In an interview with Defensehere.com, SAAB's Communication Manager of Central and Eastern Europe, Markěta Maršálek Čadková, talked about SAAB's Gripen fighter aircraft and its missions on different countries.
Sweeden based Saab is a defence and security company with an enduring mission, to help nations keep their people and society safe. Empowered by its 19,000 people, Saab designs, manufactures and maintains advanced systems in aeronautics, weapons, command and control, sensors and underwater systems. It has major operations all over the world and is part of the domestic defence capability of several nations.
"Czech Republic and Hungary, they are Gripen operators. Both of them are operating the C/D version of Gripen. Czech Republic started to fly Gripen in 2005. What I would like to emphasize is that they were able to provide a QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) operations just within 12 months since the contract signature. Until nowadays, they have accumulated more than 35,000 flying hours, which means that thanks to Gripen, Czech Air Force is where they belong, they are protecting the skies. And not only the skies of the Czech Republic, but also of other NATO members." said SAAB's Communication Manager of Central and Eastern Europe, Markěta Maršálek Čadková.
She said that "Just recently, end of last year, Czech Republic participated in its seven NATO Air Policing Commission, protecting the skies of the Baltic states. So, they were deployed in Lithuania and covering the airspace protection of three Baltic states, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Plus, they are also doing the QRA operations over Slovakia, which is waiting for the delayed deliveries of the U.S. aircraft.
Hungary, another very successful operator of Gripen, also C/D version, 14 pieces of aircraft. Also, they participated another Baltic mission last year. Recently, Hungary proceeded towards the upgrades of the Gripen fleet. They are going to proceed towards the newest version which is called MS 20 Block 2.2.
Hungary is preparing to big military event called Kecskemét Air Show. Gripen is going to participate there for sure. It's going to be Hungarian Air Force Gripen. Also, we are going to present hopefully, you'll never know, Gripen E from Sweden. In Chezch Republic for example, it's possible to see Gripen on many air shows. For example, NATO days 2023, you will also be able to see Gripen there."