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The Smart Fighter

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Czech Republic president Miloš Zeman paid a visit to the Caslav Air Base to have a look at the various aircraft there.

Commander of the air base, Colonel Petr Hromek and head of presidential military office General Rostislav Pilc welcomed the president.

After greeting the officers at the Base, the president took a look at Gripen, L-39 Albatros jet trainer and light combat aircraft L-159 ALCA. The Gripen aircraft which was prepared for the presidential inspection had represented the Czech Republic at last year´s NATO Tiger Meet.

When the Czech President got into his car to leave the Air Base, two Gripen aircraft took off in a celebratory sign off!

Read the full story: Čáslavský bojový prapor byl dekorován prezidentem České republiky

​Starting 2016, Hungary will play an important role in the EU Battle Group missions. To be fully prepared, HuAF is working on increasing its air to ground capabilities. As per EU plans, Hungary will provide battlegroups with strong air-to-ground close air support capability.

In this video, Hungarian Gripen pilots practice attacking ground targets with the help of radar and laser designation pod.​

czech gripen12.jpg
Next week, Czech Republic will celebrate 10 years of its Gripen programme. The country will operate Gripen fighters for another 12 years as per a deal extension signed last year and recently, they scheduled to upgrade and enhance their fleet as well.

Till now, the Czech Gripen use Saab’s MS19 Block 3 software standard. However, by 2017 or 2018, the Gripen fighters will be upgraded to the MS20 configuration, reports Flightglobal.

MS 20 upgrade includes integration of the MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile and Boeing GBU-39 Small-Diameter Bomb, improved radar modes and a new laser designation pod (LDP) among other things.

“The need for the LDP is really strong, and right now there is a negotiation,” 211 Sqn pilot Capt Jiri Cermak said at Saab’s Linköping production facility in Sweden last month. The payload will assist pilots with the visual identification of aircraft at night, he adds.

According to the report, the Swedish Air Force will have its Gripen C/D fleet enhanced with the MS 20 block upgrade later this year. New air to air capability and air to ground capabilities like precision guided bombs against small targets will be introduced as well.

Read the full report here​

"Before Brazil, Gripen was an aircraft looking for a market. Now it is a market looking for Gripen. And we can see that in many ways — it has really changed with Brazil. It is more global. It has changed the way we communicate," says Ulf Nilsson, head of Saab aeronautics, at a recent Press Tour.

According to a Defense News report, the FX2 programme reached a new level after Saab’s announcement of jointly producing most of Gripen NG parts in Brazil with the Brazilian manufacturer Embraer under a technology transfer agreement.

Mr. Nilsson mentions that Saab’s order backlog is at an all-time high. Starting this year, Saab will also offer the MS20 upgrade to Gripen C/D operators, which includes capabilities like MBDA Meteor air-to-air missile.

"The addition of Meteor air-to-air capability makes Gripen the most formidable counter-air platform in service," says Jerker Ahlqvist, Saab Gripen's vice president for business area aeronautics. The missile will become operational with Swedish Air Force Gripens in 2016.

Last month, Saab came up with MK4, a technologically advanced version of the renowned PS-05/A radar which gives Gripen C/D an improved performance and operating range.

Saab is also developing the naval version of Gripen NG: Sea Gripen. 

"Sea Gripen is part of the technology transfer agreement with Brazil," Nilsson said, and a study will be done. "We're in early discussions for Sea Gripen, but we'll have to see where it goes. It will probably be about 2025 before the Brazilians decide what to do."

Teams from various Gripen operating airforces like Hungary, Thailand and Sweden are in Czech Republic this week as the international exercise 'Lion Effort' kickstarts today at the Čáslav Air Base.

Along with Gripen, Polish F-16 and German Eurofighter are also participating from their home bases.

“It is an honour for the Czech Air Force to host this year’s Lion Effort which also marks ten years of flying the JAS-39 Gripen in our Air Force”, says Brigadier General Libor Štefánik, the Commander of the Czech Air Force. “Having NATO Allies and partner nations flying together is a great opportunity. The air and ground crews will learn from each other and further improve their interoperability”.

On 22 May, Lion Effort will coincide with celebrations of ten years of operation of Gripen in the Czech Republic. Gripen has been in service with the Czech Republic since May 2005. Last year, Sweden and the Czech Republic announced an extension of the Gripen contact for another 12 years. 

Lion Effort 2015 is taking place at Čáslav air base in the Czech Republic between May 11 and 24, 2015.

Know more about the Lion Effort here.

Czech Gripen fighters performed a ceremonial flyover to mark the upcoming 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and victory by the Allies, reports

It was the first flyover above Prague Castle in more than a quarter century as the airspace is a no-fly zone. This made the fly-by even more dramatic and unique as the no fly restrictions were lifted exclusively for the Gripen fighters to mark the beginnings of celebrations. 

The Second World War ended in Europe in May 1945. The event is also known as the Victory Day and is being celebrated across Europe with exhibitions, lectures, parades etc. The celebrations in Czech Republic included an exhibition of rare pictures of Czech soldiers during the Second World War.

Read the full story here.


Swedish Air Force Gripen and Finnish fighters practiced some impressive missions at the beginning of the Finland-Sweden training event (FSTE) this April.

During the last few years, Swedish Air Force, in partnership with its neighboring countries, has carried out Cross Border Training exercises (CBT) almost every week. All these exercises have acted as a foundation for the FSTE.

The planning for FSTE, an exercise that focuses at carrying out joint training sessions with the NATO countries based in the Baltic region, started a year ago. Participating aircraft at FSTE include eight Swedish Air Force Gripen, along with F/A-18 Hornets from Finland, F-16 from 510 Fighter squadron in Italy and air-refueling aircraft from Mildenhall.

FTSE is a cost-effective training exercise aiming to increase the capability of the participating forces to carry out advanced air operations with other countries.

Read the full story: Med våra närmaste grannar​​


Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Chief, Air Marshal Geoff Brown, flew the Saab Gripen during his recent visit to Wing 7, Surat Thani, Thailand.

Image Courtesy: RTAF

Saab has sent a full scale model of Gripen NG to Santa Cruz Air Force Base in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to participate in the celebration of 70 years of the Fighter Aviation Day.​

The Gripen NG model will be scheduled to be on display at future military events in Brazil where general public can get a glimpse of the future FAB fighter.

According to the Chief of Staff of the General Command of Air Operations (COMGAR), Lieutenant General Air Luiz Fernando de Aguiar, the model has been provided for a temporary period by Saab.

"For the military, getting to know the Gripen model is a form of motivation for the progression of our Air Force and for the population, it is a way to learn more about the work that the FAB does," Lieutenant General said in a report in

Read the full story: FAB recebe maquete em tamanho real do caça Gripen NG​

Image Courtesy: Sgt Rezende/Força Aérea Brasileira​

Alexander Galante of explores the Gripen NG cockpit at the recently held LAAD 2015 Defense Exhibition in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


The cockpit for Gripen NG, being developed for the Brazilian Air Force, has a Wide Area Display. The Gripen model at LAAD 2015 shows three large displays, which is based on the current Gripen C/D’s design. 

“Taking into account that is a mock-up, the cockpit looked comfortable and the WAD display should really make a difference when you have a lot of information and you need to select the most important in short time and decide what do,’ writes Galante.

Image Courtesy:
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