Hawker Siddeley Gnat/HAL Ajeet

Fo 141 Gnat F.1, HAL Gnat and Ajeet, Hawker Siddeley Gnat T.1

Origin: Folland Aircraft (now British Aerospace), UK: Ajeet, Hindustan Aerospace Ltd, India.

Type: (Gnat 1 and Ajeet) single-seat fighter: (Gnat T.1) advanced trainer. Engine: (Gnat 1) 4.520lb (2050kg) thrust Rolls-Royce (previously Bristol, then Bristol Siddeley) Orpheus 701 single-shaft turbojet: (Gnat ll/Ajeet) 4.670lb (2118kg) HAL-built Orpheus 701E: Gnat T.1, 4.230lb (1920kg) Orpheus 101.

Dimensions: Span (1) 22ft 2in (6-75m); (Ajeet) 22ft 1 in (6 73m), (T.1) 24ft (7-32m): length (1) 29ft 9in (9 06m), (Ajeet) 29ft 8in (9 04m), (T.1) 31ft 9in (9 65m): height (1, Ajeet) 8ft 10in (2-69m). (T.1) 10ft 6in (3-2m). Weights: Empty, (1, Ajeet) typically 4.850lb (2200kg): (T.1) 5,6131b (2546kg): loaded (1, Ajeet, clean) 6,650lb (3016kg): (1, Ajeet, with external stores) 8,885lb (4030kg): (T.1, clean) 8.250lb (3742kg): (T.1. maximum) 9,350lb (4240kg).

Performance: Maximum spee_, (F.1) 714mph (1150km/h): (T.1) 636mph (1026km/h): initial climb, (F.1) 20,000ft (6096m)/min: (T.1) 9,850ft (3000m)/min; service ceiling, (F.1) over 50,000ft (15,250m): (T.1) 48,000ft (14,600m): range, all versions, maximum fuel, 1,180 miles (1900km).

Armament: (F.1, Ajeet) two 30mm Aden cannon, each with 115 rounds: four underwing hardpoints for 1,1001b (454kg) total load. (T.1) no guns, but same underwing load.

History: First flight (Fo 139 Midge) 11 August 1954: (Fo 141 Gnat) 18 July 1955: (T.1) 31 August 1959: (HAL Gnat) 18 November 1959: final delivery (HAL) early 1973: Ajeet, continuing.

Users: Finland (not operational’, India, UK (T.1).

Development: British designer Teddy Better planned the Gnat to reverse the trend towards larger and more complex combat aircraft, considering a simple lightweight fighter would offer equal performance at much lower cost. Folland Aircraft built the low-powered (1,6401b Viper) Midge as a private venture and eventually gained an order for a development batch of six, the first of which flew in May 1 956. India signed a licence agreement in September 1956 and by early 1973 had built 213 at Hindustan Aerospace (HAL) at Bangalore, as well as receiving 25 Mk 1 Gnats and 25 sets of parts from Folland. HAL also built the Orpheus engine. Finland bought 1 2, three having a three-camera nose for FR duties, and two were supplied to

Below: The first true HAL Ajeet pictured in formation with a Kiran Mk 1 on a visit to Britain in 1975.

Hawker Siddeley Gnat/HAL Ajeet

Hawker Siddeley Gnat/HAL Ajeet

Above: Three-view of the Ajeet, showing four stores pylons.

Jugoslavia. The Gna! was modified into a trainer for the RAF. with tandem cockpits, later wing and many other changes and 105 were supplied by Hawker Siddeley (into which Folland was absorbed) in 1962-65. Smoke­making Gnat T.1s equip the Red Arrows aerobatic team. In 1969 HAL began to study an improved Gnat which was finally agreed in 1974. Named Gnat II or Ajeet (Unconquerable), it has integral-tank wings housing the same quantity of fuel as was formerly carried in underwing tanks, thus allowing full weapon load to be carried for undiminished range: it also has improved avionics and many minor changes. HAL Gnats are progressively being brought up to this standard. In prolonged combat duty the HAL Gnats have acquitted themselves well and proved most effective in close combat.

Below: Nose of a Gnat on the flight line at HAL’s Bangalore factory. The fuel in the drop tank is carried inside the Ajeet wing.

Sukhoi Su-19

Su-19 versions known to NATO as "Fencer"

Origin: The design bureau of Pavel 0. Sukhoi. Soviet Union.

Type: Two-seat multi-role combat aircraft.

Engines: Two afterburning turbofan or turbojet engines, probably two 24,500lb (11.113kg) Lyulka AL-21F3.

