Since the end of the Napoleonic wars in 1815, Sweden has a policy of neutrality. The combination of the geopolitical location of the country on the Scandinavian Peninsula and a successful policy of maneuvering between the warring parties helped to maintain its official neutrality during the two world wars. However, sometimes this neutrality took strange forms. So, during the Winter War 1939-1940, Sweden provided direct military assistance to Finland. On the Finnish side, against the Red Army, the 1,500th corps of Svenska frivilligkåren from former and active soldiers of the Swedish army fought. Sweden also provided significant cash loans to Finland, sent weapon, organized a fundraiser and warm clothes. At the same time, Swedish diplomats insisted that their country was not a party to the conflict and continued to maintain neutrality.
During the German aggression against the USSR through the territory of Sweden, by rail to Finland, military transportations were carried out. For example, in June-July 1941, units of the German 163th Infantry Division were deployed along with artillery and tanks. German soldiers traveling on leave from Norway and Germany were allowed to travel through Sweden. Iron ore and alloys were supplied by Sweden to Germany throughout the war. During World War II, about 12 Swedes served in the armed forces of Nazi Germany.
By the beginning of World War II, Sweden had the strongest armed forces among the Nordic countries. In September, the Swedish Armed Forces 1939 numbered 110 000 people. By the beginning of active hostilities in northern Europe, a mobilization was carried out in Sweden, at the beginning of 1945, the Swedish Armed Forces included up to 600 000 soldiers and officers.
In 1939, the formation of two air defense regiments began, in service of which were 20-mm small-caliber AI programs, an AI chip, 40-mm anti-aircraft guns М / 40, 36-MM anti-aircraft guns M75, 30-mm MXXXX mm anti-aircraft guns, MXNXX mm, 75 anti-aircraft guns, M37, 105-mm MXNXX anti-aircraft guns, and MXNXX mm anti-aircraft guns, MNNXX, 42-mm M1500 anti-aircraft guns, and MXNXX mm mm anti-aircraft guns, 37-mm, 3, 1944, XNUMX, XNUMX, MNNXX, XNUMX-mm MNNXX air defense systems. and XNUMX mm MXNUMX spotlights. The first ERXNUMXB radars appeared in Sweden in XNUMX year.
ZSU Lvkv m / 43
To protect the units from air strikes on the march and in the front line in 1943, the ZSU Lvkv m / 43 was put into service. The self-propelled gun was created on the basis of the Landsverk L-60 tank and is armed with a pair of 40-mm anti-aircraft guns installed in the tower open at the top. For its time, it was quite a powerful ZSU. She was in service in Sweden before the start of the 60s.
If the anti-aircraft guns of the Bofors company were one of the best in the world, then the Swedes could not oppose the Luftwaffe in terms of the air forces. Fighter aviation The Swedish Air Force during the Second World War was a "hodgepodge" of fighters of American, British, Dutch and Italian production. The core of the fighter aircraft was: 40 British Gloster Gladiators, 60 American P-35s, 130 Italian Reggiane Re.2000s and Fiat CR.42bis Falco. By 1941, almost all of these machines were hopelessly outdated.
Until 1944, the main potential adversary of Sweden was Germany, and later the USSR. After the end of hostilities, in 1945, deliveries of American fighters P-51D Mustang began. Total Swedish Air Force received 178 "Mustangs", their active service lasted until the year 1954. In 1948, the fighter aircraft was reinforced by fifty British Spitfire PR Mk.19 Supermarines. Since 1948, the Mosquito NF.Mk 19 (60 units) night fighter aircraft has been purchased. In 1953, the piston wooden "Mosquito" in the squadrons of the night interceptors began to replace the twin-rocket "De Haviland" DH 112 Venom.
Post-war story Swedish aircraft industry began with the aircraft J-21, or rather, with the release of its jet version. From 1943 of the year, the SAAB-21 fighter with the Daimler-Benz piston engine 605В with a capacity of 1475 l was in serial production. with. It was a plane with a propeller. A battery of two 13,2-mm machine guns and two 20-mm guns was installed in the engine-free nose of the machine, plus two more 13,2-mm machine guns mounted in tail booms.
After the end of the war, it became clear that piston airplanes are a thing of the past and they are replaced by airplanes with turbojet engines. In order not to create a new aircraft for installing the TRD from scratch and to speed up the retraining of the flight and technical staff to jet technology, it was decided to use SAAB-21 to install it (also received at the Yakovlev Design Bureau, installing TRD on the Yak-3, resulting in Yak -15).
