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The Smart Fighter

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Gripen fighters from both the Czech and the Hungarian Air Forces have been conducting several air policing missions during the last few years. But what is typical for an air policing mission and what happens when the radar picks up an unidentified aircraft? How does an air interception actually work? Watch the video to know about the various stages of an air interception.

​"The big news for the Gripen program is that we are moving into the production phase now. We can see the benefits from the model based design. I think we are the only company that has adopted a model based designing in all disciplines. And now we can say it fits extremely well within the Gripen program," says Ulf Nilsson, Head of business area, Aeronautics at the Dubai Air Show. 

Dubai Air Show is the biggest aerospace event in the Middle East which is held after every two years. It boasts of 1,100 exhibitors from over 60 countries. The event started on 8 November and ended yesterday​.

​A contingent of four Hungarian Gripen fighters is on Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) at the Šiauliai airbase in Lithuania. Since 1st September the Hungarian fighters have been stationed in Lithuania as part of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing Mission. 

On the 8th of November they performed a tango (training) scramble on a Lithuanian Air Force C-27 J Spartan. Along a majority of training scrambles, a dozen alpha (actual) scrambles have been undertaken by the Hungarian Gripen since their deployment in September.

"We have intercepted different types of aircraft already. We intercepted Su-27 Flankers and An-26 transport aircraft, and also some civil aircraft. It’s our job to go up there and see what unknown aircraft near the Baltic States are up to. We follow NATO’s rules of engagement on each intercept,” says Hungarian Gripen pilot Viktor Langó.

Read the full story here.

​Exercise Trident Juncture 2015, NATO’s biggest exercise in a decade, was concluded last week. Personnel from NATO's Allied and partner nations were training together at the exercise to improve their operational readiness and interoperability.   

As a part of this exercise, six Swedish  Air Force Gripen flew with F-16s and F-18s from Finland, Norway, USA and Portugal. Here are a few snapshots from the exercise.

Image Courtesy: Norrbottens Flygflottilj F 21

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Saab has received an order from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) to provide support and maintenance for Gripen during 2016 on behalf of the Swedish Armed Forces. The contract value is SEK154 million.

In 2012 Saab signed a contract with FMV for performance-based support and maintenance of the Gripen fighter. This latest order for services in 2016 is confirmation of an option held under that 2012 contract. The order includes support and maintenance operations with a focus on technical support, publications and component maintenance to support the continued operation of Gripen.

“This order for performance-based support and maintenance guarantees efficient operations and availability for the Gripen fighter over the coming years,” says Jonas Hjelm, Head of Saab´s Business Area Support and Services.

Read the full story here.

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On September 10 this year, Royal Thai Air Force Gripen completed 5000 flying hours, a short four years after they were inducted. The first batch of Gripen fighters for the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) had been delivered in February 2011.

Since then, the Gripen squadron at Wing 7 in Surat Thani has been up in the air a lot and employed at a number of different missions. The key to this quick attainment of the milestone rests as much with the competence of the Royal Thai Air Force personnel as with the high serviceability of the fleet.

RTAF Gripen’s recent deployments include a reconnaissance mission in the Andaman Sea to locate any illegal migrations. RTAF Gripen and Saab 340 Erieye AEW have been a part of this mission since June this year. Further, Thai Gripen pilots are today testing their skills against top guns from other air forces by participating in joint exercises. ​Earlier this year, at the Thai Boomerang exercise, personnel from the Royal Thai Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force tested out interoperability between the Thai and the Australian forces. In March this year, Thai Gripen took part in Exercise Cope Tiger 2015, a trilateral air exercise conducted by Thailand, Singapore and the United States. Five RTAF Gripen participated in the exercise along with about 90 military aircraft and 1200 personnel from the air forces of the three countries.

Read the full story here​.

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In a recent training exercise, SwAF Gripen technicians from air wing F7 practised Gripen aircraft maintenance under field conditions near forests, reports Forsvarsmakten.

“It has been a long time since we conducted a training exercise of this kind,” says Stefan Moback, Planning Officer at the 2nd Aviation Services Company. The last such exercise was held in 2004.

The training took place in a tent near the woods, a couple of kilometers from the Gripen hangars at F 7 Såtenäs. In these tents, maintenance of Gripen fighters can be done like it is done in the original hangar.

The tents are approximately 250 square meters wide and 6 meters high. They are supplied with electricity and heat to provide a good working environment even when it is cold and wet outside. The tents also have special containers which are connected for the safety material and for personnel.

Since the exercise was held after a long time, things were kept simpler and the staff had no pressure in the form of external threats. “We do not practice all of it in the first time,” says Moback. “We will build up the complexity of the exercise in terms of technology and staff, but we should do so after proper planning.”

Read the full story here.

Image courtesy: Forsvarsmakten​

​Saab is participating at full strength during Defense & Security 2015, Asia's most important military event. Saab had an exciting and eventful experience so far with many dignitaries visiting its stall. 

Saab is presenting a series of products covering the air, naval and land. Chief Test Pilot, Richard Ljungberg talked about the Gripen fighter system yesterday at the event, focussing on its combat effectiveness, mission flexibility and lifecycle cost control.

The event ends tomorrow. Have a look at the snapshots.​

dns1_2015.jpgdns2_2015.jpgdns4_2015.jpgChief Test Pilot, Richard Ljungberg with dignitaries 
dns2_2015.jpgVisitors taking pictures of the Gripen fighter

dnssix2015.jpgSaab team at the Defense & Security 2015

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Over 36,000 personnel from over 30 different countries are participating in the Trident Juncture, 2015. The exercise is being held in parts of Spain, Portugal and Italy. NATO and non-NATO members are taking part in the exercise which encompasses land, air and naval domains.

The Swedish Fighter unit comprises of personnel and aircraft from the F21 wing and support from the F17 wing of the SwAF. The Swedish Gripen will fly with F-16s and F-17s from Finland, Norway, USA and Portugal. As a standard, all nations can fly groups of 4 fighters, 2-3 times a day, as part of the exercises. Transport aircraft like the C-130 and C-160, along with Search and Rescue helicopters, paratroopers and air-to-air refueling aircraft are also part of the exercise. 

The exercise focuses on a variety of roles including aerial refueling, air-to ground attack and aerial defence. The Trident Juncture exercises are very similar to the Arctic Challenge that was conducted in Luleå past spring.

Read the full story here​.

Brazil's Air Force Chief, General Nivaldo Luiz Rossato, together with the Swedish Air Force Chief, General Mats Helgesson, recently paid a visit to the Skaraborg Wing (F7) to know more about the Swedish Air Force training and operating system, reports Forsvarsmakten.

The Brazilian Air Force Chief landed at the Air Base in a Saab 340 and was welcomed with an aerial display of F7 Gripen fighters. The aerial display was led by display pilot Peter Fällén.

Colonel Michael Cherinet, Squadron Chief at Skaraborg Wing took General Rossato on a tour of the Wing and gave an overview of the roles and responsibilities of the Squadron. The tour ended with a visit at the Gripen unit where General Rossato got a hang of the pilot training process and also experienced a Gripen simulator .

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Forsvarsmakten

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