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Defence and security company Saab has received an order from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) for the extended lease of Gripen from Sweden to the Czech Republic. This agreement provides for the continuing support and upgrade of the Czech aircraft for a further 12 years. The order is valued at approx. SEK 576 million.

Gripen has been in service with the Czech Republic since 2005. In May 2014 a new agreement between Sweden and the Czech Republic extended this partnership for a further 12 years. As a result, the Czech Republic will continue to operate 14 Gripen C/D aircraft until at least 2027. Under the terms of this government-to-government agreement Saab acts as a supplier to FMV, which in turn provides the aircraft to the Czech Republic.

“The Czech Republic’s decision is further evidence of Gripen's high capability and great cost-efficiency. It proves again how well the aircraft stands up in global competition. As we develop the next generation of Gripen for Sweden and Brazil, we continue to see great international interest in Gripen C/D”, says Lennart Sindahl, Deputy CEO and Head of Saab’s business area Aeronautics.

Read the full story here​.

​After announcing the selection of Gripen NG on 18 December 2013, the Brazilian Air Force also began evaluating its fighter pilots to identify which of them would make the best instructors. The selection process settled on captains Ramon Lincoln Santos Fórneas and Gustavo de Oliveira Pascotto.

The two FAB pilots are currently participating in a six month training in Sweden where they will learn everything there is to know about Gripen. At the end of April, they will return to Brazil where they will pass on this knowledge to their colleagues as newly qualified Gripen instructors.

"We are prepared for hard work since there is so much we not only have to learn but also take on board fully so that we can pass it on to others. The course seems very thorough and everything has been well planned so I am sure everything will be fine," says Gustavo.

On 19 November it was time for the first training sortie in the rear seat of a Gripen D. The 50-minute exercise was an experience, even for two seasoned pilots. "We flew in formation and performed several advanced manoeuvres, which was an amazing experience," says Ramon.

​​Read the full story here​.

This year, together with the Czech Air Force detachment of five Gripen fighter aircraft and about 70 personnel, Lieutenant Jan Veselý moved to Keflavik Airbase, Iceland to ensure NATO’s Iceland Air Surveillance mission. It was his first mission as a fighter controller outside his home country.

According to Lieutenant Veselý, in some ways, the tasks that he performed during this mission were similar to the ones he performs back home at Čáslav. However, during this mission, he worked in close coordination with his colleagues from the Iceland Coast Guard in the Iceland CRC – call sign LOKI – which provides overall air surveillance.

"In general, I expected more action here; it is a bit calmer than in the Czech Republic,” he says hinting at the two training scrambles the Czech Gripen conducted every day. 

Lieutenant Veselý was the most impressed with the aspect of interoperability saying that the daily work at CRC LOKI was very helpful for him and his colleagues. 

"It is not only that we all have to speak English. There are also different mentalities here. And last, but not least, I did not know the controlling standards they use here at Iceland,” he says.

"What I will take home is that I can use the standards I was trained to in the Czech Republic in any future mission in any NATO country,” he adds.

Read the full story: Czech Fighter Controller augments Iceland Air Traffic Control for NATO Mission​

Image Courtesy: Christian Timmig ​

F 7 Såtenäs, Skaraborgs Flygflottilj, the Swedish Air Wing which was established in 1940, will celebrate its 75 years in 2015, reports Airshowinfo.

The Såtenäs estate was chosen for its good location and close proximity to suitable target ranges. According to the report, F7 stepped into the jet age in 1957, with the Saab 29 Tunnan, and from 1973 to 1993, AJ 37 Viggen served the Air Force.

In 1993, one squadron at F7 was converted to the Gripen A/B and by 1997, the other squadrons followed suit. The Wing received its first C/D version of the Gripen in 2010 and the complete conversion happened by 2012. Now, the Wing is the main hub of the Gripen trainings. All pilots who fly Gripen aircraft are trained at F 7.

