Gripen success at Bulgarian International Aviation Festival

On 3-4 September Saab joined the 100th anniversary celebration of Bulgarian aviation in the Bulgarian International Aviation Festival BIAF 2011 in Plovdiv. The Swedish Air Force demonstrated the capabilities of the Gripen fighter, both in the air and on the ground, which was very popular among the 20,000 aviation enthusiasts that attended the show during the weekend.

Image: Busy in the Saab stand at BIAF 2011
Image: Many visitors came to visit the Saab stand at the Bulgarian International Aviation Festival BIAF 2011 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

In March 2011 the Swedish Government delivered a response to the RFI issued by the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence concerning the procurement of new fighters for the Bulgarian Air Force. The Swedish offer to Bulgaria includes eight new Gripen fighters, a flexible financial solution and industrial co-operation delivered by Saab.

During the weekend Saab and the Swedish delegation were honoured by the visits of Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, Defence Minister Anuy Angelov and Commander of the Bulgarian Air Force Major General Konstantin Popov.

"We are deligthed to take part in the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of Bulgarian Aviation together with our Bulgarian friends. BIAF 2011 has been an excellent opportunity for Sweden to demonstrate the real capabilities of the Gripen fighter in country", says Daniel Boestad, Vice President at Saab, Central and Eastern Europe, Balkans.

Image: Bulgarian Prime Minister Borrissov and the Chief of the Bulgarian Air Force Major General Konstantin Popov together with Ulf Hammarström, Director General Swedish Defence and Security Agency (FXM) and Saab's Daniel Boestad.
Image: Bulgarian Prime Minister Borrissov and the Chief of the Bulgarian Air Force Major General Konstantin Popov together with Ulf Hammarström, Director General Swedish Defence and Security Agency (FXM) and Saab's Daniel Boestad.

On the Saturday Saab organized a popular Gripen quiz for all BIAF visitors. Out of ten finalists, the top three were challenged in a mission in the Gripen cockpit simulator. After a thrilling couple of hours Ognyan Nyashkolov from Plovdiv was announced the winner and he was awarded with a personal cockpit demonstration by the Swedish Air Force.

Image: Gripen on static display at BIAF 2011
Image: Ten excited finalists of the Gripen quiz together with their Gripen instructors.