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Saab
Saab 32 Lansen
Yet another excellent yet very much unknown product of the Swedish aircraft industry, the Saab 32 Lansen (Lance) was the first true European multi-role fighter built to perform all-weather attack and interception duties as well as reconnaissance. The Lansen was more than just an aircraft: it was a true weapons system which was designed around integrated electronics systems and weapons and powered by a locally produced version of the Rolls-Royce Avon engine. Over the course of its service life, the Lansen was continually improved with various armament and powerplant changes, allowing it to serve in front-line units until 1973 although target tug and electronic warfare trainers were still found well into the 1990s. Like most Swedish aircraft, the Lansen did not see combat but was very highly regarded by its pilots although, incredibly, it received no export orders despite its unprecedented capabilities.

The first of four prototypes had its maiden flight on 3 November 1952 entering service as the A 32A all weather attack aircraft followed by the J 32B all weather/night fighter which included more powerful engines, new avionics and air interception radar, and additional structural modifications due to the different requirements of air combat. Finally, a reconnaissance version was known as the S 32C, based on the A 32A. Later conversions also included the J 32D target tug and the J 32E aggressor trainer for electronic warfare; these were the last to be retired.

Datafile
DesignA 32AJ 32B
NameLansenLansen
TypeAttackInterceptor
Year19551958
Crew22
Dimensions
Length14.95 m14.95 m
Height4.65 m4.65 m
Wing Span13.00 m13.00 m
Wing Area37.4 m²37.4 m²
Weight
Empty7,438 kg7,500 kg
Maximum13,000 kg13,500 kg
Wing Loading347.6 kg/m²361.0 kg/m²
Performance
SpeedMach 1.0Mach 0.9
Ceiling15,000 m16,000 m
Range1,770-3,220 km2,000 km
Powerplant
Engine1 x RM5A2
SFA
4,700 (w) kg
1 x RM6A
SFA
6,660 (w) kg
Thrust/Weight0.570.81
Armament
Guns4 x 20-mm4 x 20-mm
Payload1,360 kg-
Hardpoints44
AA WeaponsRb 04Rb 24
Production
Built280140
Total450