Saab 35 Draken
|Saab 35 Draken|
|An Austrian Air Force Draken in a special paint scheme.|
|First flight||25 October 1955|
|Introduction||8 March 1960|
|Status||Retired from military service|
|Primary users||Swedish Air Force
Austrian Air Force
Finnish Air Force
Royal Danish Air Force
|Developed from||Saab 210|
The Saab 35 Draken (English: "Kite" or "Dragon") was a Swedish fighter aircraft manufactured by Saab between 1955 and 1974. The Draken was built to replace the Saab J 29 Tunnan and, later, the fighter variant (J 32B) of the Saab 32 Lansen. The indigenous J 35 was an effective supersonic Cold War fighter that was also successfully exported to Austria, Denmark and Finland.
Design and development 
As the jet era started, Sweden foresaw the need for a jet fighter that could intercept bombers at high altitude and also successfully engage fighters. Although other interceptors such as the US Air Force's F-104 Starfighter were being conceived during the same period, Saab's "Draken" would have to undertake a combat role unique to Sweden. Other demanding requirements were the capability to operate from reinforced public roads used as part of wartime airbases, and for refuelling/rearming to be carried out in no more than ten minutes, by conscripts with minimal training. In September 1949, the Swedish Defence Material Administration issued a request for a fighter/interceptor aircraft, and work began at Saab the same year.
Draken's design incorporated a distinctive "double-delta" configuration, with one delta wing within another larger delta. The inner wing has an 80° angle for high speed performance, while the outer 60° wing gives good performance at low speeds. Propulsion was provided by a single Svenska Flygmotor RM 6B/C turbojet (Rolls-Royce Avon 200/300). A ram turbine, under the nose, provided emergency power and the engine had a built-in emergency starter unit. The Draken could deploy a drag chute to reduce its landing distance.
The double-delta shape was so revolutionary that it warranted the only sub-scale test aircraft built in Sweden: the Saab 210, unofficially nicknamed "Lilldraken" (the little draken). The Saab 210 tested the concept of the double delta, first flying on 21 January 1952. The 210's successful testing results led to an order for three full-size Draken prototypes. The first prototype, not fitted with an afterburner, made its maiden flight on 25 October 1955. The second prototype, equipped with an afterburner, unintentionally broke the sound barrier on its first flight while climbing.
Operational history 
Although not designed to be a dogfighter, the J 35 Draken proved to have good instantaneous turn capability and was a very capable fighter. It entered service in 1960 with the Swedish Air Force; 644 Saab Drakens 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 defence. The last model built was the J 35F, the final variant to remain in Swedish service. These aircraft were retired in the 1990s and replaced by the Saab Gripen.
The J 35 Draken design underwent several upgrades. The last was the J 35J version, in the late 1980s, although by then, the Draken had been almost totally replaced by the Saab 37 Viggen in Swedish service. The J 35J was a service-life extension program since the delivery of the new Saab JAS 39 Gripen was still in the development stage and suffering from delivery delays. The extension program was to keep the Draken flying into the 2000s, but due to cutbacks and high maintenance costs the Draken was eventually phased out. The Swedish Drakens were officially retired in December 1998, although the type remains in limited numbers in both military and civilian versions. Export customers included Denmark and Finland. In 1985, the Austrian Air Force purchased 24 J 35D s reconditioned by Saab, designated J 35Ö.
All Drakens are interceptors with limited air-to-ground capability, with the sole exception of the Danish Drakens, which are strike aircraft capable of carrying AGM-12 Bullpup missiles, advanced "jammers", and increased internal and external fuel stores. The Danish Drakens are so far the heaviest of the series to have been in service. Danish J 35 aircraft were retired in 1993.
Finland updated its 35XS fleet with new avionics, cockpit displays, navigational/attack systems and electronic countermeasures during the 1990s but finally retired the Draken in 2000.
Austria was the last country to operate the Draken in military service. They bought refurbished J 35D which was the last Austrian Air Force fighter with two internal cannon due to the restriction in the Austrian State Treaty of 1955 of not being allowed to carry air-to-air missiles. This restriction was dropped in 1993 due to airspace violations from the nearby Yugoslavian internal conflict on its southern border, AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles were purchased. These Drakens were retired in 2005, when they were replaced by former Swiss Tiger IIs, while waiting for new Eurofighters.
In the United States, the National Test Pilot School (NTPS) owns six Drakens that were formerly in Danish service; of these, two TF-35XD s and one RF-35XD are operational, based at the Mojave Spaceport.
