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Like Czech Republic, Slovakia may also consider leasing Gripen to replace its existing fleet of fighter aircraft, reports

After meeting with his Swedish counterpart Peter Hultqvist, Slovakia’s Defence Minister Martin Glváč told the journalists, "The Slovak Republic cannot afford to buy new fighters. Sweden has offered the most well-balanced variant in terms of flight hours rental, though other alternatives are still in the frame.”

“I would call this day a milestone in negotiations on the technical, legislative and financial options for carrying out this project,” Glváč added.

According to an IHS Jane’s report last year, leasing of Gripen fighters could also offer the possibility of conducting joint training, weapon systems acquisition, and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) to potentially decrease the overall costs of the programme.

Last year, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Sweden also signed a letter of intent agreeing to co-operate on using the Saab Gripen fighter.

Read the full story: Slovakia is negotiating with Sweden to lease Gripen fighters


Designed for easy deployment at any air base, Gripen has a tiny logistic footprint. It can be turned around in 10 minutes by only five people, and the entire engine can be swapped in the field in less than one hour.

To download the calendar, click here​.

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Threat scenarios are changing everyday, giving ample reason for the operational requirements to change as well. Users no longer want a specific aircraft for each operational role. They look for a system that can undertake all roles. 

Gripen NG is among the first aircraft to focus on more than air-to-air combat. This means  that it can cover a full range of mission requirements, saving customers the cost of  owning separate bombers and fighters. The fighter aircraft can seamlessly change between roles within a single sortie if needed. Gripen NG can perform a wide range of missions, from offensive and defensive counter strikes to air policing and tactical air reconnaissance.

Here are some of the important things you ought to know about Gripen.

Information Support

During a live mission, knowledge means everything to a fighter aircraft pilot. It is very important for the pilot to identify enemy assets and share intelligence with wingmen. What is equally important is that all the information should be available in a clear, clutter free way; only the required information should be visible on the screen.

Gripen NG is equipped with MFS-EW (Electronic Warfare system), which is a complete, highly integrated suite that includes radar warning receiver, missile approach warning, electronic support measures and countermeasures. 

The next generation fighter aircraft also has features like IRST which provides passive situation awareness at long range against air and ground targets and ES-05 Raven AESA radar which tracks air-to-air and air-to-surface targets, simultaneously and independently.


The aircraft ...

Defence Minister of Sweden, Peter Hultqvist visited the 21st Tactical Air Base at Čáslav last week, reports

Mr. Hultqvist was accompanied by Czech Deputy Minister of Defence Daniel Koštoval and Commander of Czech Air Force General Libor Štefánik.

Czech Deputy Commander Colonel Ondřej Rejman talked about the role of the Base in the protection of the air space of the Czech Republic within the framework of the NATO integrated system of anti-aircraft and anti-missile defence (NATINAMDS) and thanked Swedish Air Force for the training assistance.

“Your tactical simulation center, which helps in a simplified training of pilots and technical personnel, was perhaps the inspiration behind the Czech Tactical Simulation Center, Pardubice. Equally important was the primary air refueling training under the supervision of the Swedish instructors, which expanded deployment options for the Czech Tactical Air Force in overseas operations.

"We appreciate the support of the Swedish team here at our base which became, through almost a ten year period, an integral part of the 211th squadron. Cooperation with you is on an extraordinary level," Colonel Rejman adds.

Read the full story: Čáslavská základna se prezentovala ministru obrany Švédského království

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Czech Air Force Gripen fighters will be participating in a number of exercises this year which include Ample Strike, Baltic Eye and Lion Effort, reports Prague Post.

Last week, the Czech Government approved the list of allied trainings in which its Armed Forces will participate this year.

Ample Strike 2015 is one of the largest training exercises that will take place in Czech Republic 2015. The exercise will have forward air controllers and aircraft crews testing their cooperation. Ample Strike 2015 will be held in September.

Czech Republic will also host the tri-annual exercise Lion Effort starting 11 May this year, in which various Gripen operating air forces will participate. Lion Effort presents a great opportunity for the participants to not just train together but to also share best practices and operational know-how with each other.

Besides these, Czech Armed Forces will also participate in a certification exercise of the Visegrad Group battlegroup, and a number of NATO events including the Baltic Eye and Trident Juncture.  

Read the full story: Czech army to takes part in big allied exercises

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Czech Defense Minister Martin Stropnicky recently suggested launching a joint Central European center for training the Gripen fighter pilots, reports​​.