Dimensions: (Estimated) span (spread, about 22°) 56ft 3in (17-5m), swept (about 72°) 31ft 3in (9-53m); length 69ft 10in (21 -29m); height 21ft (6-4m).

Weights: (Estimated) empty 35,000lb (15,875kg): maximum loaded 70.000lb (31.750kg).

Performance: (Estimated) maximum speed, clean, 950mph (1 530km/h, Mach 1-25) at sea level, about 1,650mph (2655km/h, Mach 2-5) at altitude: initial climb, over 40,000ft (12,200m)/min: service ceiling, about 60,000ft (18,290m), combat radius with maximum weapons, about 500 miles (805km): ferry range, over 2,500 miles (4025km).

Armament: One 23mm GSh-23 twin-barrel cannon in lower centreline: at least six pylons on fuselage, fixed and swinging wings, for wide range of stores including guided and unguided air-to-ground or air-to-air missiles. History: First flight, probably about 1970: service delivery. 1974 or earlier. User: Soviet Union (mainly FA).

Development: First identified publicly in the West by the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, who described the Su-19 as “the first modern Soviet fighter to be developed specifically as a fighter-bomber for the ground-attack mission", this aircraft will probably be the chief tactical attack aircraft of the Soviet V-VS in 1980. Like the rival but much smaller MiG-27, the Su-19 is an extremely clean machine strongly reminiscent of the F-111 and Mirage G, having side-by-side seats and wing and tailplane

Sukhoi Su-19Above: This drawing is believed to be as true to life as any yet published – and certainly much better than most, which among other things fail to show a nose large enough to contain the powerful radar. It is worth noting that in 1980, six years after this type entered service and at least 10 years after prototype completion, not one had been seen outside the Soviet Union or even clearly photographed (see below).

Right: In 1980 this blurred shape was still the only authentic illustration of the Su-19 available. It emphasizes the aspect ratio (slenderness in plan shape) of the extremely efficient swingwings, the size of the sensor-studded nose and the large area of the fixed wing gloves, and the main gears which probably have twin wheels.

Sukhoi Su-19

Three-view of Su-19, showing range of sweep (provisional).

Sukhoi Su-19
at the same level, as in the US machine, yet following the French aircraft in general layout. In general capability the nearest Western equivalent is the F-14 Tomcat, which shows just how formidable this aircraft is. Whereas "Foxbat" was on many Western lips in the 1960s, so is "Fencer" a big scare-word in the 1970s. Features of the first service version include a typical Sukhoi tail, but with ventral fins; double-shock side inlets; full-span slats and double-slotted flaps; and very extensive avionics (thought to include a multi-mode attack radar, doppler. laser ranger and very com­prehensive EW/ECM installations).

Aermacchi M. B. 326 and 339

M. B.326 and 326 GB and GC (AT-26 Xavante), 326K (Atlas Impala), 326L and M. B.339

Origin: Aeronautics Macchi SpA (Aermacchi): licence-production in Australia. Brazil and S Africa.

Type: Two-seat basic trainer and light attack aircraft: (326K) single-seat trainer/attack: (339) two-seat all-through trainer.

Engine: One Rolls-Royce Viper single-shaft turbojet: (original production versions) 2,5001b (1134kg) thrust Viper 11: (GB, GC, H and M) 3,4101b (1547kg) Viper 20 Mk 540: (K, L and 339) 4,000lb (1814kg) R-R/Fiat Viper 632-43.

Dimensions: Span (over tip tanks) 35ft 7in (10-85m); length 34ft 11 in (10-64m): height 12ft 2£in (372m).

Weights: Empty (G trainer) 5,920lb (2685kg): (G attack) 5,640lb (2558kg): (K) 6.240lb (2830kg): maximum loaded (G trainer) 10,0901b (4577kg): (G attack) 11,5001b (5217kg): (K and 339) 12,5001b (5670kg). Performance: Maximum speed (G clean) 539mph (867km/h): (K clean) 553mph (890km/h): (339) 560mph (901 km/h): initial climb (G clean) 6,050ft (1844m)/min: (G attack at max wt) 3,100ft (945m)/min: (K clean and 339) 6,500ft (1980m)/min: service ceiling (G trainer clean) 47,000ft (14,325m): (G attack, max wt) 35,000ft (10,700m): range on internal fuel (G trainer) 1,1 50 miles (1 850km): (K with max weapons) about 1 60 miles (260km).

