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The Smart Fighter

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gripen eye in the sky.jpgFinding information is not enough. Sharing it at the right time, with the right people and using it effectively is very crucial.  Hence, every Gripen unit is designed to be net centric. There is high-end sensor suite and a strong focus on data links for sharing information within the Gripen Tactical unit.

Talking of net centric warfare capabilities, Gripen has Link 16 which is used for battle space control in large NATO-led operations, as well as digital CAS and video link for cooperation with Forward Air Controllers on the ground.

Saab had recognized the importance of a linked flow of secure electronic combat data long back in fact. Saab’s J 35 Draken was equipped with one of the world’s first operational datalink systems. The practice continued with the addition of more powerful datalink capabilities to Draken and Viggen and of course Gripen now.

Link 16 gives wide-area command and control (C2) and ensures effective exchange of surveillance data, EW data, mission tasking, weapons assignments and control data. It takes Gripen's interoperability capabilities to an altogether new level, giving operators a wider choice of networked systems to meet their national and international needs.

Know more about Gripen features here​.

Håkan Buskhe interacts with Indian media_compressed.jpg

Håkan Buskhe_compressed.jpg 
At a interaction with the media, Håkan Buskhe, President & CEO, Saab AB, Saab offered to manufacture the fighter under the ‘Make in India’ program.  Saab says that making the Gripen in India would involve true aerospace capabilities and complete transfer of technology. 

Saab is not only offering Gripen but is also offering to help in the development of aerospace capabilities for the next 100 years, Country Head and Chairman Jan Widerstrom said. Ulf Nilsson, Head of Saab’s Aeronautics division, further emphasized on the point that the transfer of technology would be real as it offers full system control and full software control to India. 

Saab India Technology Centre in Hyderabad is an example of Saab’s engagement with the society as it trains Indian engineers for the defence industry and focuses on R&D in the defence, aerospace and civil security sectors.​

Since 1st September the Hungarian fighters have been stationed at the Siauliai Air base in Lithuania as part of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing Mission. During this rotation of the Baltic Air Policing mission the Hungarian Gripen conducted several tango (training) scrambles and over a dozen alpha (actual) scrambles. The Hungarian Gripen were assisted by the German Eurfighters stationed out of the Ämari Air base in Estonia. The video shows the experience of the Hungarian contingent during the mission.

The next rotation of the Baltic Air Policing mission will start from the first of January and the Hungarian and German contingents will pass on the reigns to contingents from Belgium and Spain.​

Here are some more images from the recent "Christmas Tree" formation flight of the Gripen fighters from the Skaraborg Air Wing F7.


Czech Gripen fighters are expected to be upgraded with ground strike capabilities by the end of 2018 under a new contract, reports​.

Currently, ground attack capabilities for the Czech Air Force are limited to the L-150 ALCA. In a recently held seminar, General Stefanik of the Czech Air Force highlighted the need to equip Gripen with the advanced capabilities and said, “It is very important for the Czech Gripen fighters to have air-to-ground capabilities. The possibility of using the aircraft will be expanded by more than 50% for a relatively small cost in comparison to the price of the whole contract.”

Under the new contract, Gripen will also be equipped with night vision, communication systems, L-16 or sighting and reconnaissance container LDP. These new additions will allow full-fledged deployment of Gripen during international operations.

Read the full story here.

bap2-29 (1).jpgPresident of Hungary, János Áder recently paid a visit to Lithuania where he met with the Hungarian Gripen pilots who had participated in the Baltic Air Policing mission. He was very happy with the way the Hungarian contingent conducted this exercise.

"There is no better proof of their success in the Baltic Air Policing than the fact that they will be back for a four months mission again in 2019," he said.

János Áder, who was accompanied by Hungary's Minister of Defence István Simicskó, also talked about security issues and said that both Lithuania and Hungary face similar challenges.

This event was followed by a press conference in which Dalia Grybauskaitė, the President of Lithuania also praised the Hungarian delegation saying they had done a fantastic job in the Baltic airspace protection.

In May 2019, Hungarian Gripen pilots will go to Lithuania again for another four months mission.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Airbase Blog ​

Saab now can deliver technician training for both the Gripen fighter and SK60 trainer. The training is now underway at Ljungbyhed and Linköping in Sweden.

Saab has extensive experience in training technicians for civilian aircraft in accordance with civilian aviation regulations. These operations are now being expanded to include military technician training, which was previously conducted only by the Swedish armed forces (in Halmstad, Sweden). Saab has become a certified training organisation according to the Sweden’s Rules for Military Aviation (RML), and has established a dedicated training organisation within its business area Support and Services. The training of technicians for the Gripen and SK60 will be available for both Swedish and export market needs.

Read the full story here.

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.

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

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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