Saab B17 WW2 / Saab B18 WW2
Saab J29 Tunan / Saab J32 Lansen
Saab Draken J35 / Saab Viggen J37
Saab Gripen J39C/E
he Saab 37 Viggen (Swedish for “the bolt” or “the tufted duck” (see name))[Nb 1] is a retired Swedish single-seat, single-engine, short-medium range combat aircraft. Development work on the type was initiated at Saab in 1952 and, following the selection of a radical delta wing configuration, the resulting aircraft performed its first flight on 8 February 1967 and entered service in 21 June 1971. It was the first canard design produced in quantity. The Viggen was also the most advanced[vague] fighter jet in Europe until the introduction of the Panavia Tornado into operational service in 1981.
The Viggen was powered by a single Volvo RM8 turbofan. This was essentially a licence-built variant of the Pratt & Whitney JT8D engine that powered commercial airliners of the 1960s, with an afterburner added for the Viggen. The airframe also incorporated a thrust reverser to use during landings and land manoeuvres, which, combined with the aircraft having flight capabilities approaching a limited STOL-like performance, enabled operations from 500 m airstrips with minimal support. The thrust reverser could be pre-selected in the air to engage when the nose-wheel strut was compressed after touchdown via a pneumatic trigger.
Role Attack, fighter, reconnaissance
National origin Sweden
Manufacturer Saab AB
First flight 8 February 1967
Introduction 21 June 1971 (AJ 37)
Retired 26 June 2007 (SK 37E)
Primary user Swedish Air Force
Number built 329
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Primarily a single-seat ground-attack fighter aircraft (AJ: Attack-Jakt), with a secondary fighter role. RM8A powerplant. PS 37A radar.[ First delivery in mid-1971, 108 built, with serial numbers 37001-37108.[ 48 airframes upgraded to AJS 37. Partially decommissioned in 1998.
Two-seat trainer aircraft (Sk: Skol) with no radar and reduced fuel. First flight on 2 July 1970. 17 built, with delivery from June 1972, serial numbers 37801-37817. Decommissioned in 2003, 10 airframes converted to SK 37E.
Single-seat photographic reconnaissance aircraft (SF: Spaning Foto), with radar replaced by battery of cameras in nose, with provision for additional reconnaissance pods. It made its first flight on 21 May 1973. 28 built, with deliveries from April 1977, serial numbers 37950-37977. 25 airframes upgraded to AJSF 37. Partially decommissioned in 1998.
A 2012 Jane's Aerospace and Defense Consulting study compared the operational costs of a number of modern combat aircraft, concluding that Gripen had the lowest cost per flight hour (CPFH) when fuel used, pre-flight preparation and repair, and scheduled airfield-level maintenance together with associated personnel costs were combined. The Gripen had an estimated CPFH of US$4,700 whereas the next lowest, the F-16 Block 40/50, had a 49% higher CPFH at $7,000.
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