A21RB

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RANK 6 USA
"APACHE" | AH-64A Peten
This page is about the Swedish jet fighter A21RB. For other versions, see J21 (Family).
A21RB
saab_a21rb.png
GarageImage A21RB.jpg
360://https://wiki.warthunder.com/images/0/02/Cockpit_saab_a21rb.jpg
A21RB
AB RB SB
6.7 6.7 6.7
Research:110 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:310 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
Show in game

Description

The A21RB is a rank V Swedish jet fighter with a battle rating of 6.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.95 "Northern Wind".

The A21RB is a jet-powered version of the prior A21A-3, giving it higher speeds and heavier ordnance.

General info

Two A21RB flying in formation

The A21RB is a highly manoeuvrable plane, with a good climb rate. The guns, although a downgrade from the previous propeller-driven 13 mm version, still provide enough firepower to down most targets efficiently. The A21RB is also the first to feature the iconic "Paddan" gunpod, giving it additional lead downrange. Along with central-mounted rockets, the plane is comfortable in both Air Realistic and Ground Realistic battles. The only downside is the airframe, which prevents the aircraft from reaching higher speeds. This is due to the engine being a bit too powerful for the plane, making it common to rip in straight lines and shallow dives.

The plane is an overall great introduction for anyone looking to learn to fly jet aircraft, as the vehicle handles very similar to its propeller-driven counterpart, while at a much higher speed than before.

Flight performance

Air brakes
Allows you to dramatically reduce the flight speed by releasing special flaps
Max speed
at 2 000 m850 km/h
Turn time24 s
Max altitude12 192 m
EngineSvenska Flygmotor RM1A
TypeJet
Cooling systemAir
Take-off weight5 t

The A21RB is distinctly different in looks and performance from all other planes found at the same BR-range. Along with the Yak-15, the Saab 21R is one of the two propeller-driven planes successfully converted into jet propulsion. Just like its Soviet counterpart, the solution comes at the cost of speed. Although a lot more powerful than the A21A-3, it still has the same airframe limitations, resulting in good turn-rate. The climb-rate is also significantly improved due to the weight of the vehicle, resulting in good vertical energy with the ability to stall out slower opponents. Getting back down can prove difficult however, as the A21RB has a rip speed of just 850 km/h, which it can accidentally reach if not careful. To avoid this, the plane features a small set of air-brakes, which aids in maintaining a safe speed. Experienced pilots can find a good use for them, along with the powerful flaps, to force overshoots, or to out-turn propeller-driven opponents. Be careful with the engine however! The propulsion of the A21RB is very primitive, and suffers from fuel starvation during extreme manoeuvres, especially in negative G-loads. This can be fatal when fighting vertically, as the engine drops all power almost immediately, and has to spool back up again before reaching the same efficiency as before.

Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 2,000 m)
Max altitude
(metres)
Turn time
(seconds)
Rate of climb
(metres/second)
Take-off run
(metres)
AB RB AB RB AB RB
Stock 811 789 12192 25.1 25.7 21.0 20.3 850
Upgraded 878 850 23.0 24.0 28.4 24.5

Details

Features
Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear Drogue chute
X X
Limits
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
787 360 437 408 260 ~11 ~5
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 450 < 390 < 420 N/A

Engine performance

Engine Aircraft mass
Engine name Number Empty mass Wing loading (full fuel)
Svenska Flygmotor RM1A 1 3,505 kg 192 kg/m2
Engine characteristics Mass with fuel (no weapons load) Max Takeoff
Weight
Weight (each) Type 6m fuel 20m fuel
705 kg Centrifugal-flow turbojet 3,759 kg 4,257 kg 5,000 kg
Maximum engine thrust @ 0 m (RB / SB) Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (100%)
Condition 100% WEP 6m fuel 20m fuel MTOW
Stationary 1,420 kgf N/A 0.41 0.33 0.28
Optimal 1,420 kgf
(0 km/h)
N/A 0.41 0.33 0.28

Survivability and armour

Crew1 person
Speed of destruction
Structural787 km/h
Gear360 km/h
Protective components found in the A21RB.
  • 10 mm steel - Firewall armour plate
  • 10 mm steel - Firewall cover armour plate
  • 10 mm steel - Pilot's back armour plate
  • 60 mm bulletproof glass

