Czech Air Force Gripens Refuel In Flight for First Time
On Tuesday 28 February 2012 for the first time in the history of the Czech Air Force carried out an airplane in-flight refueling in Ronneby, Sweden. JAS 39 Gripen to the Czech pilot on board several times successfully merged with the Swedish Air Force tanker C-130 Hercules.
This training of two pilots were selected from 21 Tactical Air Force Major Jaroslav Čáslav Toman and Captain Peter Dřevecky. During the Monday to the late evening hours passed both demanding theory. Today the long awaited follow a practical part, which consisted of Czech driver training instructor in the Swedish two-seat version of the supersonic aircraft JAS 39 Gripen.
During flight training, which lasted two hours and five minutes, seven times successfully merged with the Swedish Air Force tanker C-130 Hercules. The first four connections were training and in three other cases there was a "sharp" overdraft £ 3000 fuel.
"The first three links held together with an instructor, after all this is new for us, but in the next phase of the connection I have conducted myself," says Major Jaroslav Toman, pilot aircraft JAS 39 Gripen from 21st Caslav Tactical Air Force Base, which has undergone training first. "I feel good about," adds the fact that it has a separate waiting tomorrow refueling training in a one version of an airplane.
"Today the ability to move to the Czech Air Force significantly different, qualitatively higher level," said Chief of General Staff Army General Vlastimil Picek.
"The ability to in-flight refueling is a prerequisite for a possible operation of our air forces in NATO operations. We made a further step towards full interoperability with other aircraft alliance partners, "said Air Forces commander Gen. George Verner.
The Czech air force now has 14 Gripen fighters that were leased from Sweden for ten years until 2015. The Swedish and Czech government decided recently to discuss the continuation of this pattern after 2015.
Source: 28 February 2012 - Czech Ministry of Defence News
Photo: Czech Air Force Jas-39 Gripens In-flight-refuelling. (Photo by Stefan Kalm)