On 4 October 2022, the Multinational Multi Position Tanker Transport Fleet (MMF) initiated the Saab Gripen Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) check marketing campaign to allow the fleet to fly future AAR missions with the Gripen fighter. The mandatory floor and in-flight checks to acquire the technical and operational AAR clearances are at the moment happening over the Baltic Sea, utilizing one MMF plane and Swedish Gripen fighters. The check marketing campaign will conclude on 21 October after which the check stories can be assessed by the Dutch Navy Airworthiness Authority. Ultimate approval is anticipated early 2023. As soon as the method is accomplished, the Czechia (and different Gripen customers like Sweden) will be capable to refuel its fighter fleet utilizing the MRTT hose and drogue system.

“To this point, the MMF may make use of already current documentation of clearances carried out by different MRTT customers, primarily from Australia and the UK. Nonetheless, no receiver clearance in opposition to a MRTT exists for the SAAB Gripen but. Because the Gripen is operated by Czechia, one in all our valued MMF companions, we determined that the MMF would take the lead within the receiver clearance course of.” Mr Jan Der Kinderen, NSPA MMF System Supervisor stated.


Airbus A330 MRTT throughout an air-to-are fligth check operation with Swedish Gripen fighters. (Photograph by Swedish Defence Materials Administration)

This may allow the fleet to carry out longer-range missions with out the necessity of intermittent landings for refueling. The MMF, within the lead for the testing marketing campaign, is working carefully with the Swedish and Dutch Flight Check Organisations to carry out the mandatory flights and procure the required clearance. Air-to-air refueling is a vital functionality for NATO forces in operations that require long-range air missions. The MRTT’s 111 tons primary gasoline capability allows the plane to excel in air-to-air refueling missions, eliminating the requirement for added gasoline tanks.

The Multinational MRTT Fleet, owned by NATO and managed by the NSPA, supplies strategic transport, air-to-air refueling and medical evacuation capabilities to its six taking part nations (Belgium, Czechia, Germany, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and Norway). The Multinational Multirole Tanker Transport Unit, fashioned by navy personnel from the six taking part nations, operates the fleet. All six Allies have entry to the MMF capabilities based mostly on the variety of flying hours contracted. So far, seven plane have been delivered to the Unit, with remaining deliveries anticipated in 2024.

Swedish Air Force Gripen Fighter Air-to-Air Refuelling Test Campaign Initiated
The Multinational MRTT Fleet (MMF) is main the Saab Gripen Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) check marketing campaign to allow the fleet to fly future AAR missions with the Gripen fighter. (Photograph by Swedish Defence Materials Administration)