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The  Hungarian Air Contingent has arrived at the Šiauliai Air Base with four Gripen fighter aircraft.

The ceremony for the 39th rotation of the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission took place on the 31 August at the Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania. Military personnel from Lithuania, Estonia, Hungary, Norway and Italy were present at the ceremony where Lt. Col. TamásFekete, commander of the Hungarian contingent, was handed the symbolic key to the Baltic air space by Lt. Col. Ivan Anderson of the Norwegian Air Force and Col. Vito Cracas of the Italian Air Force. 

“The Hungarian soldiers are determined, highly skilled and fully prepared to fulfill the Baltic Air Policing mission,” said Lt. Col. Fekete. “The goal of the Hungarian Detachment is to continue the excellent job of our allies, and to do our best to keep the safe and peaceful environment for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.”

The Hungarian detachment consists of over 90 troops and 4 Gripen aircraft. Hungary is the 16th ally nation to take up this mission which started back in 2004. This is the first time that Hungary is undertaking this mission with backup from the German air force situated at the Ämari air base in Estonia. 

The 39th rotation of the Baltic Air Policing commenced on the 1 September and will last till the end of the year. 

Read the full story here​.


Fighter acquisitions are not just about the fighter itself  – major contracts involve extensive financial packages. Gripen, of course, comes in a package offering unrivalled industrial cooperation and technology transfer.

To download the calendar, click here​.

​Eight Czech Gripen pilots are back to their home base after a successful completion of the Iceland air policing task. Over 70 training flights were conducted as a part of this mission.

The Gripen fighters were accompanied by an Italian KC-767 tanker on their 3.5 hour flight to the home base. It was almost a month long mission that started in the last week of July.

One of the fighters on its way to the Keflavik international airport

Transport Aircraft A-319CJ AIRBUS at Keflavik international airport

Czech contingent ready to receive the Minister of Defence Martin Stropnický

Czech Air Force Commander, Colonel Martin Nezbeda reports to the Minister of Defence
At the end of the mission, Czech Defense Minister Martin Stropnický went to meet the participating Czech contingent. The Minister said that the Gripen fighters not only patrolled the land but also the strip of sea around. He added that since Russian activities were rather alarming earlier this year, patrolling was all the more crucial. 

Defense-Aerospace quoted Stropnický saying, “For us, it was also a training and testing of our pilots in a different environment, in different conditions over the sea.” 

During the mission, the goal of the participating Czech personnel was to provide airborne surveillance and interception capabilities to meet Iceland’s peacetime preparedness needs. The mission is usually of three to four weeks, conducted three times a year. Besides aerial surveillance, the deployed aircraft are also used to train NATO and Icelandic support personnel so that the Alliance is ready ...

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This weekend Saab and Gripen will participate at the Slovak International Air Fest 2015 at Sliač air base, Slovakia. Visitors will have a chance to experience different Saab simulators in the Saab Experience Hangar, including the Gripen simulator. A Gripen full scale replica will also be on site where visitors can sit in the cockpit. On both Saturday and Sunday, Gripen will show its greatness in the air with a breathtaking air display.  

“SIAF is one of the largest air shows in the region and we are happy to be general partner of such a great event for the fifth time in a row. Slovakia is an important market for Saab. We believe that the Gripen is an excellent solution for the region,” says Daniel Boestad, Head of Gripen, Central and Eastern Europe.​

​Thai Boomerang, an exercise in which personnel from the Royal Thai Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force participated, came to an end on 14 August. Participating aircraft included Gripen from Wing 7. One of the main objectives of the exercise was to improve the interoperability between the Thai and the Australian forces.​ Here are a few snapshots from the exercise:

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thai boomerang2015_3.jpgThai Boomerang2015_4.jpg

Image Courtesy: RTAF and RAAF

On 5 and 6 September 2015, a full scale model of Gripen NG will be on exhibition at an event called 'Open Gates' at the Air base of Anápolis, Brazil.

The full scale Gripen NG model was presented to the Brazilian public for the first time ever at LAAD Defense Exhibition in Rio de Janeiro earlier this year. 

After LAAD, the model was sent to Santa Cruz Air Force Base in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to participate in the celebration of 70 years of the Fighter Aviation Day. Following this event, the model has been on display at various exhibitions in Brazil for the general public.

Know more about the event here​.​

Hungarian Gripen in the air. Photo Victor Veres.jpg
Hungarian Air Force has sent four Gripen fighters to guard Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The four aircraft are based at Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania. The four months long mission started yesterday.

To honour the participating Hungarian contingent, a ceremony was held at the Kecskemet Air Base recently. Addressing the visitors at the ceremony, Hungarian Defence Minister Csaba Hende said, “The Baltic air space has become the most problematic in Europe and perhaps within NATO as a whole.” The Defence Minister was talking about the international tension kindled by the Ukrainian crisis.

The number of air intercepts over the Baltic has grown in the recent past. According to an earlier report in IHS Jane’s, NATO has launched more than 250 scrambles against Russian aircraft so far this year over Europe, out of which 120 have taken place over the Baltic region.

The Hungarian Air Force had participated in last year’s Baltic Air Policing Mission as well, with four Gripen fighters and around 90 support personnel.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Victor Veres

It can be an old picture of Gripen that you took at an airshow. Or it could be a new picture of Gripen that you clicked this summer. If it is a picture you are so proud of, we suggest you participate in our Gripen Photo Competition and your photo could feature in the next exclusive Gripen calendar for 2016.

So, first of all, you have to follow @saab on Instagram. After that you simply need to share your Gripen picture and tag it with #Gripenphotocompetition.

If you want to know more about the competition, click here​.

And don't forget, the last date to enter the competition is 7 September 2015. So there is not much time to lose. Share your extraordinary Gripen moment now.

​Recently, Hungarian Gripen pilots performed their first air-to-air refueling.

“We were not trained for air-to-air refueling, but this week, with the assistance of Swedish instructors and an American KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft, we trained to do it. We followed NATO rules for this process,” says Hungarian Captain Viktor Lango.

To complete this training, the Hungarian Gripen pilots had to first learn about the theoretical part of it in the classroom, followed by the actual aerial refueling with the help of Swedish instructors. 

Two Hungarian pilots are now qualified flying instructors. They, in turn, will train their colleagues to conduct aerial refueling.

​Hungarian Air Force Gripen pilots recently practiced four days of night flying at the Kecskemét Air Base. Night flying is very important. It helps pilots hone their flying capabilities; they use night vision goggles and train to perform various operations in darkness. Air Base Blog​ brings some snapshots.

Parking at the J zone


The golden hour

One of the eight wheeled motor vehicles carrying fuel tankers

Engineers at work

All set for the night flying

Gripen flight just before it gets too dark

And it gets too dark. The lights appear brighter though the rest of the plane is less visible now

Image Courtesy: Air Base Blog

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