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New Czech Pilots Train for Aerial Refueling in Sweden

Earlier this month, three Czech Gripen pilots trained for air-to-air refuelling during an international exercise in Sweden, reports afbcaslav.cz. Officially called the International Air-to-Air Refueling (AAR) Conversion Training, the exercise was conducted from 2nd to 6th November. 

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Along with these three new Czech pilots, one more pilot and five Gripen technical personnel are in Sweden for retraining. The objective of the refuelling exercise in Sweden was to train on the Swedish tanker C-130 Hercules. The exercise was also a great way to enhance interoperability of the Czech Air Force in the international environment.

"The in-flight refuelling procedure itself is not easy at all and requires precision from the pilot. It should be noted that the aircraft flies at a speed of over 500 km/h and the edge of the tanker basket is approximately 20 to 30 centimetres from the cabin at the time of connection," one of the Gripen pilots explained.

Since in-flight refuelling capability is also one of the major requirements for participation in NATO operations and other alliance exercises, trainings and re-trainings like these are important for the Czech Gripen pilots.

The Czech Gripen fighters recently completed 30,000 flight hours on the Remembrance Day, November 11, 2020. Over the last 15 years, the fighters have been instrumental in ensuring the protection and sovereignty of the Czech Republic airspace, and also in the Collective defence of NATO.

Read the full story here.