SAAB 32 Lansen - an overview
Most concepts had four 20 mm cannon and an internal rocket launcher for a dozen 15-18 cm rockets. Other armaments was two 500 kg bombs or a missile type 303. In 1948 it was decided to go for a smaller, single engine aircraft "project 1150". The requirement was for an aircraft that "could carry its weapons - guns, rockets, bombs and missiles - from a centrally placed air base to any part of our 2000 km coast line, in under one hour, in any weather and during darkness" In 1949 it was awarded the designation "type 32". The name Lansen means The Lance.
By 1949, the design looked very much like what it became, apart from the stabilizer beeing placed halfway up on the fin. There was also a smaller, single-seat variant, which would have been a daylight interceptor.
Lansen was the first aircraft designed in Sweden where the design work was not based on ordinary blue-prints, but on a mathematical coordinate system. The airframe was designed to be used up to +8G and -3G and withstand +12G and -8G.
To test a large scale model of the wing, with 35 degrees sweepback, a half-scale was mounted on a Saab Safir, thus becoming the only Saab 202 (Saab 201 was a Safir with a half-scale Tunnan wing). It had both Fowler flaps and a leading edge slot. The slot was discarded as unnecessary after trials with the prototypes and never appeared on a series aircraft.
The engine intended for Lansen was the Swedish STAL Dovern (RM 4), which was an excellent engine. It was not finished in time for the prototypes, so a foreign engine had to be used for them. For several reasons, Rolls-Royce Avons came to be used on the series aircraft too.
The first Lansen prototype first flew on Nov 3:rd 1952.
Designations: A, Attack = Strike J, Jakt = Interceptor S, Spaning = ReconnaissanceThis was the ground attack and maritime strike version. It replaced Saab B 18 and was later replaced by Viggen.
In the years 1955-58 287 were delivered to the Swedish air force, where the last ones remained in service until 1978. Serial numbers were 32001-32287.
GunsThis version had four 20 mm guns in the nose, covered by shutters. The shutters were opened upon "safety off", but had to be closed by command. Empty casings were kept from the air intakes by a pair of small plates under the nose. As they then impacted the fuel tank, its nose were covered in neoprene to protect it.
RadarThe radar used in A 32A was designated PS-431/A and was of French design, built in Sweden.
As these aircraft always operated in groups, and as an economy measure only about 25% of them were given radars. It also seems like not all aircraft had navigators aboard, so it's likely that everybody just followed the boss.
Instrumented ranges were 8, 20, 80 and 160 km. Used to aim RB 04 antiship missiles and dropping of illumination flares.
Radar altimeter 0-200 m. Not used very much.
SightGyro sight interconnected with barometric altimeter. Compensated for wind and target movement. For bombs, after pressing release button pull up at 4G was initiated, bomb release calculated
MissilesIn Swedish service they replaced Saab B/T 18 bombers, foremost in the anti-ship/invasion role, so the main weapon was the Saab 304 rocket powered anti-ship missile with an estimated range of 20 km in the early versions, other common loads were unguided rockets.
CountermeasuresA BOZ 3 chaff dispenser pod could be carried on one wing pylon.
EngineEngine: RM5A (=RR Avon Mk.21/21A) with Swedish afterburner.
CockpitArmoured with 20 mm plate in front, below and to the rear.
Tactical useNormal tactical units were one (8 aircraft) or two squadrons during daylight. At night a group of four was the normal size. Usually they kept close together during the approach and attack, split after the attack and re-gathered.
Take off was in four pairs, all on the runway at the same time. After take off the first ones slowed to let the squadron gather. Pair 1 and 2 together at the centre, 3 and 4 to the sides keeping a lookout to the rear for threats.
Normal altitude was 500 m over own territory, decreasing to lowest when passing out from the coast.
After leaving the coast behind updated target position was received. 90 km from target the squadron gathered together and increased to climb N1 (7900rpm), resulting in attack speed of 750 km/h.
After the attack, combat speed was retained as long as fuel permitted, altitude lowest possible. Re-gathered the formation as well as possible. In case of fuel shortage first option was to climb to more economic altitude and fly to the intended air base, second was to refuel somewhere else and then fly on.
