Tag Archives: Tiger

Brazilian AF chief: Gripen arrives in 2016

4x6 size Artist impression released by the Swedish Department of Foreign Affairs of the Saab JAS 39 Gripen E/F in Brazilian Air Force colours (Image © Utrikes Departementet)
Artist impression released by the Swedish Department of Foreign Affairs of the Saab JAS 39 Gripen E/F in Brazilian Air Force colours (Image © Utrikes Departementet)

The first Brazilian SAAB JAS 39 Gripen aircraft will arrive in 2016, the Air Force chief Juniti Saito said to the country’s Senate on 14 March 2014.

The Força Aérea Brasileira commander thereby acknowledged he accepted the proposition by the Swedish government / SAAB to borrow 10 to 12 JAS 39C/D Gripen aircraft currently in service with the Swedish Air Force (Flygvapnet). In 2018 the newly and mostly locally build E/F Gripens will start to arrive, according to the brigadier-general.

Deal
On 18 December 2013 the Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff and the FAB’s minister of defence Celso Amorim confirmed the deal with Swedish SAAB for the delivery of 36 of the previously known Gripen Next Generation (Gripen NG) fighter, worth 3.5 billion euro (about 5 billion US$). Only parts of the new aircraft will be made at SAAB’s homebase of Linköping in Sweden. Saab’s vice-CEO Lennart Sindahl confirmed in an early stage in an interview with Brazilian Globo tv that São Bernardo do Campo will get the Saab Gripen assembly line and that Brazil would lease Gripen C/Ds until the new aircraft arrives.

A F-5EM from the Força Aérea Brasileira (FAB) during Cruzex Crusade (Image © Ralph Blok)
A F-5EM from the Força Aérea Brasileira (FAB) during Cruzex Crusade (Image © Ralph Blok)

Northrop F-5
The Brazilians are in great need of modern fighter jets, after they retired their Mirage 2000s in December 2013. The country’s air defence and jet air support is now in the hands of 51 Northrop F-5EM and six F-5FM Tigers. Although modernised, these fighters don’t meet today’s standards for modern fighter jets.

Swedish Air Force
The Swedish Air Force currently flies between 88 and 95 of the projected 100 Gripen C/D, but due to budget restrains the number of active aircraft are far lower. Therefore a dozen aircraft in Brazil will not be missed in the Nordics. Like Brazil and likely Switzerland, the Swedish Air Force will get the newest Gripen version. Sixty E/Fs are on order to be largely constructed out of the current C/D aircraft. Sources within the Swedish military hope to eventually get 80 JAS 39E/F Gripens, and sources within SAAB hope that will be new to build airframes.

© 2014 AIRheads’ Marcel Burger

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Swiss F-5 Tigers: “End of the line” in 2016

Switzerland_F5_Tiger
A Swiss F-5E Tiger. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

If it is up to the Swiss government, the 54 remaining Swiss F-5 Tiger aircraft are disposed off in two years time. This was announced earlier this week by the Bundesrat, the seven-member council which constitutes the government of Switzerland. The outcome of the Gripen referendum on 18 May will not affect this proposal, according to minister of defence and Bundesrat member Ueli Maurer.

The Swiss will invest 771 million Swiss francs (878 million USD) into their army, but to make financial room certain systems in the inventory will have to be axed. This also includes the 54 remaining F-5E/F Tigers.

Switzerland bought a total of 98 F-5E single seat and 12 F-5F dual seat fighter aircraft in two batches in 1976 and 1981. Over the last decade or so, a significant number of F-5s were already sold to the United States, who uses them as aggressor aircraft for the US Navy and US Marines. A smaller number of aircraft was leased to Austria for several years.

The most famed Swiss user of the F-5 is the display team Patrouille Suisse. The exact future of the team is not yet known, but the axing of the F-5 may very well also mean the end of Patrouille Suisse.

