Dassault/Breguet Dornier Alpha Jet

Alpha Jet

Origin: Jointly Dassault/Breguet, France, and Dornier GmbH, W Germany, with assembly at each company.

Type: Two-seat trainer and light strike/reconnaissance aircraft.

Engines: Two 2.9761b (1350kg) thrust SNECMA/Turbomeca Larzac 04 two-shaft turbofans.

Dimensions: Span 29ft 11 in (9-12m): length (excluding any probe) 40ft 3Jin (1 2-29m); height 1 3ft 9in (4 2m).

Weights: Empty 6,944lb (3150kg): loaded (clean) 9.920lb (4500kg), (maximum) 15,4321b (7000kg).

Performance: (clean) maximum speed 576mph (927km/h) at sea level, 560mph (900km/h) (Mach 0-85) at altitude; climb to 39,370ft (12,000m), less than 10 minutes: service ceiling 45,930ft (14,000m); typical mission endurance 2hr 30min; ferry range with two external tanks 1,510 miles (2430km).

Armament: Optional for weapon training or combat missions, detachable belly fairing housing one 30mm DEFA or 27mm Mauser cannon, with 125 rounds, or two 0 50in Brownings, each with 250 rounds; same centreline hardpoint and either one or two under each wing (to maximum of five) can be provided with pylons for maximum external load of 4,8501b (2200kg), made up of tanks, weapons, reconnaissance pod, ECM or other devices. History: First flight 26 October 1973; first production delivery originaljy to be early 1 976, actually late 1978.

Users: Belgium, Cameroun, France, W Germany, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Togo.

Dassault/Breguet Dornier Alpha Jet

Development: Realisation that the Jaguar was too capable and costly to be a standard basic trainer led to the Armee de I’Air issuing a requirement for a new trainer in 1967. The chosen design was to be capable of use in the light ground attack role, in which the Luftwaffe had a parallel need for an aircraft. On 22 July 1969 the two governments agreed to a common specifi-

Dassault/Breguet Dornier Alpha Jet

Above: Three-view of Alpha Jet prototype with armament.

cation and to adopt a common type of aircraft produced jointly by the two national industries. After evaluation against the Aerospatiale (Nord)/MBB E650 Eurotrainer, the Alpha Jet was selected on 24 July 1970. Aircraft for the two partners are nearly identical. France makes the fuselage and centre section and Germany the rear fuselage, tail and outer wings. SABCA of Belgium makes minor portions. Engines, originally shared by two French companies (see above), are being produced in partnership with MTU and KHD of Germany, plus a small share by FN of Belgium. Trainer aircraft are assembled at Toulouse (France) and attack versions at Oberpfaffenhofen (Germany). Decision to go ahead with production was reached on 26 March 1975. It was expected at that time that France and Germany would each buy 200, and that Belgium would buy 33. but the programme has slipped by more than two years, resulting in increased costs. In 1979 full production was achieved.

Below: After prolonged delays the Alpha Jet finally got into full service in late 1978, with the specially equipped light attack version for the Luftwaffe following in late 1979.

Dassault/Breguet Dornier Alpha Jet


JuromVTI/CIAR-93 Orao

VTI-CIAR 93 Orao

Origin: Joint programme by Centrala Industriala Aeronautica Romana, Bucharest, Romania, and Vazduhoplovno-Techniki Institut, Zarkovo, Yugoslavia.

Type: Single-seat tactical attack.

Engines: Two 4,0001b (1814kg) thrust Rolls-Royce/Fiat Viper 632 single-shaft turbojets.

Dimensions: (Estimated) span 24ft 10in (7-56m); length 42ft 4in (12-9m): height 12ft 5in (3-78m).

Weights: (Estimated) empty 9,480lb (4300kg): loaded (fighter mission) 15,8751b (7200kg): maximum loaded 19,8501b (9000kg).

Performance: (Estimated) maximum speed, equivalent to about Mach 0-95 over wide height band (thus, about 700—720mph, 11 50km/h, clean at sea level): maximum speed with weapons, about 550mph (885km/h) at sea level: initial climb (clean) at least 15,000ft (4600m)/min: range on internal fuel (clean, high altitude) about 900 miles (1450km).