50 km from coast climb to 500 m and report to air defence. 40 km from airbase report "arriving" and direction, separated the aircraft and headed for base or final.
Ground attack often offset by 90 deg from each other and rather closely spaced in time.
During co-ordinated major attacks (against an invasion fleet) where practically every squadron took part those who took off from inland bases landed at bases near the coast and the other way round. In case the base they landed at was not an ordinary attack base, they just refuelled there and went to another.
IFF was switched off until after the attack. Air defence kept track of when and where the attack and reconnaissance units were supposed to be.
GunsThe combat gun load out was 80 rounds per gun (7 s of firing). That this was less than designed in capacity was probably because its predecessors had used guns to attack smaller landing craft, but Lansen's role was to go after larger landing ships, were 20 mm guns were less effective and thus not a primary weapon. In fact, during most if its career, crews didn't train in using guns against ground targets at all.
Fire bombsStraight course toward target, not overflying own troops (but they could be as close as 30 m from the target), speed 750 km/h altitude a level 10-20 m. Drop when target disappears under nose.
Usable with cloud bases down to 50 m.
120 kg retarded bombsStraight and level at 200 m, 750 km/h.
Could be used visually with cloud bases down to 200 m and visibility of around 5 km.
Backup method was radar aimed on a straight course to the target. Not good precision and vulnerable to radar guided anti aircraft fire.
Dive bombing and rocket attackIn flank formation, lowest possible altitude headed to a point 3 km offset from the target. At a range of 5.5 km pull up to 45 deg climb, individual roll at 700 m, acquire target, pull down, release, pull up turn and exit at lowest possible altitude.
Weather minima was cloud bases at 700 m for bombs (1200 m at night) and 400 for rockets (900 m at night).
Night attackGroup of four, leader with illumination flares, rest with bombs or rockets. En route leader and #2 separated by one wingspan, #3 two spans from #2 and #4 one span from #3.
Radar navigation, 40 km from target the leader commands "Begin left" (or right). Leader continues ahead, aims for a point 500 to the right (or left) of the target, pulls upp 4 km from it and releases the flares, banks 110 deg right down to very low altitude until headed back.
#2, 3 and 4 starts their chronometers, turns left 80 degrees, increases speed to Mach 0.65, turns right 60 degrees after 60 seconds, arms their weapons and after a bit more than 2 min pulls up just when the parachute flares light up and attacks like in daylight.
Anti ship attackMain weapons were RB 04 or 4 x 250 kg bomb (minbomb m/42/fpl, 4C).
Bombs were dropped in a ripple with 50 ms interval, giving a 70 m impact area. Best effect when they hit the water close by the ships and broke them.
The RB 04 missiles' seekers were powered up (but not transmitting) during approach to release points. The seeker could be set to short or long range (as in ignoring targets closer than 10(?) km). Max range 20 km. Three acquisition modes: Normal (what you aimed it at), home on jam, normal + home on jam (if jammed go for the jammer). No lead course intercept, flew straight at the target even if it moved.
Release altitude 200 m, speed 750 km/h, less than 10 deg bank, 10 deg off course to target and less than 10m/s climb or sink. Dropped free, then engine start. Each aircraft's missiles were set to fly at 8 and 12 m altitude respectively, so as not to collide if released at the same time. Differeng missiles used different frequencies. Exploded on overflying the target.
Pair or group leader aimed and ordered their 2:nd to release, then released their own missiles. One missile per transport ship, two per escort (destroyers).
The Swedish air force ordered 44 which were delivered between 1958-59 and the last were retired in 1978. Serial numbers were 32901-32945.
As much as possible, they were identical with A 32A which they were developed from.
RadarThe radar was a version of the PS-431/A installed in A 32A Lansens, designated PS-432/A and given a longer instrumented range. There was also a possibility to photograph the radar scope image for later analysis.
Normal radar recce work consisted of cruising at 10 m, followed by brief pop ups to around 200 m with 15-20 s of radar work. Practical range for the radar was 100 km forwards and 50 km to the sides.
