking planes and jamming aircraft.

NEWFIP is the Allied Command Operation’s System training designed to facilitate exercises for the NATO forces in adverse electromagnetic environments. It involves Air, Naval and Land components which are responsible for conducting command & control, communications and electronic warfare. 

Each year about 12 such exercises take place and each Ramstein Guard involves one or several NATO member nations. The focus of the exercise is to maintain command, control and information transfer between NATO integrated Air Defence System (NATINADS) units. It concentrates on employing self-protection measures to overcome simulated interference and tries to maintain tracking operations and coherence among all NATINADS units. 

Read the full story here.

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A Swedish Fighter Unit (consisting of the 211th Fighter Division and the 2nd Airbase Battalion) has passed the NATO evaluation which took place a couple of weeks back, reports Forsvarsmakten.

According to the report, the Swedish Unit was training and preparing for this test throughout autumn.

“I am very happy and proud at the moment. The operation normally takes one and a half years to complete. But we have done it in six months. The team spirit is incredible,” says Carl-Johan Edström, Squadron Manager at F 21.

Countries that form NATO's Reserve Forces have to undergo an evaluation every fourth year to ensure that they are up to NATO standards. The evaluation covers the testing of the component parts and capability regarding flight operations.

Post evaluation, the entire unit has been approved as per the NATO requirements. The Unit is now ready to be deployed within ninety days if necessary.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Forsvarsmakten

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The traditional "Christmas tree” formation flight by Skaraborg Air Wing F7 took place yesterday. The formation of ten Gripen fighters flew over ten cities in West Sweden, bringing a Christmas feeling in the air in a special way. It is a very popular flight formation around Christmas and is also a good opportunity for the pilots to practice formation flying with many aircraft.​

Photo courtesy: Henrik Gebhardt​

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Finland is all set to issue a request for information (RFI)​ to five aircraft manufacturers, including Saab for a replacement for its ageing F-18 Hornets, reports SvD.

Finnish Air Force Commander Kim Jäämeri confirms that Gripen is being considered as a potential aircraft but the decision process may take up to six years. According to the report, Finland plans to have the new fighters in use by the year 2030.

Earlier this year, Jerker Ahlqvist, Saab's vice president for business area aeronautics also confirmed that Gripen has got a good chance in Finland.

"Finland is a very interesting country for us. They have a long process, we know that, but it's also quite encouraging, and we know what we can expect. We're looking to receive a request for information early next year, a request for proposal in 2018 and a contract somewhere around 2020," he said.

Read the full story here.

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Swiss technology company RUAG has announced that it has signed a contract for the series production of payload mountings for the Gripen E/F fighter aircraft, reports Bilan.ch​.

As a part of this contract, RUAG will work on the production of 33 prototypes and 546 series parts.

According to the report, the serial production in which subcontractors will be hired from all over Switzerland, is expected to continue till 2026. The contract is worth more than CHF 80 million in total.

Lennart Sindahl, Deputy CEO at Saab, says, "Gripen's success is built on partnership with world class companies as our single source suppliers on the global market. Following the design phase it is obvious that RUAG is the right partner for this product. Therefore we are very happy to establish this broad and long-term relationship making RUAG a major supplier in the Gripen programme, initially for the Swedish and Brazilian airforces. At the same time, it is a clear signal that Switzerland will be a key market for Saab also in the future."

The first prototypes are scheduled for delivery at the end of 2016.

Read the full story here.

Watch Gripen's breathtaking aerial display at the recently held  Karat Airshow 2015.​

12345490_785373691575048_7622231465958651306_n.jpgToday we salute the first pilot ever to have completed 2000 flight hours on Gripen. Well done and may there be many more Gripen flight hours.​

​Have a look at 211 Squadron's 2016 calendar which has photos of Czech Air Force's Gripen from a decade of service. 

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Image Courtesy: Shop211SQN

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Denel Dynamics has started the production of A-Darter imaging infrared (IIR) short-range air-to-air missile (SRAAM) for the South African Air Force, reports IHS Jane's. The missiles are being produced to arm the SAAF Gripen and the Hawks.

Denel Dynamics won the five-year contract for the production of the A-Darter air-to-air missile in March this year. The missiles have been developed under SAAF’s Project Kamas which commenced in 2011.

The A-Darter is a fifth-generation short-range air-to-air missile to be used during aerial combat with the new generation of fighter aircraft. It features extended range and targeting and countermeasures resistance with a 180° field of view. SRAAM’s solid fuel rocket motor has a low launch signature which makes it difficult to be detected.

According to IHS Jane’s​, Denel Dynamics intends to deliver the first training missiles to the SAAF by September 2016. The operational missiles will be delivered during the year 2017.

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Gripen has the perfect combination of superior operational performance, advanced high-tech solutions, true cost-efficiency and real industrial partnership – all combined in one, complete fighter system. This balanced combination of capabilities makes Gripen totally unique. 

Photo: Christo Crous and Stefan Kalm

Download the calendar here​.

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