In a referendum on 18 May, the Swiss voters get their final say over the planned purchase of 22 Saab Gripen E fighter aircraft. These aircraft will replace the F-5s as the second Swiss Air Force fighter, next to the 32 Swiss F/A-18C/D Hornets now in use. The recent mischief about the Swiss Air Force not being able to supply 24/7 fighter coverage (see here and here), may secure a ‘yes’ for the Gripens as the outcome of the referendum.

© 2014 AIRheads’ editor Elmer van Hest

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Final Tiger for German Army Afghanistan ops

The Heererflieger Tiger UHT ASGARD 74+34 at the Donauwörth facility (Image © Charles Abarr / Airbus Helicopters)
The Heererflieger Tiger UHT ASGARD 74+34 at the Donauwörth facility (Image © Charles Abarr / Airbus Helicopters)

The Germany Army received the last of 12 Tiger UHT support helicopters upgraded by Airbus Helicopters (fka Eurocopter) for Afghanistan missions on 6 March 2014.

The hand-over to the Kampfhubschrauberregiment 36 (KHR36 or Combat Helicopter Regiment 36) took place at Airbus Helicopters’ Donauwörth, Germany, production facility.

The dozen Tiger UHT support helicopters (Unterstützungshubschrauber) were delivered in three batches of four. They are modified to the so-called ASGARD standard, the configuration for the Afghanistan Stabilization German Army Rapid Deployment. Launched in 2011 it includes installation of engine sand filters and additional ballistic protection, along with the incorporation of a mission data recorder and enhanced communication equipment for multinational missions.

The German Armed Forces began deploying its initial Tiger UHTs modified to the ASGARD configuration in December 2012, with operations beginning a month later in Mazar-e-Scharif.

To date, these ASGARD-upgraded Tigers have accumulated well over 1,000 flight hours in German military service, demonstrating their high reliability, mission effectiveness, and a high level of acceptance during support missions.

Overall, Airbus Helicopters has delivered more than 100 Tigers in their various versions to the military services of Germany, France, Spain and Australia – accumulating more than 50,000 flight hours, including over 7,500 hours logged during military operations in Afghanistan, Libya, Mali and Somalia.

Source: Airbus Helicopters

Eurocopter EC665 Tiger UHT (Tigre) in German Army (Heer) livery at the 2008 ILA Airshow at Berlin-Schönefeld, Germany (Deutschland). UHT stands for Unterstützungshubschrauber Tiger (Support Helicopter Tiger). The aircraft bears serial no. 98+26 and has no. 398 on the nose. (Image © Marcel Burger)
Eurocopter EC665 Tiger UHT (Tigre) in German Army (Heer) livery at the 2008 ILA Airshow at Berlin-Schönefeld, Germany (Deutschland). UHT stands for Unterstützungshubschrauber Tiger (Support Helicopter Tiger). The aircraft bears serial no. 98+26 and has no. 398 on the nose. (Image © Marcel Burger)

Voting day for Swiss Saab Gripen

Gripen on approach (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Gripen on approach (Image © Elmer van Hest)

May 18 is going to be another important day in the story of Saab Gripen. On this day, Switzerland will hold a national referendum to decide whether the country should buy 22 Gripen E fighter aircraft to replace aging F-5E Tigers.

The Swedish Gripen E was selected by the Swiss government two years ago, after a thorough comparison with the Dassault Rafale and the Typhoon. A national vote has to be held however, as opponents of the deal collected the 50,000 signatures required for a referendum.

The pending deal is worth 3,4 billion USD. Only last December, Brazil decided on buying 36 Gripen E/Fs, worth 4,5 billion USD. Sweden itself has purchased 60 Saab Gripen Es.

In Switzerland, the F-5Es are nearing the end of their lives. The aircraft is still being flown, one of the users being the aerial demonstration team Patrouille Suisse.

