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SAAB AJ/JA Viggen Detail Question for the Experts!


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Hi all,

 

So, I normally build US Navy and Marines aircraft, but after reading about, and going down a rabbit hole for the Ukraine war, I started to get into the SAAB planes from Sweeden that were built to fight Russia (it doesn’t hurt I have had multiple Volvos over the years and a POC helmet/goggles for skiing, anyway). It’s cool that Volvo license built the engine too! I have a question on the SAAB Viggen AJ versus JA 37 planes.


I think I have a good handle on the differences between the AJ (early) and JA (late) such as the 3-4 actuators on the wing, the different tail, two vortex generator on the canards versus one, the welded single elevon, position light changes and some antenna configurations, etc. I have the Special Hobby kit that includes a lot of the parts to make either an AJ or JA even though I have the AJ version and it doesn’t mention much about the other parts, in fact, I think some of the instructions are wrong such as adding the extra flap actuator for a clearly marked AJ.

 

I have two sets of Moose Republic decals for both the AJ and JA Viggens. I was planning on doing a leaf pile camouflage one, but I liked the large aircraft numbers in dayglow orange for a certain JA Viggen. However, there are two issues with my kit not making a JA. The first is the fuselage extension, but I feel like I could extend the kit with a sheet styrene plug.


The second is the gun pack on the bottom. It appears this is a bolt on gun similar to the Marines Harriers. My question, does the JA always carry this? Photos seem like it does as there are some antenna on it. I don’t think I could scratch build this and it seems hard to find a sprue from some other JA kit. Could I make a JA with the other mods but not the gun pack installed?

If not, there is an AJS that I like that at least lets me put the 4 Sidewinders (or the Swedish equivalent) on the wings since the AJS had some upgraded avionics. No one but me will know, but I’d like to make either a correct JA or AJ, so depending on the gun pack answer, it might force me one way.


Either way I’m excited to build a non-US aircraft in the cool (but challenging) splinter camo!


Thanks,

Dave

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I’ve never seen a JA flown without the gun pack.  In fact, I’m not sure that it’s just a bolt on pack that is intended to be removed. I think there are some openings in the belly skin for some of the components of the gun system, so that if you removed it, it wouldn’t just be the normal fuselage underside as on the non-JA versions.

 

I suppose you could probably put four Sidewinders on an AJS if you wanted, but it’s doubtful the Swedish AF would use it in an air defense role as long as JAs or Gripens were available.  The avionics upgrades don’t turn the AJS into an interceptor.

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No there were no JAs without the gun installed to the best of my knowledge, I do no believe that it could be removed.

 

That being said, the AJ as well as the AJS could use the AIM-9 sidewinder, although it may be just the AJS that could use the later versions (L/M), that I am not sure of.

 

Cheers,

Hoops

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Oh that's great, thank you for the information! I had a feeling the gun was not removable, and never could find a picture of an JA without it. It seems to hard to scratch-build, so it looks like it's an AJ for me! Though I do like the "crink" in the JA vertical tail.

 

Ah so probably not four Sidewinders. Since the AJ is attack, what's a good air to ground load? I saw Mavericks (Swedish equivalent) could be loaded. In the mid-90s where the Mavericks white or some other color (I have seen a green-ish, but that might be inert)? Did they use GP bombs?

 

Thanks for your help. I'm pretty good with American aircraft, but this is a whole new area!

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Page 161 and 162, "The JA 37 is also equipped with a built-in 30 mm Oerlikon KCA cannon of exceptional performance. It fires 22 rounds per second and features ..."

 

Photo caption page 159, " ... a new central computer, a new built-in cannon and new missiles are part ..."

 

IMG_2524_50.thumb.jpg.60e9932d972c84011e427587f8069bfa.jpg

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Great info! Thank you! Either way I think it's going to be an AJ, but very cool info about the JA gun pack. I appreciate the loadout chart as well. 

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Posted (edited)

Hi, a latecomer to this thread...

AJS could actually carry 6 sidewinders if need be while the AJ only could carry 2 on the fuselage pylons and 2 Super Falcons on the outboard wing pylons.