Armament: Six underwing pylons for load of up to 4,000lb (1814kg) including bombs, rockets, tanks, missiles, reconnaissance pods or gun pods: some versions have single 7-62mm or similar gun (or Minigun) in fuselage: 326K (Impala) has two 30mm DEFA 553 cannon in fuselage, each with 125 rounds. (339) two 30mm DEFA cannon can be carried in wing – mounted slipper pods: other options as 326.

History: First flight 10 December 1957: (production 326) 5 October 1 960: (K, prototype) 22 August 1970: (339) 12 August 1976.

Users: Argentina, Australia, Bolivia (X), Brazil (X), Dubai, Ghana, Italy, S Africa, Togo (X), Tunisia, Zaire, Zambia, Zimbabwe-Rhodesia (Atlas).

Aermacchi M. B. 326 and 339

Подпись: Above: Three-view of typical M.B.326G with wing gun pods.

Development: The most successful Italian military aircraft programme in history, the 326 was designed by a team led by Ermanno Bazzocchi and was put into production as a trainer for the Regia Aeronautica. which received 90. In addition the South African AF has over 1 50 К models, built by Atlas Aircraft with locally built engines, and expects to build over 200, while other big customers include Australia (114, 85 built by CAC in Melbourne), Brazil (122 locally built Xavantes) and many emergent nations. The latest sub-types are the 326K with the most powerful Viper, the 326L with two seats but К attack capability, the M uncompromised dual trainer and the M. B, 339 with redesigned airframe for all-through training, with raised instructor seat under a sloping canopy. Despite having a largely redesigned structure the 339 is hoped (optimistically) to be priced at only £850,000.

Below left: A formation of South African Air Force equipment, a Mirage IlfCZ and DZ with an Impala in the foreground.

Aermacchi M. B. 326 and 339
Below: By 1980 more than 160 AT-26 Xavantes had been assembled in Brazil by EMBRAER, with American avionics and extra weapons.

McDonnell Douglas/Northrop F-18 Hornet and Cobra

F-18, TF-18 and F-18L

Origin: Original basic design, Northrop Corp: prime contractor, McDonnell Douglas Corp, USA, with Northrop building centre and aft fuselage.

Type: (F) single-seat carrier-based multi-role fighter, (TF) dual trainer, (A) single-seat land-based attack fighter.

Engines: Two 16,0001b (7257kg) thrust General Electric F404-400 two – shaft augmented turbofans.

Dimensions: Span (with missiles) 40ft 8Jin (12 41m), (without missiles) 37ft 6in (11 -42m): length 56ft (17-07m); height 14ft 9Jin (4-50m). Weights: (Provisional) empty 20,583lb (9336kg): loaded (clean) 33.642lb (15,260kg): maximum loaded (catapult limit) 50,064lb (22,710kg). Performance: Maximum speed (clean, at altitude) 1,190mph (1915km/h. Mach 1 -8), (maximum weight, sea level) subsonic: sustained combat manoeuvre ceiling, over 49,000ft (14,935m): absolute ceiling, over 60,000ft (18,290m): combat radius (air-to-air mission, high, no external fuel) 461 miles (741km): ferry range, not less than 2,300 miles (3700km).

Armament: One 20mm M61 Gatling in upper part of forward fuselage: nine external weapon stations for maximum load (catapult launch) of 13,4001b (6080kg), including bombs, sensor pods, ECM, missiles (including Sparrow) and other stores, with tip-mounted Sidewinders.

History: First flight (YF-17) 9 June 1974: (first of 11 test F-18) 18 November 1978: (production F-18) probably late 1980: service entry, planned for 1 982.

User: USA (Navy, Marine Corps).

Development: In 1 971 the US Navy became concerned at the cost of the F-14 and the resulting reduced rate of procurement and total number that could be afforded. In 1973 it studied low-cost versions and compared them with navalised F-15 versions and improved F-4s. In 1 974 the VFX specifica­tion emerged for a wholly new and smaller fighter somewhat along the lines of the Air Force Air Combat Fighter. In May 1975 the Navy and Marine Corps announced their choice of the F-18, developed from the existing land-based Northrop F-17 by McDonnell Douglas and Northrop. In fact the F-18 will be almost twice as heavy as the original F-17 proposal but, with more powerful engines, is expected to have adequate dogfight per­formance through the 1980s. Features include an unswept wing with large dogteeth and forebody strakes at the roots, twin canted vertical tails, simple

Below: Takeoff by the first YF-18 Hornet prototype on 18 November 1978. All 11 flight-test aircraft had flown by 1980 and both land-based and early carrier trials were said to be promising.

