Low Level Flying with the Legendary SAAB J-37 Viggen in Sweden

Here’s an interesting video, showing the SAAB J-37 Viggen at work in Sweden some years ago.

The footage brings you in the cockpit of the Swedish Air Force’s delta wing plane, at very low level, over unpopulated areas covered by snow and on the range, to fire rockets.

It was filmed by the F21 (21st Wing) at Luleå and Vidsel air bases.

The front line Viggen aircraft were retired from the Swedish Air Force in November 2005 and replaced by JAS 39 Gripen. A few examples were kept flying for electronic warfare training against Gripen before being eventually retired in June 2007.



H/T to Lars-Gunnar Holmström for sending the link to the video.


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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. I always liked the Saab Draken jet. Funny-looking as can be, but it must’ve been a good jet to stay in service for 50 years (first flight in 1955, produced from 1955-1975, and retired by Australia in 2005).

    • Funny-looking? Well, I grew up playing watching ‘6 million $ man’ and ‘Space:1999’. I always thought F-4 Phantom was the coolest plane ever, but then I saw two SAAB JA-37 Viggen planes over the Baltic Sea in 1979. Almost 20 yrs later I took my son to Rovaniemi Airfield, base of FAF Fighter Squadron 11, currently operating FA-18 Hornets, to see SAAB J-35 Draken interceptors taking off at Arctic just before sunset.

      Just google ‘draken suomi’ and ‘Viggen war base exercise’ and You WILL get my drift..

      BTW F-104 was no match to SAAB Draken even at sea-level, and SAAB Viggen is the only known plane to have radar-locked SR-71 Blackbird. And I absolutely, positively guarantee there is no mentally sound pilot on Earth who would want to engage SAAB JAS-39 Gripen.

      • Oh yes, I love the look of the Draken’s double-delta wing and the way that the inlet is blended into the wing. When I have a picture of the Draken on my work desktop computer (in a hard turn against a mountain backdrop) somebody always walks by and says, “What is that?!” I always loved how Saab found functionality in unique designs where nobody else did, you could never say that they stole their designs from somebody else.

      • I saw a video clip (downloaded the MPEG from a website that is now gone) with a JAS-39 at an airshow. I’d love to see one live, it was flying some amazing maneuvers.

  2. The old saying with the F-18 is that it can point its nose at anything ONCE (then it’s out of energy).

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