 

The JA gunpack looks bolted on but it is in fact part of the fuselage.

 

Live Mavericks were white, AJ could only carry 2 on the fuselage pylons while the AJS could carry 4 on the fuselage pylons and inner wing pylons (looks rather wicked, I did that on a build)

 

Here is a link to my build 🙂

 

 

Edited by Aigore
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Note that Maestro's Oerlikon pack is only available in 1:72. Since Special Hobby did the Viggen family in both 1:72 and 1:48 (co-produced with Tarangus), it's not clear which scale you're working in.  If 1:48, the only JA gunpacks I'm aware of are the ones in the SH/Tarangus or ESCI/Italeri kits.

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4 hours ago, Quixote74 said:

Note that Maestro's Oerlikon pack is only available in 1:72. Since Special Hobby did the Viggen family in both 1:72 and 1:48 (co-produced with Tarangus), it's not clear which scale you're working in.  If 1:48, the only JA gunpacks I'm aware of are the ones in the SH/Tarangus or ESCI/Italeri kits.

I did see the Maestro gun pack while doing my searches, but also saw that was for 1/72 scale and I'm doing 1/48. Bummer. Thanks for the info though! I think I settled on an AJS. I thought about buying a cheap ESCI kit, but then was like nah! It was going to be 20 something dollars and then a bunch of work to (maybe) get it to fit on the Special Hobby.

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11 hours ago, Aigore said:

Hi, a latecomer to this thread...

AJS could actually carry 6 sidewinders if need be while the AJ only could carry 2 on the fuselage pylons and 2 Super Falcons on the outboard wing pylons.

 

The JA gunpack looks bolted on but it is in fact part of the fuselage.

 

Live Mavericks were white, AJ could only carry 2 on the fuselage pylons while the AJS could carry 4 on the fuselage pylons and inner wing pylons (looks rather wicked, I did that on a build)

 

Here is a link to my build 🙂

 

 

Thanks so much Aigore! I was following your 1/32nd Viggen and that got me really inspired! It even helped so much with paint colors and details. I appreciate it! I also found a few of your 1/48 scale Viggen builds. Thanks for the link to this one. Somehow I missed this particular build. Funny, the scheme I was thinking for the AJS was the #45 with the white boxes on top of the wings. I'll really study it!

 

I was thinking of Maverick's and good to know they were white. While searching, I found a photo of an AJS with 4 white Maverick's on the wings, and I agree. It does look wicked! 


Thanks everyone, very helpful!

Dave

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Just found this thread, and have to make some corrections to previous statements. To give a little background on my credibility, I did my conscript military service in the Swedish Air Force as a mechanic on the JA 37 Viggen fighter, then went on to pre-officers training on the JA and SK (trainer) 37 Viggen. After my officer academy years, I ended up as an aircraft technician on the JAS 39 Gripen, and in 2005 I transitioned to helicopters, were I am emplyed as a flight engineer as of today.

 

So, back to the Viggen. You guys are almost correct, but there are a few things to point out:

 

  • The Oerlikon is an integral part of the fuselage on the JA 37. It could not be removed to be flown without it.
  • The AJS (or AJ) 37 Viggen could NOT carry Super Falcon missiles. The Falcon missile was never introduced on the Viggen, although there were some serious thoughts about it during its early years.
  • The AJ 37 could in fact carry 4 Mavericks (designated RB 75 in Sweden, were RB means Missile). No change for the AJS upgrade, still four Mavericks to be carried. The Maverick model used was the AGM-65 with a television guidance system.
  • The AJ 37 could carry its load on the central fuselage pylon (only a drop tank could be carried here), the left and right fuselage pylons, and on the inner wing pylons. The outboard wing pylons were available for weapons with the AJS upgrade. JA 37 Viggen fighter aircraft had all pylons available from start.
  • The AJS 37 could in fact carry 6 Sidewinders (RB 24J, AIM-9J), but it had no operational use really. It's a realistic loadout though, so if you want to do it that way, it is historically correct. 😉

 

Well, that's my few notes on this subject. Feel free to ask more, or drop me a PM if there's anything else I can clarify for you guys. 

