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October 3, 2016

Czech Air Force deploys JAS-39 Gripen aircraft to guard Iceland’s airspace

The Czech Air Force has deployed five JAS-39 Gripen fighter jets to Iceland to conduct an air policing mission for the next several weeks.

By Srivari Aishwarya

The Czech Air Force has deployed five JAS-39 Gripen fighter jets to Iceland to conduct an air policing mission for the next several weeks.

During the deployment, the Gripen fighters from 21st Tactical Air Force Base in Caslav will guard Iceland's airspace.

Czech Republic Chief of Staff Army General Joseph Becvár said: "This is the fifth deployment of Czech JAS-39 Gripen abroad to protect the airspace of NATO member states.

"Between 2009 and 2012, to protect the airspace of the Baltic countries, and again in 2014 and 2015 acted to police the airspace of Iceland.

"This deployment is not just another practical example of the Czech participation in the Alliance's common effort, but also a great opportunity to expand the experience and skills of our members tactical Air Force.”

The fighter jets are fitted with AIM-120 AMRAAM medium range air-to-air missiles, in addition to the existing cannons and short-range AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles.

Upon landing in Iceland, the aircraft underwent necessary checks and prescribed maintenance to ensure its readinessf or the first certification flights, which will take place early next week.

"This deployment is not just another practical example of the Czech participation in the Alliance's common effort, but also a great opportunity to expand the experience and skills of our members tactical Air Force."

Saab-built JAS-39 Gripens were accompanied by a KC-135 tanker from the US Air Force during the flight to Keflavík airport.

The aircraft will return after executing operational tasks that are planned for November this year.

Powered by a Volvo RM12 turbofan engine, the light single-engine multirole fighter aircraft features advanced avionics.


Image: Saab JAS-39. Photo: courtesy of MatthiasKabel.

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