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J35 Draken Saab
J35 Draken
Multi-Role Fighter

The Saab Draken (dragon) was requested by the Swedish government in 1949 to fulfill a need for a radar equipped, supersonic air-defense interceptor. The Draken design featured a double delta wing and two fixed-geometry oval engine inlets.

About 600 aircraft were built for Sweden as well as other European nations. Sweden's Draken fleet came in six different variants while two Draken models were offered for export. The early models were intended purely for air-defense, but the J35D introduced a ground attack capability. The last model built was the J35F, the final variant to remain in Swedish service. These aircraft have now been retired and replaced by the Gripen.

Export customers included Denmark whose F-35 aircraft were retired in 1993. Finland updated its J35X fleet with new avionics, cockpit displays, navigational/attack systems, and electronic countermeasures during the 1990s but finally retired the Draken in 2000. The only country still operating the Draken is Austria, but these last few planes are due to be retired in 2005 and will be replaced by the Eurofighter.

Data below for J35J
Last modified 19 September 2009

First Flight (J35A) 25 October 1955
(S35E) 27 June 1963
Service Entry

8 March 1960


one: pilot



Wing Root unknown (5%)
Wing Tip unknown (5%)

Length 50.33 ft (15.35 m)
Wingspan 30.83 ft (9.40 m)
Height 12.75 ft (3.89 m)
Wing Area 529.6 ft² (49.2 m²)
Canard Area

not applicable

Empty 18,190 lb (8,250 kg)
Normal Takeoff 24,000 lb (10,900 kg)
Max Takeoff 27,050 lb (12,270 kg)
Fuel Capacity internal: unknown
external: unknown
Max Payload

6,395 lb (2,900 kg)

Powerplant one Volvo Flygmotor RM6C afterburning turbojet
Thrust 17,650 lb (78.51 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 [clean]; Mach 1.4 with armament
at sea level: unknown
Initial Climb Rate 34,450 ft (10,500 m) / min
Service Ceiling 65,000 ft (19,810 m)
Range typical: 700 nm (1,300 km)
ferry: 1,755 nm (3,250 km)
g-Limits unknown

Gun one 30-mm Aden M/55 cannon (100 rds)
Stations 11 external hardpoints
Air-to-Air Missile Rb24 (version of AIM-9 Sidewinder), Rb27, Rb28
Air-to-Surface Missile none
Bomb 500 kg bombs
Other rocket pods, ECM pods

J35A Draken Original fighter model
J35B Draken Improved model with a longer tail, modified landing gear, new radar, improved fire control system, air-to-ground datalink, and increased weapon payload capacity
Sk35C Draken Two-seat trainer
J35D Draken Ground attack model with an improved engine, modified engine inlets, greater fuel capacity, and upgraded radar
S35E Draken Reconnaissance model based on the J35D with five cameras located in a modified nose plus an additional camera that can be carried in either of the cannon bays
J35F Draken Air defense fighter based on the J35D with upgraded avionics and able to carry the Falcon air-to-air missile
J35F-2 Draken Upgraded J35F with an IR sensor under the nose
J35H Draken Proposed improved model with a new radar offered to Switzerland; 1 converted
J35J Draken J35F airframes upgraded with improved radar, avionics, and cockpit displays; 64 converted
J35X Draken Export model based on the J35F but with upgraded attack capability
F-35 or A35XD Danish version of the J35X, includes TF-35 trainers and RF-35 reconnaissance models


KNOWN OPERATORS: Austria, Östereichische Luftstreitkräfte (Austrian Air Force)
Denmark, Kongelige Danske Flyvevåbnet (Royal Danish Air Force)
Finland, Suomen Ilmavoimat (Finnish Air Force)
Sweden, Svenska Flygvapnet (Swedish Air Force)


J35 Draken

  • 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. 258-259, 300.
  • Donald, David, ed. The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1997, p. 811.
  • Gunston, Bill and Spick, Mike. Modern Air Combat: The Aircraft, Tactics and Weapons Employed in Aerial Combat Today. NY: Crescent Books, 1983, p. 146-147.
  • 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. 198-199.
  • Paul Nann's Military Aviation Photo Gallery

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