Dassault Mirage FI

Mirage F1 .C

Origin: Avions Marcel Dassault/Breguet Aviation. France, in partnership with A6rospatiale, with Fairey and SABCA, Belgium, and CASA, Spain: licence production in S Africa managed by Armaments Development and Production Corporation,

Type: Single-seat multimission fighter.

Engine: (FI C) 1 5,8731b (7200kg) thrust (maximum afterburner)

SNECMA Atar 9K-50 single-shaft augmented turbojet: (F1.E) 18,7401b (8500kg) thrust (maximum afterburner) SNECMA M53-02 single-shaft augmented by-pass turbojet.

Dimensions: Span 27ft 6Jin (8-4m); length (F1.C) 49ft 2^in (15m): (F1.E) 50ft 11 in (15.53m): height (F1.C) 14ft 9in (4-5m); (F1.E) 14ft 10ii’n (4.56m).

Weights: Empty (F1.C) 16,3141b (7400kg): (F1.E) 17,8571b (8100kg): loaded (clean) (F1.C) 24.030lb (10,900kg): (F1.E) 25.450lb (11,540kg): (maximum) (F1.C) 32.850lb (14,900kg): (FI. E) 33,5101b (15,200kg). Performance: Maximum speed (clean, both versions) 91 5mph (1472km/h) (Mach 1 -2) at sea level, 1,450mph (2335km/h) (Mach 2-2) at altitude (with modification to cockpit transparency and airframe leading edges F1 .E capable of 2-5): rate of climb (sustained to Mach 2 at 33,000ft) (F1.C) 41,930-47,835ft (12,780-14,580m)/min: (F1.E) above 59.000ft (18,000m)/ min: service ceiling (F1 C) 65,600ft (20,000m): (F1 E) 69,750ft (21,250m): range with maximum weapons (hi-lo-hi) (F1.C) 560 miles (900km): (F1.E) 621 miles (1000km): ferry range (F1.C) 2.050 miles (3300km): (F1.E) 2,340 miles (3765km).

Armament: (Both versions), two 30mm DEFA 5-53 cannon, each with 135 rounds: five Alkan universal stores pylons, rated at 4,500lb (2000kg) on centreline, 2.800lb (1350kg) inners and 1,1001b (500kg) outers: launch rails on tips rated at 2801b (120kg) for air-to-air missiles: total weapon load 8,820lb (4000kg). Typical air combat weapons, two Matra 550 Magic or Sidewinder on tips for close combat, one/two Matra 530 with infrared or radar homing, and one/two Matra Super 530 for long-range homing with large changes in height. Wide range of weapons for surface attack, plus optional reconnaissance pod containing cameras, SAT Cyclope infrared linescan and EMI side-looking radar.

History: First flight (FI -01) 23 December 1966: (pre-production F1-02) 20 March 1969: (production F1 ,C) 1 5 February 1 973: (F1-M53, prototype for proposed F1 ,E) 22 December 1974: (F1.B trainer) 26 May 1976: service delivery (F1 C) 14 March 1973.

Dassault Mirage FI
Below: Though it has a much smaller wing than delta Mirages this F1 ,C of the 5e Escadre de Chasse carries more and lands slower.

Dassault Mirage FI

Three-view of the F1.C with Matra R 530s and Sidewinders.

Users: Ecuador. Egypt, France, Greece, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, S Africa, Spain.

Development: Recognising that the Mirage III family would eventually have to be replaced, the French government awarded Dassault a develop­ment contract for a successor in February 1964. This aircraft was the large Mirage F2, in the 20 ton (clean) class and powered by a TF306 turbofan engine. It broke away from the classic Mirage form in having a high-mounted conventional swept wing with efficient high-lift slats and flaps, used in conjunction with a slab tailplane. It flew on 12 June 1966. Dassault, however, had privately financed a smaller version of the F2, called F1, sized to be powered by a single’ Atar engine. This became increasingly attractive and effort was progressively transferred to it from the F2. It went supersonic on its fourth flight and. though it later crashed, the Armee de I’Air decided to buy 100 as replacements for the original Mirage INC interceptor and Vautour NN. Thus was launched an aircraft which in most ways marks a tremendous advance on the tailless delta.

