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Saab 105

The Saab 105 is a Swedish high-wing, twinjet trainer aircraft developed in the early 1960s as a private venture by Saab AB.

The Swedish Air Force, which had opted to procure the type for various roles, issued the aircraft with the designation Sk 60.

The Sk 60 entered service in 1967, replacing the ageing De Havilland Vampire fleet.

The Swedish Air Force bought a total of 150 aircraft and another 40 were exported to Austria, designated Saab 105Ö.

The Saab 105 is also the aircraft used by Swedish Air Force display team Team 60 and was formerly used by two display teams of the Austrian Air Force, “Karo As” and “Silver Birds”.

The Saab 105 was developed to function as a small and inexpensive multirole aircraft, which has been most typically used in a training capacity.

It is an all-metal twin-jet aircraft with a pressurized cabin.

It features a T-tail configuration, modestly swept wings, and a pair of engines mounted on either side of the fuselage just underneath the wing.

The 105 can be outfitted with various armaments and equipment to perform a wide range of duties, most of which would be installed upon the aircraft’s six underwing hardpoints. 

In a ground-attack/close air support capacity, the 105 can employ a combination of 135 mm, 127 mm, and 75 mm unguided rockets, air-to-ground missiles and assorted bombs, including napalm bombs; either a pair of 30 mm cannon or 7.62 mm guns may be installed using a series of gun pods.

In the air defence role, AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles can be employed in addition to the cannons.

Additionally, for the purpose of carrying a maximum of two passengers, smaller ejector seats can be installed for the pilot and co-pilot while a small bench directly behind them can be used by the passengers.

Generic and more specialized surveillance/reconnaissance missions can also be performed by the Saab 105, having the option of being fitted with radiation detection equipment for atmospheric sampling.

With suitable equipment, the 105 could be readily converted between trainer and light attack roles.

As built, the Saab 105 was typically powered by a pair of Turbomeca Aubisque low-bypass turbofan engines, licence-manufactured by Volvo Flygmotor as the RM9.

The Aubisque engine reportedly provided favourable engine-out characteristics, allowing the aircraft to proceed to successfully take-off in the event of a single engine failing at the critical point.

This has not been the sole powerplant for the type, as a number of 105 aircraft have been powered by the General Electric J85 engine instead.

Swedish Air Force aircraft have been remanufactured during the 1990s to use the newer Williams International FJ44, which has been designated as the RM15.


Saab 105


Two built.

Sk 60A

Two-seat jet trainer, liaison aircraft for the Swedish Air Force.

149 built as Sk 60A.

Sk 60B

Two-seat attack version for the Swedish Air Force, modified from Sk 60A with new weapons sight.

Sk 60C

Two-seat ground attack/reconnaissance version for the Swedish Air Force with extended camera nose.

One new-build prototype and 29 conversions from Sk 60A.

Sk 60D

Saab had also designed the Saab 105 for use as a four-seat liaison transport: the two ejection seats could be removed and quickly replaced with four airline-type seats, with no provision for wearing a parachute; or four more austere seats that allowed the wearing of parachutes.

In the mid-1970s, ten SK 60A aircraft were permanently configured as transports and given the designation of “SK 60D”.

Some were painted in the light green/dark green/tan “splinter” camouflage associated with the Saab Viggen fighter.

Sk 60E

This variant was a similar four-seat SK 60A conversion, but featured commercial-type instruments, including an instrument landing system.

It was used to help train Flygvapnet reserve pilots in flying commercial aircraft.

The Sk 60E machines were eventually used as Sk 60D liaison transports.

Sk 60W

In 1993, another upgrade program was initiated to modernize the Sk 60, the most important improvement being fit of twin Williams Rolls FJ44 turbofans with 8.45 kN (861 kgp/1,900 lbf) each and digital engine controls.

The new engines not only provide more thrust, but are quieter, cleaner, and easier to maintain.

The first Williams-powered Sk 60 known informally as the “Sk 60(W)” performed its initial flight in August 1995.

A total of about 115 conversions of Sk 60A, 60B, and 60C aircraft were performed in the late 1990s.

No conversions were performed of the Sk 60D/E, with all such aircraft grounded and used as spares hulks.

Saab 105XT

Export demonstrator; improved version of the Sk 60B, re-engine with 12.85 kN (2,850 lbf) General Electric J85 turbojets.

Prototype converted from second Saab 105 prototype.

Saab 105D

A refined business jet variant was considered, but the idea was out of date and there were no takers.

Saab 105G

Revised version of 105XT with new avionics, including precision nav/attack system, more powerful J85 engines and modified wing.

One converted from 105 XT prototype.

Saab 105Ö

Variant of the 105XT for the Austrian Air Force, first delivered to Austria in July 1970.

40 built, delivered 1970–72, replacing the de Havilland Vampire and Saab 29 Tunnan.





10.8 m (35 ft 5 in)


9.5 m (31 ft 2 in)


2.7 m (8 ft 10 in)

Wing area

16.3 m2 (175 sq ft)


Root 10.3% 

Tip: 12%

Empty weight

2,849 kg (6,281 lb)

Max take-off weight

4,635 kg (10,218 lb)


2 × General Electric J85-17B turbojets,

12.68 kN (2,850 lbf) thrust each


Maximum speed

970 km/h (600 mph, 520 kn) at sea level

Ferry range

2,300 km (1,400 mi, 1,200 nmi)

Service ceiling

13,700 m (44,900 ft)

Rate of climb

70 m/s (14,000 ft/min)



6 hard points, AAMs, ASMs, gun pods, bombs, rockets.


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