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The Smart Fighter

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Frans Dely.jpg
Ever fancied being in a fighter aircraft, flying faster than the speed of sound? If you are 18 and above and living in Sweden, here is your chance to win a flight in Gripen!

All you need to do is to answer a set of five questions revolving around Saab solutions and write on what security means to you, what makes you feel safe, and you get a chance to win a Gripen flight!

Participate in the quiz here.

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Gripen at Norrbotten Wing (F21) conducted night operations last week as a part of a training process that started in October 2014.

In Sweden, a large part of the day is dark during the winter months and hence the night trainings are actually conducted during daylight hours these days.

Image Courtesy: Norrbottens Flygflottilj F 21​ catches up with the two Brazilian pilots, Captain Gustavo de Oliveira Pascotto and Captain Ramon Santos Forneas, who are in Sweden for their Gripen conversion training. The FAB pilots talk about their experience with the weather in Sweden, which is very different from Brazil’s.

The Brazilian pilots had to undergo water survival training for emergency ejection over water. The water survival course becomes difficult in Sweden as the trainees have to practise in freezing cold water.

“Back home, the water is seldom this cold,” says Fórneas, adding that he sees it as an experience.

According to the report, when Gustavo completed his first flight in Gripen, there was sleet in the air and Lake Vänern was freezing cold.

“Although the weather conditions are very different in the two countries, I do not think we need to adapt the Gripen for Brazil. We have talked to pilots from Thailand who are accustomed to flying in hot and humid climate. They have not had any problems with the Gripen,” says Gustavo.

Read the full story: Brasilianska piloter flyger JAS i Sverige

Over the next two months, Swedish Air Force Gripen pilots will participate in a joint American exercise over the Baltic Sea, reports

According to the report, the war in Ukraine and the increased Russian activity in the Baltic Sea region affect both the Swedish Air Force and the Swedish Navy.

Though the Swedish Air Force has been a part of a Baltic Regional Training Event earlier with participants from several NATO countries, this exercise is a direct American initiative.

“The difference is that it is their initiative. It is a natural development. We are a partner they can trust,” says Swedish Air Force Chief Micael Bydén.

The exercise will involve between 6 to 12 planes that include the US’s F-16 and Finland’s F-18 fighters along with the Swedish Gripen.

“Three different types of combat aircraft engaged in offensive and defensive combat manoeuvres make the exercise advanced,” says Micael Bydén.

Read the full story: Gripen deltar i USA-övning

Last week, South African Air Force Gripen completed the actual launch of an A-Darter missile. The missile successfully reached the target, which was an unmanned aircraft flying at a 600 meters higher altitude, reports

As a part of this test, the rocket was launched towards a remotely-controlled aircraft in order to test the maneuverability of the missile. The heat-guided weapon is designed to perform while sustaining up to 100Gs, with targets within a 12 miles radius. The A-Darter’s sensor-eye can spot the difference between the target aircraft’s infrared signature and flares the bogey might launch to fool the missile.

Portal Brazil quoted the project manager for Brazil, Colonel Julius Caesar Cardoso Tavares, saying that the main feature of the latest generation of missiles is their ability to perform high-performance maneuvers.

"The guidance sensor detects the target and the missile also calculates the best route," said the Colonel.

A-Darter does not have small wings that are used for maneuvering. Instead, it can direct the thrust of its rocket engine, performing maneuvers while sustaining up to 100Gs. 

The report adds that the A-Darter is now 90 percent ready. South Africa’s Denel Dynamics is the leading company of the project.

Read the full story: Future Brazilian Gripen Missile Successfully Fired In South Africa


During the Cold War, Sweden heavily relied on conducting combat missions with dispersed assets. There were a number of dispersed air bases that the Swedish Air Force used, including regular as well as shorter runways that were about 800m by 16m.

It was important to develop an aircraft that could take off rapidly and take-off and land on those short and narrow road bases. STOL (short take-off and landing) capabilities were therefore needed.

Gripen was hence designed to use roads as temporary runways, allowing the Swedish Air Force to use logistical flexibility and speed to keep an invading force at bay.

Gripen’s minimal take off and landing is between 500 and 600 meters. After landing, a small ground crew can refuel and rearm a Gripen in ten minutes. To change an engine takes less than an hour and can be done by one specialist officer and five trained conscripts.

Read more about Gripen’s capabilities here​.​

“In 2014, an agreement was reached with Brazil regarding development and production of 36 Gripen NG. This, together with Sweden’s order for 60 Gripen in 2013, makes Saab one of few aircraft manufacturers that are developing a new generation of fighters. This has strengthened Gripen’s position in the global market,” says Saab President and CEO Håkan Buskhe.

 While presenting its Year End Report 2014, Saab maintained that the year 2014 saw challenging market scenarios and there was a strong order backlog.  

“It was a successful and challenging year for Saab,” Buskhe said, adding that 2014 was a year when the company continued to build for the future. Thanks to a long-term strategy and focus on efficiency, the company is well positioned.

Read more about Saab Year End report here.

Watch the webcast of CEO Håkan Buskhe and CFO Magnus Örnberg presenting the results here.

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.


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