HunAF Welcomes Two New Gripen Pilots
The Hungarian Air Force (HunAF) recently released a video welcoming two new Gripen demo pilots at the Puma squadron.
The Hungaran Ministry of Defence signed a lease contract for 14 Gripen C/D fighters with the Swedish Defence M,aterial Administration (FMV) in 2001. Hungary was the third Gripen operator besides Sweden and the Czech Republic. The contract was renewed again in 2012 wherein the fleet was upgraded to the MS20 version with a whole series of software and hardware enhancements. With the upgrade, the HunAF Gripens were integrated with the small GBU-39 SDB bombs and enhanced Link 16 data transmission system among other things.
The training of the first Hungarian Gripen pilots was conducted in 2015, and the first five Gripen fighters were formally presented to Hungary in March 2006. During the last 15 years, the Hungarian Air Force Gripen fleet has been successfully guarding the country's airspace and participated in several NATO missions as well. So far, Gripen pilots from the Puma Squadron have flown more than 24,000 hours in the air.
A Gripen demonstration pilot is usually responsible for carrying out Gripen aerial displays, and testing new features and functionalities. The two new Puma Squadron pilots will start participating in exercises from August this year.