Thanks to the far higher efficiency of the new wing the field lengths and take-off and landing speeds are lower than for the delta Mirages, even though the weights are greater and the wing area much less. Increased thrust comes from the latest Atar engine and among the many less obvious advances are the Cyrano IV multi-mode radar and integral tankage for 45 per cent more fuel (trebling patrol endurance and doubling ground-attack mission radii). Combat manoeuvrability in many situations was increased by as much as 80 per cent and the all-round performance of the new fighter was outstanding. Sales to Israel were prohibited, but orders were soon placed by South Africa and Spain, the former also buying a manufacturing licence. More recently the F1 was chosen by several Middle East countries and many more sales seem certain.

In 1967 the French engine company, SNECMA, began the design of a completely new engine for the Super Mirage. To test the engine the F1 was an obvious choice, and the combination could not fail to be of interest in its own right. The M53 engine confers benefits in acceleration, climb, manoeuvrability and range and, to make up a more modern package, Dassault-Breguet proposed the fully modular Cyrano IV-100 radar and the SAGEM-Kearfott SKN 2603 inertial navigation system, as well as the SFENA 505 digital autopilot of the F1 .C. The result is the F1 ,E, which from early 1974 was strongly, but unsuccessfully, pressed on overseas custo­mers, particularly Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway (which agreed a common objective in replacing their F-104Gs). The Armee de I ‘Air did not want the F1 .E, but had agreed to buy a limited quantity had it been chosen by the four NATO nations. Two M53-powered prototypes were flown, but the M53-engined version was shelved in 1975. Today four versions are in production: (C) the basic aircraft, so far chosen by all customers: (E) the C with more advanced avionics (no longer offered with the M53 engine), chosen by Libya: (A) simplified avionics for low-level attack, for Libya and South Africa: (B) two-seater, for Kuwait and Libya.

HSA (BAe) Hunter

Hunter 1 to 79

Origin: Hawker Aircraft, UK (now British Aerospace): licence-production in Belgium/Netherlands.

Type: Single-seat fighter, fighter-bomber and fighter-reconnaissance: two-seat dual trainer.

Engine: One Rolls-Royce Avon single-shaft turbojet (see text). Dimensions: Span 33ft 8in (10-26m); length (single-seat, typical) 45ft 10Jin (13’98m). (two-seat) 48ft 10Jin (14-9m); height 13ft 2in (4.26m).

Weights: Empty (1) 12,1281b (5501kg): (9) 13,2701b (6020kg): loaded (1) 16,2001b (7347kg): (9, clean) 17,7501b (8051kg): (9, maximum) 24,000lb (10,885kg).

Performance: Maximum speed (typical of all) 71 Omph (11 44km/h) at sea level, 620mph (978km/h, Mach 0-94) at height; initial climb (Avon 100- series) about 5,500ft (1676m)/min; (Avon 200-series) 8,000ft (2438m)/ service ceiling 50,000ft (1 5,240m); range on internal fuel 490 miles (689km), with maximum fuel 1,840 miles (2965km).

Armament: Four (two-seaters, usually one, sometimes two) 30mm Aden cannon beneath cockpit floor, each with 150 rounds; single-seaters normally have underwing pylons for two 1,0001b (454kg) bombs and 24 3in rockets, later or refurbished aircraft carrying two 230 Imp gal drop tanks in addition.

History: First flight (P.1067) 20 June 1951; (production F.1) 16 May 1953; (two-seater) 8 July 1955: final delivery from new. 1966.

Users: Abu Dhabi, Chile, India, Iraq, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Peru, Qatar, Singapore, Switzerland, UK (RAF, Royal Navy), Zimbabwe – Rhodesia.

Development: Undoubtedly the most successful British post-war fighter, the Hunter epitomised the grace of a thoroughbred and has always delighted its pilots. The prototype, with 6.500lb thrust Avon 100, was built to Speci­fication F.3/48. It was easily supersonic in a shallow dive and packed the devastating four Aden cannon in a quick-release pack winched up as a unit. After being fitted with bulged cartridge boxes and a stuck-on airbrake under the rear fuselage it became a standard fighter, with Armstrong Whit­worth building the F.2 with 8,000lb Sapphire 101, wnich, unlike the early

HSA (BAe) HunterBelow: A brace of Hunter F.74B single seaters of the Singapore Air Defence Command, one of the last and most satisfied Hunter customers.

HSA (BAe) Hunter

HSA (BAe) Hunter

Three-view of Hunter FGA.9. typical of most single-seaterstoday.

