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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​

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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.

​ACE 15, the two weeks long exercise in which pilots from Sweden, Finland and Norway are participating, will be over tomorrow. 

About 115 aircraft, including tanker planes and support planes are a part of the exercise. More than 3600 people from nine countries are working together and up to 90 aircraft have been in the air at the same time during some missions. It is one of the largest air exercises in the world this year. Here are a few snapshots from the ACE15.

AcE15_3.jpgA great exercise needs a detailed planning

SwAF Commanders and Deputy Ex Director addressing the media

Taking off  for a complex exercise


​Participating fighters in action

A fly past of 10 Czech, Hungarian and Swedish Gripen over the Czech Air Force’s 21st Tactical Air Base at Čáslav marked the celebration of 10 years of the fighter in service in the Czech Republic, reports

Amongst those present at the ceremony were Czech Defence Minister Martin Stropnický, Air Force Commander Brigadier General Libor Štefánik and representatives from the air forces of Sweden, Hungary and Croatia.

The Czech Defence Minister, in his speech, said that Gripen is a reliable aircraft and the Czech Air Force pilots are very satisfied with it, adding that they have logged in 20,000 flight hours during the last 10 years. The Minister also announced that NATO has requested for the deployment of the Czech Gripen in Iceland this summer.

General Libor Štefánik, who also addressed the audience, thanked all the people associated with the program, especially the Swedish team for their training of specialists and support during the last ten years.

"The introduction of Gripen has significantly changed our approach to the tasks of the Air Force. Gripen is not a just modern aircraft with different combat capabilities, but an important impetus for new missions and a huge motivation for all who are involved in the project," said General Štefánik.​

Read the full story here

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​Three first prize winners of a contest arranged by Saab and AVIA Satcom at Thailand’s Children´s Day 2015 got an opportunity to fly the Gripen simulator.

This was the second year in a row in which Saab and AVIA Satcom organized a contest exclusively for children with the top prize being a flight in Gripen simulator.

“We hope to make this a yearly tradition,” says Anna Lindh, Head of Communications, Saab Asia Pacific.

childrensday1.jpgFirst Prize Winner Tanaphat Permpool with his family

childrensday2.jpgFirst Prize Winner Patcharapol Thanachotikanativat with his family

First Prize Winner Soranant Lalipalit with his family

The actual simulator flights were conducted at AVIA Satcom´s head office, just off Don Muang airport in Bangkok on 16 May.

The fact that Gripen is built to be serviced by just a handful of soldiers in the field makes it extremely service-friendly. Together with very long MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) levels, this means easy maintenance and high availability.

Click here to download the calendar.

We believe that speed, strength and intelligence are the key components that make up a world class fighter. Soon discover all the ways in which Gripen is perfectly balanced. Visit​ to find out more.
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