According to the report, the center would train not just Czech Gripen pilots, but Hungarian and Slovak pilots as well. 

Czech Air Force has been using Gripen fighters for more than a decade now, while Slovakia and Hungary (which is also operating Gripen) have shown interest in launching a joint pilots training center.

Stropnicky stresses that a potential Slovak acquisition of the Gripen aircraft would support the plan to build the pilot training centre in the Czech Republic.

“It would be advantageous for us; we could be sharing our know-how, our training capacities”, Stropnicky says.

If Slovakia chooses Gripen, a joint protection of its air space with that of the Czech Republic would also come into consideration as it is a subject of negotiations from both sides for several months now.

“The possibility is there, now it really depends on the decision of the Slovak government”, Stropnický says.

Gripen fighter aircraft were on static as well as aerial display at the recently celebrated Royal Thai Armed Forces Day 2015.

Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand, took the opportunity to congratulate the Royal Thai Army on being a pillar to protect and maintain national security.

Thailand honors the Royal Thai Armed Forces on 18 January every year. This day is also remembered in commemoration of King Naresuan, who, on 18 January 1592, won an Elephant Battle against Minchit Sra (grandson of Bayinnaung). 

Royal Thai Armed Forces Day is celebrated every year with massive military parades in various parts of Thailand. The Royal Family of Thailand organizes the main celebration in Bangkok.

Read the full story here.​

Image Courtesy: Wing7rtaf

Time to celebrate and congratulate the two FAB pilots! 

Captains Ramon Lincoln Santos Fórneas and Gustavo de Oliveira Pascotto, who swapped Rio de Janeiro and Anápolis respectively for F7 in Såtenäs in November last year, flew their first solo flight yesterday, reports​.

The two Brazilian pilots have flown Gripen before as well but only in the company of Swedish Air Force flight instructors. Their first training sortie in the rear seat of a Gripen happened on 19 November last year.

The two Brazilian pilots will complete their six months long training in April this year. By the end of April, they will have learnt everything about Gripen and will return to Brazil as newly qualified Gripen instructors.

Read more about the two FAB pilots here​.

Image Courtesy:

On 22 January, two dozen students, out of which eight will be future Gripen pilots, graduated at their Flight School in Malmslätt outside Linköping and received their sought after Wings, reports Forsvarsmakten​.

For the last one year, these 24 students have been flying training aircraft Saab SK 60 which has been serving the Swedish Armed Forces since 1967. A new, upgraded version of the SK 60 was introduced in autumn 2013 with features like GPS system and other navigation aids to help the pilot navigate more precisely.

In his message to the young pilots, Major General Micael Bydén said, “Getting the wings after passing the basic flying training and graduating, is a milestone in a pilot's career. The wing is a sign that you have reached a certain level. You should be very proud of these wings.”

Besides the eight pilots who will continue to train to become Gripen pilots, four graduates will move on and learn how to fly C 130 Hercules or Saab 340, and the remaining 12 graduates, two of which are women, will fly helicopters.

All the 24 graduates have to take on further courses before they are ready to be placed at an operational Air wing. The next phase is called GTU which is a Basic Tactical Training where the pilots will learn to practice more advanced and tactical exercises.

Read the full story:  Drömmen blev verklighet

Image Courtesy:Forsvarsmakten

On January 16, Carl-Johan Edstrom took over as the flotilla manager at Norrbotten Wing. In an interview with Forsvarsmakten, the Gripen pilot talks about Nordic Cooperation and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Edstrom’s career as a fighter pilot started in 1990 and six years later he was the Group Manager at 212.stridsflygdivisionen. Since then he has held a number of positions. He was also the Operation Commander of the Swedish air operation over Libya in 2011.

“I am still active as a pilot with flight service on both the Gripen and SK 60. During my career I have flown more than 2500 hours of combat and flight school,” Edstrom says.

According to the new flotilla manager, the biggest challenge is to recruit, train and retain soldiers, civilians and officers for missions. However, he stresses that there are opportunities for the Wing as well.

“There have been major geopolitical changes in our region in recent years. F 21 and the war troops will play a central role in asserting Swedish territorial integrity, safeguarding Swedish interests and promoting safety. Wing's active involvement in the Nordic cooperation contributes to increased security in our region,” Edstrom says.

Read the full interview: Tillbaka till flottiljen – som chef

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