© 2014 AIRheads’ editor Elmer van Hest

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Tigerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Tiger, tiger! Dutch 313 squadron turns sixty. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Tiger, tiger! Dutch 313 squadron turns sixty. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

FLASHBACK | Since Dutch 313 ‘Tiger’ squadron turned sixty in 2013 – when we originally posted this feature – and since we at Airheadsfly.com like cats and pussies in all shapes and sizes, let’s have a gathering of well known and lesser known Tigers of the past decades. Aircraft adorned with tigers – and as Tigers – have always been well received by aviation geeks and pros. And in case you didn’t know already: epicenter of the Tigermeet 2015 is Konya AB in Turkey, after Schleswig Jagel airbase in northern Germany served the tigers in 2014.

Perhaps the greatest Starfighter ever, wearing a special Tiger outfit. Unfortunately, it was also the last Starfighter to ever fly with Italy’s 21 Gruppo. But you probably figured that one out yourselves already. The squadron went on to fly the Panavia Tornado F3 and from there it moved onto Bell Agusta AB-212 helicopters. We won’t mention that ever again. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Perhaps the greatest Starfighter ever, wearing a special Tiger outfit. Unfortunately, it was also the last Starfighter to ever fly with Italy’s 21 Gruppo – but you probably figured that one out yourselves already. The squadron went on to fly the Panavia Tornado F3 and from there it moved onto Bell Agusta AB-212 helicopters. We won’t mention that ever again. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
The French Etendards have a thing for Tigers. By their standards, these are rather boring tiger markings. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
The French Super Etendards have a thing for Tigers. By their standards, these are rather boring tiger markings. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Not often seen are tiger markings on USAF aircraft. This 79th FS F-16C from Shaw Air Force Base was a welcome exception in 1997. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Not often seen are tiger markings on USAF aircraft. This 79th FS F-16C from Shaw Air Force Base was a welcome exception in 1997…. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
.... as was this KC-135E from 141st ARS, New Jersey ANG. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
…. as was this KC-135E from 141st ARS, New Jersey ANG. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Lakenheath F-111s once were prominent members of the tiger family. Less so for the F-15Es, although this one does look nice. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Lakenheath F-111s once were prominent members of the tiger family. Less so for the F-15Es, although this one does look nice. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Everybody knows the Belgians. No words needed. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Everybody knows the Belgians of 31 Smaldeel. No words needed. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
But who remembers this Slovak MiG-29, seen here in 2002? (Image © Elmer van Hest)
But who remembers this Slovak MiG-29 from 1SLK at Sliač, seen here in 2002? The aircraft crashed several months after this picture was taken. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Great Gripen! After the fall of the iron curtain, eastern European air forces started to appear at Tigermeets. The Czech Air Force is now a faithful participant. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Great Gripen! After the fall of the iron curtain, eastern European air forces started to appear at Tigermeets. The Czech Air Force is now a faithfull participant. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Who would have thought some two decades ago; a Polish Tigermeet participant flying Lockheed Martin F-16s. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Who would have thought some two decades ago; a Polish Tigermeet participant flying Lockheed Martin F-16s. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
French unit EC05.330 is hard beat when it comes to tiger colours. The markings on this Mirage F1B are quite simple, but effective. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
French unit EC05.330 is hard to beat when it comes to tiger colours. The markings on this Mirage F1B are quite simple, but effective. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Helos also do tigers, as seen on this Royal Nacy Sea King
Helos also do tigers, as seen on this Royal Nacy Sea King HAS6 of 814 squadron. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
More tiger spirit in the shape of a Royal Air Force Merlin. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
More tiger spirit in the shape of a Royal Air Force Merlin. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Over the last ten years or so, the Swiss started attending Tigermeets regularly. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Over the last ten years or so, the Swiss started attending Tigermeets regularly. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
The French airbase of Cambrai hosted the Tigermeet more than once. This very colourful Mirage 2000C was based at this now-closed airbase. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
The French airbase of Cambrai hosted the Tigermeet more than once. This very colourful Mirage 2000C was based at this now-closed airbase. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
One of the best Tigers ever, if we had our say. Which we have, now. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
One of the best Tigers ever, if we had our say. Which we actually had, just now. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

© 2013 AIRheads’ editors Elmer van Hest & Dennis Spronk