Gripen Plays an Important Role at the Ample Strike 2021
Gripen successfully supported Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) from seven nations at the recently held Ample Strike 2021 exercise.
A very important task for the JTACs is to support ground units in coordinating with air support to engage with targets efficiently. In a way, they are ground-based air traffic control during a mission. JTACs use radios to establish communication with commanders, aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles and indirect fire weapon systems.
During Ample Strike, the JTACs went through realistic mission scenarios and practice various aspects of their roles along with honing their operational readiness. Hungarian Air Force’s Gripen and Czech Air Force´sL-159 fighters were supporting the exercise from day one. The pilots of both the aircraft practised direct air support tasks.
With the Litening 4i LDP (Laser Designator Pod) aiming and reconnaissance container, the Gripen fighters can act against ground targets during the exercise. "This container makes it possible to strike ground targets in virtually any lighting conditions," said one of the Gripen pilots from the Čáslav base.
Ample Strike 2021, with almost 700 allied troops participating this year, is one of the largest NATO military exercises in the territory. The exercise aims at training JTACs with aircraft crews and ground force commanders for direct air support.
"Each exercise is beneficial for us in gathering new experience, especially in an international environment in cooperation with the Alliance's armies," says the commander of the Čáslav base, Colonel Míka.
Ample Strike 2021 concluded on 19 September.
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