McDonnell Douglas/Northrop F-18 Hornet and Cobra

McDonnell Douglas/Northrop F-18 Hornet and Cobra

Above: Three-view of F-18 Hornet.

fixed engine inlets and extensive graphite/epoxy structure. Search radar will be used in the interception and surface-attack roles, and a very wide range of weapons will be carried. In the Navy air-superiority mission the gun will be backed up by two Sparrows and two Sidewinders, and the F-18 is expected to show dramatic improvements over the F-4J in manoeuvrability, reliability and low cost. In Marine attack missions the maximum load can be 14,0001b for airfield operation, and the inertial guidance and weapon­aiming are expected to offer a significant advance over the accuracy of any A-7. The Navy/Marines plan to buy 11 development aircraft plus 1,366 production machines during the 1980s, the original target price being about $5-9 millidn in 1975 dollars. Originally the Marine Corps version was to be designated A-18, because of its different mission equipment but it was later decided not to produce a dedicated attack version. Instead the Marine F-18 will replace the two Sparrow (or AMRAAM) missiles by a laser spot-tracker on one pylon and a forward-looking infra-red pod on the other. About one aircraft in every 13 will be a dual-control TF-18, with less internal fuel and no head-up display. In addition an RF-18 version has been proposed as a Fleet reconnaissance machine to replace the RF-8G and RA-5C, with a nose basically similar to that of the RF-5E.

In late 1 976 Northrop — original designer of the YF-17 but a mere sub­contractor on the F-18 – was trying to relaunch the land-based Cobra, but now as a modified F-18. Despite severe competition from the F-16 and other aircraft. Northrop aims to find worldwide sales for the Cobra replacing the F-4, F-104, A-7 and Mirage. It would have less internal fuel than the F-18, and thus even higher performance. Planned export delivery date is 1983, priced at $8 million in 1975 dollars. This simplified land-based machine is designated F-18L, and is not normally named Plornet. Northrop is prime contractor for this project, which in late 1 979 was being considered by Australia, Canada, Israel and Turkey, among other possible customers.

McDonnell Douglas/Northrop F-18 Hornet and Cobra

FMAIA 58 Pucara

IA 50 Gil, IA 58 and Astafan Trainer

Origin: FMA (Military Aircraft Factory), Argentina,

Type: IA 58, tactical attack and counter-insurgency: IA 50, utility transport and survey; Trainer, trainer and light attack.

Engines: (IA 58) two 1,022ehp ТигЬотёса Astazou XVIG single-shaft turboprops; (IA 50) two 1,000ehp Turbomeca Bastan VIC single-shaft turboprops; (Trainer) two 2,7101b (1230kg) thrust ТигЬотёса Astafan geared turbofans.

Dimensions: Span (IA 58 and Trainer) 47ft 6gin (14 5m); (IA 50) 64ft 3iin (19’59m); length (IA 50 and Trainer) 46ft 3in (14-1m); (IA 50) 50ft 2iin (15’3m); height (IA 58 and Trainer) 17ft 7in (5-36m); (IA 50) 18ft 5in (5 ■ 61 m).

Weights: Empty (IA 58) 8,9001b (4037kg), (IA 50) 8,6501b (3924kg); (Trainer) 8,3771b (3800kg); loaded (IA 58) 14,3001b (6486kg); (IA 50) 17.0851b (7750kg); (Trainer) 14.3301b (6500kg).

Performance: Maximum speed (IA 58) 323mph (520km/h); (IA 50) 310mph (500km/h); (Trainer) about 400mph (643km/h); initial climb (IA 58) 3,543ft (1080m)/min; (IA 50) 2,640ft (805m)/min; service ceiling (IA 58) 27,165ft (8280m); (IA 50) 41,000ft (12,500m); range with maxi­mum fuel (IA 58) 1,890 miles (3042km); (IA 50) 1,600 miles (2575km). Armament: IA 58, and optional for Trainer, two 20mm Hispano cannon and four 7-62mm FN machine guns in forward fuselage; pylons under fuselage and outer wings for up to 3.307lb (1 500kg) of stores or tanks. History: First flight (IA 50) 23 April 1963; (IA 58) 20 August 1969; (service delivery of I A-58) November 1974.

Users: Argentina, Bolivia (?).

