Reconnaissance Aircraft (1926-    )

For many years, the Swedish military aircraft were used only for training or reconnaissance missions. During the neutrality guard during the First World War, no Swedish aircraft were armed. 

In the beginning, the reconnaissance aircraft had a crew of two - pilot and observer. The observer was mostly an officer with special education. In 1914, cameras began to be used. The cameras were large and heavy. It was a hard work by the observer to handle the camera - leaning out of the cockpit, holding the clumsy camera in his hands and still take good photos. 

During the Second World War, long-range reconnaissance aircraft began to be used in the Swedish Air Force. They were twin-engine aircraft with a crew of three of four. Their main mission was to determine a possible aggressor’s intentions. Several Swedish reconnaissance aircraft were shot down during WWII.  

After the war, the Air Force procured the very capable Spitfire PR Mk XIX. It improved the long-range reconnaissance capacity in a considerably way. But soon the jets took over. The SAAB fighters 29 ”Tunnan”, 32 Lansen, 35 Draken and 37 Viggen were also made in reconnaissance versions. The new JAS 39 Gripen is a true multi-role aircraft, where the ”S” in the designation stands for ”Spaning” (Reconnaissance). 

An important step was when radar became available. The first aircraft fitted with such equipment was the SAAB S 18A in 1949-1950. The SAAB S 32C Lansen had both cameras and a radar which could discover targets at sea. ”Long-range reconnaissance” changed name to ”Sea Surveillance”.  

Since the beginning of the Cold War, the Air Force have operated ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) aircraft. Some of these aircraft is designated as transports (Tp) and are described in the chapter ”Transport Aviation”. 

Please click on the thumbnails for pictures and information

201S1-47taxiKarlsborg.jpg (67042 byte) S 1 - FMV S 21/FVM S 25 (1926-1932)
S 2 - Caspar S.1/Heinkel HE 1 ”Hansa” (1921-1931)
203-S3-Kontakt1.jpg (62109 byte) S 3 - Heinkel HE 2 ”Hansa”  (1926-1935)
204S4Kontakt.jpg (81894 byte) S 4 - Heinkel HE4 ”Hansa”  (1926-1931)
205S5A_3295.jpg (44951 byte) S 5 - Heinkel He 5 ”Hansa” (1927-1945)
206S6_3262.jpg (69853 byte) S 6 - Fokker C.V (1927-1946)

(3 pages)

S 7 - Hawker Hart (1934-1936)
S 9 - Hawker Osprey (1934-1947)
S 12 Heinkel He 114 S 12- Heinkel He 114A (1941-1949)
210S14_3202.jpg (72832 byte) S 14 - Fieseler Storch Fi 156C (1938-1961)
211S16_103-0356.jpg (83397 byte) S 16 - Caproni Ca 313 (1940-1945)
212S17BS4LL.jpg (82943 byte) S 17BL & S 17BS - SAAB S 17 (1942-1952)
213S8A-18029-F11-29Link-SAAB.jpg (49215 byte) S 18A - SAAB S 18A (1946-1959)
215s26-art-big.jpg (35977 byte)

S  26 – North American P-51D Mustang (1948-1954)

SAAB S 29C S 29C - SAAB 29 ”Flygande tunnan” (1954-1970)
217S31_136-3619.jpg (66841 byte) S 31 – Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk XIX (1948-1955)
S 32 SAAB 32C Lansen S 32C - SAAB 32 Lansen (1958-1979)
Lars E Lundin - SK 35E S 35E - SAAB 35E Draken (1965-1979)
123AJSF37_113-1370.jpg (37615 byte) SF 37/SH 37 (AJSF 37/AJSH 37)  – SAAB SF 37/SH 37 Viggen (1975-    )
JAS 39 Gripen - reconnaissande role JAS 39 - SAAB JAS 39 Gripen (1992 -     )
222SH89001Brma860719LL.jpg (88741 byte) SH 89 – CASA C-212 Aviocar (1986- 2005)
223S100B_3929.jpg (60035 byte) S 100B Argus – SAAB 340B AEW (1997-    )
S 102B Korpen – Gulfstream IV G (1995-    )


© Lars Henriksson, Ljungskile, Sweden

Updated 2011-09-20