Armament: Two Nudelmann-Richter NR-30 30mm cannon, each with 125 rounds: centreline and underwing hardpoints, each reported to be rated at 500kg (maximum total external load, 4,840lb. 2200kg) for wide range of Yugoslav cluster bombs, frag bombs, h. e. and napalm (some retarded), rocket pods (12* 57mm) or photoflashes.

History: Start of design 1971: first flight believed August 1974: official demonstration 15 April 1975: service delivery, probably December 1976. Users: Romania, Yugoslavia.

JuromVTI/CIAR-93 Orao

Development: In 1971 the governments of Romania and Yugoslavia agreed to attempt to meet a common requirement of their air forces for a new tactical combat aircraft by building their own. The decision was speci­fically aimed to help the two countries become more independent of what had previously been a unique source of military equipment. It is significant that the necessary technical help to carry out what was a most challenging project for the two countries came from the West, especially from the UK (which provides engines and most of the airborne system-hardware, and has probably also assisted with the design and development phases). As no bilateral management organization has been announced observers call the project the "Jurom" (Jugoslavia/Romania), but its correct designation is given above (Orao means eagle).

JuromVTI/CIAR-93 Orao

Above: Three-view of Orao prototype as at first showing in 1975.

The aircraft is intended to fulfil several important roles, especially tactical interdiction, close-air support (with laser ranger) and multi-sensor recon­naissance, A two-seat version is among the development batch of 11 aircraft, and several of these roles are judged to need a second crew­member (despite the payload/range limitation with aircraft of modest power). The two-seater will also fulfil the need for a trainer more advanced than the Soko Galeb. Later it is hoped to produce a fighter version, with afterburning engines and a lightweight multimode radar. From the start the Orao has been planned to operate from unpaved and relatively short airstrips, though the early pre-production machines did not have the expected slats and double-slotted flaps (but they did have a braking chute and soft-field tyres). By 1977 it was reported that all 11 development aircraft had flown (apparently some assembled in each country, but all bearing the joint VTI – CIAR designation) and that production deliveries were about to begin. If the partners achieve their objective of export sales it may enable work to go ahead on a modern air-combat fighter version with a restressed airframe, and possibly canards, twin vertical tails and double-shock variable inlets. There appears to be the potential in this joint effort for long-term competition for both East and West.

JuromVTI/CIAR-93 Orao
Below: The first Orao prototype, which flew in 1974. Since then development has been rather slow, though in 1980 it was believed that two further prototypes and nine pre-production machines (including a dual two-seater) were in the air. No announcement has been made by Rolls-Royce regarding a planned afterburning version of the Viper 632 for production Oraos.

Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter and Tiger II

F-5A, В, E and F, CF-5A and D, NF-5A and B, RF-5A, E and G, and SF-5A and В

Origin: Northrop Aircraft Division, Hawthorne, USA: made or assembled under licence by partnership Canada/Netherlands and by Spain.

Type: (With suffix A, E, and G) single-seat fighter-reconnaissance: (with suffix B, D and F) two-seat dual fighter/trainer.

Engines: (A. B, D, G) two 4,0801b (1850kg) thrust General Electric J85-1 3 single-shaft afterburning turbojets: (E. F) two 5,000lb (2268kg) J85-21. Dimensions: Span (A, B, D, G) 25ft 3in (7-7m): (E. F) 26ft 8in (8-1 3m): length (A, G) 47ft 2in (14-38m): (B, D) 46ft 4in (14-12m): (E) 48ft 3fin (14-73m); (F) 51ft 9Jin (15-80m); height (A, G) 13ft 2in (4-01 m); (B, D)

13ft 1 in (3-99m): (E, F) 13ft 4Jin (4 08m).

