The Czech Air Force has successfully completed the MS20 capability upgrade to its fleet of Gripen fighter aircraft, greatly increasing its combat and communication capabilities.
The MS20 upgrade involves both hardware and software upgrades, bringing a number of improvements including the aircraft’s ability to engage ground targets by incorporating unguided and laser-guided bombs and the air-to-air capability is enhanced by introduction of new radar modes.
Another key element will be the integration of the targeting electro-optical pod Litening III, which will be used not only for guiding missiles and bombs, but also in aerial reconnaissance and combat. The upgrade also implements the Alliance datalink – Link 16 – as well as cryptomodules for covert communication.
The new software package was integrated into the single and double seat versions of the Czech Gripen. Following successful flight tests, the MS20 software was integrated into the remaining fighters, enabling a smooth transition to the new MS20 upgrade.
Colonel Petr Tománek, Commander of the Czech Air Force’s Caslav Air Base, said: “Thanks to the modernisation of the Czech Gripen aircraft, the operational capabilities of the Czech Air Force will be significantly increased. Our staff has appreciated a close and fruitful cooperation with the Swedish side on this specific modernisation project as well as the cooperation during the 13 years that we have operated Gripen aircraft.”
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