Gripen User's Group meets in Prague

A three-day meeting of the Gripen User's Group, held in Prague last week, enabled air force representatives from Brazil, Czechia, Hungary, South Africa, Sweden and Thailand to exchange and share their experience and knowledge in operating the SAAB 39 Gripen supersonic aircraft.

Gripen User's Group meets in Prague
The meeting was divided into three working groups. The first group focused on the acquisition, development and operational use of the Gripen system. The second was composed of squadron commanders and security inspectors who discussed issues such as flight security and daily operation, with the maintenance specialists forming the third working group.

The Action Plan, the guideline document produced after the meeting, summarized the comprehensive new findings and knowledge gained; provided detailed information on the skill, expertise and proficiency necessary for the effective productivity and efficiency of the aircraft in order to achieve maximum flight and combat performance.

The meeting was chaired by Colonel Jaroslav Mika, the Chief of the Air Force Combat Training Department at the Czech Ministry of Defence, and also in attendance was Czech Air Force Commander, Major General Jaromir Sebesta. Although aircraft manufacturers are not members of the Group, the participation of the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) served to help find a solution to any problematic issues which arose during discussions.

"The Czech Republic became a member of the Gripen User’s Group in 2007. After a decade of participation, I would like to point out that, while in the first few years we were primarily learning from the other members of the Group, today however, we are in the happy position of being able to pass on our experience and knowledge to new members," said General Sebesta when evaluating the outcome of meeting.

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By Nuala Casey and Oldrich Holecek

December 15, 2017