Possible storing of surplus Drakens 
In 2011 the journalist Mikael Holmström released the book "Den dolda alliansen" ("The Hidden Alliance" - in English) about Sweden's relations with NATO during the cold war. In it he made states that Sweden had stored surplus Draken aircraft intended for use by Finland in the case of Soviet aggression. Sweden operated the J 35B and J 35F with the J 35B being withdrawn in June 1973 and the last J 35F in 1991 there would be aircraft available to make this possible but unverified.
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (January 2013)|
Proof of concept 
- Saab 210 Draken
- (also known as Lilldraken) - A scaled-down, "proof of concept" experimental aircraft to evaluate the double-delta wing configuration, not specifically a Draken variant but included here for sequence purposes.
Full-size Drakens 
- J 35A
- Fighter version, total production: 90. The J 35As were delivered between 1959-1961. The tail section was lengthened after the 66th aircraft to house a new afterburner for additional thrust, the longer tail cone unexpectedly reduced drag. This forced the installation of a retractable tail-wheel. The two versions were nicknamed Adam kort (Adam short) and Adam lång (Adam long). The Adam was fitted with a French Cyrano Radar PS-02(same as on the Mirage III) as the Swedish radar hadn't been developed in time.
- J 35B
- Fighter version, built and delivered between 1962–1963, total production: 73. This variant had improved radar and gun sights, and was also fully integrated into the Swedish STRIL 60 system; a combat guidance and air surveillance system. Fitted with a Swedish built radar PS-03.
- SK 35C
- 25 J 35As with short tail sections rebuilt into a twin-seated trainer version. The minor modification meant that the aircraft could easily be converted back to a J 35A standard if necessary. The trainer version lacked armament.
- J 35D
- Fighter version, delivered between 1963–1964, total production: 120. The aircraft had a new and more powerful Rolls-Royce Avon 300 (RM 6C), which could deliver 77.3 kN thrust when using its afterburner. This was also the fastest Draken version, capable of accelerating until out of fuel. It was also the last Draken to carry two cannons.
- S 35E
- Reconnaissance version, total production: 60. The radar and the armament had been removed and several cameras (of ortho and oblique types) fitted. The aircraft was unarmed but was fitted with a countermeasure system to increase its survivability. A total of 28 aircraft were re-built J 35Ds.
- J 35F
- Fighter version, delivered between 1965 and 1972, total production: 230. This variant had improved electronics and avionics, e.g. integrated radar, aim and missile systems. The aircraft's main armament were IR and SARH versions of the Hughes Falcon missile originally intended for the J 35D, but one of the cannon was removed to make space for more avionics. The J 35F2 was a J 35F, produced with a Hughes Aircraft Company N71 infra red sensor, a so-called IR seeker. This was a change in the production line from the no. 35501 airframe. The Hawé mods I & II where carried out on the P/S-01/011 radar sets in the early 80's to improve ressistance to ECM.
- J 35J
- In 1985 the Swedish government decided to modify 54 J 35F2s to J 35J standard. In 1987, 12 more modifications were ordered. Between 1987 and 1991, the aircraft were given a longer lifespan, more modern electronics, a modernized cannon, an additional two Sidewinder (AIM-9L) pylons under the air intakes and increased fuel capacity. The final operative J 35J flew for the last time in 1999.
- Saab 35H
- Proposed export version for the Swiss Air Force; none sold or delivered.
- Saab 35XD
- Danish export versions: F-35 single-seat strike aircraft, TF-35 two-seat trainer and RF-35 reconnaissance aircraft. The type was heavily modified to make it into a strike aircraft; compared to the Swedish versions the outer wings where completely redesigned, and the radar was missing. These aircraft could carry heavy bombs as well as Bullpup missiles, during the WDNS upgrade of the 1980s they received the ALQ-162 jammer a Marconi 900 Series HUD and a Ferranti LRMTS (laser rangefinder and marked target seeker)
- Saab 35XS
- Fighter version for the Finnish Air Force; built by Saab and assembled under licence by Valmet in Finland.
- Saab 35BS
- Used J 35Bs sold to Finland.
- Saab 35FS
- Used J 35F1s sold to Finland.
- Saab 35CS
- Used SK 35Cs sold to Finland.
