Saab J35 Draken

TYPE: Multirole fighter


POWERPLANTS: 35X - One 56.9kN (12,790lb) dry and 78.5kN (17,650lb) with afterburning Volvo Flygmotor RM6C turbojet (licence built Rolls-Royce Avon 300).

PERFORMANCE: 35X - Max speed Mach 2 or approx 2125km/h (1145kt). Max initial rate of climb 34,450ft/min. Time to 36,000ft 2min 36sec, time to 49,200ft 5min Osec. Radius with internal fuel only, hilo- hi 635km (345nm), with two 100lb/455kg bombs and two drop tanks hi-lo-hi 1005km (540nm). Ferry range with max internal and external fuel 3250km (1755nm).

WEIGHTS: 35X - Empty 8250kg (18,188lb), max takeoff 15,000kg (33,070lb), max overload takeoff 16,000kg (35,275lb).

DIMENSIONS: Wing span 9.40m (30ft 10in), length 15.35m (50ft 4in), height 3.89m (12ft 9in). Wing area 49.2m2 (529.6sq ft).

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only, or two in tandem in Sk 35C and TF-35.

ARMAMENT: One or two 30mm Aden cannon (one in each wing). Nine external stores stations can carry 454kg (1000lb) each, weapons include Bofors rockets, 1000lb/455kg and 500lb/225kg bombs, Rb 24 Sidewinder (licence built AIM-9P) and Rb 27 Falcon (licence built AIM-4) AAMs.

OPERATORS: Austria, Finland, Sweden.

HISTORY: The remarkable Draken (Dragon) was developed against a demanding 1949 Swedish Air Force requirement to develop an advanced high performance interceptor to replace the Saab J29 Tunnan. Among that requirement's specifications was performance 50% greater than any other fighter then entering service. Saab's design team led by Erik Bratt used the unique double delta wing, giving Mach 2 performance and shorter airfield takeoff lengths than contemporaries such as the Mirage III and F-104. The double delta wing configuration was successfully test flown on the Saab 201 research aircraft before the first of three Draken prototypes (powered by an Avon 200) flew for the first time on October 25 1955.

Initial production RM6B powered J35A fighters were delivered to the Swedish Air Force from 1960. New build and converted J35Bs featured Saab's S7 fire control radar and a lengthened rear fuselage, while the J35D was powered by an improved and uprated RM6C turbojet. The final Swedish fighter Draken, the J35F, introduced a Hughes weapon system comprising a pulse doppler radar, automatic fire control system and Falcon AAMs. The J35F-II has a Hughes infrared sensor. Sixty six J35Fs have been upgraded to J35J standard for service through to the end of the 1990s, when they are due to replaced by the JAS 39 Gripen.

Aside from the J35 fighters the Swedish Air Force acquired reconnaissance S35Es with a nose containing five cameras and the Sk35 two seat conversion trainer.

The export 35X was sold to Denmark (as the F-35 fighter, reconnaissance R-35 and two seat TF-35) and Finland which bought 12 J35XS and later ex Swedish J35Fs. Finally Austria's J350Es are rebuilt ex Swedish Air Force J35Ds (24 were delivered from 1988).


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