Avon, stayed going when the guns were fired. The one-off Mk 3 gained a world speed record at 727-6mph, the F.4 had fuel capacity raised from 334 to 414 gal and carried underwing stores, and the F.5 was a Sapphire – engined 4. The F.6 introduced the 10,0001b Avon 203 and extended-chord dog-tooth wing. The T.7 had the 8,0001b Avon 122 and side-by-side dual controls, the T.8 was a naval trainer, and the most important mark of all was the FGA.9 with 10,1501b Avon 207 and heavier underwing load. The FR.10 was a camera-equipped fighter and the GA.11 was a ground-attack naval trainer. Total Flunter production was 1,985, including 445 made in Belgium and Holland. While 429 were exported as new aircraft, well over – 700 additional Hunters have been refurbished or completely remanufactured for more than 17 air forces, with mark numbers up to 79, Д superb all-round combat aircraft, it is gradually being recognised that, had a further 1,000 been constructed (or fewer scrapped in Britain) all would have found ready buyers today.

HSA (BAe) HunterLeft: This Hunter F.51 was one formerly used by the Royal Danish Air Force (724 Sqn).

HSA (BAe) Hunter

Below: Takeoff by a Hunter FGA.9 of No 45 Sqn RAF, one of the last units to have operated this outstanding aircraft in Britain.

Mikoyan/Gurevich MiG-23

MiG-23, -23S and -23U ("Flogger")

Origin: The design bureau named for Mikoyan and Gurevich, Soviet Union: no production outside the Soviet Union yet reported.

Type: (-23S, Flogger B) single-seat all-weather interceptor with Flogger E export variant of unknown designation: (-23U, Flogger C) dual-control trainer and ECM platform.

Engine: One Tumansky afterburning turbofan, believed to be an R-29B rated at 17.6401b (8000kg) dry and 25,3501b (11,500kg) with afterburner. Dimensions: (Estimated) Span (72° sweep) 28ft 7in (8-7m), (16°) 47ft 3in (14-4m): length (export) 53ft (16-16m). (S, U) 55ft 1 iin (16-80m); height 1 3ft (3-96m).

Weights: (Estimated) empty 17,5001b (7940kg): loaded (clean or fighter mission) 30,0001b (13.600kg): maximum permissible 33,0001b (15,000kg). Performance: Maximum speed, clean, 840mph (1 350km/h, Mach 1 -1) at sea level: maximum speed with missiles, at altitude, 1,520mph (2445km/h, Mach 2-3): service ceiling about 61,000ft (18,600m): combat radius (hi-lo-hi) about 600 miles (966km).

Armament: (-23S) one 23mm GSh-23 twin-barrel gun on ventral centreline, plus various mixes of air/air missiles which usually include one or two infra-red or radar-homing AA-7 "Apex" and/or infra-red or radar-homing AA-8 "Aphid", the latter for close combat: (-23U) none reported.

History: First flight, probably 1965: (first production aircraft) believed 1970: service delivery, believed 1971.

Mikoyan/Gurevich MiG-23
Users: Algeria, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Egypt, Ethiopia, East Germany, Iraq, Libya, Poland, Soviet Union, Syria. continued►

Above: Three-view of MiG-23S, with side view of MiG-23U trainer (lower right).

Mikoyan/Gurevich MiG-23

Mikoyan/Gurevich MiG-23

Left: A MiG-23S or ‘Flogger-B’ air-combat fighter of the Soviet air force, probably from an IA-PVO air-defence unit.

Mikoyan/Gurevich MiG-23
Below: Night training by PVO unit equipped with MiG-23S. This example, with missile pylons tantalisingly empty, is taxiing with wings swept, which may be standard procedure with such aircraft.

Development: Revealed at the 1967 Moscow Aviation Day, the prototype swing-wing MiG-23 was at first thought to be a Yakovlev design, though it appeared in company with a jet-lift STOL fighter having an identical rear fuselage and tail and strong MiG-21-like features (though much bigger than a MiG-21). Over the next four years the Mikoyan bureau greatly developed this aircraft, which originally owed something to the F-111 and Mirage G. By 1971 the radically different production versions, the -23S fighter and -23U trainer, were entering service in quantity, and by 1975 several hundred had been delivered to Warsaw Pact air forces and also to Egypt Today Egypt is believed no longer to operate the type, but large deliveries have been made to other countries. The MiG-27 attack version is described separately.

There are three main versions. The first to enter service was the MiG-23S all-weather interceptor, with powerful highly-afterburning engine, "High Lark" nose radar (said in 1973 by the then Secretary of the USAF to be "comparable with that of the latest Phantom") and, almost certainly, a

Mikoyan/Gurevich MiG-23Above: Called ‘Flogger-E’ by NATO, this specially simplified version of MiG-23 is the only one cleared for export. This example is one of 50 serving at El Adem with the Libyan Republic Air Force, and photographed by a passenger in a Western airliner. Very similar aircraft in service with the Soviet Union created an excellent impression on a visit to Finland in 1978. They carried no missiles, laser or doppler.

