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VTOL | Rank 5 USSR
Yak-38 Pack
General characteristics
1 personCrew
5.00 tTake-off weight
3.86 kg/sBurst mass
Flight characteristics
12192 mCeiling
Svenska Flygmotor RM1AEngine
airCooling system
Speed of destruction
787 km/hStructural
360 km/hGear
Offensive armament
20 mm Akan m/45 cannonWeapon 1
140 roundsAmmunition
725 shots/minFire rate
4 x 12.7 mm Akan m/39A machine gunWeapon 2
1350 roundsAmmunition
768 shots/minFire rate
Suspended armament
8 x 8 mm Ksp m/22 machine gunSetup 1
10 x m/49A rocketsSetup 2
10 x 15 cm srak m/51 rocketsSetup 3
5 x 18 cm hprak m/49 rocketsSetup 4
92000 Rp icon.pngResearch
370000 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png13880 / 19043/8340 / 11442/3740 / 5131Repair
110000 Sl icon.pngCrew training
370000 Sl icon.pngExperts
1700 Ge icon.pngAces
196 % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
360 % Sl icon.png240 % Sl icon.png130 % Sl icon.png
This page is about the Swedish jet fighter A21RB. For other versions, see J21 (Family).


GarageImage A21RB.jpg

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

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, they 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, that 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.

Flight performance

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
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
Stock 811 789 12192 25.1 25.7 21.0 20.3 850
Upgraded 878 850 23.0 24.0 28.4 24.5


Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear Drogue chute
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
787 360 460 460 260 ~10 ~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 (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

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 away.


Offensive armament

The A21RB is armed with:

  • 1 x 20 mm Akan m/45 cannon, nose-mounted (140 rpg)

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 jets, making it highly devastating against all types of aircraft. Armoured targets perform favourably with this cannon, as the air-target 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.

  • 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 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

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)

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.

  • 10 x m/49A rockets
  • 10 x srak m/51 rockets
  • 5 x hprak m/49 rockets

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

Describe the tactics of playing in the aircraft, the features of using aircraft in a team and advice on tactics. Refrain from creating a "guide" - do not impose a single point of view, but instead, give the reader food for thought. Examine the most dangerous enemies and give recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of the game in different modes (AB, RB, SB).


Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage repair Offensive 20 mm Offensive 8 mm
II New boosters Compressor Airframe New 20 mm cannons m/49A
III Wings repair Engine Offensive 12 mm New 8 mm MGs m/51
IV G-suit Cover New 12 mm MGs m/49

Pros and cons


  • 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 Swede Pilots - Same gun placement as all previous Saab 21's
  • Useful air-brakes - Good at avoiding higher speeds


  • 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


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).


Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the aircraft;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on the aircraft;
  • other literature.

Swedish Aeroplane Company Ltd. (SAAB)
Fighters  J21A-1 · J21A-2 · A21A-3
Jet Fighters  A21RB · J21RA · J29A · J/A29B · J29D · J29F · A32A · J32B · J35D
Bombers  B17A · B17B · B17BS
Dive-bombers  B3C · B18A · B18B · T18B-1 · T18B-2

Sweden jet aircraft
Saab  J21RA · A21RB · J29A · J/A29B · J29D · J29F · A32A · J32B · J35D · SK60B
Foreign import  J28B