Photography Magazine

SAAB AJS-37 Viggen

By Htam
SAAB AJS-37 Viggen

@ Madrid, Spain

May 2014

One unexpected treat of my visit to this fine collection of the Museo del Aire was seeing my first Viggen in person.  These aircraft served with the Flygvapnet, the Swedish Air Force, from 1971 to their retirement in 2005.  This AJS variant was one of 48 AJ (strike fighter) aircraft that underwent an avionics and software upgrade. The Viggen would be the first canard aircraft to see mass production. Viggen has two definitions in Swedish, the first translates to “thunderbolt”, the second meaning refers to vigg, the Swedish word for the tufted duck. This is in reference to its canard configuration as “canard” is French for duck. Large anti-ship missiles employed by the Viggen necessitated the extra height for both the landing gear and vertical stabilizer. This in turn required a vertical stabilizer that folds down to fit in smaller hangars and shelters.

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