Mushroom Models Publications Saab 37 Viggen


Mikael Forslund


Mushroom Model Publications


$50.00 from


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 208 pages, ISBN 978-83-66549-72-2

Sweden is a nation that has tried to remain fairly autonomous when it comes to building equipment for their military. There have been times when they've operated equipment from other nations and they make efforts to license build things like jet engines, thus helping to remain free from the political issues that can come from getting foreign equipment.

Thus it was not surprising when the Swedish Air Force chose a replacement for the Draken from the same company that built the J.35. The Viggen was built to some fairly strict requirements. Among them were the ability to use public roads, to take off and land in a short distance, and a fairly good accelleration and top speed. The aircraft was built in several variants, all of them somewhat multi-role. There was the AJ.37 attack-fighter, the J-A.37 interceptor-attack version, and the AJSF.37 which was a dedicated reconnaissance aircraft. There was also the two seat  SK.37.

Some of the interesting features of the aircraft, are that it was a delta wing with forward canards. This was to provide a fairly high level of maneuverability. It was also equipped with a thrust reverser to allow short landing when needed. The main landing gear had tandem wheels to fit into the wing without adding wing thickness. It also had the ability to fold the fin so that it could fit into existing hardened shelters.

The aircraft wore several different camouflage schemes during its lifetime, though the splinter scheme is probably the most well known. It was never exported, unlike many other Swedish jet fighters. It also was retired with most aircraft having fewer than 2,000 flight hours on the airframe. I'm not sure why they never decided to extend the airframe life, but even those with 2,000 hours were nearly 30 years old. During its lifetime there were equipment upgrades to improve the aircraft's capabilities. Another Swedish fighter, the Gripen replaced it in the early 2000s.

The books covers the development and that operational use of the Viggen. This includes a look at each of the different variants as well as sections on the upgraded versions. There is a full look at each serial number along with its eventual fate. There are photos and accompanying color profiles for which MMP books are known. A technical section is provided that provides close looks at various parts of the airframe along with the cockpit and the ejection seat. This is further enhanced by illustrations from various tech manuals. In addition, there are a ton of great photographs, the majority of them in color. It is a book that enthusiasts of the type will want to have on their shelves.

January 2023

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