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Saab J 35 Draken
Role: interceptor, reconnaissance
Builder: Saab Aerospace
Variants: J 35A, J 35B, Sk 35C, J 35D, S 35E, J 35F, J 35J, 35BS, 35OE (J-35Ö) , 35XD (F-35, RF-35, TF-35), 35XS
Operators: Sweden, Austria, Denmark, Finland
The Saab 35 Draken ('The Dragon') is a supersonic interceptor built for the Swedish Air Force in the 1960s.
It has a double delta wing. The inner part of the wing is highly swept and is integrated with the airframe.
This thick inner wing begins with the engine intakes and makes room for internal fuel, landing gear and fixed
weapons. The outer part of the delta wing is less swept to give the aircraft better flight characterics
for subsonic speeds. Another design feature was the short take off capability to operate from normal roads.
Swedish military designation is J 35 where the J stands for Jakt (fighter). It is equipped with a licensed
built version of the Rolls Royce Avon engine and a domestic developed afterburner.
The Saab J 35A was the first aircraft to enter service. Before they were armed and equipped with radar
they were used as single seat trainer. The J 35B had improved ejection seat and control systems. It was
equipped with the longer afterburner, like the final J 35As. The 35C variant was a two seat trainer and
was based on the J 35A with the short afterburner. It is designated Sk 35C where Sk stands for
Skol or Trainer. The J 35D was equipped with the more powerful
RM6C engine which required the engine intakes to be extended forward. It also had a new afterburner and
a larger internal fuel capacity. The next variant was the dedicated reconnaissance (Spaning) aircraft
S 35E. Based on the J 35D it is equipped with four OMERA camera's in the nose (forward, downward and two sidelooking)
and two forward looking in the wings replacing the internal guns. The next variant was the fighter J 35F
equipped with IR detectors and revised canopy. The last variant to operate in the Swedish Air Force was
the J 35J which was a rebuilt and improved J 35F.
Besides the above variants of the Swedish Air Force, a number of variants were developed and built for
export customers. The Saab 35BS was a reworked J 35B for Finland. Another Finnish variant was the Finland
built Saab 35XS which was basically a J 35F more or less upgraded to J 35J standard with a better
countermeasures suite. For Denmark the Saab 35XD was developed. Based on the J 35F but was upgraded
with more internal fuel, stronger gear, arrester hook, improved avionics and cockpit layout, new
weapon pylons which resulted in redesigned outer wings. Three versions were built from the Saab 35XD variant: a single seat fighter designated
F-35, two seat trainer TF-35 and a single seat reconnaissance version RF-35. Later F-35s were equipped with IR
sensor in the nose. Another variant for export is the Saab 35OE (J-35Ö), which are reworked 35Ds for the Austrian
Air Force. Austria acquired 24 aircraft in 1985, with deliveries in 1987-1989.
Austria was the last operator of the Saab Draken. After having operated the Draken for 17 years,
Austria finally retired the last nine Drakens from operational service in November 2005. Just
prior to the retirement, the Draken celebrated its 50 year anniversary.
The Draken designed for STOL
Latest variant J 35J
Finnish two seat Sk 35C
Saab 35XS for Finland