The aircraft with a jet engine received the designation J-21R. After short-term use of the J-21R as a fighter, it was decided to use the aircraft only as an attack aircraft. The century of J-21R aircraft was short-lived, their operation continued until the 1954 year.
The first truly successful fighter was the Saab 29 Tunnan. It was not only the first serial Swedish fighter with a swept wing, but also the first European one. Despite the unusual appearance, due to the fact that the GOST 45 turbojet (RM-2) had a large diameter, the aircraft demonstrated good flight data. Pilot cabin literally sat astride the engine intake duct. The tail unit was located on a thin tail boom above the exhaust nozzle. The equipment of the pressurized cabin and ejection seat borrowed without change from the J-21R. The fighter received the name “Tunnan” (bull, in Swedish) for the peculiar outlines.
Saab 29 Tunnan
J-29 roughly matched the Saber F-86 in its combat characteristics. As part of the fighter’s weapons, there were 4 20-mm integrated guns. Part of the machines received air-to-air guided missiles "Sidewind", which were licensed by SAAB under the designation Rb.24. The aircraft were in service with combat units until the middle of the 60-x. Operation of all modifications of the aircraft "Tunnan" took place almost without incident. The pilots highly appreciated their flight characteristics, good maneuverability and rate of climb, and service personnel - convenient maintenance. In total, 661 J-29 was built in Sweden, which is quite a lot for an average European country.
Simultaneously with the construction and operation of J-29 light fighters for the Swedish Air Force, Hawker Hunter Mk 4 was purchased. All in all, the Hunters 120 was acquired in the UK. Apparently, the Swedish military was not fully satisfied with the J-29 flight range, unlike Tunnan, the British Hunter, which had twice the combat radius, could conduct combat patrols and patrol the enemy bombers on the intended flight route. The operation of the Hunters in Sweden continued until the 1969 year.
With 1958, the night interceptor squadrons began replacing the British “Venom” with the Swedish J-32B Lansen. Prior to this, SAAB created the J-32А fighter-bomber.
Compared with the shock version, this version had a number of significant differences. The number of 30-mm guns was reduced from 4 to 2, but the plane received an 4 air-to-air missile Rb.24. In addition to the new radar, the interceptor was equipped with such innovation as the Sikte 6А weapon control system based on computers. Part of the interceptors was also equipped with the AN / AAR-4 infrared station from Hughes, mounted under the left wing directly in front of the landing gear. The weapons control system displayed information about targets from the radar and the infrared station, as well as navigation information on a monitor screen in the cockpit of the pilot and the operator. J-32 became the first fighter of the Swedish Air Force, exceeding October 25 1953, the speed of sound. The 118 J-32B was delivered to the front. Their operation in the interceptor version continued until the 1973 year. After that, the interceptors converted into reconnaissance aircraft, electronic warfare and towing targets.
At the end of 40's, SAAB engineers began work on a supersonic fighter. Before the start of the design of a new interceptor fighter, the military demanded that this aircraft be twice as fast as its predecessor. The most difficult moments in the design were issues related to the aerodynamics of the wing, its shape and engine, primarily the afterburner design. Thanks to a number of innovations and advanced technical solutions, the aircraft had to possess high flight data. The use of a delta wing with an increased sweep angle in the root parts and a low specific load allowed, despite the absence of mechanization, to land at a speed of 215 km / h. On most variants, the RM6 engine of various modifications was installed, which was produced under the license of Volvo Flugmotor and was built by Rolls-Royce Avon engine.
The first pre-production fighter received its own name Draken and designation J-35A. Serial production of the aircraft developed by the middle of the year 1959. For its time, the fighter had a very perfect avionics, aircraft modification J-35A equipped with the French fire control system Thomson CSF Cyrano.
Later on, the Drakens, starting with the J-35B, received a data transmission system integrated with the semi-automatic airspace survey system STRIL-60, the SAAB FH-5 autopilot with the Arenko Electronics air parameters calculator and the SAAB sight S7B, modified under the possibility of using missiles Rb.27 and Rb.28. The S7B on-board electronic fire control system provides target interception and attack in cross-course courses. The fire control system includes two computational units for calculating the target trajectory and a gyroscopic optical sight, which is used as a backup when attacking air targets. Radar "Ericsson" PS01 / A, providing search targets and determination of range, with a system of stabilization of the horizon. The J-35J modification is equipped with an Hughes infrared sensor, integrated, like the radar, with the SAX S7B sight. The aircraft’s built-in armament consists of two Aden cannons of caliber 30-mm. In addition, 3 under ventral and 6 underwing locks can contain air combat missiles: Rb 24, Rb 27 or Rb 28. The Rb 27 and Rb 28 rockets are variants of the American Falcon AIM-4.