FMAIA 58 Pucara

Development: The unusual but effective Pucara was derived from the larger IA 50 Gil (Guarani II) multi-role transport, noted for its slender unswept wings but sharply swept fin and rudder. The first production batch of Gil’s comprised 18 to the Argentine Air Force for communications and seating for up to 15 passengers, four as photo survey aircraft with the

FMAIA 58 Pucara

Military Geographic Institute and one as a VIP transport for the President of Argentina. Many others were ordered later, some having ski gear for use in the Antarctic. The smaller IA 58 seats pilot and observer in tandem Martin – Baker ejection seats and is well equipped for all-weather tactical Co-In operations. Deliveries began in 1975 on the first batch of 30 for the Argentine Air Force, with further batches up to a predicted total of 100 being discussed. Interest has been expressed by several other nations in this versatile and cost/ effective aircraft, which can operate from rough strips down to about 2,000ft in length. The Trainer uses the IA 58 airframe restressed to have two turbofan engines on the sides of the fuselage, the twin-wheel main gears retracting forwards into wing pods in the same locations as the engine nacelles on the IA 58. It was expected that this project would lead to a tactical Со-In version, but development has been delayed by inflation.

FMAIA 58 Pucara
Below: The first production Pucara, which flew in November 1974; about 30 had been delivered by the summer of 1979.

Rockwell International OV-IO Bronco

OV-ЮА to -10E

Origin: Rockwell International Corp, USA.

Type: (Except B) two-seat multi-role counter-insurgency: (B) target tug. Engines: (Except B(Z)) two 715ehp AiResearch T76-410/411 single­shaft centrifugal turboprops: (B(Z) ) as other versions plus General Electric J85-4 turbojet of 2,950lb (1338kg) thrust above fuselage.

Dimensions: Span 40ft (12-19m); length (except D) 41ft 7in (12-67m); (D) 44ft (1 3-4m); height 1 5ft 2in (462m).

Weights: Empty (A) 6,969lb (3161kg): maximum loaded (A) 14,4661b (6563kg).

Performance: Maximum speed (A, sea level, clean) 281 mph (452km/h): initial climb 2,300ft (700m)/min: (B(Z) ) 6,800ft/min: service ceiling 30,000ft (91 50m): range with maximum weapon load, about 600 miles (960km): ferry range at 12,0001b gross, 1,428 miles (2300km). Armament: Four 7-62mm M60C machine guns in sponsons; 1,2001b (544kg) hardpoint on centreline and four 6001b (272kg) points under sponsons: one Sidewinder missile rail under each wing; (OV-10D) as other versions plus three-barrel 20mm cannon in remotely aimed ventral power turret.

History: First flight 16 July 1965; (production OV-10A) 6 August 1967; (YOV-10D) 9 June 1970.

Users: W Germany, Indonesia, S Korea, Thailand, USA (Air Force, Marine Corps), Venezuela.

Rockwell International OV-IO Bronco

Development: Recognising that no US aircraft was tailored to the urgent task of fighting Со-In (counter-insurgency) operations, or "brush-fire wars", the US Department of Defense in 1960 began study of the problem and in 1962 issued a joint USAF/Navy/Marine Corps specification for a Light Armed Reconnaissance Aircraft (LARA). The winner, in 1964, was

Rockwell International OV-IO Bronco

Above: Three-view of OV-IOA with side view (bottom) of OV-10B(Z).

the Bronco. Designed to operate from short rough strips (or on floats or skis) it can carry a wide range of tactical equipment and weapons, including doppler radar, TV reconnaissance, five paratroops or two casualties. The OV-ЮА was ordered in October 1966 and by 1969 the Marine Corps had 114, while the USAF were using 1 57 for Forward Air Control (FAC) duties in Vietnam. In 1969 Pave Nail Conversion of 15 aircraft fitted them with laser rangers, stabilized night sighting system, Loran and other devices for night FAC, attack or target illumination for other aircraft. The В and jet – boosted B(Z) are used by the Luftwaffe. The OV-1OD has Night Observation Gunship (NOGS) equipment, with long-nosed IR sensor, cannon turret and, as a conversion, 1 .OOOehp T76 engines.

Rockwell International OV-IO Bronco
Below: Almost identical to the basic American OV-1 OA is the OV-10F, 16 of which were supplied to Indonesia. They equip one squadron dedicated to counter-insurgent duties, though the aircraft is also equipped for the carriage of 3,200lb (1452kg) of cargo, five parachute troops or two stretcher casualties.

Hindustan HF-24 Marut

HAL HF-24 Mk I, IT and II

Origin: Hindustan Aeronautics, India.

Type: Single-seat fighter and ground attack (IT, two-seat trainer). Engines: Two 4,8501b (2200kg) thrust Rolls-Royce (originally-Bristol, then Bristol Siddeley) Orpheus 703 single-shaft turbojets, licence-made by HAL.

Dimensions: Span 26ft 63ІП (9m): length 52ft Ofin (15-87m); height 11ft 9Jin (3-6m).