Right: Taken from a Soviet film, this unusual view of a MiG-23S again shows that it is apparently normal to have the wings swept on the ground. According to the US Department of Defense this ‘Flogger-B’ version is the first Russian aircraft "with a demonst­rated capability to track and engage targets flying below its own altitude". About 1,000 were in PVO service by 1980,

laser ranger and doppler navigator. ECM and other EW equipment is markedly superior to anything fitted in previous Soviet aircraft, and ap­parently as good as comparable installations in Western fighters (other than the F-1 5).

Mikoyan/Gurevich MiG-23
Several hundred S models are in service with the IA-PVO and Warsaw Pact air forces, and they are replacing the Su-9 and -11 and Yak-28P. Missiles are carried on a centreline pylon (which often carries a drop-tank instead), on pylons under the inlet ducts and under the fixed wing gloves (centre section). For overseas customers a simplified sub-type is in produc­tion, with the same high-Mach airframe and systems as the -23S fighter but lacking the latter’s radar (NATO calls this model "Flogger E" but the Soviet designation was unknown as this book went to press). The third MiG-23 so far seen is the tandem two-seat -23U, used for conversion training and as an ECM and reconnaissance platform. This again has the fighter’s high­speed airframe and systems, but has not been seen with any weapons or delivery systems.

Sukhoi Su-17 and Su-20

Su-17 "Fitter C", Su-20 and Su-22

Origin: The design bureau named for Pavel 0. Sukhoi. Soviet Union. Type: Single-seat attack and close-support aircraft.

Engine: (-17) one Lyulka AL-21 F-3 single-shaft turbojet with afterburner rated at 17,2001b (7800kg) dry and 25.0001b (11,340kg) with maximum afterburner. (-20. -22) believed to beAL-7F-1 rated at 22,046lb (10,000kg). Dimensions (all): Span (28“) 45ft 11Jin (14 00m), (62°) 34ft 9Jin (10-60m): length (incl probe) 61 ft 6Jin (18-75m); height 1 5ft 7in (4-75m). Weights: (-17 estimated. -20 and -22 slightly less) empty 22.046lb (10,000kg); loaded (clean) 30,865lb (14,000kg). (maximum) 41.8871b (19.000kg).

Performance: (-17, clean) maximum speed at sea level 798mph (1284 km/h. Mach 1 05). maximum speed at optimum height 1,432mph (2305 km/h. Mach 2-17); initial climb 45,275ft (13.800m)/min; service ceiling 59.050ft (18.000m); combat radius with 4,4101b (2000kg) external stores (hi-lo-hi) 391 miles (630km).

Armament: Two 30mm NR-30 cannon, each with 70 rounds, in wing roots; eight pylons under fuselage, fixed gloves and swing-wings for maximum external load of 11,0231b (5000kg) including the AS-7 "Kerry” air-to-surface missile ( 20, -22. six pylons).

History: First public display at Domodedovo 1967; service delivery, possibly 1970 (-17) and 1972-3 (-20).

Users: Egypt (-20). Peru ( 22). Poland (-20). Soviet Union (FA. -17).

Sukhoi Su-17 and Su-20

Development: A logical direct modification of the somewhat limited Su-7B, the Su-17 has variable-geometry "swing-wings" pivoted far outboard, hinged to a slightly modified -7B centre section with strengthened landing gear – At maximum sweep the trailing edge of the centre section aligns with the outer section, and it carries two shallow fences on each side. At the pivots are large square-fronted fences combined with pylons which are stressed to carry 2.200lb (1000kg) stores which in the Polish Su-20 are

Sukhoi Su-17 and Su-20Right: Part of a substantial formation of Su-20 variable – geometry attack aircraft in service with the Egyptian Air Force. All versions normally fly with two large jettisonable tanks on the wing-pivot pylons. In the conflict with Libya a few aircraft of this type were in mutual conflict.

invariably drop tanks with nose fins. The swing-wings carry full-span slats, slotted ailerons and flaps which retract inside the centre section. Compared with the Su-7B the result is the ability to lift twice the external load from airstrips little more than half as long, and climb and level speed at all heights are much increased, even in the lower-powered Su-20 and export Su-22. Equipment in the -17 includes SRD-5M "High Fix" radar, an ASP-5ND fire-control system and comprehensive communications and IFF. Landing performance is so much better than the -7B that a braking chute is not fitted; in its place is the aft-facing aerial for a Sirena 3 radar homing and warning system at the rear of the prominent dorsal spine. Peru’s 36 aircraft were to be delivered in 1977.