In 60, the Swedish Air Force underwent a restructuring, as a result of which the fighter fleet was significantly reduced. It had to go because of the rising cost of purchasing new aircraft. This circumstance, as well as the geographical and climatic features of Scandinavia, largely determined the requirements for the designed third-generation fighter. The most important requirement of the Swedish Air Force to combat aircraft 70-x was to ensure high take-off and landing characteristics. The problem of aviation dispersal in the event of the start of large-scale hostilities with the USSR was supposed to be solved by creating a large number of standby runways on specially prepared for this direct sections of highways. Required requirements for the third generation fighter were called improved compared with its predecessors, landing characteristics. The Air Force set the condition for bringing the minimum required runway length to 500 m (even for an aircraft with a combat load). In the reloading version of the aircraft took off from the strip of normal length. The plane was supposed to have a supersonic flight speed at sea level and a maximum speed corresponding to the 2 Max at the optimum altitude. When creating a new fighter also put the requirement to ensure extremely high acceleration characteristics and climb. The new fighter received a front high-placed triangular wing, equipped with a flap throughout the span, and a low-lying rear main wing with a triple sweep along the leading edge. The aircraft made a strong, albeit ambiguous impression on foreign aviation specialists with its originality of technical solutions. Its aerodynamic layout was perhaps the most consistent with the “tandem” scheme, although a number of Western analysts called the car “the last biplane”.
The first flight of the serial AJ-37 Viggen aircraft took place on 23 February 1971 of the year. In contrast to the "Draken" new aircraft was developed with a shock bias. In 1971, it was adopted by the Swedish Air Force, where it was used until 2005. The serial production of the AJ-37 continued until the 1979 year, 110 aircraft of this type were built.
The all-weather JA-37 interceptor fighter was the latest, most advanced modification of the Wiggen. When creating the JA-37, the airframe design was strengthened (which was due to the increased requirements for the ability to conduct close maneuvering air combat with high overloads). In particular, the designers have increased the rigidity of the interceptor wing. The use of more powerful gun armament and heavier radar caused an increase in take-off mass (in the configuration for air combat) almost on the 1 t. A new, more powerful engine was created for the aircraft. JA-37 received a built-in 30-mm gun "Oerlikon" KSA - providing projectile mass 360 g initial speed 1050 m / s at a rate of fire 1350 / min. In Sweden, new short-range and medium-range missiles were developed to arm the interceptor. But the work on them was not completed before the adoption of the aircraft for service, and as a result, JA-37 carried imported missiles. The American AIM-9L Sidewinder was used as a melee weapon. To be able to fight bomber at mid-range air combat in 1978, Sweden signed a contract worth 60 million pounds for the purchase of Skyflash medium-range missiles (in the British Air Force, these missiles came into service with the ADV fighter-interceptor). According to Swedish experts, in the second half of 70's, Skyflash was the most advanced SD in its class among Western missiles. The signing of the contract was preceded by a two-year work on the adaptation of the avionics of the JA-37 fighter and the rocket.
Aviation avionics can automatically receive data on the location of the target from the centralized air defense system of Sweden - STRIL-60 (Swedish. Stridsledning оc Luftbevakning, which means "command and control and aerial surveillance"). The control system allows fighters, without using their own radar, to produce targeting by ground means. It is also possible to exchange airborne data as part of an interceptor group. JA-37 aircraft deliveries to the Swedish Air Force began in 1979 and ended in June 1990. The Swedish Air Force received an 149 fighter of this type. The last interceptors were written off in the 2005 year.
The development of the next generation fighter in Sweden began in the early 70-x. The goal was not only to reduce dependence on the export of American aircraft, but also to demonstrate the ability of our own aviation industry to create modern combat aircraft that could compete with American products. Since the 50-s of the last century, the Swedish aviation industry has been the engine of the economy, stimulating the development of such industries as: special metallurgy metallurgy, composites production, electronics. In the future, fundamental developments and practical achievements were actively used in others, including purely civilian products, ensuring Sweden’s competitiveness on world markets for high-tech products.