Weights: (Mk I) empty 13,6581b (6195kg): loaded (clean) 19,7341b (8951kg): loaded (maximum) 24,085lb (10,925kg).

Performance: Maximum speed, 691 mph (111 2km/h, Mach 0-91) at sea level, about 675mph (1086km/h, Mach 1-02) at altitude: time to climb to 40,000ft (12,200m) 9min 20sec: range on internal fuel about 620 miles (1000km).

Armament: Four 30mm Aden Mk 2 cannon each with 1 20 rounds, retract­able Matra pack of 50 SNEB 68mm rockets, and four wing pylons each rated at 1.0001b (454kg).

History: First flight 17 June 1961: (pre-production) March 1963: (series production) 15 November 1967; (Mk IT) 30 April 1970.

User: India.

Hindustan HF-24 Marut
Development: After 1950 the Indian government decided to authorise development of an Indian combat aircraft, and the services of Dipl -1 ng Kurt Tank, the renowned Focke-Wulf designer, were secured to lead a new team formed by Hindustan Aircraft at Banglore. Detail design began in 1956, the objective being to create a multi-role aircraft potentially capable of reach­ing Mach 2 with minimal technical risk. The prototype, powered by two of the same engines already being produced for the Gnat, proved generally successful, and two of the 18 pre-production Maruts ("Wind Spirit")-were officially handed over (though as a token delivery) to the IAF in May 1964, the year the company reorganised and expanded into its present form as

Hindustan Aeronautics. By the end of 1 976 about 100 production Mk Is had been delivered, many of them being used (without loss) in the December 1971 war against Pakistan. The Mk IT has a second Martin-Baker seat in place of the rocket pack and has since 1974 also been produced in small numbers as a dual conversion and weapon trainer. In 1967 the German staff left and an Indian design team has since continued the 20-year search for a more powerful engine. HAL has tested afterburning engines and flew the Marut IBX with one Orpheus replaced by an Egyptian Brandner E-300. but the most likely solution will be the HSS-73 (Marut III) with two Turbo – Union RB.1 99 engines in a considerably improved airframe. Despite obvious handicaps HAL has already created a useful multi-role platform which could carry radar, cameras or other equipment and has reached a satis­factory state of operational development. The Mk III could continue the same basic design to the end of the century.

Hindustan HF-24 Marut

Hindustan HF-24 Marut

Left: One of the production HF-24 Marut Mk 1 fighter/ attack aircraft, with four guns and underwing drop tanks.

Hindustan HF-24 Marut
Below: This more recent Mk 1 Marut has noticeably different dielectric (electronics aerial) fairings on the spine and fin, besides having the upper cannon deleted and blanked off.

Tupolev Tu-28P

Tu-28P "Fiddler";

Tupolev bureau, Tu-102 or Tu-128

Origin: The design bureau of Andrei N. Tupolev, Soviet Union.

Type: Long-range all-weather interceptor.

Engines: Originally, two large axial turbojets of unknown type, each with afterburning rating of about 27,000lb (12,250kg), probably similar to those of Tu-22; later versions, afterburning turbofans of about 30,0001b (13,610 kg) each, as in later Tu-22.

Dimensions: (Estimated) span 65ft (20m): length 85ft (26m): height 23ft (7m).

Weights: (Estimated) empty 55,000lb (25,000kg): maximum loaded 100,0001b (45.000kg).

Performance: (Estimated) maximum speed (with missiles, at height) 1,150mph (1850km/h, Mach 1 75): initial climb, 25,OOOft (7500m)/min: service ceiling (not gross weight) about 60,000ft (18,000m): range-on internal fuel (high Patrol) about 1,800 miles (2900km).

Armament: No guns seen in any version; mix of infra-red homing and radar-homing "Ash” air-to-air guided missiles, originally one of each and since 1965 two of each.

History: First flight, believed 1957; service delivery, probably 1961.

User: Soviet Union (PVO).

Tupolev Tu-28P

Development: Largest fighter known to be in service in the world, this formidable machine is essentially conventional yet has the greatest internal fuel capacity of any fighter and the biggest interception radar known to exist. It was one of a number of supersonic types produced by the Tupolev bureau with technology explored with the family of aircraft of the late 1950s known to NATO as "Backfin" (another is the Tu-22), Like the

Tupolev Tu-28PRight: A flight-line of what are in many respects the largest interceptors in regular combat service. The Tupolev bureau has played every kind of tune on this classic basic design, relatives of which are seen in the Tu-22 ‘Blinder’ and the swing-wing ‘Backfire’ long-range multi-role aircraft. It has been reported that the IA – PVO has a missile­armed interceptor version of the Tu-22 in service as a replace­ment for the Tu-28P.