Sukhoi Su-17 and Su-20Sukhoi Su-17 and Su-20
Left: An Su-20 in service with the PWL (Polish Air Force). Despite various differences this type has the same NATO code of ‘Fitter-C’ as the Soviet Union’s Su-17.

Dassault Mirage III and 5

Mirage III and 5

Origin: Avions Marcel Dassault/Breguet Aviation, France (actual manu­facture dispersed through European industry and certain models assembled in Belgium, Switzerland and Australia).

Type: Single-seat or two-seat interceptor, tactical strike, trainer or recon­naissance aircraft (depending on sub-type).

Engine: (MIC) 13,2251b (6000kg) thrust (maximum afterburner) SNECMA Atar 9B single-shaft turbojet; (most other III and some 5) 1 3,670lb (6200kg) Atar 9C; (some III and 50) 1 5,8731b (7200kg) Atar 9K-50; (Kfir see separate entry).

Dimensions: Span 27ft (8 22m); length (INC) 50ft Юі’іп (1 5-5m); (IIIB) 50ft 63ІП (1 5-4m), (5) 51 ft (1 5-55m); height 1 3ft 11 Jin (4-25m). Weights: Empty (IIIC) 13,5701b (6156kg); (IIIE) 15,5401b (7050kg); (IIIR) 14,5501b (6600kg); (NIB) 13,8201b (6270kg); (5) 14,5501b (6600kg); loaded (IIIC) 19,7001b (8936kg); (IIIE, MIR, 5) 29,7601b (13,500kg), (NIB) 26,455lb (12,000kg).

Performance: Maximum speed (all models, clean) 863mph (1390km/h) (Mach 1-14) at sea level, 1,460mph (2350km/h) (Mach 2 2) at altitude; initial climb, over 16,400ft (5000m)/min (time to 36,090ft 11,000m, 3 min); service ceiling (Mach 1-8) 55,775ft (17,000m); range (clean) at altitude about 1,000 miles (1610km): combat radius in attack mission with bombs and tanks (mix not specified) 745 miles (1200km); ferry range with three external tanks 2,485 miles (4000km).

Armament: Two 30mm DEFA 5-52 cannon, each with 125 rounds (normally fitted to all versions except when IIIC carries rocket-boost pack); three 1,000lb (454kg) external pylons for bombs, missiles or tanks (Mirage 5, seven external pylons with maximum capacity of 9,260lb, 4200kg). History: First flight (MD.550 Mirage I) 25 June 1955; (prototype Mirage 111-001) 17-November 1956; (pre-production Mirage IIIA) 12 May 1958; (production IIIC) 9 October 1960; (IIIE) 5 April 1961; (111R) 31 October 1961; (III B) 1 9 July 1 962; (Australian-assembled 1110) 16 November 1963; (Swiss-assembled HIS) 28 October 1965; (prototype 5) 19 May 1967; (Belgian-assembled 5BA) May 1970.

Dassault Mirage III and 5

Users: (III) Abu Dhabi, Argentina,’Australia, Brazil, Egypt, France, Israel, Lebanon, Libya, Pakistan, S Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Venezuela; (5) Abu Dhabi, Belgium, Colombia, Egypt, France, Gabon, Libya, Pakistan, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Zaire.

Dassault Mirage III and 5Right: Like the aircraft above this Mirage MIEP, of No 5 Sqn Pakistan Air Force, saw actual combat (against India).

Dassault Mirage III and 5

Development: The Mirage, which has come to symbolise modern aerial combat and to bring additional trade to France and incalculable prestige, especially in defence hardware, began in a most uncertain fashion. It was conceived in parallel with the Etendard II to meet the same Armee de I’Air light interceptor specification of 1952 and was likewise to be powered by two small turbojets (but, in this case, boosted by a liquid-propellant rocket engine in addition). As the small French engines were not ready. Dassault fitted the Mirage I with two British Viper turbojets and before the rocket was fitted this small delta was dived to Mach 1 15. With the rocket it reached Mach 1 -3 in level flight. But Dassault had no faith in the concept of such low-power aircraft and after some work on the twin-Gabizo Mirage II took the plunge and produced a bigger and heavier Mirage III, powered by the 8,820lb thrust Atar 101 G. From this stemmed the pre-production IIIA, with larger but thinner wing and completely redesigned fuselage housing the new Atar 9 engine. On 24 October 1958 Mirage IIIA-01 became the first West European aircraft to attain Mach 2 in level flight.

