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The Smart Fighter

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Four new students from the 172 combat aircraft division, complete their Combat Readiness Training (CRT) to become Swedish Air Force Gripen pilots this month, reports Forsvarsmakten.

CRT is the final step of a fighter pilot training process. It is a long training consisting of various stages. After seven years of theoretical and practical education, these four students can now call themselves Mission Readiness pilots.

As a part of their exams, these four pilots had to individually go through a JAS-training mission (Fighter, Attack and Reconnaissance missions) which they performed successfully.

The pilots were congratulated and honored with a diploma from the F 21 Wing Commander. They can now join their colleagues in the squadron and develop their own skill in the art of fighter training.

Read the full story:CRT-elever blir riktiga piloter

Image Courtesy: Forsvarsmakten


Saab recently held a press tour in Sweden. As a part of this tour, Ulf Nilsson, head of Saab aeronautics and Jerker Ahlqvist, Saab Gripen's vice president for business area aeronautics talked to the reporters about the Gripen Brazil deal, upgradation plans for Gripen C/D and the future markets Saab is looking at.

Ahlqvist said that starting this year, the MS20 upgrade is being offered, which includes the first operational capability of the highly-rated MBDA Meteor air-to-air missile.

"The addition of Meteor air-to-air capability makes Gripen the most formidable counter-air platform in service," Ahlqvist declared. The missile will become operational with Swedish Air Force Gripens in 2016.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Militech Mag​

Fighter aircraft from Sweden, Finland and Norway are all set to participate in the international exercise called Arctic Challenge Exercise 2015 (ACE 15) next week.

The first Arctic Challenge Exercise was held in 2013 in which the primary responsibility was taken by Sweden. This year, it will be Norway taking the lead role. Though ACE 15 is an exercise in the framework of the Nordic cooperation between Sweden, Finland and Norway, there will be participants from Switzerland, United Kingdom, France, Germany, the USA and the Netherlands as well. 

The exercise scenario at ACE 15 revolves around an international peace-management operation under the UN mandate.

“I look forward to creating an exercise that prepares the Swedish and European air forces for future challenges and tasks,” says Colonel Carl-Johan Edström, Flotilla Manager at Norrbotten Wing and Assistant Training Leader at the ACE 15.

ACE 15 will be held between 25 May and 5 June.

Read the original story: Förberedelser pågår

​The video explores the advanced helmet display and sight system based on electro-optical helmet tracking.

Helmet Mounted Display and sight systems are based on three cockpit mounted camera sensors observing distributed, distinct light sources located in the pilot’s helmet. For the systems to operate correctly, the positions of various sensors relative to each other and relative to the aircraft reference system must be known.

The Harmolign for Gripen HTS alignment system gives out the pitch, yaw, roll and the positional information for all sensors in a single, simple procedure that can easily be carried out by any aircraft technician in the field by following system on-screen instructions.


It is not as easy as they make it look like. A lot of planning, coordination and rehearsals go into a successful aerial photography mission. Catch the Czech, Hungarian and Swedish Gripen in a flying formation during the Lion Effort 2015.

Given the big difference in speeds of the Gripen fighters and the C-295 transport turboprop, the mission becomes even more complex as the number of aircraft increase.

Planning for an aerial photography mission starts with a pilot briefing to decide on the participating jets. The choreography is then coordinated with experienced inflight photographers.

In this case, it took a lot of coordination for the Czech, Hungarian and Swedish Gripen fighters to join up with the Czech CASA C-295 transport aircraft from 24th Air Transportation Base at Prague-Kbely which carried the photographers and their equipment. Before the final aerial photography mission, all the involved pilots are aware of each passing manoeuvre, knowing their exact role in the photo shoot.

Read the full story here

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.

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