Czech pilots reach 20,000 Gripen flight hours
Defence and security company Saab participated in the 2015 NATO Days and Czech Air Force Days at Ostrava, Czech Republic, earlier in September. At this event, Czech Gripen pilots were honoured for reaching the milestone of 20,000 Gripen flight hours. Their successful recent operational deployments for NATO to Iceland and the Baltic States were also recognised.
For the fifth consecutive year Saab was a partner to Ostrava’s NATO Days and Czech Air Force event; the largest public airshow and defence display in Central Europe. Over the weekend of September 19-20, 2015, visitors got to see Gripen fighters of the Czech Air Force conduct an operational demonstration, while others had the opportunity to experience a ‘flight’ in the Gripen simulator. A flypast of some of Saab’s classic military jets, including the famous Viggen, Draken and Tunnan fighters (operated by the Swedish Air Force historic flight), was joined on this special occasion by a Czech Air Force Gripen.
Saab’s Deputy CEO Lennart Sindhal presented a commemorative glass plaque to the 21st Tactical Air Force Squadron, to mark its 20,000 Gripen flight hours and successful operational deployments within NATO. The award was accepted by Colonel Petr Hromek, commander of the 21st Air Force Base, Cáslav.
Saab has a significant presence in Central Europe, with the Czech Republic and Hungary each operating a 14-strong fleet of NATO-interoperable Gripen aircraft. Elsewhere, Gripen fighters are flying with the air forces of Sweden, South Africa and Thailand. Brazil has also ordered 36 Gripen NG aircraft.