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The Smart Fighter

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The next generation Gripen is here. Come May 18, the first Gripen NG will be showcased at Saab’s aeronautical HQ in Linköping. The unveiling will be streamed live on but here is the more interesting part. You also stand a chance to win a trip to Linköping and witness the exclusive Gripen event in person. Here’s how it works:

All you need to do is enter the competition by tagging your favourite Gripen images clicked by you with #Gripenevolution on Instagram on or before 2May. The winner will be drawn from a pool of entries on 2 May itself. 

Among the big prizes to be won is a return ticket with arranged flight from Stockholm to Saab aeronautical HQ in Linköping on 18 May and a press tour during the event along with exclusive photo opportunities. 

For terms and conditions, click here​.

Saab has offered the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Gripen on lease for its requirements. At the recently held Defence Services Asia (DSA) exhibition, Thomas Linden, Head of Saab Malaysia, said "Our basic offer is a lease solution using examples where we have leased the Gripen to the Czech Republic and Hungary. The lease solution for Malaysia would work very similar to a purchase. There is no limit in the operation, you can use any weapons or systems, and we will build a local support solution here in Malaysia with our local partners. This programme is fully endorsed by the Swedish government.” 

Saab has offered to the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) 16 Gripen C/D multirole fighters for its multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) programme

Malaysia is looking to replace its ageing fleet of the Russian MiG-29N ‘Fulcrum-A’ fighters ever since it was originally scheduled for a late 2010 retirement. The Gripen lease programme allows Malaysia to procure the aircraft at a relatively affordable price. 

Linden further added, “When we lease the aircraft, we will guarantee flight hours. So we will say that if you lease this aircraft from us you will get 'X hundred' flight hours per aircraft per year. And if we can't deliver that, it's on us. What we are pricing in the lease are the capital costs that we have with the aircraft and also the support and related solutions.”

Saab has a considerable presence in the Malaysian defence sector. The Malaysian army is using the ...

​Swedish Air Force pilot Philip Von Platen shares his experience of flying Gripen against aircraft like the F-16 and F-18.

Earlier this month, Gripen pilots of the Czech and the Swedish Air Forces went through an air-to-air refuelling training.

The training was held at the F17 Air Wing in south Sweden. For the younger pilots, it was their first air-to-air refuelling experience, but for the more experienced ones, it was an exercise to maintain their skills.

Czech Gripen pilots first came to Sweden to train for air-to-air refuelling in 2011-2012. At that time, Major Jaroslav Tomaňa and Captain Petr Dřevecký of 21 Tactical Air Base in Čáslav became the first pilots in the history of the Czech Air Force to perform air-to-air refuelling.

Air-to-air refuelling capability is important as it enables aircraft to be quickly deployed for missions far from their service distance. The Czech Republic is a NATO member and air-to-air refuelling capability will facilitate joint exercises within the framework of NATO operations.

The Czech Air Force had sent three Gripen fighters and 16 personnel which included four Gripen pilots for this training.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Forsvarsmakten​

Saab has offered transfer of technology to local industry in Indonesia if the country selects Gripen. Saab said it was committed to transfer technological know-how if Indonesia chose Gripen. Saab is offering, along with Gripen, a complete air defence system. This includes Erieye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) for maritime surveillance and control, tactical data link for sharing data across platforms and ground based command and control. 

“We are absolutely prepared to work with the local industry... so we can support the end-user and work with the local defense industry in the country,” Dan-Ake Enstedt, Head of Saab Asia Pacific, said in an interview to Jakarta Globe. Saab believes that a lot of jobs can be created through strong industrial cooperation that includes transfer of technology and local production. “For us, it is important to build competence with the local people in the country. We are creating a lot of jobs with our concept, and this is something our competitor does not do. Those are a few things that make our proposal unique," Enstedt said.

"I think we have a unique strategy. We don't work with 'black boxes,' we really walk the talk," said Enstedt, adding that Saab was ready to partner with local aircraft manufacturer Dirgantara Indonesia.

Under Indonesian law, at least a 30 per cent direct offset is mandatory. Saab has a proven track record of successful industrial cooperation programmes, Brazil being the latest example.

According to Enstedt, Saab's winning advantage is a guaranteed delivery time of ...

Czech Defence Minister Martin Stropnický recently visited the Gripen manufacturing unit at Linköping during a two-day visit.

Stropnický and his delegates met Sweden's Minister of Defence, Peter Hultqvist, who talked about the threat of Russian military reconnaissance flights over the Baltic Sea, which could threaten and endanger civilian air traffic.

With the Czech Air Force leasing 14 Swedish Gripen fighters for the last 12 years, both countries are important partners in the field of defence cooperation. Currently, the Czech Republic is also negotiating to acquire Swedish 3D MADR (Mobile Air Defence Radar).