Weights: Empty (A, G) 8,085lb (3667kg): (B, D) 8,3611b (3792kg):

(E) 9,5881b (4349kg): (F) 9,7001b (4400kg): maximum loaded (A, G) 20,6771b (9379kg): (B, D) 20,5001b (9298kg): (E, F) 24,0801b (10,922kg). Performance: Maximum speed at altitude (A, G) 925mph (1489km/h,

Mach 1 -40): (B, D) 885mph (1424km/h, Mach 1-34); (E) 1,060mph (1705km/h. Mach 1 -60); initial climb (A, G) 28,700ft (8760m)/min; (B, D) 30,400ft (9265m)/min; (E) 31,600ft (9630m)/min; service ceiling (A, G) 50,500ft (15,390m): (B, D) 52,000ft (15,850m): (E) 54.000ft (16,460m); range with max fuel, with reserves, tanks retained, (A, G) 1,387 miles (2232km); (B, D) 1,393 miles (2241km); (E) 1,974 miles (3175km).

Armament: Two 20mm M-39A2 cannon each with 280 rounds in nose (can be retained in RF versions); five pylons for total external load of about 4,400lb (2000kg) in A, G (total military load for these models, including guns and ammunition, is 5.200lb) or 7,000lb (3175kg) in E; rails on wing – tips for AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles. (

History: First flight (XT-38) 10 April 1959. (N-156F) 30July1959. (F-5A)

19 May 1964, (F-5E) 11 August 1972, (F-5F) 25 September 1974.

Users: (A, B, D, G) Brazil, Canada, Ethiopia, Greece, Iran, Jordan, S Korea,

Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines,

Saudi Arabia, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, USA (Air Force, not operational); (E, F) Brazil, Chile, Egypt, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan,

Kenya, Malaysia, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore,

S Korea, Sudan, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand. Tunisia, USA (Air Force,

Navy), Vietnam (probably not operational).

Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter and Tiger IIDevelopment: In 1 955 Northrop began the project design of a lightweight fighter, known as Tally-Ho, powered by two J85 missile engines slung in pods under a very small unswept wing. It was yet another of the many projects born in the Korean era when pilots were calling for lighter, simpler fighters with higher performance. Gradually Welko Gasich and his team refined the design, putting the engines in the fuselage and increasing the size, partly to meet the needs of the Navy. In June 1956 the Navy had pulled out, while the Air Force ordered the trainer version as the T-38

Talon. Over the next 15 years Northrop delivered 1,200 Talons, all to the USAF or NASA, as the standard supersonic trainer of those services. With this assured programme the company took the unique decision to go ahead and build a demonstration fighter in the absence of any orders – the only time this has ever been done with a supersonic aircraft. By the time it was ready for flight in 1959 the N-156F, dubbed Freedom Fighter had received some US Defense funding, and the prototype carried US serial and stencil markings but no national markings. It was a simple little fighter, carrying about 485 gallons of fuel, two cannon and an old F-86 style sight, and having racks for two little Sidewinder missiles. Today such a prototype would have remained unsold, but in October 1962 the Department of Defense decided to buy the so-called Freedom Fighter in large numbers to give, or sell on advantageous terms, to anti-Communist nations. More than 1,040 of the Freedom Fighter (suffixes A, B, D, G) have been built, all but 178 being exports from Northrop. The Netherlands built the NF-5A and В equipment, heavier mission load, 500lb (227kg) more fuel in the longer fuselage, new inlet ducts, revised body and wing, root extensions and manoeuvring flaps and an X-band radar. Deliveries began in 1972, followed by the two-seat F In 1975. The US Air Force uses the Tiger II to equip its Tac Ftr Training Aggressor units, simulating hostile aircraft; the US Navy uses it as an Air Combat Trainer for future F-4 or F 14 pilots. Basic price of an E is considerably higher than that of the more powerful Jaguar (a recent sale was 12 for Kenya, priced at $706 million), but over 1,000 of the Tiger II type are likely to be supplied on attractive terms to many countries.

Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter and Tiger II

Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter and Tiger II

Left: An F-5A Freedom Fighter of the Hellenic (Greek) air force. These rather limited aircraft equip the 349a Mira at Larissa and the 337а, 341a and 343s all based at Nea Ankhialos near Volos. They have the advantage of good weather, vital for aircraft in this category.