CamerasDaylight photography was supposed to be handled by Saab S 29C Tunnans, later to be replaced by Saab S 35E Drakens, so at first only enough cameras to equip three aircraft per squadron were purchased, which was enough for the limited night reconnaissance role
These, first, cameras were British, made by A.G.I. and the fit consisted of four, two short focal length SKa 17 (SKa = SpaningsKamera, reconnaissance camera) with focal length 130 mm and negative format 127 x 114 mm for low altitude work (F.97 Mk 2) and two SKa 18 for high altitude photo, focal length 920 mm, format 230 x 230 mm (F.89 Mk 3). Both were specially designed for night photography.
High altitude photo was between 3000 - 10000 m, low altitude 100 - 1200 m.
To fit SKa 17 and SKa 18 downwards looking in the space which was the gun bay on A 32A only small bulges above and in front of the air intake were needed. They were never fitted in service aircraft, only the prototype 32901. The reasons for this was that they didn't quite fulfil requirements and that it had been decided to get cameras also suited for daylight photo.
The new camera fit was introduced in 1962. As these cameras were larger, the nose bulges had to be made much larger.
For high altitude work two SKa 23s (Fairchild K47, modified) were fitted nearly vertically, the left looking a little to the right and vice versa, in the rear of the bay. These had a focal lenght of 600 mm and were the only ones fitted suitable for night photography. They were fitted with motion compensation.
A single wide angle, 150 mm, SKa 15 (Williamson F.49 Mk 2), also for high altitude photo, was fitted vertically in front of the right SKa 23. In front of the left was the photocell which controlled exposure for the SKa 23s during flash photography.
The high altitude cameras were used at altitudes above 1000 m. All had a negative format of 180 x 230 mm. The wide angle one was used to get overviews and locate the exact positions of the targets of the long focal lenght cameras. Normal film speed was 400 ASA, with 800 ASA used if the weather and lighting conditions warranted.
The high altitude camera sight was a Jugner FL S2 and fitted behind the left SKa 23, with a small window angled a bit forward.
For night photo British 75 kg photo flash bombs were used, up to 12 could be carried.
Mission profile for high altitude photography was always target approach at very low level and only a pop up long enough to take the photos.
For low altitude photo there were three SKa 16s (Vinten) with focal lenghts of 100 mm and a negative format of 60 x 60 mm. Two side and a little down looking were fitted at the lower front of the camera bay.
The third SKa 16 had its place in the avionics bay just behind the camera bay proper, in a small bulge. When this camera wasn't fitted, usually a plain cover plate was fitted.
The low altitude cameras had motion compensation which meant the film could move at speeds of 5-35cm/s during exposure.
CountermeasuresA BOZ 3 chaff dispenser pod could be carried on one wing pylon. In addition to that the aircraft were fitted with RWR gear, giving visual and aural warnings.
The Swedish air force ordered 120 of these, but only 118 were delivered in the years between 1958-60. As night fighters they were retired in 1973, but a few remained in other roles, three unconverted J 32Bs were assigned to the aggressor/ECM squadron as training aircraft. Serial numbers were 32501-32620.
GunsAs it was primarily intended to attack bombers, 20 mm guns weren't considered enough, so instead four 30 mm cannon was adopted. There were no shutters before the muzzles. Casings were retained, so the tank didn't need any protective covering.
At the end of a day when the guns had been fired the engine compressor had to be cleaned, as the powder deposits were corrosive and disrupted the airflow. Cleaning was done with the engine running at 6700 rpm by injecting about 100 l of the cleaning fluid which was a mixture of kerosene and detergent through two pipes attached to a spray machine.
Sight, radar and IR sightAs opposed to other Lansen versions, in this the pilot had a radar display, F-scope, for his own use and not only the navigator.
The reflex sight was designated Sikte 6A, which was used with all weapons for both air and ground targets. On it could be projected radar information and target data from the IR sight under the left wing, to allow attacks using the sight without any visual contact with the target.
Some aircraft were given an Hughes AN/AAR-4 IR detector under the left wing, in front of the landing gear, of the same type as given to J 35A-long Drakens.
