The Czech Air Force has successfully completed the MS20 upgrade for its entire Gripen fighter aircraft fleet in order to enhance its combat and communication capabilities.

The MS20 upgrade helps improve the aircraft’s ability to engage ground targets with the use of unguided and laser-guided bombs integrated into the aircraft payload.

Developed by Saab, the Gripen fleet is also modified with new radar modes that increase the air-to-air capability of the fighter jets.

Czech Air Force Caslav Air Base commander colonel Petr Tománek said: “Thanks to the modernisation of the Czech Gripen aircraft, the operational capabilities of the Czech Air Force will be significantly increased.”

As part of the upgrade project, the aircraft will be integrated with the targeting electro-optical pod Litening III, which will be used for guiding missiles and bombs, as well as in aerial reconnaissance and combat.

The MS20 capability upgrade also involves both hardware and software modification.

“The aircraft is capable of addressing the demands of current and future threats, while meeting strict requirements.”

Saab Aeronautics Business Area head Jonas Hjelm said: “We are very pleased with the success of this capability upgrade. We are honoured to have a long-term partner in the Czech Air Force.

“It is largely due to this long-term mutual cooperation between Swedish FMV, the Czech Air Force, and Saab, that the upgrade went smoothly and according to plan.

“We wish the pilots and the whole airforce continued success in meeting their objectives both within their airspace protection operations and their joint Nato operations.”

Gripen is a new-generation, multi-role fighter jet, which is capable of carrying out an extensive range of air-to-air, air-to-surface and reconnaissance missions.

Equipped with the most advanced range of weapons, the aircraft is capable of addressing the demands of current and future threats, while meeting strict requirements for flight safety, reliability, training efficiency and low operating costs.