The Most Badass Saab Isn’t a Car

Saab Group is still one of Scandinavia’s most powerful defense firms, just as it has been for 75 years.

byThe Drive Staff|
The Most Badass Saab Isn’t a Car

It played out like a tragic Gothic saga. Saab, the quirky Swedish automaker with a cult following, gobbled up by General Motors—only to be chewed up and spit out, bankrupt. A parade of potential buyers, from Koenigsegg to a Russian banking combine, teased a buyout. No luck. In the end, Saab Automobile AB was consolidated as NEVS (National Electric Vehicle Sweden) in 2012, a joint venture between Chinese and Japanese investors. Since then: rumors, teases, false starts, lawsuits, prototypes, delays and more rumors. Now, NEVS says it'll produce five new models by 2018. Color us skeptical.

But just because the company isn’t building series production cars doesn’t mean it’s gone. Not even close. Saab Group is still one of Scandinavia’s most powerful defense firms, just as it has been since the Forties. Radars. Planes. Helicopters. Missiles. Saab builds or supplies components for all of ’em. So, in case you’d forgotten just how badass this company is, here’s a quick rundown of Saab’s work past and present. 

Aerial defense training for MU2 and Learjet35., Copyright Saab AB/STEFAN KALM
Combat and surveillance systems for Visby class stealth corvette., Copyright Saab AB/Saab Electronic Defense Systems
Saab 340 AEW Erieye, supplied to the Royal Thai Air Force., Peter Liander/Saab AB
RBS 23 BAMSE ground-based missile air-defence., Copyright Saab AB
Maintenance and support for UH-60M (a.k.a. HKP 16) Black Hawk hellicopter., Stefan Kalm/Saab AB
Double Eagle Mark II remotely operated minehunter., Copyright Saab AB/Saab Underwater Systems
Saab Gripen NG 39-7 single-engine fighter jet., Copyright Saab AB/STEFAN KALM
Saab AT-4 portable anti-tank weapon., Christoffer Lomfors / Saab AB
Saab 18 twin-engine bomber., Saab AB
HSwMS Gotland diesel-electric attack submarine., Nilsson Peter / Saab AB
Saab 210 Lilldraken experimental double-delta concept., Saab AB
IRIS-T short-range infrared homing air-to-air missile. , Katsuhiko TOKUNAGA/Saab AB
Saab 32 Lansen attack, fighter and reconnaissance transonic airplanes., Saab AB
Saab Skeldar V-200 unmanned aerial vehicle., Saab AB
Saab J-29 Flydande tunnan fighter jet. , Saab AB