Saab 37 Viggen
by Mikhail Putnikov
Reviewed by Mick Evans
SAAB 37 Viggen Walk Around is available online from Squadron.com
This new publication from Squadron Signal Publications is a welcome addition to the Walk Around series. The hard cover publication (also available as soft cover) contains 80 pages of exceptional detail with over 169 colour photographs, 27 black and white photographs, 36 line drawings and 11 colour artwork plates. The book documents the history of the Viggen from the prototype, thru to production and documents the upgrades introduced in service. The AJ-37 attack-fighter version is described in detail and there are plenty of photographs and drawings dedicated to this version. Very handy is a full load out drawing for this version. Many of the weapons carried by this version are described in detail in many photographs with some of the more unique weapons detailed in drawings. There are many detailed photographs of the Viggen’s unique features in particular the thrust reversing mechanism and doors. The thrust reverse system was unique to the Viggen with very few other fighter aircraft including this system for short landings until the Panavia Tornado came along.
Also included are detailed photographs of the wheel wells and undercarriage system as well as the Ram Air Turbine (RAT) which is used to drive the hydraulic system in the case of engine failure. The RS-37 rocket powered ejection seat also has been captured nicely in photographs and drawings.
The cockpits of the AJ-37, SK-37E dual seat, and JA-37 cockpits are all well photographed and illustrated.
The SH-37 and SF-37 reconnaissance versions are described across 10 pages. This includes detail photographs of the AKK long range pod. The MSK V night reconnaissance pod and the dedicated photo recon nose fitted to the SF-37.
The final section of the book covers the JA-37 all-weather fighter version of the Viggen. The JA-37 included some significant changes to the AJ-37 which included the more powerful RM8B engine which necessitated a 10cm fuselage extension just forward of the main wing and the fitment of an extended fin similar to that fitted to SK-37. A ventral gun pack, improved radar and avionics were the other key changes introduced. The standard armament for the JA-37 version included the Rb-71 Sky Flash medium range air to air missile and Rb-24J (AIM-9J) short range air to air missile while an Oerlikon KCA 30mm cannon was fitted to the under fuselage pod. Later in its service life the Rb-74 (AIM-9L) and Rb-99 (AIM-120 AMRAAM) was introduced. Other hard point load out includes BOL 300 and BOL 451 chaff dispensers, BOY 401 Flare dispensers, central pylon external fuel tank and m/70B rocket pods. A full load out map is also included.
Almost every scheme carried on the Viggen is covered in the photographs or prints, from the early natural metal scheme to the unique forest splinter scheme and the final grey air superiority scheme. Almost all off the anniversary schemes are also detailed.
In summary, this is a superb publication that includes amazing detail on a very unique aircraft that was legendary in its time. The book has been released just in time for the Tarangus JA-37 and the MPM AJ-37 and SH-37 release of the Viggen in 1/48 scale.
Thanks to Squadron for the sample.
Review Copyright © 2013 by Mick Evans
This Page Created on 6 October, 2013
7 October, 2013
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