Yakovlev Yak-36

Yak-36 "Forger A" and -36U ( ?)

"Forger B"

Origin: The design bureau of Aleksander S. Yakovlev, Soviet Union.

Type: Single-seat VTOL naval attack (and possibly reconnaissance) air­craft: ("Forger B") two-seat dual trainer.

Engines: One lift/cruise turbojet or turbofan of unknown type with estim­ated maximum thrust of 17,0001b (7710kg); two lift jets of unknown type t with estimated thrust of.5,600lb (2540kg) each.

Dimensions (estimated): Span 25ft (7-6m): length (A) 49ft 3in (15 0m),

(B) 58ft (17•7m); height 1 3ft 3in (4 0m): width with wings folded 14ft 10in (4-51 m).

Weights (estimated): Empty 12,0001b (5450kg) (B slightly heavier): maximum loaded 22,0501b (10,000kg). r

Performance (estimated): Maximum speed at sea level 722mph (1160 km/h, Mach 0-95): maximum level speed at optimum height 860mph (1380km/h, Mach T3): service ceiling about 50,000ft (15,250m): radius on hi-lo-hi attack mission without external fuel, not greater than 200 miles (320km).

Armament: Contrary to early reports there appears to be no internal gun: four pylons under the non-folding wing centre section carry gun pods, reconnaissance pods, ECM payloads, bombs, missiles (said to include AA-2 "Atoll" AAM and AS-7 "Kerry" ASM) and tanks. Maximum external load, about 4,000lb (1814kg). (B two-seater) none seen.

History: First flight probably about 1971: service delivery possibly 1975.

User: Soviet Union (AV-MF).

Development: At the 1967 show at Domodedovo a single V/STOL jet-lift research aircraft gave a convincing display of hovering and transitions.

Called "Freehand" by NATO, it was at first thought to be the Yak-36, but this is now believed to be the service designation of the combat aircraft carried above Kiev, the first of the large Soviet carriers (officially classed as anti-submarine cruisers) which also carry ASW helicopters and an un­precedented array of shipboard weapons. The "Freehand", of which fewer than ten are thought to have been built, conducted trials from a specially built platform on the carrier Moskva’ It provided information to assist the

Yakovlev Yak-36

Yakovlev Yak-36

design of the Yak-36, which probably has the same large lift turbofan engine plus aft-angled lift jets behind the cockpit. To take off, the three engines must be used together and a vertical ascent made, the main nozzles being rotated to about 100° to balance the rearward thrust of the lift jets. STOL takeoffs are not thought to be possible, neither is Viffing (vectoring in forward flight) to increase combat manoeuvrability. The design is simple, though one wonders why the wing was mounted in the mid-position instead of the much’lighter solution of putting it above the main engine. The latter has plain inlets with a row of auxiliary doors as on the Harrier, but supersonic speed at height is judged possible in the clean condition. Other features include Fowler flaps, large ailerons on the folding outer wings, wingtip and tail control nozzles, a ram inlet duct in the dorsal spine, rear airbrakes, a large vertical tail with dielectric tip, and a dielectric nosecap probably covering a small ranging radar. The "Forger" В has a completely different tandem-seat nose angled downwards and a lengthened rear fuselage to preserve directional stability. The development squadron aboard Kiev on her shakedown cruise from the Nikolayev yard to Murmansk flew intensively, and observers especially noted the repeated precision of take-offs and landings, indicating ship guidance. Even this aircraft is almost certainly an interim type..

Yakovlev Yak-36
Below: ‘Forger-A’ photographed operating from Kiev in 1976; some examples of this basic single-seat version lack the row of auxiliary inlet doors between the inlet and painted flag.

Fairchild Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II


Origin: Fairchild Republic Co, USA,

Type: Single-seat close-air-support aircraft.

Engines: Two 9,275lb (4207kg) thrust General Electric TF34-100 two – shaft turbofans.

Dimensions: Span 57ft 6in (17-53m); length 53ft 4in (16-26m): height 14ft 5iin (4-4m).

Weights: Empty 21,8131b (9894kg): maximum loaded 47,2001b (21,410 kg).