Missiles and rocketsMain armament was Sidewinder missiles, but in case of clouds they were complemented by unguided rockets which could be fired by radar sighting.
Engine and air intakesAs the engine was significantly more powerful (which was needed, as A 32A and S 32C certainly didn't have enough power as fighters, for example they always had to be started using the afterburner) and required a larger airflow, the air intakes were made slightly larger, and the nozzle is of a different type than the other versions.
Engine: RM6A (=RR Avon Mk.47A) with Swedish afterburner, 6900 kp.
Usual tacticsThe navigator, together with ground control where available, guided the pilot on a usually straight course towards a point behind the target, and at a suitable distance a turn was started in such a way that the target should be ahead and on the same course.
If possible, the approach to the target was made some 500 m or more lower to reduce radar clutter. Climbing attacks worked well and were preferred for targets higher than 6000 m, the approach then could be made at 1000-3000 m.
Radar displays for the navigator were a B scope on the left showing range and side angle (60 deg left/right) and an E scope on the left showing vertical angle (60 deg up/30 deg down) and distance to target. Lockon range could be around 30 km, when locked on target information was also displayed on the pilot's F scope where the target is shown as a circle displaced to show the angle to it, diameter for range and the position of a gap in the circle closing speed.
In addition to this when closing on the target, the binocular sight could in the right (the darkness) reflector show the IR data as an amorphous blob and the locked on radar target which you could put the aiming dot on when closing in. It also displayed an artificial horizon.
A gun attack could be made from up to 700 m range at high altitude and at low altitude and high speed a bit over 200 m.
A rocket attack usually commenced 1500-1800 m trailing and closing with 100 km/h on the target and 500 m higher. At a range of 1200 m a dive was inititated and the rockets fired shortly after that. Could be aimed either visually, with the radar information in the sight or using the radar's F scope and were quite accurate and could therefore be used in clouds (which is a reason the "standard" loadout consisted of full gun ammo, two rocket pods and two Sidewinders). The attack had to be made from straight behind.
The Sidewinders were aimed at the target by pointing the whole aircraft, locked on and confirmed by audio tone and were fired when in range. During a climbing attack they could depending on circumstances be fired when the target was up to 2000 m higher. Sidewinders could at 10 km altitude be fired at ranges between 900 and 5000 m if the fighter speed was at least M 0.6. G load had to be less than 2.5G, which was indicated with a light.
In daylight ACM against the other fighters in Swedish service then it actually could hold its own pretty well, so it certainly was useful as an all weather fighter against bombers and attack aircraft.
Against a Saab Tunnan you had to keep the speed up, as Tunnan had very good low speed turn performance. The Hawker Hunter was relative to J 32B underpowered, so against them the vertical dimension was used. Saab Draken was superior when making high speed slashing attacks, but in a turning fight its wing produced too much induced drag so against them one could use climbing turns.
This is the target towing variant. Starting in 1972, six J 32Bs were modified to tow targets. Retired in 1997.
This is the ECM version. Fifteen were modified from J 32B standard starting in 1972. They were retired in 1997.
Their duties included ECM and ECM training.
The nose radar was replaced by a "G 24" jamming equipment, existing in three versions (L, S, or C band) against ground and ship based radars, which are also the targets for the jamming pod "Adrian" (S and C band) carried under the wings. The pod "Petrus" works in the X band, and is used against aircraft. In addition to this, two BOZ 3 chaff dispensers are carried. The name of the signal reciever is "Ingeborg".
Dual command trainerThere was never a trainer version developed, but some basic flight controls could be fitted in the rear place. This was always were the instructor sat, as not all controls and instruments were available from the rear seat. (I don't think all pilots flew with dual command before soloing in Lansen, flying with single command and the instructor in the rear seat certainly happened.) Aircraft so fitted were usually marked with a dayglo diamond on the top of the fin.
- The pylon type A (A-balken) was intended lighter loads and could be fitted on all six wing positions.
