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Hungarian Gripen fighters

Hungarian Air Force and Gripen – many milestones reached

3 min read

On Friday 26th April, the morning at the Kecskemét Airbase looked a bit different than standard morning – technicians were not working around the Gripen fleet, pilots were not preparing for their next mission (but of course, everyone was still ready for Alpha scramble should it come). 

Colonel Gergely Gróf, Commander of the Szentgyörgyi Dezső 101st Air Wing of the Hungarian Defence Forces, gathered the personnel for a short ceremony to note the recent achievements. And they are many! Firstly, Hungarian Air Force Gripen fleet will be enlarged by four more Gripen C fighters, allowing Hungary to protect its airspace and airspace of partners within NATO with the fleet comprising 18 Gripen C fighters. 

Secondly, Hungarian Air Force recently reached significant milestone – 30.000 flying hours on Gripen! "We highly value our partnership with Hungary and we are impressed by the results of the Hungarian Air Force flying their Gripen fighters. It is a firm and long-term partnership between HunAF, Saab, Swedish Air Force and FMV. Protecting the airspace 24/7 and reaching 30.000 FH shows high operational availability of Gripen, ready to be where it is needed – in the air," says Lars Tossman, Senior Vice-President and Head of Aeronautics. 

Ceremony at Kecskemét Air Wing on 26th April 2024.

In order to be able to keep on delivering missions, it is crucial to keep Gripen continuously modernized. "That is something we can do. With Gripen you will always have the newest, fastest computers running the latest algorithms, the latest sensors and the most advanced weaponry. It gives our customers, Hungary included, the advantage to see more and act faster than an opponent," adds Tossman. And this is another milestone which was celebrated last Friday in Kecskemét. Saab has now delivered MS20 Block 2.1. upgrade which brings important enhancements of radar capabilities, more secured communication system and includes IFF (identification friend-foe) as per latest NATO standard. 


Last but not least, the Air Wing Commander appreciated Captain Máte Majerik for his outstanding performance as Gripen display pilot. Máte was demonstrating the capabilities of Gripen to cheering crowds during more than 50 airshows, events and festivals between 2019-2022 and collected many awards for his breath-taking displays. Of course, he could not do that alone – without proper technical support. Therefore, major György Havasi was also awarded on behalf of the whole technical squadron maintaining Hungarian Air Force Gripen fleet. 

Congratulations, or szívből gratulálok, as they say in Hungarian!