A21A-3

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VTOL | Rank 5 USA
AV-8A Harrier Pack
A21A-3
saab_a21a_3.png
A21A-3
AB RB SB
4.3 4.0 3.7
Class:
Research:54 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:180 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
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This page is about the Swedish fighter A21A-3. For other versions, see J21 (Family).

Description

GarageImage A21A-3.jpg


The A21A-3 is a rank IV Swedish fighter with a battle rating of 4.3 (AB), 4.0 (RB), and 3.7 (SB). It was introduced in Update 1.95 "Northern Wind".

General info

Flight performance

The A21A-3 has a poor climb rate and fairly low acceleration, making it ineffective as an energy or boom and zoom fighter unless you commit to side climb. The aircraft has very good turning characteristics at almost all speeds, and maintains speed in horizontal turns well enough, though it will stall very quickly in any vertical manoeuvres. The aircraft maintains most of its turning ability with heavy loads, but suffers greatly in climb ability. If you wish to take an altitude advantage, forgo any loads.

Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 4,300 m)
Max altitude
(metres)
Turn time
(seconds)
Rate of climb
(metres/second)
Take-off run
(metres)
AB RB AB RB AB RB
Stock 616 599 10800 21.0 21.9 12.6 12.6 300
Upgraded 666 640 19.0 20.0 19.0 15.5

Details

Features
Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
X X
Limits
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
683 325 460 460 325 ~11 ~5
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 450 < 390 < 420 > 715

Survivability and armour

Protective components found in the A21A-3.
  • 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

Armaments

Offensive armament

The A21A-3 is armed with:

  • 1 x 20 mm Akan m/45 cannon, nose-mounted (140 rpg)
  • 2 x 13.2 mm Akan m/39A machine guns, nose-mounted (350 rpg = 700 total)
  • 2 x 13.2 mm Akan m/39A machine guns, wing-mounted (325 rpg = 650 total)

Suspended armament

The A21A-3 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • Without load
  • 4 x 50 kg sb m/47 bombs (200 kg total)
  • 1 x 250 kg mb m/40 bomb (250 kg total)
  • 1 x 250 kg mb m/40 bomb + 4 x 50 kg sb m/47 bombs (450 kg total)
  • 1 x 500 kg mb m/41 bomb (500 kg total)
  • 1 x 600 kg mb m/50 bomb (600 kg total)
  • 8 x psrak m/49A rockets
  • 8 x srak m/51 rockets
  • 2 x hprak m/49 rockets
  • 1 x 250 kg mb m/40 bomb + 8 x psrak m/49A rockets (250 kg total)
  • 1 x 250 kg mb m/40 bomb + 8 x srak m/51 rockets (250 kg total)
  • 1 x 250 kg mb m/40 bomb + 2 x hprak m/49 rockets (250 kg total)

Usage in battles

Boasting extremely good turning characteristics, a very stable platform, decent speed and accurate, powerful guns, the A21A-3 is an extremely effective aircraft for both dogfighting and ground attack duties. The Swedish 13.2mm Akan m/39A guns are devastating to lighter aircraft thanks to their AA belts with plentiful HE, and the nose mounted 20mm cannon makes short work of larger targets as long as you are accurate. In air to air battles, the aircraft is best suited to catch opponents low on energy. Very few aircraft at it's BR are able to turn as well as the A21A-3 at low altitude, and the aircraft remains very stable even in low speed turns to keep guns on target. It is wise to keep fights short though, as the A21A-3 is a very poor climber, and is an easy target for boom and zoom fighters if engaged in a fight.

On the other hand, the A21A-3 makes for an extremely effective ground-and-pound aircraft, capable of destroying an enemy base with its' 600kg bomb in some air RB game modes, access to some of the best rockets weight for weight at it's BR, and a significant amount of ammunition for its' guns to attack ground units. The aircraft's low speed stability makes short dipping attack runs on ground units very easy, and the good firepower means you don't have to stay on target for very long.

It is very important to take care that enemy aircraft do not get a chance to attack you from behind, however. The A21A-3 as a pusher aircraft can be brought down very quickly when tailed. The engine is poorly armoured, with a very small water and oil reserve and runs at a high temperature. Additionally, there is a fuel tank between the cockpit and engine which will not survive even a glancing hit. If you are attacked and suffer an oil or water leak you will need to land at your base as quickly as possible, the engine will burn out within minutes of an overheat. The large control surface of the tail is also a vulnerability.

In ground RB the aircraft can perform well at almost any BR, as its' 600kg bomb can be used effectively to clear points and entrenched enemy tanks of any size with a whopping 18m destruction range, with a fighter's SP cost it can be an invaluable CAS asset to a team.

A21A-3 flying

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Not controllable Controllable
Auto control available
Controllable
Auto control available
Controllable
Auto control available
Separate Not controllable
1 gear
Not controllable

Modules

Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage repair Radiator Offensive 20 mm m/40
II Compressor Airframe New 20 mm cannons m/41 m/49A
III Wings repair Engine Offensive 13 mm m/50 m/51
IV Engine injection Cover New 13 mm MGs m/49

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Very manoeuvrable, even with wing-tip fuel tanks
  • Very stable, does not stall in level flight even with the throttle set to zero
  • Engine protected from head-on attacks
  • Most armament is nose-mounted
  • Armed with extremely powerful 13.2mm guns with decent ammunition pool and destructive AA belts
  • Access to very powerful and accurate rockets and devastating bombs for ground RB
  • 600kg bomb can destroy an enemy base in some air RB game modes.

Cons:

  • Pusher aircraft, engine mounted facing rear, exposed to enemy aircraft which may follow
  • Required to set convergence due to wing-mounted machine guns
  • Very poor climb rate, despite decent acceleration
  • Loses speed in vertical manoeuvres extremely quickly
  • Lacks airbrake
  • Very fragile from rear attacks, even water or oil leaks will tend to cause the aircraft to crash as the engine burns out quickly.
  • Engine overheats quickly when on WEP

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

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

Sweden fighters
ASJA  J6B
Saab  J21A-1 · J21A-2 · A21A-3
FFVS  J22-A · J22-B
(Finland) VL  Mörkö-Morane · Pyörremyrsky
(Netherlands) Fokker  Fokker D.XXI
Foreign Import  J8A · Iacobi's J8A · J11 · J20 · J26