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Sweden retires SK 60 jet trainer after nearly 60 years

Sweden has formally retired the SK 60 from service after 57 years. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Sweden has retired the Saab 105 (SK 60 in national service) jet trainer aircraft after nearly 60 years of service.

The side-by-side twin-seat, twin-engined aircraft that first flew in 1963 and joined the Swedish Air Force (SwAF) inventory in 1967 was formally withdrawn from service on 18 June.

“It has served us so well – we have had the SK 60 in the Swedish inventory since before I was born. It has served so well, but it is now old,” Deputy Commander of the SwAF Brigadier General Tommy Petersson told Janes and other defence media in May.

Brig Gen Petersson said that the SK 60 will likely continue flying for a period after its formal retirement date. The SwAF will perform first-phase flight training using the Grob G120TP (SK 14 in SwAF service) turboprop that is now being introduced into service at Malmen Air Base in Linköping. Following this, combat pilots will transfer to the Italian International Flight Training School (IFTS) at Decimomannu Air Base in Sardinia, under a 10-year agreement signed in December 2023. Transport pilots will transfer to the US Navy, with helicopter pilots going to Germany for further training (as has been the case for 15 years already).

The SK 60 was the longest-serving operational aircraft ever built by Saab. With the SK 60 now retired from Swedish service, the type remains operational with the Austrian Air Force.

For more information on the SK 60, please see Saab 105.

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