Today’s SOFREP Pic of the Day features a shot of a Swedish A32 jet fighter waiting patiently for a train to cross its path.

The Saab 32 Lansen

The Saab 32 Lansen, often simply known as the A32, was a pioneering Swedish military aircraft developed in the early 1950s. It represented a significant technological advancement in jet-powered military aviation, being one of the first aircraft designed using computer technology. This design sophistication enabled it to accommodate a wide range of weaponry, making it highly versatile for different types of missions.

The A32 Lansen was initially intended as an attack aircraft but was adaptable enough to be used in multiple roles, including ground attack, maritime strike, and all-weather fighter operations. It was equipped with a single afterburning Rolls-Royce Avon turbojet engine, which provided a maximum speed of 699 mph. The aircraft featured a 35° swept wing, which was tested using a half-scale model to ensure its performance at high speeds and angles of attack.

The Lansen could be armed with four 20 mm Bofors cannons and had the capability to carry an array of rockets and bombs of different sizes. It also had the capacity to be equipped with the early versions of “fire-and-forget” anti-ship missiles, notably the Rb 04. In its reconnaissance version, the Lansen could carry up to six cameras and additional equipment for electronic warfare and target towing.

Produced until 1960, the Lansen remained in operational use by the Swedish Air Force until the late 1990s, showcasing its durability and adaptability over several decades. Its design and operational capabilities made it an essential component of Sweden’s Cold War aerial defense strategy, although it was eventually replaced by more modern aircraft like the Saab 37 Viggen.