|Sweden's mighty military aircraft|
|During the Second World War
(World War II) Sweden found itself in the
extremely uncomfortable position of being surrounded by Nazis, and
unable to import foreign-built fighter aircraft for its air force, as
it had been doing up to 1940. As a result, Sweden moved away
from reliance on outside sources for its military defense. This became
even more important during the subsequent Cold War era.
The most startling and remarkable outcome of this policy was that this little scandanavian country eventually created the fourth most powerful air force in the world- after the U.S., the Soviet Union, and Great Britain. Even more remarkably, it was based on domestically produced aircraft which were fully equal to those built by the superpower nations!
Often based on unusual design configurations, and tailored to the specific needs of Swedish military defense, these aircraft were nevertheless popular with other countries, who chose them over American, British, or French frontline aircraft. Swedish military aircraft have been purchased by Thailand, South Africa, Pakistan, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Austria, Denmark, Finland, and Norway.