- Pylons type B for heavier loads could be mounted in positions 2 and 5, but the heaviest loads could only be loaded on the inner position. Very often A 32A Lansens had four pylons type B and eight type A fitted.
- On the centre line was a fitting for pylon type D for the same type of loads as type B, but mostly a conformal tank was fitted instead of the pylon.
- Anti-ship missiles Rb 304C/Rb 04C/D were fitted on pylons type G in position 4.
- The chaff dispenser pod BOZ 3 was mounted on a modified pylon type B, designated BF, on position 5 under the right wing.
- In position 2 the J 32B could take pylons type C for a pod of 19 75 mm air to air rockets.
- Sidewinders were fitted on pylons type S in positions 2 and 4.
- The night fighter version could be fitted with pylons type K in all six positions, used for either a single or double ground attack rockets. This was never used, as the air to air rockets were deemed to have satisfactory effect on ground targets.
A 32AFixed armament: four 20 mm cannon with 180 rounds each, for a total ammunition load of 210 kg.
| ____n____ _________(_)__________ u rrrrrr rrrrrr Rockets: 12 or 24 of either rrrrrr rrrrrr 60 mm practice rockets m/54 63 mm practice rockets m/60 135 mm blast-fragmentation m/56 150 mm blast-fragmentation m/51 145 mm anti-armour m/49 180 mm anti-armour m/49 bbbbbb bbbbbb Bombs: Up to 12 of either 15 kg practice m/55 50 kg blast-fragmentation m/42 and m/47 120 kg blast-fragmentation m/61 80 kg illumination m/60 B B B B Bombs: 250 kg blast m/50, "Hercules" 500 kg blast m/56, "Lyra" 500 kg fire m/58, "Norma" B B B 600 kg blast m/50 M M Rb 04 (Saab 304), anti-ship missile, 616 kg, rocket C Chaff dispenser, BOZ 3
J 32BFixed armament: four 30 mm cannon with 90 rounds each.
| ____n____ _________(_)__________ u R R Pods with 19 x 75 mm rockets m/57 M M M M Missiles: Rb 24 Sidewinder M R R M Mixed loads were also possible. rrrrrr rrrrrr It was also possible to fit the same pylons rrrrrr rrrrrr as on A 32A, only used for 180 mm rockets
| ____n____ _________(_)__________ u iiiiii iiiiii 75 kg aluminium/kaliumperklorat photo flash bombs m/62 (made in UK), but very seldom were more than the three inner pylons mounted, if any. "Lepus". C Chaff dispenser, BOZ 3
J 32D and EThese modified J 32B fighters carried special equipment.
| ____n____ _________(_)__________ u J 32D t Target towing pod on position 2 bb Dummy 120 kg counterweight bombs on the outermost positions J 32E C C Chaff dispenser, BOZ 3, positions 5 E E ECM jammer pods of different types (they look the same) called Adrian and Petrus on positions 2. Nose radome also full of jamming equipment.
A 32A J 32B S 32C Empty weight: 7438 kg 8077 kg 7520 kg Max take off weight: 13600 kg 13500 kg 12500 kg Internal fuel: 3500 l 3500 l 3500 l External fuel: 600 l 600 l 600 l (non-jettisonable Max load: 3000 kg 2500 kg conformal tank) Range: 925 km 1000 km 925 km Engine RM 5A2 RM 6A RM 5A2 trust: 3460 kp 4880 kp 3460 kp with afterburner: 4700 kp 6500 kp 4700 kp Length: 14.94 m 14.94 m 14.94 m Span: 13.0 m 13.0 m 13.0 m Height: 4.65 m 4.65 m 4.65 m Wing area: 37 m^2 37 m^2 37 m^2 Cruise speed: Mach 0.8 Mach 0.8 Mach 0.8 Max speed: Mach 0.91 Mach 0.93 Mach 0.91 (max permitted M 1.2) Landing speed: 210 km/h 250 km/h 210 km/h Climb rate, sea level 60 m/s 100 m/s 60 m/s Max altitude 14000 m
J 32B climb performanceJ 32B climb to 12 km took 4.5 min clean, 4.9 with two and 5.4 with four Sidewinders, two rocket pods 5.3 min, two rocket pods plus two Sidewinders 5.8 min.
