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

Oct 19 2014 - 13 Comments

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

 

  • Absalon

    Why not mount the AIM-9L on the wingtip mounts?

    • ODM

      I was wondering the same thing…

    • FX102A

      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.

      • Absalon

        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.

  • Spencerhut

    I think those are AIM-9M, not AIM-9L

  • Alois Janíček

    Bear hunting season just started on Iceland.

    • I just hope nothing Backfires if they’re playing some Blackjack.

      • Spencerhut

        Ba ha ha . . . you so funny. But seriously I wish them the best of skill and luck in all their engagements.

        • Why thank you – and indeed let’s hear it for the Czech AF.

    • Guest

      Ha, these pretty jets won’t last one day (24 hours) if their pilots are ever stupid enough to try policing the skies of eastern Ukraine !

      • Charles Randall

        Bull!

  • dishonesty

    In armory CzAF are AIM-120C-5&AIM-9M-9