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  • Libya: Gripens To Start Flying; Typhoons To Start Dropping Bombs
    Posted by Robert Wall 9:28 AM on Apr 07, 2011

    The Swedish air force Gripens due to participate in the Libya no-fly zone enforcement action led by NATO are due to start flying in the region today.

    The initial flights are for pilot familiarization and not yet part of the mission. Actual no-fly zone enforcement flights with the Swedish fighter -- which is marking its operational debut -- are due to commence tomorrow or Saturday, according to a Swedish military official.

    blog post photo
    (Photo: Swedish air force)

    The Swedish fighter detachment is supported by the S102B Korpen signals intelligence aircraft (photo above). The modified Gulfstream IV is not part of the core NATO detachment, but handling associated tasks (my belated apologies, in an earlier post I mistakenly identified the surveillance asset Sweden was dispatching as one of the Erieyes).

    Meanwhile, the U.K. reports that four of its Typhoons will shift from air-to-air operations to air-to-ground combat. It could open the door for the Typhoon fleet to drop ordnance in anger for the first time; two Typhoons remain assigned to air-to-air tasks.

    The RAF has also augmented its fighter force supporting Libya operations, with the total now at 20 aircraft.

    Tags: ar99, Gripen, Typhoon

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