A 32A fuel consumptionGround idle: 10 l/min
Taxi: 15 l/min
Long range cruise at 600 km/h: 40 l/min
Climb at 750 km/h, engine 7900 rpm: 80 l/min
Afterburner: 250 l/min.
Body tank with 1700 l was self sealing.
3300 l was used to reach the target and get home. The rest was used on the ground, to formate and as landing reserves. Reserves when landing: Single aircraft 350 l, pair 400 l, group of four aircraft: 450 l.
It was never built and instead 120 Hawker Hunters were purchased.
Another fighter version, with much higher performance than J 32B, was planned in 1954. It would have been called J 32U (U = Utveckling(?), development).
The engine would have been a Rolls Royce RA 19R. In order to let the aircraft be fully controllable in supersonic flight it would have been given thinner fin and all flying tail, the wing would have been 6% thinner and have a sweepback of 40 instead of 35 degrees. A supplementary rocket engine was also considered.
However, in 1958 there was a political decision which said that Lansen would be replaced by other types after about eight years of service, so only the basic fighter version J 32B was developed. It was also replace in time by when J 35F Draken started to enter service.
But for the attack version the situation wasn't as clear, as AJ 37 Viggen would not be ready for IOC in 1966. One option would be to import fighters, A-4 Skyhawk, A-7 Corsair II, F-104 Starfighter, F-5 Freedom Fighter, F-4 Phantom II and Buccaneer were considered, all but the last two were found unsuitable. This wasn't an attractive option, so around 1965 conversion of some J 32B to A 32B, a version which actually had been considered already in 1956 was seen as a possible interim option.
In the event that Viggen should have been cancelled one option would have been the A 32D version which would have been new airframes, reinforced compared to J 32B and fitted with RM 6C engines to give it higher performance (but not speed) and the same weapons as AJ 37. Deliveries of it could have started in 1972.
Phantom II was seen as too expensive, for the same cost as 120 license produced Buccaneers one could have 222 A 32D Lansens and in the event it was found that Viggen would give better value for money.
Photos of the three A 32A Lansens stored in California, by Alan Radecki.
First 32120 / FC 20 / N4767R, then 32284 / FC 24 / N4432V (FC = Försökscentralen, the establishment for flying trials) which had a contrasting black and white scheme. The airframe example, 32209 / FC 29 / N5468X, wasn't shipped to the USA, as it was airworthy and FFA had planned on shipping a Lansen wing to USA for windtunnel testing. As it happened the testing was performed not in a windtunnel but during the delivery flight between Sept Iles and Montreal in the Canadian Armed Forces' exercise area. It then spent two years at Langley and then flown to Los Angeles and was the only Lansen which was used in USA, then by Mach Two Flight Services Inc.
In 1990 all three were put up for sale, but weren't sold and were put in storage in the Mojave desert. In 2002 two, N5468X and N4432V, were donated to the United States Airpower Museum, which plans (early 2003) on putting one of them in airworthy condition.
In 1986 A 32A, 32028, last with FC as 28, was exchanged for a de Havilland Dove and flown to the UK where it was given the registration G-BMSG. The remaining airframe life when it was flown there was 1h 39m which was practically used up by the flight, so it's never flown since then. Getting to the final destination required landing at another airport for customs declaration and it was almost grounded there as the authorities didn't want it to go on the same day. Explaining that staying there would at least require getting a mechanic from Sweden and cost a lot of money worked.
On Nov 1999 one A 32A Lansen was flown to Spain where it's on display in Madrid in the Spanish air force museum. It's there as a permanent loan and was and will be the last ever Lansen to leave Sweden.
Document initially written 1993 July 16, updated 1994 Dec 29, 1995 June 30, technical data updated 1996 Sep 14.Last modified 2006 May 16 by Urban, put on this blog 2011-12-24
Rewritten and revised 1998 June 18-20 and 2000 Nov 30, 2006 Aug 03
Rewritten and revised 1998 June 18-20 and 2000 Nov 30, 2006 Aug 03