Performance: Maximum speed (clean) 460mph (740km/h), 380mph (612km/h) at maximum weight: initial climb 1,000ft (328m)/min at maximum weight: take-off distance (at maximum weight) 3,850ft (11 73m),

(at forward-airstrip weight with six Mk 82 bombs), 1,1 30ft (344m): steady speed in 45° dive with full airbrake 299mph (481 km/h): close-air-support radius with reserves 288 miles (463km): ferry range 2,723 miles (4382km). Armament: 30mm high-velocity GAU-8/A cannon in forward fuselage:

11 pylons for total external ordnance load of 16,0001b (7257kg) (excep­tionally, 18,5001b, 8392kg).

History: First flight 10 May 1972: service delivery for inventory December 1974.

User: US Air Force.

Development: Despite the more overt attractions of Mach 2 aircraft the US Air Force was forced to consider the CAS (close air support) mission because of the total unsuitability of its existing equipment. In both the wars it had had to fight since World War II – Korea and Vietnam – its aircraft had been worldbeaters but planned for a totally different kind of war. What was needed, it appeared, was something like an up-to-date Skyraider that could carry a heavy load of ordnance, had good endurance and could survive severe damage from ground fire. Between 1963-69 extensive ►

Right and below: Thunderbolt lls pictured during their initial shakedown flying at Davis-Monthan and IMellis AFBs.

Fairchild Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II

Fairchild Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II

Fairchild Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II

studies gradually refined the AX specification, which had begun by pre­supposing a twin turbo prop and ended with a larger aircraft powered by two turbofans. After an industrywide competition the Northrop A-9A and Fairchild A-10A were chosen for prototype fly-off evaluation, which took place with two of each type at Edwards in October-December 1972. The A-10A was announced winner and GE the winner of the contest to produce the 30mm tank-busting gun, the most powerful ever fitted to any aircraft, with very high muzzle velocity and rate of fire, and muzzle horsepower 20 times that of the 75mm gun fitted to some B-25s in World War II. Named Avenger, this gun is driven hydraulically at either 2,100 or 4,200rds/ min, and is fed by a drum containing 1,350 milk-bottle-size rounds. Empty cases are fed back into the rear of the drum. By 1978 ground-reloading will probably be done by a*special powered system. Underwing load can be made up of any stores in the Tactical Air Command inventory, the landing gears (which protrude when retracted for damage-free emergency landing) and all tail surfaces are interchangeable, the cockpit is encased in a "bath" of thick titanium armour, and the engines are hung above the rear fuselage where their infra-red signature is a minimum. Originally Tactical Air Command intended to buy 600 of these grey-painted brutes, but despite unavoidable escalation in cost and degradation in performance the planned number has grown to 733, of which half had been delivered by 1980 at a current rate of 1 4 per month.

Fairchild Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II

Above: Thunderbolt Ms on the flight line at Nellis where the USAF Tactical Fighter Weapons Center is located. Operationally the A-10A is classed as a fighter, though this is not its role.

Left: Firing the 30mm GAU-8/A cannon at simulated armour; this is the most powerful gun ever fitted to an aircraft. The pilot has not opened his split ailerons which in dives serve as brakes.

Fairchild Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II

Below: Releasing a Paveway-series Mk 82 laser-guided bomb from level flight. Targets are detected by the Pave passive laser receiver pod seen carried on a pylon under the nose.

Lockheed F-104 Starfighter

F-104A to G, J and S, CF-104, QF-104,

RF and RTF-104, TF-104 (data for F-104G)

Origin: Lockheed-California Co, USA: see text for multinational manu­facturing programme.

Type: (A. C) single-seat day interceptor: (G) multimission strike fighter: (CF) strike-reconnaissance: (TF) dual trainer: (QF) drone RPV; (F-104S) all-weather interceptor: (RF and RTF) reconnaissance.

Engine: One General Electric J79 single-shaft turbojet with afterburner: (A) 14,8001b (6713kg) J79-3B: (C. D, F, J) 15,8001b (7165kg) J79-7A: (G, RF/RFT, CF) 15,8001b (7165kg) J79-11A: (S) 17,9001b (8120kg) J79-19 or J1Q.

