SAAB (originally an acronym for "Svenska Aeroplan AB") was
founded as a Swedish aircraft industry in 1937 in the city of Linköping in
Sweden. After World War II, the company sought ways in which to diversify
its business and started to manufacture automobiles in the early 1950s (in
the city of Trollhättan) and computers (Datasaab) in the late 1950s. Later
Saab also acquired the truck maker Scania and for some time the company
was called Saab-Scania.
Currently, the main focus of the aircraft production is fighter aircraft,
with the recent JAS 39 Gripen as the flagship model. Saab has been making
airplanes since the 1930s, and predecessors to the Gripen were among
others the Lansen, the Draken and the Viggen. The last civilian models
made by Saab were the Saab 340 and Saab 2000. Both were mid-range,
turboprop powered, passenger planes.
The development and the manufacturing of these airplanes has all been made
in Linköping, Sweden.
In 1995 Saab Military Aircraft and BAE SYSTEMS formed the joint venture
company Saab-BAe Gripen AB, with the goal of adapting, manufacturing,
marketing and supporting Gripen internationally.
BAE SYSTEMS designed an improved wing, which they then manufactured and
are set to produce 45% of currently planned export airframes. Saab
Military Aircraft is responsible for the overall 'aircraft system'
including basic aircraft development and production, and testing and
In 1998 BAE SYSTEMS acquired 35% of Saab Military Aircraft.
Saab 17 (bomber)
Saab 21 (push-prop)
Saab 29 Tunnan
Saab 32 Lansen
Saab 35 Draken
Saab 37 Viggen
Saab 39 Gripen
Saab 90 Scandia
Saab 91 Safir
The Datasaab company was a result partly of the need of heavy
computational power for the aircraft development, partly of the
science-fictional idea to make a computer that would be small enough to
mount in an airplane as navigational equipment. During the 1960s several
successful and advanced systems was developed and sold to several European
countries (used in e.g. banking). The aircraft computer (CK37) was
achieved in 1971 in the Viggen. The now less successful company was sold
off in 1975 to Sperry Univac, while flight computer development was kept
Space & Military Technology
Saab Ericsson Space is a joint venture with Ericsson, designing the on
board computers used in the Ariane 5 rockets used by the European Space
Agency. Saab Missiles develops military applications.