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Saab 105

Jet Trainer Aircraft

Saab 105

Jet Trainer Aircraft


In service since 1967, the Saab 105 continues to operate for the Austrian and Swedish air services.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: Sweden
YEAR: 1967
MANUFACTURER(S): Saab - Sweden
OPERATORS: Austria; Sweden

Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Saab 105 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
LENGTH: 35.43 feet (10.8 meters)
WIDTH: 31.17 feet (9.5 meters)
HEIGHT: 8.86 feet (2.7 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 13,847 pounds (6,281 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 22,527 pounds (10,218 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x General Electric J85-17B turbojet engine developing 1,638lb of thrust.
SPEED (MAX): 603 miles-per-hour (970 kilometers-per-hour; 524 knots)
RANGE: 1,429 miles (2,300 kilometers; 1,242 nautical miles)

Support for Air-to-Air Missiles (AAMs), Air-to-Surface Missiles (ASMs), gun / cannon pods, conventional drop bombs and rocket pods across six total hardpoint.
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Graphical image of an aircraft cannon pod
Graphical image of an air-to-air missile weapon
Graphical image of a short-range air-to-air missile
Graphical image of an aircraft air-to-surface missile
Graphical image of an aircraft rocket pod
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition

Series Model Variants
• Saab 105 - Base Series Designation; also covering two prototypes completed.
• Sk 60A - Initial production model; 149 completed
• Sk 60B - Ground attack model and weapons training
• Sk 60C - Ground attack and reconnaissance model; Fairchild KB-18 camera fit in nose.
• Sk 60D - Four-seat liaison transport
• Sk 60E - Four-seat liaison transport
• Sk 60W - 1993 modernization program; 2 x Williams Rolls FJ44 turbofans fitted; improvements throughout; A-, B- and C-models updated to this standard.
• Saab 105XT - Export demonstrator model
• Saab 105D - Proposed business jet
• Saab 105G - Proposed revision of Saab 105XT model
• Saab 105H - Proposed Swedish Air Force model
• Saab 105O - Austrian export model based on the Saab 105XT proposal.
• Saab 105S - Proposed Finnish Air Force model; not adopted.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Saab 105 Jet Trainer Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 8/18/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
Always one to develop military solutions from within, the nation of Sweden engineered its own jet trainer / light attack platform in the early 1960s. The aircraft, the Saab 105, was a private venture and adopted by the Swedish Air Force for a variety of roles. Austria became the product's only other global operator and 192 were built in all. Despite its Cold War origins, the Saab 105 family continues to fly today (2016).

Two prototypes were completed for the test phase and a first-flight was recorded on June 29th, 1963. 130 examples were then ordered by the Swedish Air Force as the "Sk 60". The order was later revised to 150 aircraft and the first production-quality form went airborne in 1965. Service introduction occurred in 1967.

Design-wise, the aircraft was given a conventional layout. A unique quality was its side-by-side seating for student and instructor. The cockpit was under a large, single-piece canopy and positioned aft of a flat nosecone assembly. A split-air intake arrangement was used to aspirate the twin engine configuration buried with in the fuselage. The engines exhausted along the sides of the fuselage ahead of the tail unit. The tail incorporated a single vertical tail fin and high-mounted horizontal planes. The undercarriage was of a typical tricycle configuration with short legs, giving the Saab 105 a decidedly low-profile when on the ground. The wing mainplanes were straight and high-mounted.

The Sk 60A was the initial production model and completed as two-seat trainers. These were delivered without the intended hardpoints of later models and only had them added retroactively allowing the aircraft to be used as an attacker in addition to jet training. The Sk 60B was given attack functionality from the outset and operated as a ground attacker and weapons training platform. A new weapons sight was fitted. A Fairchild KB-18 reconnaissance camera was fitted to the aircraft to make up the Sk 60C production form which could no function in the attack-reconnaissance role. One prototype led the fleet of 29 Sk 60A conversion models. The Sk 60D became a four-seat liaison model from the Sk 60A stock. The Sk 60E was similar in form and function but included more commercial instrumentation in the cockpit.

A 1993 program saw ninety-six Sk 60A, -B and -C family aircraft refitted with Williams Rolls FJ44turbofan engines to produce the Sk 60W standard. This aircraft recorded a first-flight in 1995 and the conversion work wrapped up in 1998.

The Saab 105XT was developed as an export demonstrator and was essentially an improved version of the Sk 60B production model. These carried the General Electric J85 turbojet engine and a prototype was formed from the original Saab 105 program prototype. The Saab 105XT became the Austrian Saab 105O model which totaled 40 aircraft. Updated avionics, improved range through increased fuel capacity, reinforced wing mainplanes and an uprated engine differentiated this model from previous offerings. For a time, Austrian Saab 105O models were used in the air defense role.

There were other forgotten entries to the Saab 105 product line: the Saab 105D was a propose business jet that found no customers. The Saab 105G was a refined Saab 105XT but only a prototype was completed (from an existing Saab 105XT). The Saab 105H was a proposed variant intended for Swedish Air Force service but not followed through on. The Saab 105S was another proposed form for possible sale to Finland as a trainer. This model was passed on in favor of the BAe Hawk.

Because of its age in Swedish service, the Saab 105 is a candidate for replacement by a more modern jet trainer. A formal Request for Information (RFI) was put out by the Defence Ministry to entertain thoughts on a successor. Saab is partnered with Boeing to challenge for the USAF's T-X trainer program and the outcome of this competition might influence the future design of the Swedish replacement aircraft - particularly as pilots begin the transition from 4th Generation fighter types to 5th Generation mounts.


Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 750mph
Lo: 375mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (603mph).

Graph average of 562.5 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the Saab 105's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production (192)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

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