The Saab 35 Draken ("Draken" is Swedish for "The Dragon") is a Swedish fighter aircraft manufactured by Saab between 1955 and 1974.
As the jet era started, Sweden foresaw the need for a jet fighter that could intercept bombers at high altitude and also take on fighters. The new fighter would have to undertake a combat role unique to Sweden. In 1949, the Swedish Government issued a request for a fighter/interceptor aircraft, and work began at Saab the same year.
Draken's design incorporated a distinctive "double-delta" configuration. The first prototype made its maiden flight on 25 October 1955. The second prototype, equipped with an afterburner, on its first flight, unintentionally broke the sound barrier while climbing.
The J 35 Draken entered service in 1960 with the Swedish Air Force; 644 Saab Drakens were built for Sweden as well as other European nations. The early models were intended purely for air-defense, but the J 35D introduced a ground attack capability. The last model built was the J 35F, the final variant to remain in Swedish service. These aircraft have now been retired and replaced by the Saab Gripen.
Although out of service today, the Draken was influential as the first in a line of highly-sophisticated Saab fighters.
Note: This article is based on the Wikipedia as of November 1st, 2007.