SAAB SK-37 Viggen Jet Arrives In U.S. Ready Spring 2009

Posted on 29. Nov, 2008 by in 2000-2009, JA 37 (Viggen)


Photo Credit: SAAB

The super rare SK-37 SAAB Viggen that I mentioned this past September, has arrived in the United States at the Collins Foundation in Stow, Massachusetts.

This one of 18 produced two-seater SAAB Viggen, was the last jet used by the Swedish Air Force in 2007 when they were all decomissioned.

The SAAB SK-37 Viggen Jet will apparently be ready sometime in the spring of 2009

Please read the press release below:

Collings Foundation receives a unique fighter jet from the Swedish Air Force

The Collings Foundation is excited to announce a new one-of-a kind addition to its aircraft collection. After extensive footwork by Else-Marie Lindgren, member of the Swedish Parliament, the donation of a Swedish Air Force fi ghter aircraft popularly known as the Viggen was fi nalized in the spring of 2007. (Viggen translates to Thunderbolt in English) During the Cold War, Sweden pursued a policy of neutrality between East and West. A major component of this strategy was a series of combat aircraft built by SAAB. One of the most impressive of this series was the SAAB 37 “Viggen,” a multi role combat aircraft that was the backbone of Swedish air power from the 1970’s to the end of the century. Our new Viggen will be the fi rst on United States soil ever!

In 1964, the Swedish Government ordered the development and construction of a robust new aircraft. It was to have good short fi eld performance and be easily operated from specially prepared roads or highways. Other requirements included supersonic ability at low altitude, Mach 2 performance at high altitude, and ease of repair and service. Responding to plans for the Viggen, the U.S. National Security Council, led by President Eisenhower,
formulated a military security guarantee for Sweden. The United States promised to provide military aid to Sweden if the country was attacked by the Soviet Union. Both countries signed a military technology agreement called the “37-annex”, in which Sweden was allowed to access U.S. technology making made it possible to design and produce the SAAB 37 Viggen much faster and cheaper than would otherwise be possible. According to the doctoral research of Nils Bruzelius at the Swedish Defence College, the reason for this offi cially unexplained U.S. support was the need to protect U.S. Polaris submarines deployed just outside the Swedish west coast against the threat of Soviet anti-submarine aircraft.

The first prototype of the Viggen was flown in 1967 and the fi rst production airplanes were delivered in 1971. To accomplish the strict criteria established by the Swedish government, the SAAB 37 was equipped with a Pratt & Whitney turbo fan engine built in Sweden by Volvo. At the time, it was the largest engine in a fi ghter aircraft. Unique for this engine was the capability of thrust reverse, something entirely new for fi ghter aircraft, which allowed the Viggen to operate comfortably in and out of 1500 foot-long airfi elds. (Th e U.S. F-4 Phantom needs a runway length of 7000 feet or longer). The aircraft required very little support; it could be started with an internal battery and could be re-fueled and re-armed within 10 minutes. It had a tail fin that could be folded so the aircraft could be deployed in small units to operate from bunker like structures along designated highways throughout the Swedish countryside. Unique capabilities of the Viggen were it’s ability to land, use reverse thrust, back up, turn around and take off in the other direction – all in under one minute!

The SAAB 37 that has been gifted to the Collings Foundation is of the SK 37 variant which is the two seat training version. Of the 329 Viggen aircraft that were produced only 18 were of the two-seat kind. The SK37 carried less internal fuel and was not equipped with radar, limiting the weapons load to gun pods and unguided rockets. The Collings Foundation’s SK 37 (serial number 813), served the Swedish Air force from 1975 to 2003 as a training aircraft and was thereafter converted to a SK 37E. The SK 37E 813 was equipped for electronic warfare participated for many years at the largest military joint training exercise in Europe called Elite. SK 37E 813 was commissioned to the Swedish Air force base F21 in Lulea in northern Sweden until 2007 when all the SK 37E’s were decommissioned. This represented the end of an era for the Viggen aircraft, as the SKE 37’s were the last Viggen aircraft to be operational in the Swedish Air force. SK 37E 813 was transferred to FMV- the Defense Material Administration Flight Test Center where it was used in a radar development program. On June 26, 2007 SK 37E 813 fl ew its last flight into Halmstad Air force Base in southern Sweden where it has been prepared for the shipment to the United States. During its time of service, SK 37E 813 accumulated 2287.6 flying hours. The aircraft will be on display in the Stow facility sometimein the spring of 2009! For more information on the Viggen see our web site.


Take off run: 1300 ft.
Landing run: 1500 ft.
Length: 53 ft.
Height 19 ft.
Wingspan: 34 ft.
Engine thrust: 26000 lbs.
Max Speed: Mach 1.2
(Low altitude)
Max Speed: Mach 2.0+
(High altitude)
Armament: one ventral 30-mm
Oerlikon KCA cannon w/ 150
rounds. Up to 6 Rb 71 Sky Flash
and Rb 74 (AIM-9L) AAMs. Air-

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