Czech pilots reach 20,000 Gripen flight hours

SP's MAI - - AEROSPACE DEVELOPMENTS -

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.

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