A 32A - SAAB 32A Lansen (1955-1979)

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Swedish Air Force Attack Aircraft A 32A - SAAB A 32A Lansen

SAAB started in 1946 to design a jet aircraft as a replacement to the propeller attack-, night fighter and  reconnaissance aircraft used in the Swedish Air Force. The result was the SAAB 32 Lansen (the Lance), a two-seated aircraft with swept wings (29 degrees). The demands from the Air Force were hard. One was that the aircraft would be able to carry its armament - cannons, rockets, bombs and missiles - from a central situated base to every part of the 2.000 km long Swedish coastline within an hour in all kinds of weather and in darkness.  

To test the performance of the back-swept wing at low speeds, a wing in half scale was fitted on a SAAB Safir trainer.  Tests with this rebuilt Safir, SAAB 202, started in March of 1950. 

The first test flight with the first of four Lansen prototypes was taken place in September 1952. The pilot was SAAB’s legendary Chief test pilot, Bengt Olow. 

The first produced version was the attack aircraft designated A 32A. This version was fitted with a license-built Rolls-Royce Avon RA 7R engine. In Sweden, it was designated RM 5A2. The thrust was 3.460 kp. With the Swedish-developed reheat, a thrust of 4.700 kp could be obtained. 

The A 32A was armed with four 20 mm automatic cannons in the nose. The muzzles were normally covered by electrically operated hatches to lower to reduce the air resistance. The external weapon load could consist of either: 

- bombs (12 of 100 kg, four of 250 or two of 500 kg each)

- attack rockets (12 18 cm or 24 14,5 cm)

- incendiary bombs ( two of 500 kg each)

- Sea Target Missile Rb 04 (developed in 1960).

 Under the fuselage an egg shaped extra fuel tank of 600 litres could be fitted. This tank could not be dropped.

Of the 456 Lansen aircraft built, 287 were delivered in the A 32A version to Wings F 6 (Karlsborg), F 7 (Såtenäs), F 14 (Halmstad) and F 17 (Ronneby). They were delivered 1955-1958 and replaced the SAAB T 18B, the A 28B de Havilland Vampire and the SAAB A 29B ”Flygande tunnan.

Length 14,94 m. Span 13,00 m. MTOW 13.600 kg.

Photo at top: A 32A Lansen # 32094 at former Swedish Air Force Wing F 14 at Halmstad, now military academy and technical school for the Swedish armed forces. This Lansen served in the  Air Force in 1957 - 1973.

Photo below: A brand new attack aircraft type for the Swedish Air Force. "Röd (Red) Urban" at SAAB 1953-06-16. Note the signature of HM King Gustav VI Adolf of Sweden at the nose.



Swedish Air Force Attack Aircraft A 32A - SAAB A 32A Lansen




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© Lars Henriksson

Updated 2010-07-17

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