Dimensions: Span (without tip tanks) 21 ft 11 in (6-68m): length 54ft 9in (16-69m): height 13ft 6in (4-11m).

Weights: Empty 14,0821b (6387kg): maximum loaded 28,7791b


Performance: Maximum speed 1,450mph (2330km/h, Mach 2-2): initial climb 50,000ft (1 5,250m)/min: service ceiling 58,000ft (17,680m) (zoom ceiling over 90,000ft, 27,400m): range with maximum weapons, about 300 miles (483km): range with four drop tanks (high altitude, subsonic) 1,380 miles (2220km).

Armament: In most versions, centreline rack rated at 2,000lb (907kg) and two underwing pylons each rated at 1,0001b (454kg): additional racks for small missiles (eg Sidewinder) on fuselage, under wings or on tips: certain versions have reduced fuel and one 20mm M61 Vulcan multi-barrel gun in fuselage: (S) M61 gun, two Sparrow and two Sidewinder.

History: First flight (X. F-104) 7 February 1954: (F-104A) 17 February 1956: (F-104G) 5 October 1960: (F-104S) 30 December 1968: final delivery from United States 1964: final delivery from Aeritalia (F-104S) 1975.

Users: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, W Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan. Jordan. Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, USA (ANG).

Lockheed F-104 Starfighter

Development: Clarence L. (‘ Kelly") Johnson planned the Model 83 after talking with fighter pilots in Korea in 1951. The apparent need was for superior flight performance, even at the expense of reduced equipment and other penalties. When the XF-104 flew, powered by a 10,5001b J65 Sap­phire with afterburner, it appeared to have hardly any wing: another odd feature was the downward-ejecting seat. The production F-104A had a more powerful engine and blown flaps and after lengthy development entered limited service with Air Defense Command in 1958. Only 153 were

Lockheed F-104 Starfighter

Three-view of F-104S, showing Sparrows and Sidewinders.

built and after a spell with the Air National Guard, survivors again saw ADC service with the powerful GE-19 engine. Three were modified as Astronaut trainers with rocket boost, one gaining a world height record at nearly 119,000ft in 1963. The В was a dual tandem trainer, the C a fighter- bomber for Tactical Air Command with refuelling probe, the D a trainer version of the C and the DJ and F respectively Japanese and German ver­sions of the D. The G was a complete redesign to meet the needs of the Luftwaffe for a tactical nuclear strike and reconnaissance aircraft. Struc­turally different, it introduced Nasarr multi-mode radar, inertial navigation system, manoeuvring flaps and other new items. Altogether 1,266 were built, including 970 by a NATO European consortium and 110 by Canadair. Canadair also built 200 basically similar CF-104s, while Japan built 207 J models closely resembling the earlier C. The German RF and RTF are multi – role-sensor reconnaissance and trainer versions, while increasing numbers of all versions are being turned into various QF-104 RPVs.

The only type of Starfighter built new since 1967 has been the Italian F-104S. Developed jointly by Lockheed and Fiat (Aeritalia), the S is an air – superiority fighter armed with two Sparrow air/air missiles (hence the suffix – letter S). Built under Lockheed licence, the S has a more powerful J79 engine, updated Autonetics R21G radar (with MTI, ECCM and improved reliability) and several detail changes to improve air/air role performance. The secondary ground-attack capability is retained, and in recent months the Regia Aeronautica force of 205 F-104S have begun to carry the Orpheus multi-sensor reconnaissance pod carried on the centre-line. Turkey has bought 40. followed by a second batch of the same size.

Below: Launching a Kormoran anti-ship missile from an F-104G of the West German Marineflieger. These aircraft are to be replaced by the first IDS Tornados to enter inventory service.

Lockheed F-104 Starfighter

Panavia Tornado

Tornado IDS (GR.1), ADV (F.2) and dual (T.3)

Origin: Panavia Aircraft GmbH, international company formed by British Aerospace, MBB of W Germany and Aeritalia.

