SK 60 to make farewell air display appearances this year, Swedish Air Force confirms

Sweden’s venerable SK 60s have a few airshow performances left in them, according to two Swedish Air Force statements released today.

First flying in 1963, the 61-year-old jets are now fast approaching retirement and the last batch of SK.60 students will graduate in June 2024. It had been assumed, therefore, that the jet’s acclaimed solo display – which won the King Hussain Memorial Sword at last year’s Royal International Air Tattoo – might have already performed for the final time, but today’s remarks suggest that a display is being worked up for 2024.

The Air Force said: “In June this year, SK 60 will be phased out, which the Luftstridsskolan draws attention to with various activities during the spring and summer. To draw attention to the school aircraft’s long-term service in the Air Force, activities are organized for the public and the media. The Luftstridsskolan publishes the spring’s national and Nordic display program with the SK 60 on our website in February, the first flight displays start in May.”

A press event and air display to launch the farewell season will be held at Linköping on Wednesday 10th April.

Seperately, the Luftstridsskolan (Swedish Air Force training school) anounced a retirement ceremony and air display at the Air Force Museum in Linköping on Tuesday 18th June 2024. To watch the ceremony, visitors will need tickets to the museum, but the air display itself is free. The precise contents of the air display are not yet known. It is also not known whether this will be the final flying display appearance of a Swedish Air Force SK 60, or if it will continue later into the season beyond the end of its formal training duties.

The SK 60 is Sweden’s designation for the Saab 105, a light attack aircraft and jet trainer of which Sweden is now the sole remaining military operator. Although the aircraft are long in the tooth, all those which remain in service have been upgraded with new cockpit instruments and engines. According to Aeroplane Monthly, is expected that three of these upgraded aircraft will eventually be handed over to the Swedish Air Force Historic Flight, where they will join one non-upgraded example which already flies with them.

The SK 60’s retirement has already been delayed several times because the Swedish Air Force was unable to identify a suitable replacement. For the time being, the Grob 120TP has been seleted to fulfil Sweden’s training requirements, although this will likely be supplemented by a jet-powered trainer like the Saab T-7 at a later date.