Hungarian Air Force Saab Gripen pilots are to commence air-to-air refueling training (AAR) this year, in preparation for Baltic Air Policing duties later in the year. It marks the first time Hungarian pilots will perform AAR in their Saabs, the first of which was delivered in 2006.
The AAR capability is not seen as a necessity for the Baltic mission, but as an added flexibility. It is likely a Swedish Air Force KC-130 will serve as a flying gas station for the Hungarians, like it did in the past already for Czech Gripen pilots. Hungarian training is expected to begin mid-2015, in order to have pilots ready before deployment to the Baltics.
Hungary has 12 JAS 39 Gripen C single seater and two JAS 39D Gripen two-seaters at its disposal, with a lease contract running until 2026.
© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest