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The Saab 37 Viggen ("Thunderbolt") is a multi-role jet fighter with a delta wing and canard design. The successor to the Saab 35 Draken was built in Sweden between 1970 and 1990 and was designed so that it could be adapted for either aerial combat or ground attack as well as for aerial reconnaissance.

Saab paid particular attention to the STOL (Short Take-Off and Landing) capabilities of the Viggen, which enable the aircraft to take off and land on short runways. Saab produced various versions – including the AJ 37 strike fighter, a maritime patrol aircraft (SH 37) and a two-seat trainer (SK 37). All 329 aircraft produced were in service exclusively with the Swedish Air Force (Flygvapnet). From 1994, the Flygvapnet began to gradually introduce the Saab JAS 39 Gripen as a replacement. The last two aircraft were finally retired in 2007.

The Saab AJS 37 appearing at AIRPOWER16 is the only remaining airworthy example of the Viggen. It was built in 1977 with the serial number 37098 and was in service with squadrons F15, F7 and F21 until 2000. The former backbone of the Flygvapnet was restored by Swedish Air Force Historic Flight in collaboration with Saab and the Swedish Air Force and will appear in the Flying Display at Austria's airshow.

  • © Swedish Air Force Historic Flight

  • © Guinnog

  • © Swedish Air Force Historic Flight - Daniel Drakes & Jan Jörgensen

© Alan Wilson

Facts & Figures

Manufacturer Saab
Variant Saab AJS 37 Viggen
Serial number 37098
Built 1977
Civil registration number SE-DXN
Height 5.6 m
Total length 16.2 m
Wingspan (delta) 10.6 m
Wingspan (canard) 5.45 m
Empty weight 9,500 kg
Max. takeoff weight 20,500 kg
Max. speed Mach 2.1, 2,231 km/h at 11,000 m
Service ceiling 18,300 m
Range 2,000 km
Powerplant Volvo Aero RM8A turbofan jet engine
Power 125.04 kN thrust (with afterburner)
Crew 1
Display Flying