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Saab Viggen, IAT 1993 - pic by Dave Key
Saab Viggen, IAT 1993 ©Dave Key

Fighter/Attack Aircraft.

8 February 1967.

The 'Viggen' was an attack, Fighter and Reconnaissance aircraft designed by Saab with the aim to produce a robust aircraft capable of operating from specially prepared roads and highways in the event of war.

Due to the turbofan being fitted for performance requirements the airframe is rather bulky and has a 'hump' on the dorsal spine to reduce drag.

The double delta wing Viggen has no tail wings but instead incorporates canards positioned behind the inlets. The canards were slightly higher than the wings to generate vortexes for greater lift when the flaps were deployed for take-off and landing.

The 'Viggen' was extensively manufactured from titanium and had an unusual arrangement of the landing gear with each main gear having two wheels in tandem, allowing storage in a thinner wing.

The 'Viggen' incorporated six fuel tanks in the fuselage and wings holding a capacity of 5,000 litres of fuel. An additional 1,500 litres of fuel could also be held in an external drop tank.

Designed as a single seat aircraft, the 'Viggen' had a digital central computer and a head-up display replacing a Navigator. A honeywell radar altimeter with transmitter and receiver mounted in the canard wings was used to assist in low level flight.

Electronic countermeasures (ECM) consisted of a radar warning receiver system in the wings and the tail, an optional chaff/flare pod. In total, the electronics weighed 600 kg which was a substantial amount for a single-engine 1960s fighter.

The pilot flew with a centre stick and left side throttle. The hands-on-throttle–and-stick HOTAS controls included trim, autopilot disengage, event marker and trigger (on the stick) and ECM switch and missile seeker un-cage (on the throttle). Adjacent to the throttle was a separate radar joystick.

A weapons load of up to 7,000 kg could be accommodated on seven hard points; one centreline pylon, two fuselage pylons, two inner and two outer wing pylons. The centreline pylon was the only wet pylon and was usually occupied by an external fuel tank. The outboard wing pylons were never used in peacetime since aerodynamic flutter loads would structurally fatigue the wing.

The Saab 37 ‘Viggen’ was produced between 1970 and 1990, with 329 built.

Volvo RM8B, producing 16,200 lbf
28,110 lbf (after burner).

1 x Oerlikon KCA 30mm cannon
6 x Missiles
1 x ECM Pod

The first Saab AJ37 ‘Viggen’ was delivered to the Swedish Air Force in July 1971 and by May 1974 two squadrons were operational.

The 'Viggen' was phased out in favour of the advanced later generation JAS 39 Gripen with the last front line 'Viggen' retired from the Swedish Air Force in November 2005. A few aircraft were kept flying for electronic warfare training against the JAS 39 at F 17M in Linköping. The last 'Viggen' flight took place in June 2007.

Crew - 1
Length - 53ft 9in (16.4m)
Wingspan - 34ft 9in (10.6m)
Height - 19ft 4in (5.9m)
Empty Weight - 21,000lb (9,500kg)
Max. Weight - 44,000lb (20,000kg)
Max. Speed - 1,386 mph (2,231 km/h)
Range - 1,242 miles (2,000 km)


Saab Viggen, IAT 1993 - pic by Dave Key Saab Viggen, IAT 1993 - pic by Dave Key Saab Viggen, IAT 1993 - pic by Dave Key
IAT 1993 IAT 1995 IAT 1995

Photos copyright of ©Dave Key