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​“The latest version of Gripen has an upgraded air-frame and avionics systems. It is an agile and maneuverable fighter. It is integrated with meteor missile system that gives the aircraft unprecedented capabilities,” said Saab test pilot Hans Einerth during a recent visit to Colombia. He and his colleague Marcus Wandt were in Colombia to take a Gripen seminar for pilots of the Colombian Air Force.

During the seminar, both Saab test pilots talked about the capabilities of the new generation Gripen aircraft. They also talked about what it is like to fly a Gripen. 

For Saab, Latin America is one of the most important market post the Gripen Brazil deal. Saab has had a presence in Colombia’s civil aviation sector since the 1950s.

Next week, Saab will be showcasing its latest range of cutting-edge technologies across land, air and naval domains at the ninth Defexpo India, to be held at Naqueri Quitol in Quepem Taluka of South Goa, India.

Defexpo India will take place between 28th and 31st March 2016. ​Saab will be present at its stand Stand 3.1.3 in Hall 3. Besides Gripen, Saab will also display products like Carl-Gustaf M4, BAMSE, RBS 70NG, 9LV CMS, RBS 15 MK3 and Double eagle SAROV.​

Know more about Saab's participation at the event here.

"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. Next stop: roll out on May 18.

“We do not design Gripen for a specific mission, because if you drive design for one specific mission, you will be stuck in that corner. And that results into some very strong limitations with what can be done with the platform. That is why we have gone for a balanced design for Gripen which allows us to continuously develop the fighter and introduce tailored solutions and new capabilities for our customers to give them what they need in the future,” says Ulf Nilsson, Head of Saab Business Area, Aeronautics at the Saab Annual Gripen Seminar.

On being asked if continued upgrades are cost-effective, Ulf says that they sure can be.

“Continued upgrades and enhancements on Gripen C/D are not expensive. With our new avionics systems, it is like upgrading an app. So, instead of doing it the conservative way, if one has a design solution right from the start, upgrades can be cost effective," he says.

The new avionics system is more of an open architecture system. It gives us a different flexibility. The core of the avionics system is like the operational system in your mobile phone. The tactical systems are more like the apps. So you can integrate a new weapon like an app. This dramatically changes the way an aircraft can be upgraded. 

Watch the seminar online here​.

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Swedish Air Force has confirmed that it would be sending a Gripen fighter to RAF Fairford this summer for the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT).

The first RIAT was held at North Weald Airfield in 1971 and was inspired by two air traffic controllers, Paul Bowen and Tim Prince. At that time, it was only a modest event with a few volunteers. Since then, RIAT has grown into a big event with the participation of more than 250 aircraft every year. Gripen NG demonstrator was first displayed outside Sweden in RIAT 2010. 

RIAT 2016 will be held between 8 and 10 July 2016.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Stefan Kalm

Her job is to make sure that all the boxes in her checklist are ticked before a Gripen aircraft is ready for its next mission. In an interview with Forsvarsmakten, Elin Redmo, maintenance engineer at the 31st Aviation Services Company, talks about her love for Gripen and her daily work.

It was only a few years back when Elin worked as a soldier at the F17 Wing when she saw a Gripen fighter for the first time. “I found the fighter so cool and wanted to see how it worked,” she says.

So, after studying to become a flight technician for one and a half years, Elin has now started working at F 21, Luleå as a maintenance engineer. Next week, she will be at F 16 Uppsala on a rotation. 

“I like it a lot. The work is the same wherever you are but the change of environment gives new experiences,” she says.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Forsvarsmakten​​

​Cope Tiger 2016, a trilateral air exercise conducted by Singapore, Thailand and the United States started last week. This is the 21st Cope Tiger Exercise and it has a participation of about 1,200 personnel from the RTAF, RSAF and USAF.

Cope Tiger 2016 aims at enhancing the defence relationships and interoperability between the participating air forces. The Exercise started on 7 March and ends this Friday.

Here are a few snapshots from the exercise:

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An RTAF Gripen takes off at the Korat Air Base during the Exercise
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Welcoming the F 15 pilots
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Commanders from the three air forces joining hands
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Royal Thai Air Force pilots posing for a picture​

Image Courtesy: RTAF and USAF

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The Czech Republic is negotiating with Hungary to form a joint international air squadron, reports Prague Monitor.

As per the report, a possible cooperation between the two countries would bring savings worth millions of crowns. The negotiations are for joint air policing over Iceland in October this year.

"It would be advantageous as well as logical for both countries. First, they could share costs and second, Hungarians would be able to train to fly in areas where they have not operated yet," says a strategist from the Defence Ministry.

If the two countries reach an agreement, they would together send four Gripen fighters and about 60 personnel to Iceland.

Read the full story here​.

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If you have been waiting for the latest update on the status of the Gripen programme, we have good news for you. The annual Gripen seminar will be held in Stockholm, Sweden, on 17 March 2016. Saab is pleased to invite media, financial analysts and investors to the seminar. 

Ulf Nilsson, head of Saab business area Aeronautics and Richard Smith, head of Gripen marketing and sales will be the main speakers. You can also join live streamed Gripen seminar on

To register or to know more about the seminar, please click here.

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Saab has selected Aras PLM and Minerva as Implementation Partner which means it will support handling of product data related to Gripen fighter.

Aras Corp is an American company that offers Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software for global businesses with complex products and processes. Minerva on the other hand, specializes in the development and implementation of Enterprise solutions in both PLM and ERP.

“Aras will complement our current PLM-landscape here at Business Area Aeronautics,” said Henrik Pettersson, Head of Product Data Support at Saab. “It will be used alongside other applications to support us in handling our product data in a correct and efficient way.”

Read the full story here.

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