- Saab 35Ö
- In the mid-1980s, Saab re-purchased 24 J 35D aircraft from the Swedish Air Force and converted them into the J 35Ö version (also called J 35OE in English literature) for export to Austria. Austria bought AIM-9P5 all aspect sidewinders for these aircraft during the war in former Yugoslavia.
|J 35B||SK 35C||J 35D||S 35E||J 35F/F-2||J 35J|
|Length||15.207 m (49.89 ft)||15.34 m (50.33 ft)||15.207 m (49.89 ft)||15.34 m (50.33 ft)|
|Wingspan||9.42 m (30.9 ft)|
|Wing area||49.22 m2 (529.8 sq ft)|
|Tail height||3.869 m (12.69 ft)||3.89 m (12.76 ft)|
|Empty weight||6,590 kg (14,500 lb)||6,792 kg (15,000 lb)||7,265 kg (16,000 lb)||7,311 kg (16,100 lb)||7,425 kg (16,400 lb)||7,422 kg (16,400 lb)|
|Maximum take-off weight
|10,089 kg (22,200 lb)||10,189 kg (22,500 lb)||10,508 kg (23,200 lb)||10,089 kg (22,200 lb)||11,864 kg (26,200 lb)||11,973 kg (26,400 lb)||11,914 kg (26,300 lb)||12,430 kg (27,400 lb)|
|Maximum speed||1,900 km/h (1,200 mph)||2,150 km/h (1,340 mph)||Mach 2.0|
|810 m (2,660 ft) dry, or
510 m (1,670 ft) Drag Chute
|920 m (3,020 ft) dry
680 m (2,230 ft) Drag Chute
|921 m (3,022 ft) dry
678 m (2,224 ft) Drag Chute
|1,220 m (4,000 ft) dry, or
880 m (2,890 ft) Drag Chute
|Internal Fuel||2,240 L (590 US gal)||2,820 L (740 US gal)|
525 L (139 US gal)
|Air to Air Missiles
|Air to Air Rockets
|Engine||RM 6B||RM 6C|
|Afterburner||Ebk 65||Ebk 66||Ebk 65||Ebk 67|
Proposed modifications 
Before it was decided to develop the JAS 39 Gripen in the late 1970s, an intensive study was undertaken on an AJ 35 modification for the remaining S 35E and J 35F variants. The main goal was to give the aircraft strike capability while waiting for a replacement for the AJ 37 Viggen.
- 35 MOD Level 4
- The most ambitious modification in the program. The proposed modifications were; new outer wing, additional weapon stations, RBS 15 capability, the addition of canard wings by the air intakes for increased maneuverability and maximum take-off weight increased to 15 000 kg.
- 35 MOD Level 1b
- Essentially the aircraft that became the J 35J.
The total number of Drakens produced and delivered: 644.
The Saab 35 Draken was withdrawn from military use in 2005. Several aircraft fly in the civil circuit, mainly in the USA.
- Austrian Air Force, 24 aircraft:
- Fliegerregiment 2
- Staffel 1
- Staffel 2
- Fliegerregiment 2
- Royal Danish Air Force, 51 aircraft:
- No. 725 Squadron
- No. 729 Squadron
|J 35A||J 35B||SK 35C||J 35D||S 35E||J 35F/F2||J 35J|
- J 35D, 34370 Kraków Air Force Museum at the old Kraków Airport Muzeum Lotnictwa Polskiego w Krakowie
- J 35J, 35630 at the at the Ängelholms Flygmuseum on the former Scandia Air Force Wing F 10 Ängelholm
- J 35 in the Foundation Estonian Aviation Museum at Tartumaa, Estonia.
- RF-35 (RDAF AR-112) is used as a gateguard for Karup AB, Denmark.
- F-35 (RDAF A-001) at Danish Museum of Science and Technology in Elsinore, Denmark
- F-35 (RDAF A-009) at Danmarks Flymuseum, Stauning, Denmark
- F-35 (RDAF A-010) at Aalborg Defence and Garrison Museum at Aalborg, Denmark. In deteriorating condition as it is stored outside of any hangar and not much funding is available to refurbish it.
- F-35 (RDAF A-020) Stored at Chino Airport, CA, USA
- RF-35 (RDAF AR-105) has been mounted on hydraulic jacks as a flight simulator. It is operated by Viadukten recreational club in the Danish town of Roskilde, close to the railroad.
- RF-35 (RDAF AR-106) Stored at Chino Airport, CA, USA
- RF-35 (RDAF AR-116) Stored at Chino Airport, CA, USA
- TF-35 (RDAF AT-155) Stored at Chino Airport, CA, USA
- RF-35 (RDAF AR-118) gateguard outside Danmarks Flymuseum, Stauning, Denmark
- J 35J, 35518 Prague Aviation Museum, Kbely, Czech Republic
- SAAB 35TF in Keskisuomen Ilmailumuseo, Tikkakoski, Finland
- SAAB 35 Draken in Karhulan ilmailukerho Aviation Museum outside Kotka in Finland
- SAAB 35 Draken formerly Austrian Air Force at Technik Museum Speyer, Speyer, Germany
- SAAB 35 Draken formerly Austrian Air Force placed at roundabout by Tulln, Austria
- SAAB 35 Draken Oe Mk II formerly Austrian Air Force is on display at FH Joanneum in Graz, Austria. The aircraft is partially dismantled, engine is missing.
