MILAVIA > Aircraft > SAAB 37 Viggen Last updated: 25 May 2014
MILAVIA Aircraft - SAAB AJ/JA 37 Viggen

Saab 37 Viggen

Role: ground-attack/strike, fighter, reconnaissance, EW
Builder: SAAB (Saab Aerospace)
Variants: AJ 37, SK 37, SK 37E, SH 37, SF 37, JA 37, AJS 37
Past Operators: Sweden

this section is still under construction

The construction of JA37 started as late as 1968 and flew the first time in 1977. The first JA37 Viggen was delivered to the Swedish airforce in 1979. This aircraft was made especially in mind for Swedish air force specifications about STOL. The Swedish airforce needed a high quality all weather fighter, able to take off and land on short strips. The system builds on using regular roads as landing/take off strips spread out around the country, making it harder for an enemy to defeat the fighters on the ground during reloading, service and refuelling. The first delivery to the Swedish airforce was the year 1979 and the last one 1990. JA37 is the fifth member of the Viggen family. Viggen is built out of aluminium, honeycomb-elements and titanium-reinforcements. JA37 Viggen is the only aircraft in the Viggen family equipped with a head-down-display from Smiths Industries. It makes it possible for the pilot to fly in any kind of weather. Totally 329 Viggen were built, 149 of then are JA37´s.

Many of the functions in Viggen are automated, to help the pilot and so he can work comfortably. Examples of this are the automatic cannon. Once the pilot has his target locked on radar, the aircraft will steer itself so that every round will hit its target. The cockpit in Viggen is a relaxed environment; automatic throttle helps the pilot to keep an optimum speed, altitude and angel at short and steep landings. You can land at speeds between 195-249km/h (121-154 mph) with an aoa (Angel of attack) 16, 5 degrees.

Once the landing gear hits the ground and presses together, the reversing function sets in. This is optional, the pilot may choose to use the reversing system manually is he so wishes. The Viggen has a unique reversing system built in, which helps it to keep the landings under 500 meters. It also results in that the pilot can go backwards with his aircraft without any external help. This is always appreciated amongst the audience during airshows and gets a lot of applauses. The Tornado and Viggen are the only tactical fighters in the world equipped with this system. The rear landing gear is very wide, which gives the aircraft more stability on the ground, either you taxi, take off or land.

Author: Patrik Sebek

JA 37
Saab JA 37 Viggen in splinter camo

JA 37
JA 37 fighter interceptor in grey

SF 37
Camera windows in the SF 37 nose

SH 37
Effectiveness of the camouflage, SH 37

SK 37
SK 37 Trainer Viggen

First Published: 16 August 2004
Last Revised:
Last Modified: 25 May 2014

Update log:
25 May 2014 Layout upgrade