Hungary became an operator of the highly successful Saab JAS 39 Gripen in 2006, when it took on charge the first of 14 examples. Currently operated under a leasing arrangement with the Swedish government, renewed for another decade during 2012, these comprise a dozen single-seat JAS 39C variants and a pair of JAS 39D two-seaters. All are flown by the 'Puma' squadron of the 59th Tactical Fighter Wing at Kecskemét. Adding the Gripen to its inventory has boosted significantly the front-line capabilities of the Hungarian Air Force, which was previously reliant on Warsaw Pact-era combat equipment like the MiG-29. Hungary has recently committed its Gripens to joining the multi-national air policing efforts over Slovenia and the Baltic states.
Photo credit: Andy J Donovan