Dassault Mirage III and 5 Подпись: 1

This clinched the decision of the Armee de I’Air to buy 100 of a slightly developed interceptor called Mirage NIC, fitted either with guns or with a boost rocket for faster climb and better combat performance at heights up to ►

82,000ft. Normally the SEP 844 rocket was fitted to the MIC, the sole armament being air-to-air missiles, such as Sidewinders and the big Matra R.530 used in conjunction with the CSF Cyrano radar, fitted to permit the new fighter to operate in all weather. Altogether 244 C models were delivered, large batches also going to South Africa and Israel (a nation which did much to develop and promote both the III and the 5). From the INC emerged the dual-control 111В trainer, the longer and heavier HIE for ground attack (with Marconi doppler radar for blind low-level navigation, new fire-control and navigation computer, and increased internal fuel) and the 111R family of camera-equipped reconnaissance aircraft. By 1977 about 1,200 of the Mirage III family had been sold, including a fairly standard version made in Australia and an extremely non-standard version made in Switzerland after painful development problems which inflated the price and reduced the numbers bought.

Dassault Mirage III and 5

In 1965 Israel suggested that Dassault should produce a special VFR (clear weather) version for ground attack in the M iddle East, with the radar and fire control avionics removed and replaced by an extra 110 gallons of fuel and more bombs. The result was the Mirage 5 and Israel bought 50 of the first

production batch of 60. It can be distinguished by its longer and much more pointed nose, devoid of radar unless the small Aida II is fitted. For political reasons the French refused to deliver the paid-for Mirages to Israel but more than 500 have been sold to many other countries and 106 were assembled, and partly constructed, in Belgium. Largely as a result of the French action, Israel developed its own improved version of the Mirage (see IAI Kfir, separate entry).

In addition to production aircraft there have been many experimental or unsold variants. One of the latter was the Spey-powered Mirage 111W jointly proposed by Dassault and Boeing as a rival to the F-5 as a standard simple fighter for America’s allies. Another non-starter was the Milan (Kite), fitted with retractable "moustache" foreplanes for shorter field-length and better manoeuvrability (this excellent idea is available on the Mirage 5). By far the biggest development programme concerned the enlarged and more powerful Mirage 11IV V/STOL fighter with a 19,8401b thrust SNECMA TF306 augmented turbofan for propulsion and eight 5,5001b thrust Rolls – Royce RB. 162-31 lift jets. The MIT was a non-VTOL of the same size and the equally large F2 led to the smaller (Atar-size) F1.

Left: Pictured outside the assembly plant near Bordeaux, this Mirage 5DM dual-control trainer was delivered to the air force of Zaire, with two others of this sub-type and 14 single-seaters. Of the total of 17 Mirages no fewer than six were lost in the fighting on the Xhaba battlefront.

Dassault Mirage III and 5Immediately below: The most effective Mirages in the ground-attack role (against enemy radars, at least) are probably the IIIEs of the Armee de I’Air armed with the AS.37 anti-radar Martel. Total production of this extended-range dedicated attack version of the Mirage III was 523.

Подпись: 1
Dassault Mirage III and 5
Dassault Mirage III and 5

Foot of page: Nearly all the 27 customers for delta-wing Mirages have bought dual-control trainer versions to accustom pilots to the tricky characteristics of fast-landing deltas which approach ‘on the back of the drag curve’. This is a Mirage 5-DV of the Fuerza Aerea Venezolana, whose Mirages are concentrated at the training and attack base of Barquisimento along with CF-5s.

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.

Mikoyan/Gurevich MiG-25

Mig-25 ("Foxbat A"), -25R and -25U

Origin: The design bureau named for Mikoyan and Gurevich, Soviet Union. Type: "Foxbat A" (believed to be MiG-25S), all-weather long-range interceptor: MiG-25R, reconnaissance: MiG-25U, tandem-seat dual

trainer with stepped cockpits.

Engines: Two Tumansky R-31 afterburning turbojets each rated at 27,000lb (12,250kg) with full augmentation.

Dimensions: Span 46ft (14-0m): length ("A”) 73ft 2in (22-3m). (R)

74ft 6in (22-7m), (U) about 76ft (23■ 1 6m): height 18ft 6in (5 63m). Weights: (Fighter) empty 44,000lb (19,960kg): normal loaded 68,350lb (31,000kg): maximum loaded with external missiles or tanks 79,800lb (36,200kg).

