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​ACE 15, the two weeks long exercise in which pilots from Sweden, Finland and Norway participated, got over last week. Have a look at some more images from the multinational exercise:

Image Courtesy: Norrbottens Flygflottilj F 21, Louise Levin/Försvarsmakten

​Gripen performed a spectacular aerial display at the recent Finnish event, Turku Airshow 2015.

Turku Airshow, organized by Turku Flying Club with support from Finnish Air Force and Finnish Aeronautical Association, is one of the most important aviation events in Finland. 

Turku Airshow was held on 6 and 7 June. 

Air Show 2015, the year’s largest military air show in Sweden, will be held on 4 July and on display will be capabilities of the Swedish Air Force and how they contribute to the overall ability of the Swedish Armed Forces. The Air Show will be hosted by the Skaraborg Wing F-7.

Visitors will get to see aircraft both on static and spectacular air displays. Gripen air displays planned would include aerial refueling as well. Besides Gripen, L-159 Alca (Czech Air Force), F-18 Hornet (Finnish Air Force), AJS 37 Viggen and J 29 Tunnan will take part in air displays.

It will be a great opportunity for visitors to know the Swedish Armed Force as there would not just be aircraft on display, personnel on ground including aeronautical engineers, pilots, ground controllers, airbase safety officers and soldiers will be present to answer questions on anything; from basic military training to life as a soldier. 

Also, there will be a ‘Future Section’ in which Saab will showcase future products. For more information on the Air Show, click here.

A full scale model of Gripen NG was on public display at an exhibition at the Ministries Esplanade in Brazil until 14 June, reports

The full scale model is made of fiberglass, wood and metal. The panel can be connected to view some of the multi-tasking capabilities of the new generation aircraft. As per a report in​, there are 14 tons of equipment in total and the model takes two days to get assembled.  

"It is a puzzle where all the pieces have a very specific place. If the sequence is not correct, nothing will fit, "says engineer Divaldo Soares.

Training of the test pilot students of today is as complex as it gets. The warfare scenarios are advanced and hence the ability to face them requires hands on training on an aircraft that is equally advanced, integrated with latest technology and gives an unsurpassed performance experience.

During the last sixteen years, Gripen has proved to be a reliable training platform for more than 100 Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS) Instructor Pilots and test pilot students from around the world. The inclusion of Gripen in their training programme allows the Pilot School to teach systems integration more effectively and on the newest platforms.

Saab provides ETPS with Gripen aircraft, supervisory pilots, logistics, ground support and facilities along with additional Saab SK 60 aircraft which act as radar targets during live training. Flight operations are undertaken from Saab’s facility in Linköping using two to three Gripen fighters. All instructors have to go through a 9 G-test to qualify for Gripen.

The first contract between ETPS and Saab was signed in 1999, followed by many training campaigns. In 2006, Saab signed a new agreement with ETPS which involved an increased number of students, increased number of flights per student, the training of a third ETPS Instructor Pilot (IP) and the inclusion of Flight Test Engineer students within a refined syllabus.

In 2011, Saab and ETPS agreed on a five-week training campaign to be conducted each year. Last year, ETPS and Saab signed a new, multi-year framework agreement for the provision and use ...

Between complex missions, peace keeping exercises and radio and radar interferences, participants of the ACE15 also successfully practiced aerial refueling.

“We can refuel two planes at a time. The amount of fuel depends on the kind of missions and the availability of an extra tanker in the plane,” says Commander Per Carl Malm from the Skaraborg Wing.

The commander adds that the Swedish Air Force has the capability of aerial refueling for the last ten years now. Hence it is almost a routine exercise for the Swedish crew, but it is a great exercise nonetheless where one gets to see the whole refueling process and practice a set of complex steps.

ACE 15, in which fighter aircraft from Sweden, Finland and Norway participated, was held between 25 May and 5 June. In total, 1451 flights were conducted over Sweden, Norway and Finland as a part of this exercise. 

The next Arctic Challenge Exercise will be held in 2017.

Read the full story: En flygande tankstation

In a Forsvarsmakten blog post, some of 212th fighter division's youngest members, Robert Andree and Christopher share their views and experiences of participating in the Arctic Challenge Exercise 2015.

Before ACE 15, these pilots participated in AFM 15 (Arctic Fighter Meet) where they focused on air combat maneuvering against fighters other than Gripen. At ACE 15, the missions were different. The exercise scenario at ACE 15 revolved around an international peace-management operation under the UN mandate.

For the young Swedish pilots, ACE 15 was the first major international exercise in which they participated. “This was our first major exercise and despite extensive preparations, it felt like we were thrown into an incredibly complex system where each part had to simply work,” they said.

The pilots added that every day at ACE 15 was a new experience and they worked long hours and flew complex missions. A lot of time was spent on preparations, briefings and evaluations. “Besides all the professional collaborations and missions and evaluations, it was a very useful experience to meet and discuss with the pilots and other personnel from different countries. For us, this exercise was a major step forward in our professional development. It was a challenging exercise, but  at the same time, it was great fun to be a part of it,” the pilots said.

Read the full story: Första veckan av ACE 15

Image Courtesy: Forsvarsmakten​

"We have brought enough material focusing on the operational part and we really hope to employ the aircraft at its full capacity," says Captain Ramón Fórneas, one of the first two FAB pilots who have been trained to fly Gripen.

Captain Gustavo de Oliveira Pascatto, São Bernardo do Campo (SC), and Captain Ramon Santos Fórneas Lincoln, Ipatinga (MG) were in Sweden between November 2014 and April 2015, during which they learnt all about the Gripen system.

Both FAB pilots had to attend various lectures and practice for hours on Gripen simulator. They flew several missions, both with and without instructors. Their goal was to master the Gripen system and pass on the know-how to their fellow FAB pilots.

Captain Pascatto says that the experience gained from their shifts at the island of Gotland, in the extreme east of Sweden, near the Baltic Sea, was very crucial.

"It is an extreme strategic area for the country. In Gotland, we had the opportunity to conduct supersonic interception mission over the Baltic Sea. It was an immense learning opportunity for us,” he says.

Read the full story: Pilotos da FAB compartilham experiência de voar o Gripen​

Image Courtesy:

From being just a reconnaissance wing in the 1940s, F 21 has come a long way. It has now evolved into an Air Base that provides a solid platform to a range of Gripen multi-role missions.

The most important tasks for the two squadrons at F 21 today are Quick Reaction Alert and Combat Readiness Training. The Air Base is also involved in the Cross Border Training program with the Finnish and Norwegian air forces earlier this year and has played an instrumental role in the recently held multinational Arctic Challenge Exercise (ACE 15) which involved 3600 personal and 115 aircraft.

Trivia: You can also find F21 in the crime novel The Red Wolf by Liza Marklund!

Image Courtesy: FLYMAG Magasinet​

When it comes to fighter development, at Saab we have our own philosophy. Using technology and a different way of thinking, we have redefined what a fighter aircraft can be. 

We call it Gripen. Speed, strength and intelligence are its key components. 

In this way, it is perfectly balanced.

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