Three-view of the Tu-28P long-range interceptor, with four "Ash" air-to-air missiles.

others the Tu-28P has a distinctive wing with sharply kinked trailing edge, the outer 45° panels being outboard of large fairings extending behind the trailing edge accommodating the four-wheel bogie landing gears. Two crew sit in tandem under upward-hinged canopies, and all armament is carried on wing pylons. Early versions had twin ventral fins and usually large belly fairings, but these features are absent from aircraft in current service. The Tu-28P would be an ideal strategic patrol fighter to operate in conjunction with the ”Moss" AWACS.

Tupolev Tu-28P

Tupolev Tu-28P

Left: A typical Tu-28P of the IA-PVO, with МАТО code-name of ‘Fiddler’. Usually these very large long-range aircraft carry two IR – homing and two radar­homing versions of the ‘Ash’ air-to-air missile.

ВАС (ВАе) Lightning

Lightning F.1 to 6 and export versions (data for F.6)

Origin: English Electric Aviation (now British Aerospace), UK.

Type: Single-seat all-weather interceptor.

Engines: Two 1 5,680lb (711 2kg) thrust Rolls-Royce Avon 302 augmented turbojets.

Dimensions: span 34ft 10in (10 6m): length 53ft 3in (16-25m); height 19ft 7in (595m).

Weights: Empty about 28,000lb (12,700kg); loaded 50,000lb (22,680kg). Performance: Maximum speed 1,500mph (2415km/h) at 40,000ft (12,200m): initial climb 50,000ft (15,240m)/min; service ceiling over 60,000ft (18,290m); range without overwing tanks 800 miles (1290km). Armament: Interchangeable packs for two all-attitude Red Top or stern – chase Firestreak guided missiles; option of two 30mm Aden cannon in forward part of belly tank; export versions up to 6,0001b (2722kg) bombs or other offensive stores above and below wings.

History: First flight (P.1 B) 4 April 1957; (first production F.1) 30 October 1959; (first F.6) 17 April 1964.

Users: Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UK.

Development: As he had been with the Canberra, "Teddy" Petter was again moving spirit behind the award, in 1947, of a study contract for a supersonic research aircraft. Later this was built and flown as the P.1 of August 1954, exceeding Mach 1 on two crude unaugmented Sapphire engines mounted one above and behind the other and fed by a plain nose inlet. In mid-1949 specification F.23/49 was issued for a supersonic fighter, and after com­plete redesign the P.1 В was produced and flown in 1 957. This had a new fuselage with a two-shock intake, the central cone being intended to house Ferranti Airpass radar. The Avon engines were fitted with primitive after­burning, allowing a speed of Mach 2 to be attained on 25 November 1958.

Helped by 20 pre-production aircraft, the Lightning F.1 was cleared for service in 1960. Though relatively complicated, so that the flying rate and maintenance burden were terrible in comparison with more modern aircraft, these supersonic all-weather interceptors at last gave the RAF a modern fighter with radar, guided missiles (heat-homing Firestreaks) and supersonic performance. Production was held back by the belief that all manned fighters |a

ВАС (ВАе) Lightning

ВАС (ВАе) Lightning

Above: Lightning F.6, with upper side elevation showing F.1.


were obsolete (as clearly set forth in the Defence White Paper of April 1 957), but the Treasury were persuaded to allow the improved F.2 to be built in 1961 with fully variable afterburner and all-weather navigation. Eventually, as the error of the 1 957 doctrine became apparent, the Mk 3 was allowed in 1964, with more powerful engines, more fuel, bigger fin, collision-course fire-control and allattitude Red Top missiles: but it was decided to fit no guns, earlier marks having had two 30mm Aden cannon. Finally, in 1965, the belated decision was taken to follow the advice of ВАС and almost double the fuel capacity and also fit the kinked and cambered wing (first flown in 1956) to improve operation at much increased weights. The T.4 and T.5 are dual conversion trainers equivalent to the F.2 and F.3. For Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, ВАС paid for development of the Lightning as a multi-role fighter and attack aircraft, adding 57 to the production total to Dring it up to 338.

ВАС (ВАе) LightningLeft: One of the Lightning F.2A interceptors of 92 Sqn, RAF Germany (a unit since re-equipped with Phantoms) in the one-colour green applied over all upper surfaces to render them less conspicuous when viewed from above.