Performance: (Estimated) maximum speed at altitude 2,1 OOmph

(3380km/h. Mach 3-2): initial climb, about 50,000ft (15,240m)/min: service ceiling 73,000ft (22,250m): high-altitude combat radius without external fuel, 700 miles (1130km).

Armament: (" A") four underwing pylons each carrying one AA-6 air-to – air missile (two radar, two infra-red) or other store: no guns: ("-B") none. History: First flight (E-266 prototype) probably 1964: (production reconnaissance version) before 1969: (production interceptor) probably 1969: service delivery (both) 1970 or earlier.

Users: Algeria. Libya, Soviet Union.

Mikoyan/Gurevich MiG-25

Development: This large and powerful aircraft set a totally new level in combat-aircraft performance. The prototypes blazed a trail of world records in 1965-67 including closed-circuit speeds, payload-to-height and rate of climb records. The impact of what NATO quickly christened "Foxbat" was unprecedented. Especially in the Pentagon, Western policymakers recog­nised that here was a combat aircraft that outclassed everything else, and urgent studies were put in hand for a new US Air Force fighter (F-15 Eagle) to counter it. By 1971 at least two pairs of reconnaissance aircraft were flying with impunity over Israel, too high and fast for Phantoms to catch, while others have made overflights deep into Iran. This version is different in many respects, the nose having cameras instead of a "Fox Fire" radar, and other sensors being carried under the large body. Both versions have twin outward-sloping vertical tails, single mainwheels and a flush canopy

Mikoyan/Gurevich MiG-25Above: Night takeoff by a section of MiG – 25 ‘Foxbat-A’ all – weather inter­ceptors.

Above: Three-view of MiG-25 ("Foxbat A") with side view (bottom) of -25U.

shaped for speed rather than pilot view. From the start the main development effort has been applied to the basic MiG-25 (so-called "Foxbat A") inter­ceptor, which has been developed in structure, systems and armament since first entering service with the PVO. In 1 975 the original AA-5 missiles were supplemented, and later replaced, by the monster AA-6 "Acrid”, which is easily the biggest air/air missile in service in the world. The radar-homing version has a length of about 20ft 2in (6-1 5m) and effective range of 28 miles (45km): the infra-red missiles have a length of just over "19ft (5-8m) and range of some 12-5 miles (20km). Another major improvement since entering service is flight-refuelling capability, not yet fitted to all MiG-25 versions. The detailed inspection of an interceptor version landed at Hakodate AB, Japan, on 6 September 1976, showed that in service pilots are forbidden to use the limits of the available flight performance, presum­ably to avoid thermal fatigue of the airframe: it also showed this particular machine to have early "Fox Fire" radar comparable in basic technology with the AWG-10 Phantom radar (as would be expected). Radars in current production are unquestionably solid-state pulse-doppler types able to look down and track low-flying aircraft against ground clutter. Several MiG-25s. most of them MiG-25R models on ELINT missions, have been plotted by Western radars at Mach 2-8. It should be emphasized that at this speed the MiG-25 – and any other aircraft – flies in a straight line. The MiG-25 was not designed for air combat, and if it became involved in a dogfight its speed would – like any other aircraft — soon be subsonic. The MiG-25U trainer carries neither weapons nor sensors, but is needed to convert pilots to what is still, 15 years after design, a very advanced and demanding aircraft.

Mikoyan/Gurevich MiG-25Подпись: 1Mikoyan/Gurevich MiG-25
Below: Artist’s impression of the basic ‘Foxbat-A’ inter­ceptor version of MiG-25, essentially similar to the aircraft in which Lt Belenko defected to Japan in 1976.

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).

Dassault Mirage 2000

Mirage 2000 (single – and two-seat versions)

Origin: Avions Marcel Dassault/Breguet Aviation. France.

Type: Multi-role fighter with emphasis on interception and air superiority combat.

Engine: One SNECMA M53-5 single-shaft afterburning by-pass turbojet (low-ratio turbofan) with maximum thrust of 12,3501b (5602kg) dry and 19.8401b (9000kg) with afterburner.

Dimensions: Span 29ft 6in (9 0m): length 50ft 3^in (15-33m).

Weights: Empty, not released: normal takeoff, air-intercept mission 33,0001b (14,969kg).

Performance: Maximum speed at 36,000ft (11,000m) Mach 2-3, 1,518mph (2440km/h).