"Cooperation between our two air forces is of primary importance and sits very high on our agenda, considering we both use Gripen aircraft," Stropnický said.

When the Czech delegation visited the Gripen plant at Linköping, they were shown the latest upgrades for Gripen C/D fighters along with other systems. These upgrades have been designed keeping in mind the changing warfare scenarios around the world.

In December last year, the Swedish Defence and Security Export Agency (FXM) signed a contract worth SEK 120 million to upgrade the Czech Gripen fighters. The contract, which includes weapons pylons, software, and training, would enhance Czech Gripen's ground attack capabilities.  

Read the full story here.

“The Gripen system has what it takes to defend Malaysia's skies. And the reasons lie in the fact that the Gripen fighter combines advanced technology and operational effectiveness in an affordable package that no other fighter aircraft can even hope to match”, says Thomas Linden, Vice-President, Saab Malaysia. 

Malaysia has been planning to replace its ageing MiG-29 fighters for a long time now and as per the latest updates, it aims to close a deal in the next 3-4 years. Saab has presented a direct-buy-offer as well as an interim lease solution to the Royal Malaysian Air Force.

According to Thomas Linden, Gripen is an ideal aircraft for Malaysia. “The Royal Malaysian Air Force has multiple roles in defending its airspace, policing borders, tracking and countering terrorism, piracy and dealing with new emerging threats. The RMAF seeks an aircraft with high availability, superior capability and a comprehensive multi-role ability. Gripen is that aircraft,” he says.

“As the experience of the Royal Thai Air Force has shown, Gripen is ideal for countries in this region. It is at the cutting edge of technology, a true national asset that will remain effective and affordable throughout its entire operational lifetime. Saab is the perfect partner for the Royal Malaysian Air Force. We have a proven, unrivalled track record of delivering industrial co-operation programmes that are tailor-made to customers’ strategic priorities.”

For Saab, Malaysia is an important market and last year, the defence & security company opened an office in Kuala Lumpur as ...

​Last month, Hungary marked 10 years of Gripen operations. With these pictures, the Airbase Blog brings together some of the memorable moments of the initial days of the Hungarian Gripen's journey.

On-board were four Hungarian and three Swedish pilots.

hungarian gripen_2_april2016.jpgThe first five Gripen fighters were formally handed over to Hungary on 30th March 2006.
hungarian gripen_april 2016.jpg

Hungarian Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Gabor Toth, after landing at the Kecskemet Air Base.

Image Courtesy: Airbase Blog

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Over the year, Saab will present eight more episodes of the “True Collaboration” web series. More than 350 Brazilian professionals from partner companies, together with their families, will live and work in Sweden for up to two years to take part in theoretical and on-the-job training, before they return to Brazil to apply and multiply their new knowledge and skills. Each episode will be around a different aspect of the experiences of these Brazilian engineers and their families.

This series tells the story of five of these pioneers.

The first episode talked about the expectations of the engineers moving to Sweden as part of the Gripen NG programme and what it was like leaving their country. The second episode ‘Arriving in Sweden’ which would air on YouTube on May 9, will give a glimpse of the families adapting to a new lifestyle in Sweden and getting accustomed to Swedish culture, habits and traditions.

Episode three, ‘Training and Learning in Saab’, will focus on how the Brazilian engineers are learning the theoretical aspects in the classroom and putting them into practice in the Saab facilities. This episode airs on June 6.

The next two episodes would feature Douglas Costa (Propulsion System) of Embraer and Antonio Fontoura (Hardware and Software) from Ael. Episodes six, seven and eight would feature experiences of Embraer’s Guilherme Lariu (Structural Calculation), Viviam Takase (Aeronautics Systems) and Delmar Bacarin (Electro-Electronics) respectively. These five episodes will be available on YouTube between 4 July 2016 and 10 October 2016. 

The last episode will ...

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Sweden just adapted its old Cold War strategy, in which a fighter aircraft can be operated from regular roads instead of fully-fledged runways to suit modern day scenarios. The F21 Wing calls it “a new concept” which was tested at the Vidsel Airbase recently. The testing saw a Gripen serviced, re-armed and re-fuelled by six personnel, using only two modified support vans and a fuel truck. The Gripen pilot and the six aircraft technicians operated entirely on their own. Having aircraft dispersed over a larger area increases the survivability of the Armed Forces in times of war, making it harder for the enemy to hit.

As a report in Forsvarsmakten says, it takes team effort to raise military capabilities in war units. This new concept pushes the team to work together to achieve high availability with the resources at disposal. According to Forsvarsmakten, years ago, such exercises were conducted regularly. However, it has not been practiced for many years and now is the time to develop the skill again.

In the months to come, there will be more tests like this at Vidsel and Luleå-Kallax and at Jokkmokk. ​

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Forsvarsmakten

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