Saab 37 Viggen


High performance strike fighter



aab’s System 37, tne Viggen (thunderbolt) was developed as a relatively low-cost Масо 2 fighter capable of deployed short-field operations. The design pioreerec the use of flap-equipped canards with a stabie delta-wing configuration. The selected RM8A turbofan was based on the commercial P&W JT8D-22 and equipped with a thrust reverser and Swedish afterburner.

The initia AJ 37 Viggen all-weather attack variant featured sophisticated nav/attack and landing sys­tems and the PS-37 multi-role radar. The first of seven Viggen prototypes initially flew on 8 February 1967 and deliveries of the first of 109 AJ 37s began in 1971. The primary armament comprised Saab Rb 04E anti-ship missiles (replaced by the far more capable long-range Rbs 15) and licence-built AGM-65 Maverick ASMs.

Several AJ 37-based variants were developed. The SF 37 was tasked with all-weather day and night overland reconnaissance. It is equipped with various optical and IR cameras, and carries podded sensors. The SH 37 was modified for all-weather sea surveillance and patrol with a secondary maritime strike role. It has a modified radar, ventral night reconnaissance and long-range camera pods. A tandem two-seat SK 37 trainer was also developed with a stepped rear cockpit fitted with a bulged canopy and twin periscopes.

The next-generation JA 37 Jakt Viggen (fighter Viggen) was developed as a dedicated interceptor.

The Viggen’s operational career is being cut short by budget cuts and the arrival of the next generation Gripen. The last JA 37s will be withdrawn in 2003.

It introduced a new pu se Doppler look-down/shoot – down PS-47 radar, new avionics, an uprated and modified RM8B engine and a ventral 30 mm cannon. A modified AJ 37 was flown as the JA 37 prototype on 27 September 1974. Overall production of this variant was increased to 149, tak­ing total Viggen procurement to 330. JA 37s entered service in 1978. A number of aircraft have now undergone the JA 37 Mod D upgrade, giving them AIM-120 AMRAAM capability.

Force cuts during the 1990s brought about the retirement of many AJ 37s as squadrons were dis­established and aircraft were scrapped. The advent of the JAS 39 Gripen brought about a rationalisation of the Viggen fleet. The attack/recce Viggens were upgraded to a new ‘multi-role’ standard, allowing them to familiarise pilots with Gripen weapons and procedures. Under this upgrade AJ 37s became AJS 37s, SF 37s became AJSF 37s and SF!37s became AJSH 37s. A number of two-seat SK 37s have also been radically modified to serve as SK 37E EW/SEAD aircraft.

Sweden’s fighter Viggens wear a mix of overall grey and green/brown splinter camouflage. The splinter scheme was applied to all attack/recce Viggens.

image200Specification: Saab JA 37 Viggen Powerplani: one 125 04-kN (28,11 C-lb) Volvo Flygmotor RMI33 turbofar with Swedish anerhi. rner and thrust reverser Dimensions: wing span 10.30 m (34 ft 0/1 ini, length 16.40 m (53 ft 9/1 in) including probe; heigh 5.90 m (19 ft 4И in)

Weights: normal take-off 15000 <g (33,069 lb); тзхіпшпі take-oil 17C00 kg (37.478 lb) Performance: maximum level speed 2126 kmh [1,321 mph); combat radius more than 1000 km (622 miles) on hi-lo-hi profile Armament: one ventral 30-mm Oerlikon KCA cannon with 150 rounds; maximum ordnance 13,000 lb (5897 kg)