Armament: Two 30mm DEFA 5-53 cannon: normal air-intercept load two Matra Super 530 and two Matra 550 Magic air-to-air missiles: intention is to develop ground-attack version with maximum overload of 1 1,0251b (5000kg) of weapons and/or tanks and ECM pods on five external hard – points.

History: Announcement of project December 1975: first flight 10 March 1978: production delivery, probably late 1982.

Users: Egypt (intended licence-production), France.

Development: In December 1975 the French government cancelled the Dassault-Breguet Super Mirage, which had been publicised as the Avion de Combat Futur and mainstay of the Armee de I’Air in the 1 980s. In its place it announced a decision to award a study contract with Marcel Dassault for a smaller and simpler single-engined delta fighter outwardly looking very much like the Mirage III of 20 years earlier. In fact the Mirage 2000 — some-

Dassault Mirage 2000





Dassault Mirage 2000

Dassault Mirage 2000

Above: Three-view of Dassault Mirage 2000.

times called the Delta 2000 – will differ significantly from the old Mirage, in aerodynamics, propulsion, structure and equipment. Aerodynamically it will be designed to incorporate American discoveries in CCV (control – configured vehicle) technology, in which aircraft are deliberately made unstable – for example, by positioning the centre of gravity much further back than usual – and using high-authority fail-safe flight-control systems to keep them under control. The result is either a smaller wing or, as in the Mirage 2000. dramatically higher manoeuvrability. Unlike the earlier Mirage deltas the 2000 will have leading-edge devices, either hinged droops or some form of slats, which will work in conjunction with the trailing-edge elevons to counteract the unstable pitching moment, or, in

Below: The second prototype Dassault Mirage 2000, with two Matra Super 530 air-to-air missiles (which are intended to be a standard weapon on aircraft of this type with the Armes de I’Air).

Dassault Mirage 2000

tight turn, relax their effort or even help the aircraft to pitch nose-up. In the landing configuration the leading-edge devices (the French call it a "variable-camber" wing) will allow the elevons to be deflected down, adding to lift, whereas in earlier tailless deltas they have to be deflected up, effec­tively adding to weight just at the worst time.

Already the Mirage 2000 is being publicised as "being able to outclass combat aircraft presently being developed and produced in the Western world". It will have: "fly-by-wire" multi-channel electrically signalled flight controls: composite materials, carbon fibre being mentioned: large – radius Karman fairings (a reference to area ruling of the fuselage for minimum transonic drag): an elaborate weapon system with "g. p." (general-purpose?) computer and inertial unit; and long-range digital radar. Ratio of thrust to weight is to exceed unity. Such features are what one would expect of such an aircraft, but the problems are clearly enormous, especially in a time of severe inflation and economic pressures. France has since 1975 made attempts to acquire the base of technology, especially in digital avionics, necessary to build the Mirage 2000, but has little capability as yet. Only a single French aircraft, a two-seat Mirage 111В with Sfena system, has flown with a primitive fly-by-wire system. Thomson-CSF estimate it will take "seven to eight years" to develop a 170-km-range digital radar needed to match the developed Super 530 missile. France has little experience of advanced composite structures, and that only in small test pieces and heli­copters. SNECMA has not announced how the M53 engine, with very limited flight-time and no other application, is going to be increased in thrust by 35 per cent. If the aircraft to fly in 1 978 is truly a prototype, and not the first off a production line, it will need everything to go right to meet an in-service date of 1982 with a developed aircraft. Not least, the proposed price of Fr40 to 50 million (£4 5 to 5-5 million) will be extremely difficult to hold, even in December 1 975 Francs, because the magnitude of the system – development problems to France appear to have been grossly under­estimated.

Dassault Mirage 2000

In the original announcement the Mirage 2000 was described as "limited to high-speed and high-level interception and reconnaissance. . . . Attack and penetration at low levels will be undertaken by a different type." (The cancelled Super Mirage had been intended to fulfil all tactical roles.) But in December 1976 the Chief of Staff of the Armee de I’Air said he personally considered it would be necessary to build an interdictor and reconnaissance (he implied at low level) version of the Mirage 2000. It became known at this time that the new delta will apparently have nine weapon stations, which is diametrically opposed to the uncompromised high-altitude dog – finht concent announced in December 1975: and low-level use is dia-

metrically opposed to a large-area delta. The Armee de I ‘Air has from the start hoped to buy 200 Mirage 2000s, twice the number it judged it could afford of the Super Mirage. But future progress of the programme, helped by US industry strictly on an inter-company rather than a government basis, will be instructive to watch.

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.