ВАС (ВАе) Lightning
Below: This Lightning is an F.6, the final standard to which the F.2A (a complete rebuild of a much earlier type) was a near approximation. It is shown unpainted serving with 23 Sqn, and was photographed whilst formating on a Soviet ‘Bear’ reconnaissance and electronic-warfare aircraft. Today IMo 23 also flies Phantoms.

Mikoyan/Gurevich MiG-17

MiG-17, -17P, -17F (Lim-5P and -5M,

S-104, F-4), -17PF and -17PFU (NATO name "Fresco")

Origin: The design bureau of Mikoyan and Gurevich, Soviet Union: licence-production as described in the text.

Type: Single-seat fighter; (PF, PFU) limited all-weather interceptor. Engine: (-17. -17P) one 5.952lb (2700kg) thrust Klimov VK-1 single­shaft centrifugal turbojet: (later versions) one 4,732/7,452lb (3380kg) VK-1F with afterburner.

Dimensions: Span 31ft (9-45m); length (all) 36ft 3in (11’05m); height 11ft (3’35m).

Weights: Empty (all) about 9.040lb (4100kg); loaded (F. clean) 11,7731b (5340kg): maximum (all) 14,7701b (6700kg)

Performance: Maximum speed (F, clean at best height of 9,840ft) 711mph (1145km/h); initial climb 12,795ft (3900m)/min; service ceiling 54,460ft (16,600m); range (high, two drop tanks) 913 miles (1470km). Armament: (-17) as MiG-15, one 37mm and two 23mm NS-23; (all later versions) three 23mm Nudelmann-Rikter NR-23 cannon, one under right side of nose and two under left; four wing hardpoints for tanks, total of 1,1021b (500kg) of bombs, packs of eight 55mm air-to-air rockets or various air-to-ground missiles.

History: First flight (prototype) January 1950; service delivery, 1952; service delivery (F-4) January 1956; final delivery (Soviet Union) probably 1959.

Users: Afghanistan. Albania, Algeria, Angola, Bulgaria, China, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Egypt, E Germany, Guinea. Hungary, Indonesia (in storage), Iraq, Kampuchea, N Korea, Mali, Morocco (in storage), Nigeria. Poland, Romania, Somalia. S Yemen. Soviet Union, Sri Lanka, Sudan. Syria, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Yemen Arab.

Mikoyan/Gurevich MiG-17Development: Only gradually did Western observers recognise the MiG-17 as not merely a slightly modified MiG-15 but a completely different aircraft. Even then it was generally believed it had been hastily designed to rectify deficiencies shown in the MiG-1 5’s performance in Korea, but in fact the design began in about January 1949, long before the Korean war. This was because from the first the MiG-1 5 had shown bad behaviour at high speeds, and though the earlier fighter was eventually made completely safe (partly by arranging for the air brakes to open automatically at Mach 0-92) it was still a difficult gun platform due to its tendency to snake and pitch. The MiG-17 – which was probably the last fighter in which Gurevich played a direct personal role — had a new wing with thickness reduced from 11 per cent to about 9 pet cent, a different section and planform and no fewer

Mikoyan/Gurevich MiG-17

Above: Three-view of typical MiG-17F (NATO name, "Fresco C").

three fences. Without taper and with inboard sweep of 47° this made a big difference to high-Mach behaviour, and in fact there are reasons to believe the MiG-17 can be dived to make a sonic bang. With a new tail on a longer rear fuselage the transformation was completed by considerable revision of systems and equipment, though at first the VK-1 engine was unchanged. In 1958 the first limited all-weather version, the -17P, went into modest production with longer nose housing the same Izumrud (”Scan Odd") Al radar and ranging avionics as was also in production for the MiG-19. With the introduction of an afterburning engine the airbrakes were moved aft of the wing, away from the hot back end, but this was not a good position and they were returned (in enlarged rectangular form) to the tail in the most important sub-type the -17F. This was made in Poland as the Lim-5P (the -5M being a rough-field close-support version with larger tyres and drag chute), in Czechoslovakia as the S-104 and in China as the F-4. The PF was the afterburning all-weather version, and the final model was the PFU with guns removed and wing pylons for four beam-riding "Alkali" air-to-air missiles. Total production for at least 22 air forces must have considerably exceeded 5.000, exports from China alone exceeding 1,000. Many 17F remained in use in the mid-1970s.

Mikoyan/Gurevich MiG-17Mikoyan/Gurevich MiG-17
Left: This MiG-17F is one of about 50 which in 1980 were still serving with the Syrian Air Force. Used in the low-level attack role, it is now obsolescent but may continue as a weapon trainer.