The Viggen was initially developed as an intended replacement for the Saab 32 Lansen in the attack role and later the Saab 35 Draken as a fighter. In December 1961, the Swedish government gave its approval for the development of Aircraft System 37, which would ultimately become the Viggen.
The Viggen (Thunderbolt) was developed by Sweden in the mid-1950s as a fighter and attack plane which could take off and land from specially prepared roads without the maintenance highly trained personnel, with the additional capacity of reaching Mach 1 at low altitude and Mach 2 at high altitudes. A delta-winged design with aiding canards was therefore selected, allowing operations within 500 m airstrips. The turbofan engine, selected for fuel economy, was quite particular, being one of few which featured an afterburner and mechanical thrust-reverser combination; it was also unusually large (6.1 m x 1.35 m). Produced in 329 units, the Viggen remained operational until 2007.
Max. takeoff weight: 20,000 kg (44,000 lb)
Maximum speed: Mach 2.1, 2,231 km/h (1,386 mph) at 11,000 m
Range: 2,000 km internal fuel only (1242 mi)
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