Nov 14 2008

Not enough Gripen fighter pilots

Published by at 12:53 pm under Companies,Top Stories

South Africa recently took delivery of 4 Gripen fighter aircraft from Swedish manufacturer Saab, but hasn’t got enough pilots (yet) to fly the monsters. Click here to look at the machines. You’ll see two pilots are needed to fly one aircraft.

But, South Africa only has six Gripen fighter pilots at this time. More are being trained. It’ll have to happen fast, though. In 2011 Saab will deliver the last batch of the order, namely another 22 aircraft. Hopefully there will be 52 capable pilots around by then. We don’t want these monsters to stand and rust on the ground now – not at a price tag of R608 million per throw.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Not enough Gripen fighter pilots”

  1. adminon 15 Nov 2008 at 11:32 am


    Come to think of it…even if SA had 52 trained Gripen fighter pilots in 2011, will they be experienced enough to take R600 million into the air? That’s quite a responsibility.

    The question remains: How did it happen that SA hasn’t got enough experienced, trained pilots 24 months before taking possession of 22 planes, which had been ordered years ago?


  2. adminon 05 Dec 2008 at 12:46 pm

    It now seems as if 17 of the aircraft are, in fact, single pilot jobs, which brings the number of pilots we need down significantly from the 52 I had previously presumed. So, this might be a smaller problem than previously thought.


  3. adminon 05 Dec 2008 at 6:58 pm

    Here is an interesting article on the topic of fighter pilot training. It confirms my fears that our new Gripen fighter planes are either going to rust on the ground, or fall to the ground, due to bad piloting.

    Read the last sentence of the article a few times….I did. What is the writer trying to say? That only 1 out of 10 trainees should become fighter pilots and not 7 out of 10, as is the current pass ratio in the SAAF? That would mean our Gripens are going to fall to the ground, or?


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