The five Gripen multi-role fighters, the latest C and D versions of the aircraft, are the first of fourteen ordered by Hungary. The aircraft were flown by four pilots from the Hungarian Air Force and three from the Swedish Air Force. The flight, which departed from FMV´s facility outside Linköping, lasted for about two hours.
- “The flight went very well. The Gripen aircraft was easy to handle and everything functioned perfectly”, - said Hungarian Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Gabor Toth after landing at the Kecskémet air base in Hungary, where the Gripens will be based.
The remaining nine Gripen aircraft will be delivered to Hungary progressively until December 2007. The Gripen aircraft will now undergo inspection by the Hungarian Ministry of Defence before they are formally handed over to the customer at a ceremony being held on 30 March 2006.
The first groups of Hungarian pilots and technicians, who have been undergoing training in Sweden since January 2005, have completed their training and are back in Hungary.
Hungary is the third nation, after Sweden and the Czech Republic, to operate the fourth generation Gripen fighter. Hungary will receive the latest C and D versions of the Gripen aircraft. These aircraft are the latest C and D versions of the Gripen aircraft and are equipped with full color cockpit displays, a retractable air-to-air refueling probe and are fully NATO-interoperable.