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Wow! Impressive Swedish military resume and very detailed information! Thank you so much Najk! I had a feeling the cannon wasn't removable but this really clears it up!

 

I think the 4 Maverick (RB75) load is the way to go for my build. A picture I have seen with the drop tank and 4x RB75 on the inner and wing pylons helps confirm a real load. I try to be as accurate as I can. I really appreciate this. I assume the RB75 have the yellow band for the warhead and brown for the rocket motor?  Do the missiles have other writing in Swedish or in English?

 

On a side note, I have the updated Special Hobby kit for the AJ and it's clearly an AJ with no fuselage extension or cannon fairing. It's not a 2 seater, so not an SK or anything. I'm surprised they give you the JA tail, the 4x aileron actuator fairings (I know the AJ uses 3 and a non-bolted aileron). It's like they give you almost enough to make a JA or SK but not quite. They look nice, too bad I won't use them for the AJ. The instructions show a weird mix to use the new tail even though the decals are for AJs.


Thanks again!

Dave

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On 5/25/2022 at 4:20 PM, Najk said:

Just found this thread, and have to make some corrections to previous statements. To give a little background on my credibility, I did my conscript military service in the Swedish Air Force as a mechanic on the JA 37 Viggen fighter, then went on to pre-officers training on the JA and SK (trainer) 37 Viggen. After my officer academy years, I ended up as an aircraft technician on the JAS 39 Gripen, and in 2005 I transitioned to helicopters, were I am emplyed as a flight engineer as of today.

 

So, back to the Viggen. You guys are almost correct, but there are a few things to point out:

 

  • The Oerlikon is an integral part of the fuselage on the JA 37. It could not be removed to be flown without it.
  • The AJS (or AJ) 37 Viggen could NOT carry Super Falcon missiles. The Falcon missile was never introduced on the Viggen, although there were some serious thoughts about it during its early years.
  • The AJ 37 could in fact carry 4 Mavericks (designated RB 75 in Sweden, were RB means Missile). No change for the AJS upgrade, still four Mavericks to be carried. The Maverick model used was the AGM-65 with a television guidance system.
  • The AJ 37 could carry its load on the central fuselage pylon (only a drop tank could be carried here), the left and right fuselage pylons, and on the inner wing pylons. The outboard wing pylons were available for weapons with the AJS upgrade. JA 37 Viggen fighter aircraft had all pylons available from start.
  • The AJS 37 could in fact carry 6 Sidewinders (RB 24J, AIM-9J), but it had no operational use really. It's a realistic loadout though, so if you want to do it that way, it is historically correct. 😉

 

Well, that's my few notes on this subject. Feel free to ask more, or drop me a PM if there's anything else I can clarify for you guys. 

Najk, thank you so much for the info, here's my Questions,

 

1.I have always wondered if the red numbers on the wings would be removed, painted over or left on the Viggens in wartime.

2. What would be your Typical JA load out for A to A combat patrol ?

 

thanks

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Yarm6:

As far as the live RB 75 goes, I actually have no idea if the writing is in Swedish or English on the live ones, never seen one. I would suppose in Swedish, since the inert ones have Swedish writing. Yellow band for live warhead though, but generally in Sweden we only use one band not to confuse. So only one yellow band for the warhead, no brown band for the rocket motor, it is considered as a live missile with live rocket motor just by the yellow band.

 

DarkKnight:

1. They would be removed in wartime, and the red numbers on the fin would be replaced by black ones, smaller in size.

 

2. It depends whether it is a JA 37C (pre-mod) or JA 37DI (post-mod). For the JA 37C, a typical A2A loadout would be 2 x RB 71 Skyflash on the inner wing pylons, and 4 x RB 74 Sidewinder on the outer wing pylons, and the fuselage side pylons. The fuselage central pylon only carries a drop tank, and is of course fitted in the A2A mission.

For a JA 37 DI, fit 4 x RB 99 AMRAAM on the fuselage and inner wing pylons instead. You could add a U95 jamming pod instead of the RB 99 on the right inner wing pylon. So that loadout then is made up of 2 x RB 74 and 4 x RB 99 (or 3 x RB 99 and 1 x U95).

 

Hope this helps. 

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