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The Smart Fighter

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Saab and Boeing are working in collaboration to develop a trainer aircraft for the USAF. Saab has been working on this project for a couple of years with a team both in St Louis and in Linköping and Saab CEO, Håkan Buskhe has complete confidence in their entry into the T-X competition. 

Along with the T-X trainer, Saab is working on the development of the new generation of Gripen fighters and there will also be a two-seater variant of the Gripen NG. 

"We really have not been doing so many aircraft types since the 50s," Buskhe says.

On being asked about new markets for Gripen, Buskhe says that there are many possibilities but he cannot say much. Swedish Air Force had earlier announced that it cannot lend any more Gripen C/D. Buskhe says that Saab can still export Gripen C/D variant adding that it is possible to supply new C/D fighters in 18 months. 

Read the full story here.​

The Saab 105, Viggen, Draken, and Tunnan fighters, Saab’s classic military jets, joined the Czech Air Force Gripen in a fly by at the Ostrava’s NATO Days and Czech Air Force event this year. The classic jets were operated by the Swedish Air Force Historic Flight. “It was wonderful to see Gripen join the Swedish Air Force Historic Flight in Czech skies,” said Daniel Boestad, head of Gripen for Central and Eastern Europe.

Video courtesy: Jagello2000

Thai Gripen_1.jpg

The Royal Thai Air Force and the Royal Thai Navy successfully linked data systems between a surveillance-early warning aircraft equipped with Erieye radar system and Gripen fighter and HTMS Naresuan this year, reports ASTV Manager Online.

This was the first time that the Royal Thai Air Force and the Royal Thai Navy worked with integrated radar signals using technology from Saab.

According to the report, the linked data systems will integrate usage of modern equipment, which will help increase the tactical capacity of both military forces to coordinate operations with improved efficiency.

As per the Royal Thai Navy, once the implementation is done, there will be an integration of radar signals from both types of radar from both military forces. This will improve target detection, information sharing and joint attacks.

The “Data link” system between surveillance-early warning aircraft Saab 340 AEW&C and Gripen and frigate HTMS Naresuan will let airborne fighting units and sea fighting units share tactical information with each other. They will now “see each other” and “see the target together” which is very useful for a successful mission, the report concludes.

Read the full story here.​​

rtafgripen_5000hours1.jpgOne of the twelve RTAF Gripen in front of the logo designed for the 5000 flight hours ceremony

rtafgripen_5000hours2.jpgThe RTAF Gripen pilots at Wing 7 making a symbolic gesture to celebrate the 5000 flight hours

rtafgripen_5000hours4.jpgRTAF personnel and delegates with Gripen in the background​

The first batch of Gripen fighters for the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) was delivered in February 2011. Since then, the Gripensquadronat Wing 7 in Surat Thani has been up in the air a lot and employed at a number of different missions.In September this year, a great milestone was reached when they passed 5000 flight hours with their twelve Gripen. It is an achievement made possible by a combination of many factors. 

“I’m proud of our personnel competency and very satisfied with the jets. Our personnel at the squadron, both pilots and technicians, have contributed a lot to make this happen. The fact that everyone is still new to the system means that we have to stop operating and spend some time for education as well. Another important factor is of course the aircraft availability to fly every day. Ever since we received the jets, we have been able to maintain a high serviceability of the fleet. Personally, I think we could have been flying even more than this but we have to keep the hours within the service contract,” says Group Captain Chareon Watanasrimongkol, Chief of Staff Wing 7.

The 5000 hour milestone was celebrated on September 10 with ...

Gripen-NG_[Photo-creditFAB_Paulo_Rezende][].jpgThis is a step closer to the Brazilian skies. This year, the Brazilian Gripen NG partnership entered into its next phase as the contact became effective. ​

On 27 October 2014 Saab announced the conclusion of a contract with the Brazilian Federal Government for the development and production of 36 Gripen NG aircraft. The contract has now come into effect as all required conditions have been fulfilled. On 10 September this year, the order value of approximately SEK39.3 billion was booked by Saab as order intake. Gripen NG deliveries to the Brazilian Air Force will be undertaken from 2019 to 2024

The associated industrial co-operation contract (including technology transfer to Brazilian industries), which was signed in October 2014, also comes into effect today.

“Through the Gripen NG programme, we continue to build on the industrial relations between Brazil and Sweden. I am confident that this important programme will serve as a platform for new business and contribute to the growth of both the Brazilian and Swedish industry,” says Marcus Wallenberg, Chairman of Saab’s Board of Directors.

“This important milestone marks the formal start to the Brazilian Gripen NG programme. We will now work full speed ahead to ensure timely deliveries of Gripen NG to Brazil. Our partnership with Brazilian industry strengthens Saab’s position in Latin America and supports our strategy for growth through industrial co-operation,” says Håkan Buskhe, President and CEO of Saab.

Read more here.

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.

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