Over a period of three months, four pilots from the Czech Air Force have been in Sweden in order to train as Gripen pilots. They also spent two days visiting Saab to see where Gripen is produced.
At Saab, they were given a presentation about the company and had the opportunity to visit the simulator, the final assembly and the composite workshop. The prospective Gripen pilots were happy to be able to visit Saab.
"It was fascinating to get to see the place and the hangars where Gripen is produced, said Martin Paček”, one of the pilots.
Image: The pilots visited the Gripen final assembly during their visit at Saab in Linköping. Photo: Per Kustvik.
The training has taken place at F 7 Såtenäs, which has responsibility for the training of Czech, Hungarian and Thai pilots. The training is carried out at the Gripen centre training facility, a facility that contains all the facilities needed to effectively train Gripen pilots. The pilots have previously flown the L-159 Alca at Čáslav squadron in the Czech Republic and they are extremely satisfied with the training that is developing them into Gripen pilots. Much of the training is spent in the simulators at the Gripen centre, but theory also plays a major part in the training.
Martin and his friends have now returned to the Czech Republic to commence tactical training at Čáslav Air Force Base. It was four expectant Gripen admirers that returned.
"We are delighted to be operating the Gripen system in the Czech Republic, and if it were up to us to decide, we would want to operate Gripen in the Czech Republic today, tomorrow and in the future," said all four in agreement.
20 Gripen pilots
The Czech Gripen aircraft are based at Čáslav Air Force Base, in the heart of the Czech countryside. At the base, there is one division flying Gripen and another operating the L-159. The Czech Republic has four Air Force Bases in total and at the other three bases there are helicopters and transport aircraft. There are around 20 Gripen pilots at present in the Czech Republic.