1960’S

During this decade, Draken entered business.

1968 - Saab acquires Malmö Flygindustri (MFI)

In March 1968, Saab acquired the light-aircraft manufacturer Malmö Flygindustri AB (MFI). The acquisition included the MFI-15 Safari, a piston-engined trainer and army observation aircraft that was subsequently developed into the MFI-17 Supporter.

1967 - Saab enters the missile business

In the 1960’s, Saab re-entered the missile business, first building US designs under license and then itself developing a new air-to-surface missile, the Rb05. The Rb08 anti-ship missile launched from surface vessels or coastal batteries went into production at Saab in 1967.

On 8 February 1967, the first prototype of the Saab 37 Viggen family made its maiden flight.

In July 1967, the first student pilots began training in Sweden on the Saab 105, a twin-engined jet trainer with a moderately swept high wing and side-by-side seating beneath a large "bubble" canopy. The program was first presented in mid-1960, and the 105 was adopted by the Swedish Air Force in 1962 carrying the designation SK 60. It has served continuously since 1967 and will continue to do so for many years to come.

1961 - Saab introduces the Viggen

With the lengthening development cycle and increasing cost of complex combat aircraft, preliminary studies of designs to replace Lansen attack and reconnaissance aircraft, and eventually Draken fighters, had begun in the early 1950’s. The Swedish Air Force decided on a common "platform" using specialized systems for the attack, reconnaissance and fighter roles.

In December 1961, the Government approved development of Aircraft System 37, the Viggen. The basic platform was the AJ 37 attack aircraft, to be followed by S 37 reconnaissance versions and the JA 37 fighter. The new aircraft had a novel and advanced aerodynamic configuration to meet the short take-off/landing and other performance requirements: a fixed foreplane with flaps was mounted ahead of and slightly above the delta main wing.

1960 - The Draken enters service

The J35A Draken entered service in 1960 and was followed by five different versions for the Swedish Air Force, including the all-weather J35F with its then advanced radar, infra-red (IR) search and track system, and both radar and IR guided missiles. In all, 612 Drakens were built between 1955 and 1972, including 87 for export.