Although the A21RB is meant for ground-attack, the plane lacks significant protection to withstand a lot of incoming fire. The pilot is well protected by metal plates and bulletproof glass, but the pilot's safety isn't the primary concern for the A21RB, as the tail section is incredibly vulnerable. This is due to the twin-boom design, making a tailstrike twice as likely. And since the tail connects to the wing-section, the plane tends to lose tail-control when struck by wing damage. The engine is very large in comparison to the rest of the plane, making it a common target. The A21RB should avoid all possible damage, as surviving large amounts of fire is highly unlikely. Pulling away from head-on engagements increases the survivability immensely. Avoiding the enemy airfield is also important, as the A21RB lacks the speed to keep it safe from flak fire.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB2 700 → 3 704 Sl icon.png
RB7 470 → 10 248 Sl icon.png
SB8 840 → 12 128 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications98 000 Rp icon.png
157 000 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost2 100 Ge icon.png
Crew training90 000 Sl icon.png
Experts310 000 Sl icon.png
Aces1 700 Ge icon.png
Research Aces720 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
100 / 230 / 480 % Sl icon.png
196 / 196 / 196 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
Research:
6 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
10 000 Sl icon.png
370 Ge icon.png
Mods jet compressor.png
Compressor
Research:
4 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
7 100 Sl icon.png
250 Ge icon.png
Mods booster.png
New boosters
Research:
4 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
7 100 Sl icon.png
250 Ge icon.png
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
Research:
4 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
7 900 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mods jet engine.png
Engine
Research:
4 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
7 900 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mods g suit.png
G-suit
Research:
8 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
13 000 Sl icon.png
460 Ge icon.png
Mods armor frame.png
Airframe
Research:
4 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
7 100 Sl icon.png
250 Ge icon.png
Mods armor cover.png
Cover
Research:
8 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
13 000 Sl icon.png
460 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
akan_m47_belt_pack
Research:
6 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
10 000 Sl icon.png
370 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods ammo.png
8_63_belt_pack
Research:
6 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
10 000 Sl icon.png
370 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods weapon.png
akan_m47_new_gun
Research:
4 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
7 100 Sl icon.png
250 Ge icon.png
Mods pilon rocket.png
m/49A
Research:
4 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
7 100 Sl icon.png
250 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods ammo.png
bmg50_belt_pack
Research:
4 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
7 900 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods weapon.png
8_63_new_gun
Research:
4 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
7 900 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mods pilon rocket.png
m/51
Research:
4 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
7 900 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods weapon.png
bmg50_new_gun
Research:
8 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
13 000 Sl icon.png
460 Ge icon.png
Mods pilon rocket.png
m/49
Research:
8 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
13 000 Sl icon.png
460 Ge icon.png

Armaments

Offensive armament

Ammunition140 rounds
Fire rate725 shots/min
Ammunition1 350 rounds
Fire rate768 shots/min

The A21RB is armed with:

  • 1 x 20 mm Akan m/45 cannon, nose-mounted (140 rpg)
  • 2 x 12.7 mm Akan m/39A machine guns, nose-mounted (350 rpg = 700 total)
  • 2 x 12.7 mm Akan m/39A machine guns, wing-mounted (325 rpg = 650 total)

The A21RB shares the same 20 mm cannon found on the previous A21A-3. This cannon is near identical to the Hispano Mk.V, only with a 30 rpm lower fire-rate. The shells perform the same as on all the other 20 mm-armed jets, making it highly devastating against all types of aircraft. The Armoured targets belt performs favourably with this cannon, as the Air targets belt can cause some mishaps during short bursts. The cannon runs out of ammunition quite quickly compared to the machine-guns, so saving it by only making use of the small calibre guns first can be ideal for spraying.

The A21RB features .50 cal machine guns, being identical to the later American ones. Although a direct downgrade from the Swedish 13 mm previously found on the plane, the A21RB makes good use of these cannons, as they allow for distanced engagements, along with additional firepower to back up the 20 mm cannon. Their ammo count is quite high as well, making them great for strafing, and finishing off heavy bombers.

Suspended armament

Number of setups4
List of setups
Setup 18 x 8 mm Ksp m/22 machine gun
(ammunition: 800 rounds)
Setup 210 x m/49A rockets
Setup 310 x 15 cm srak m/51 rockets
Setup 45 x 18 cm hprak m/49 rockets

The A21RB can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • Without load
  • 8 x 8 mm Ksp m/22 machine guns, belly-mounted (gunpod) (100 rpg = 800 total)
  • 10 x psrak m/49A rockets
  • 10 x srak m/51 rockets
  • 5 x hprak m/49 rockets
A21RB carrying m/49A rockets

A unique feature only found on the A21RB is the ability to use the abstract gunpod. Commonly known as "Paddan" (directly translated to "The toad"), the gunpod features eight 8 mm Ksp m/22, repurposed from old J8 Gladiators. Although weak guns by nature, having eight of them gives the A21RB unprecedented fire-power shredding anything that goes head-to-head with it. The ammunition count is low, however, which forces pilots to use them carefully. Saving the gunpod by only using .50 cal on distant opponents, allows the A21RB to get rid of opponents during short bursts, which can be incredibly useful if mastered correctly. It's still important to mention that this gunpod is incredibly heavy and not very aerodynamic, and thus takes a heavy hit on the overall speed of the plane.

