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AJ 37 Viggen Saab
AJ 37 Viggen
Attack Fighter

The System 37 project was launched in 1960 to produce a family of aircraft with short takeoff and landing capability. The Viggen family was designed for multiple kinds of missions, including fighter (JA), attack (AJ), reconnaissance (SF, SH), and training (SK). The first to be built, the AJ 37, was primarily a ground and sea attack aircraft with a secondary fighter role.

The Viggen design utilized a large cranked delta wing with large flapped canards plus tandem wheel main landing gear and thrust reversers to achieve short takeoff and landing (STOL) performance from rough terrain and country roads. The AJ 37 attack variant typically carried rocket pods or precision-guided anti-surface missiles like the Swedish RB05 or American Maverick. Related models included the SF 37 all-weather day/night reconnaissance platform and SH 37 all-weather maritime surveillance or strike aircraft. By the late 1990s, the remaining AJ, SF, and SH fleets had been upgraded with new electronics and weapons giving them improved surface attack capabilities.

The Viggen fleet was gradually retired and replaced by the Gripen by the end of 2005.

Last modified 17 March 2012

First Flight (AJ 37) 8 February 1967
(SF 37) 21 May 1973
(SH 37) 10 December 1973
(JA 37) 27 September 1974
Service Entry

(AJ 37) 21 June 1971
(SF 37) April 1977
(JA 37) 1979
Retirement November 2005

CREW: one: pilot



Wing Root unknown
Wing Tip


Length 53.48 ft (16.30 m)
Wingspan 34.77 ft (10.60 m)
Height 18.38 ft (5.60 m)
Wing Area 495 ft (46.0 m)
Canard Area


Empty 27,000 lb (12,250 kg)
Normal Takeoff 37,480 lb (17,000 kg)
Max Takeoff unknown
Fuel Capacity internal: unknown
external: unknown
Max Payload

13,000 lb (6,000 kg)

Powerplant one Volvo Flygmotor RM8A afterburning turbofan
Thrust 25,970 lb (115.5 kN) with afterburner

Max Level Speed at altitude: 1,320 mph (2,125 km/h) at 36,000 ft (10,975 m), Mach 2.0
at sea level: 910 mph (1,460 km/h), Mach 1.2
Initial Climb Rate 40,000 ft (12,200 m) / min
Service Ceiling 60,000 ft (18,300 m)
Range typical: 540 nm (1,000 km)
ferry: 1,080 nm (2,000 km)
g-Limits unknown

Gun none
Stations seven external hardpoints
Air-to-Air Missile AIM-9 Sidewinder (RB24, RB74)
Air-to-Surface Missile (AJ 37) RB04, RB05, RBS15, AGM-65 Maverick (RB75)
(SH 37) RB04
Bomb (AJ 37) 120-kg bombs
(AJS/AJSF/AJSH 37) BK90 cluster
Other (AJ 37) 135-mm rocket pods, 30-mm ADEN cannon pods, ECM pods

AJ 37 Single-seat all-weather attack aircraft with a secondary fighter role; 110 built
JA 37 Single-seat interceptor with a secondary surface attack capability; 149 built
SF 37 Single-seat all-weather armed photo-reconnaissance model with a modified nose containing cameras, infrared sensors, and ECM equipment in place of a radar; 26 built
SH 37 Single-seat all-weather ocean surveillance model with a search radar in the nose and equipped with anti-ship missiles; 26 built
AJS 37, AJSF 37,
Designations applied to AJ 37, SF 37, and SH 37 aircraft upgraded for air-defense, attack, and reconnaissance duties; about 115 converted
SK 37 Two-seat trainer without a radar; 18 built
Saab 37E Eurofighter Proposal to meet a NATO requirement for an attack fighter replacing the F-104; not built
Saab 37X Proposed export model; not built




Sweden, Svenska Flygvapnet (Swedish Air Force)


AJ 37 Viggen

  • Bishop, Chris, ed. The Encyclopedia of Modern Military Weapons: The Comprehensive Guide to Over 1,000 Weapon Systems from 1945 to the Present Day. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1999, p. 242, 272, 277-278, 301.
  • Donald, David, ed. The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1997, p. 812-813, Saab-37 Viggen.
  • Gunston, Bill, ed. The Encyclopedia of Modern Warplanes. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1995, p. 238-240.
  • Gunston, Bill and Spick, Mike. Modern Air Combat: The Aircraft, Tactics and Weapons Employed in Aerial Combat Today. NY: Crescent Books, 1983, p. 148-149.
  • Isby, David C. Jane's Fighter Combat in the Jet Age. London: Harper Collins Publishers, 1997, p. 182.
  • Munro, Bob and Chant, Christopher. Jane's Combat Aircraft. Glasgow: Harper Collins Publishers, 1995, p. 202-203.
  • Rendall, David. Jane's Aircraft Recognition Guide, 2nd ed. London: Harper Collins Publishers, 1999, p. 91.

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