In the first half of 1980, the Swedish government reviewed the Air Force’s proposals for a nationally designed fighter, but insisted on an estimate of the likelihood of purchasing Dassault Aviation Mirage-2000 fighters, General Dynamix F-16 Fighting Folcon, McDonnell-Douglas F / A-18 / V "Hornet" and Northrop F-20 "Tayershark." After weighing all the pros and cons, the government decided that the country should create its own aircraft, provided SAAB with the opportunity to continue the tradition of developing fighter jets, made according to original aerodynamic schemes (tailless or duck), which began in 1950. After the allocation of additional funding, SAAB began to design the aircraft and its onboard systems. The choice for the JAS-39А fighter aerodynamic "duck" with a full-turn GIP meant the provision of static instability for high maneuverability. This, in turn, required the use of digital EDSU. As a power plant, it was decided to use one Volvo Fligmotor RM12 TRDDF, which was a licensed modification of the General Electric engine F404J (engines of the F404 family were used on McDonnell-Douglas F / A-18A / B fighters). The calculated maximum take-off mass of the JAS 39А fighter did not exceed 11 t. Particular attention, while maintaining high combat performance, was paid to reducing the acquisition cost and the life cycle of the fighters. This made Gripen one of the most inexpensive 4 generation fighters. At cost for foreign customers, only a modernized MiG-29 can compete with a Swedish fighter.
The first fighter JAS-39А Gripen Swedish Air Force received in November 1994 of the year. Deliveries of Gripen fighters are divided into three lots (Batch 1, 2, 3). As the avionics were being improved, the newly built aircraft differed in equipment and combat capabilities.
The armament of the JAS-39 single-seat fighter includes a built-in single-barreled 27-mm Mauser VK27 cannon with 120 rounds of ammunition. Initially, the fighter could only carry the AIM-9L Sidewinder (Rb74) melee missile missile with a thermal homing head. But in the middle of 1999, the AMRAAM AIM-120 medium-range missile missile was adopted for the Gripen, which has the designation Rb99 in the Swedish Air Force. In addition to the American AIM-120, starting with the JAS-39C modification, it is possible to use the French MICA-EM missiles. It should be noted that from the very beginning of development, the fighter was considered as a carrier of medium-range missiles. The Ericsson PS-05 / A airborne radar was designed for the use of missiles equipped with an active radar guidance system. The Gripen aircraft can carry four medium-range missiles and simultaneously attack four targets. At the same time, the radar is capable of tracking 10 more air targets. In the late 90s, work was carried out to adapt the equipment of the fighter in order to obtain the ability to automatically receive data from the Saab 340 AEW & C AWACS aircraft.
At the moment, in the Swedish Air Force the Gripen fighters have ousted other interceptors that were previously in service. Although the estimated Swedish military AJ-37Viggen subject to modernization could be operated until now. Apparently, this is due to budget constraints. According to Military Balance 2016, the Swedish Air Force currently has 50 JAS-39A, 13 combat training JAS-39B, 60 upgraded JAS-39C and 11 double JAS-39D. In the near future, early modifications of JAS-39A and JAS-39B should be replaced by JAS-39Е and JAS-39F.
Satellite image of Google earth: JAS-39 Gripen fighter aircraft parked at Ronneby airbase.
The fighters are permanently based in Lidköping (Scaraborg wing (F 7)), in Ronneby (Blekinge wing (F 17)), Luleå (Norrbotten flight (F 21)). At the air bases for the fighters are equipped with well-protected capital shelters. In the event of a start or threat of military action, the aircraft must be dispersed in spare runway areas, including the use of specially prepared sections of the highway. Apparently, the intensity of the flights of fighters of the Swedish Air Force is not too high. At least, in satellite images at parking lots near the runway, you can observe the minimum number of aircraft.
In general, appreciating the JAS-39 Gripen, it is necessary to recognize that the Swedes managed to create a completely decent lightweight fighter capable of competing with the modernized 4 generation fighters. However, it is impossible to call this plane purely Swedish. In Gripen, elements of the avionics, the engine and weaponry of the development and production of the USA are used. Without cooperation with the American military-industrial corporations, Gripen would never have taken place and, apparently, it is the last fighter built in Sweden. The creation of truly modern combat aircraft that meet all modern requirements and are able to stand on equal terms with the 5 generation fighters created in Russia and China for Sweden is economically and technologically an extremely heavy task.
To be continued ...