The A21RB has a lot of additional advantages over the prior A21A-3, especially when it comes to the ground ordnance. The ground rockets are finally mounted in the middle of the plane, firing one at a time starting from the right. Since the Swedish rockets, especially the m/49 rockets, feature amazing ballistics with little inaccuracy, that along with high penetration, makes for some highly effective air-support. And since the A21RB is quite light, it can easily perform several passes on opponents, which is quite important against heavy opponents.

Usage in battles

Air Realistic Battles

  • Climb to altitude
  • Energy-fight opponents by lowering their speed
  • Boom & Zoom people below you
  • Dogfight slow targets when necessary
  • Fire machine guns and cannons separately to save ammo

Despite being jet-powered, the A21RB still performs best when played like a propeller driven aircraft. The airplane struggles to reach high speeds, and drops it fairly quickly when manoeuvring. So the best use of the new engine is to gain altitude. Although weak in performance compared to earlier jets, the A21RB is decent at climbing to altitude, and can very efficiently deal with targets thanks to the high agility offered at lower speeds. Although the flaps are designed for much lower speeds (similar to the A21A-3), the plane still performs similar to the propeller variant when turning, making them less desired than on other jets.

The best way to start a match is to immediately gain altitude. A height advantage around 5 km is usually ideal to avoid losing vital speed when fighting, as the plane can simply dive to gain more velocity. The best way to handle opponents, is to single them out from their team, and forcing them to dogfight, as the A21RB is too slow to chase anyone down. The A21RB is also efficient against propeller aircraft, as it can comfortably turn-fight, while keeping a higher speed. When paired with the devastating firepower it provides, the A21RB becomes deadly when used properly.

Ground Realistic Battles

  • Use minimum fuel and m/49A rockets
  • Stay low or high above the ground to avoid SPAA
  • Prioritize air-targets
  • Attack opponents directly from the side or slightly from above (rockets)
  • Strafe directly from above (8mm gunpod)

The A21RB is even more effective in combined battles, as the platform is highly agile, ideal for close and precise rocket attacks. To compliment this, the A21RB features a fantastic rocket placement, in the center of the aircraft. These launch one at a time, similar to other Swedish aircraft. This gives the A21RB 10 single rocket salvos (m/49A), that can effectively kill one tank each when aimed properly. It's ideal to launch each rocket with the crosshair pointed slightly above the target, as they are placed fairly low. A creative pilot could also make use of the much larger m/49 rockets, but these require a lot of compensation in elevation, and are overall much more difficult to make use of.

While playing the A21RB in Ground RB, it's important to still prioritize air targets. The A21RB is still agile, despite carrying suspended armaments, and is even cheaper to spawn with the 8mm gunpod, which shreds both aircraft and lightly armoured vehicles. Prioritizing aircraft will substantially help both you, and the team below, as they are capable of dealing equally as much damage.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Highly manoeuvrable - Competes with propeller driven aircraft
  • Accurate and powerful rockets - Highly effective against most vehicles
  • Upgraded engine compared to the J21RA - Better rate of climb and acceleration
  • Familiar layout for seasoned Swedish pilots - Same gun placement as all previous Saab 21s
  • Useful air-brakes - Good at avoiding higher speeds
  • Access to suspended 8 x 8 mm gunpod
  • Access to modern 12.7 mm rounds - Incredibly efficient

Cons:

  • Low top speed - Can't reach 800 km/h without tearing off its wings
  • Downgraded armament - 12.7 mm machine guns instead of the old 13 mm
  • Small fuel tank with limited fuel choice - Either 20 or 9 minutes of fuel
  • Engine prone to fuel starvation - negative G-load turns the engine off
  • Cumbersome rocket ramp - reduces top-speed by almost 100 km/h
  • External gunpod lacks significant ammunition count

History

Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the aircraft in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too long, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the vehicle and adding a block "/History" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Vehicle-name)/History) and add a link to it here using the main template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <ref></ref>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <references />. This section may also include the vehicle's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under === In-game description ===, also if applicable).

Media

Skins
Videos

See also

Similar Swedish aircraft

Comparable Aircraft

External links


Swedish Aeroplane Company Ltd. (SAAB)
Pre-SAAB: ASJA  J6B
Fighters  J21A-1 · J21A-2 · A21A-3
Jet fighters  A21RB · J21RA · J29A · A29B · J29D · J29F · A32A · J32B · J35A · J35D · JA37C
Jet attackers  SK60B · SAAB-105G
Bombers  B17A · B17B · B17BS
Dive-bombers  B3C · B18A · B18B · T18B-1 · T18B-2
Export  SAAB-105OE

Sweden jet aircraft
Fighters  J21RA
  J29A · A29B · J29D · J29F
  J32B
  J35A · J35D
  JA37C
Strike aircraft  A21RB
  A32A
  SK60B · SAAB-105G
Import  J28B
Export  SAAB-105OE