Long queues to sit in Gripen’s cockpit at SIAF

Both aerial and static displays of multi-role supersonic fighter JAS-39 Gripen were among the highlights of Slovak International Air Fest (SIAF) 2015. This year Saab, the producer of Gripen and general partner of the event, offered the visitors a unique chance to get into the cockpit of a full-scale replica of the aircraft and see the world as pilots do.

The real Gripen fighter of the Swedish Air Force participated in the aerial programme on Sunday. Visitors who wanted to experience the role of the Gripen pilot first-hand were welcome in the Saab Experience Hangar, which offered the opportunity of flying and shooting in various scenarios on a state-of-the-art simulator. Other attraction included simulator of the RBS 70 man-portable air-defence system and Saab’s Small Weapons Indoor Trainer (SAVIT).

“I am happy that Gripen is so popular among visitors of SIAF, and we hope they will have the chance to admire it soon in the colours of Slovak Air Force. Our aircraft is an excellent solution for big countries, as proven by orders from Brazil and South Africa; yet small and mid-sized countries are those who can most benefit from its unparalleled focus on cost/performance ratio and low operational costs,” said Daniel Boestad, Head of Gripen, Central and Eastern Europe.

SIAF 2015 took place in Sliač on August 29 – 30. Hot sunny weather over the weekend attracted nearly 140,000 visitors. Programme showcased a number of aerobatic performances from renowned teams such as Frecce Tricolori or Patrouille de France, as well as presentation of modern military technology. In total, the event hosted 720 participants from 14 countries.