The F7 has 4 squadrons at the moment. Three fighter squadrons, equipped with Gripen C/D jets are called the 71 Fightng Squadron (Gustav Red), the 72 Fighting Squadron (Gustav Blue) and the 73 Fighting Squadron (Gustav Yellow). 

Read the full story:  F7 Airbase at Såtenäs, Sweden will celebrate it's 75 years in 2015

​Amidst beautiful sea shores and the icy, rocky terrain of Iceland, Czech Air Force Gripen pilots completed their three month long mission.

Five Gripen fighter aircraft along with 80 air and ground personnel from the Czech Air Force were deployed to monitor the airspace of Iceland till 3 December.

Čáslav pilots have successfully completed their mission in Iceland, flying over volcanoes, glaciers and waters of the Atlantic Ocean. They also have chalked up more than a hundred takeoffs from the Keflavík Air Base. Martin Nezbeda, Commanding Officer of the Czech mission, in an interview with, talks about his experience and how flying was different in Iceland because of the terrain and climatic conditions of the country.   

Iceland is a beautiful country, but we have been running flat out, which means we do not leave the base very often and there is hardly a chance to enjoy the charm of the island. Perhaps a glimpse from the cockpit every now and then. After all, this is not a package tour – the price for even the smallest distraction or inattention may be high, he says.                                                                        Meteorologists mention downright extreme flying conditions in Iceland. What would you say?

Martin Nezbeda: It may look more dramatic on camera shots or photographs than it actually is. However, the fact is that Iceland is a country with active volcanoes and many thermal geysers or lava flows. At the same time, there are large glaciers as well. A fairly different environment from what we have in Central Europe. Of course, our training ...

Today is the last day for the Czech Air Force detachment’s Iceland air surveillance mission this year. The team would fly home to Čáslav tomorrow.

According to Captain Jiri Cermak from the Czech Air Force Detachment at Iceland, during this mission, they had a new experience of refueling with the longest ferry flight in the Czech Air Force history.

As Iceland does not have its own national air force, NATO members deploy fighters to meet the country’s air defence needs on a rotational basis, three times a year.

Saab has launched the Linux Kernel Hack Challenge in which participants can hack their way into winning a flight in the Gripen simulator.

The participants are invited to provide a Linux kernel modification that gives a more accurate worst-case execution time measurement taking into account cache effects.

“My understanding is that Saab is an attractive company among new graduates. We have got a history of innovation and problem solving, not to mention a great diversity in products and services that are really cutting edge, at the forefront of technology. The Gripen NG system is a great case in point. At the same time, we are competing in a competitive job market, which can make it difficult to attract people with the qualifications and educational background needed. However, with competitions like this, hopefully we can connect with tomorrow’s talent,” says Anders Isaksson, one of the brains behind the contest.

The competition is open for EU-residents. The first prize -a flight in the Gripen simulator - includes travel to Linköping and hotel accommodation.

Read more about the competition here​.

I​nitially developed for operation in Scandinavia, Gripen is built to handle extreme weather conditions in any climate. Gripen can also operate from small bases with short runways such as road strips, and has an outstanding ability to deploy swiftly with a minimum of resources.

Photo: Per Kustvik

For downloading this image, please visit: Gripen Calendar 2014​

​Aviation blog interviewed Csaba Ugrik, Hungarian Air Base Commander, who talked in detail about the activities at the air base this year. The Commander outlined the Gripen team’s success at the Tiger Meet and the JAWTEX and the importance of the participation in the air policing of Slovenia. ​


Csaba Ugrik, Hungarian Air Base Commander

“This year's tasks included the Slovenian airspace protection mission. The earlier co-operation agreement was extended in January and was signed here at the air base. The idea behind the extension was to avoid the requirement of prior authorization for an armed military aircraft to enter the Slovenian airspace,” the Hungarian Commander said.

Commander Ugrik also informed the reporter about the reactivation of the Dongo squadron due to the arrival of young team members.

“This year was not easy, but the next will be even more hectic. The activities in 2015 include the air surveillance mission of the Baltics,” he said.

Read the full story: Évről évre, feladatról feladatra

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