Swedish Gripen supported the firefighting efforts in Sweden dropping a GBU-12 bomb on a forest fire.
Several large forest fires are burning in Sweden in Gävleborg, Jämtland and Dalarna areas. Among the aircraft supporting the firefighting operations there are also some Swedish Air Force JAS-39 Gripen C multirole combat aircraft.
In fact, on Jul. 25, a Gripen dropped a 500-lb GBU-12 Laser Guided Bomb from 3.000 meters in an attempt to cut fire affecting Älvdalen’s shooting range, a military range where unexploded ammunition and difficult terrain made conventional extinguishing methods not sufficient. The Swedish pilot dropped the GBU-12 so that the bomb would cut the fire at a certain distance from the impact point: a fire requires oxygen, heat and fuel. The explosion burns oxygen that is no longer available to the fire.
The first test had “a very good effect“, that is, the bomb broke out the fire. Even on other fires that were 50, 100 and 150 meters from the target, the effect was assessed according to the Swedish press.
According to the preliminary report, this unusual firefighting technique has been successful.
Here’s the footage filmed from another Gripen chasing the launch platform.
Many foreign assets have been scrambled to the affected areas to support the Swedish firefighting operations, including the Italian CL-415 Canadair “water bomber” aircraft:
H/T Per-Olov Noren for the heads-up