# 1172 JAS 39C Gripen, 212 Sqn, F21
Purchased products will not feature the Squadron Prints watermark.
Squadron Prints Lithograph No. 1172 - SAAB JAS 39C Gripen, 39248, 212 Fighter Squadron, F 21 Norrbotten Wing, Luleå, Swedish Air Force.
On 10 November 1958 the Commander of the Swedish Air Force requested before HM King Gustav VI Adolf that the Norrbotten Air Corps be reinforced with a squadron of J 32B Lansen in a first effort to strengthen the defence of northern Sweden. Although not equipped for the air defence role a reconnaissance version of Lansen, the S 32B, was stationed at F 21 during 1959-61. At exactly 1400 hours 1 October 1961 squadron leader Stefan Båldh swept over the base with eight J 32B Lansen all-weather fighters arriving from the F 12 Kalmar Wing, thus marking the birth of 2nd squadron Urban Blå. In 1963 the F 21 Air Corps, based on one of the oldest airbases in Sweden, was reorganized to the F 21 wing thereby making it the youngest wing in the Swedish Air Force. In 1968, 2nd squadron converted to the SAAB J 35D Draken high-altitude fighter later replaced by the SAAB JA 37 Viggen fighter in 1985. In the spring of 2002, 2nd squadron received its new fourth generation SAAB JAS 39A/B Gripen swing-role fighter. On 1 January 2003 the squadron was declared fully operational in all roles. In 2006 2nd squadron converted to a newer version of the Gripen, the SAAB JAS 39C/D Gripen, this newer version of Gripen has, among many other improvements, PWS, AAR and NVG capability. During three months in the summer of 2011, 2nd squadron participated in Operation Unified Protector, contributing to the protection of Libyan civilians and the maintaining of the no-fly zone over Libya. Based at Sigonella air base, Sicily, the squadron flew pre-planned recce and NTISR missions. Illustrated above is the JAS 39C Gripen fighter with one of the configurations used in Operation Unified Protector, carrying two IRIS-Ts, two AIM-120B AMRAAMs, one Litening III pod, one SPK39 reconnaissance pod and two external fuel tanks. Fitted also is an internal Mauser 27 mm gun.
The Urban Blå Squadron patch with the accentuated U in the middle which is the 21st letter in the alphabet signifying the F 21 Norrbotten Wing. In the background is a 4-ship formation of JAS 39 Gripen fighters climbing over the Laplandish mountains of northern Sweden. Through the decades the fighters depicted on the patch have changed from the SAAB J 32 Lansen via the SAAB J 35 Draken and the SAAB JA 37 Viggen to todays SAAB JAS 39 Gripen.