- SAAB 35 Draken formerly Austrian Air Force placed in front of the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum in Vienna, Austria
- J 35A Draken (c/n 35069, F 16 wing) Brussels Air Museum, Brussels Belgium
- J 35A Draken at the Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum, former RAF Dumfries, Scotland
Specifications (J 35F Draken) 
- Crew: 1
- Length: 15.35 m (50 ft 4 in)
- Wingspan: 9.42 m (30 ft 10 in)
- Height: 3.89 m (12 ft 9 in)
- Wing area: 49.22 m² (529.82 ft²)
- Empty weight: 7,865 kg (17,340 lb)
- Loaded weight: 11,400 kg (25,132 lb)
- Max. takeoff weight: 16,000 kg (35,273 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × Volvo Flygmotor RM 6C afterburning turbojet
- Dry thrust: 56.5 kN (12,787 lbf)
- Thrust with afterburner: 78.4 kN (17,637 lbf)
- Maximum speed: Mach 1.6 ,
- Range: 3,250 km (2,020 mi) with external drop tanks
- Service ceiling: 18,000 m (59,000 ft)
- Rate of climb: 175 m/s (34,450 ft/min)
- Wing loading: 231.6 kg/m² (47.4 lb/ft²)
- Thrust/weight: 0.70
- Takeoff roll: 800 m (2,623 ft)
- Guns: 1x 30 mm M-55 ADEN cannon with 100 rounds (Left cannon omitted to fit Avionics needed for Falcon missile integration)
- Hardpoints: for fuel tanks or ordnance with a capacity of 2,900 kg (6,393 lb) and provisions to carry combinations of:
See also 
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow
- Convair F-102 Delta Dagger
- Convair F-106 Delta Dart
- Dassault Mirage III
- General Dynamics F-16XL
- Lockheed F-104 Starfighter
- Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21
- Related lists
- Erichs et al. 1987
- "Saab 35 Draken." globalaircraft.org. Retrieved: 4 June 2012.
- Widfeldt 1995, p. 156.
- "AR112" (in Danish). Draken F35/RF-35?TF-35. Retrieved: 4 June 2012.
- "SAAB RF-35 Draken, A - 010" (in Danish). Aalborg Forsvars- og Garnisons Museum. Retrieved: 4 June 2012.
- "Flysimulator" (in Danish). Draken flysimulator. Retrieved: 4 June 2012.
- Green, William and Gordon Swanborough. The Great Book of Fighters. St. Paul, Minnesota: MBI Publishing, 2001. ISBN 0-7603-1194-3.
- Wilson 2000, p. 123.
- Laukkanen 2009, p. 101
- Dorr, Robert F., René J. Francillon and Jay Miller. Saab J35 Draken (Aerofax Minigraph no. 12). Arlington, Texas: Aerofax Inc., 1987. ISBN 0-942548-17-5.
- Eden, Paul (editor). The Encyclopedia of Modern Military Aircraft. London: Amber Books, 2004. ISBN 1-904687-84-9.
- Erichs, Rolph et al. The Saab-Scania Story. Stockholm: Streiffert & Co., 1988. ISBN 91-7886-014-8.
- Jørgensen, Jan. Saab 35 Draken: Scandinavian "Cold War" Warrior. Shrewsbury, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd., 1997. ISBN 1-85310-729-8.
- Laukkanen, Jyrki. Saab 35 Draken in Finnish Air Force (Suomen Ilmavoimien lentokoneet, osa 3)(in Finnish). Tampere, Finland: Apali Oy, 2009. ISBN 978-952-5026-55-9.
- Peacock, Lindsay. "Saab Draken Variant Briefing". World Air Power Journal, Volume 17, Summer 1994, pp. 116–135. London: Aerospace Publishing. ISBN 1-874023-43-3. ISSN 0959-7050.
- Taylor, John W.R. "Saab 35 Draken." Combat Aircraft of the World from 1909 to the present. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1969. ISBN 0-425-03633-2.
- This Happens in the Swedish Air Force (brochure). Stockholm: Information Department of the Air Staff, Flygstabens informationsavdelning, Swedish Air Force, 1983.
- Widfeldt, Bo. Draken. Inbunden, Sweden: Air Historic Research AB U.B., 1995. ISBN 91-971605-4-7.
- Wilson, Stewart. Combat Aircraft since 1945. Fyshwick, Australia: Aerospace Publications, 2000. ISBN 1-875671-50-1.
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- The only flying Saab J35J Draken (Kite/Dragon) in Swedish colours is operated by heritage flight of the Flygvapnet (Swedish Air Force) - 2012.