[Photo] Armed Czech JAS-39 Gripen jets deploy to Iceland for NATO Air Policing Mission

Here are the first photos of the Czech Air Force JAS-39 Gripen fighter planes deploying to Iceland to undertake Icelandic Air Policing duty.

The Czech Air Force has deployed five of its JAS-39 Gripen fighter aircraft and a total of 80 aircrew and ground personnel from 21st Tactical Air Force Base Čáslav to Iceland.

Their ferry flight to Keflavik was supported by an Italian Air Force KC-767A tanker from the 14° Stormo (Wing) based at Pratica di Mare.

Gripen formation

The Gripens mission is to provide Airborne Surveillance and Interception Capabilities to meet Iceland’s Peacetime Preparedness Needs (ASICIPPN) on behalf of NATO.

Noteworthy, the aircraft deployed to Iceland carrying live AIM-9L Sidewinder air-to-air missiles.

Gripen landing

Image credit: Eggert Norðdahl


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


    • Maybe it causes less stress on the wing, thereby reducing life usage and increasing time between overhauls?
      At least that’s what I think, though I tend to see this quite often on Gripens.

      • Good Thought! Would love to hear from a JAS-39 operator (SwAF or CzAF) to know for sure! Perhaps less stressful on a/c over a long-range flight. In regards to AIM-9L vs AIM-9M, I think Spencerhut is correct. Forward fins on Sidewinder do not look like AIM-9L’s. Great Catch, Spencerhut!!! Thanks!

    • This could be to reduce drag. The AIM-9L/M have a considerable amount of drag because of their large forward canards. This is why you see F-16s and F-15s carrying their AIM-120C AMRAAMs on their outboard wing stations and the Sidewinders inboard.

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