Type: Two-seat multi-role combat aircraft, (S) optimised for strike, (AD) for air defence, (T) dual trainer.

Engines: Two Turbo-Union RB.199 Mk 101 three-shaft augmented turbofans each rated at 1 5,000lb (6800kg) with full afterburner.

Dimensions: Span (25°) 45ft 7iin (13-90m), (65°) 28ft 2Jin (8-60m); length (IDS) 54tt 9iin (16 7m), (ADV) 58ft 9in (17-9m); height 18ft 83ІП (5-7m).

Weights: Empty, about 24,000lb (10,890kg): loaded (clean) about 35,OOOIb (15,880kg): maximum loaded, about 60,000lb (18,150kg). Performance: Maximum speed (clean), at sea level, about 910mph (1465km/h, Mach 1-2). at height, over 1,320mph (2135km/h, Mach 2): service ceiling over 50,000ft (1 5,240m): range, about 1,000 miles (1610km) on internal fuel (high, wings spread), or over 3,000 miles (4830km) in ferry mode with maximum fuel.

Armament: Two 27mm Mauser cannon in lower forward fuselage: seven pylons, two tandem on body and four on the swinging wings, for external load up to 1 8.0001b (81 65kg). ADV has only one MK27 gun, plus four Sky Flash missiles recessed under fuselage and two or four AIM-9L Sidewinder close-range missiles.

History: First flight (prototype) 14 August 1974), (production IDS) July 1979, (ADV) September 1979: service delivery (IDS to trials unit) February 1978, (squadron service, MFG) 1982.

Panavia Tornado

Users: W Germany (Luftwaffe, Marineflieger), Italy, UK (RAF). Development: No combat aircraft in history has ever been planned with such care by so many possible customers. Studies began in 1967, after the French had abandoned the AFVG aircraft in the same class and decided not to participate in collaborative aircraft of this type. Panavia Aircraft was registered on 26 March 1969 in Munich as a three-nation company to manage the MRCA (multi-role combat aircraft) programme, with shares

Panavia TornadoAbove: Two MBB – assembled prototypes: white-painted 04 and camouflaged 07. later joined by other pre-production machines and production IDS.

held in the ratio ВАС 42J per cent, MBB 42J per cent and Aeritalia 15 per cent. In September 1969, after intense competition with the United States, the RB.1 99 was selected as the engine and a month later Turbo-Union was formed as the engine-management company with shares held in the ratio Rolls-Royce 40 per cent. MTU 40 per cent and Fiat 20 per cent. Thanks to careful planning the Tornado programme has since demonstrated that it is possible for several nations to work together to create a modern military aircraft which promises to exceed all possible rivals in mission effectiveness, versatility and low cost, having already demonstrated better mission capability than the latest competing types designed specifically for that mission. Its design missions are: close air support/battlefield interdiction: long-range interdiction/strike: naval strike: air superiority: air defence/ interception; reconnaissance; training. At one time it was planned that the three nations should develop slightly different versions with either one or two seats and dry or wet wings, but all basic aircraft now in production are identical, with two seats and sealed integral-tank wings. From stem to stern the Tornado is totally modern — a fact which its many competitors have sought to counter by claiming it to be "complicated” or "expensive".

In fact it is not possible to fly the required missions without carrying the equipment, and the fly-away price of £3-9 million (in September 1974 sterling) is by a very wide margin cheaper than any comparable aircraft. The only aircraft that bears comparison with MRCA is the larger F-14, which cannot meet the MRCA requirements in the attack and reconnaissance roles, and is officially doubted as having the capability – in the European environ­ment — to fly the interception missions of the Tornado ADV. Other combat aircraft with a single seat and non-swinging wing are grossly deficient in all ►

Panavia TornadoPanavia Tornado
Below: Prototype 02, assembled in Britain in 1974, with ‘tri-national’ markings, original tail/body fairing and camera on the front of the passive-ECM fairing.

Panavia Tornado

Nosing in over its home airfield – Warton, on the north shore of the Ribble estuary— the first Tornado F.2 interceptor gives a hint of its outstanding capabilities. Two engines (of amazing compactness and fuel-economy), two crew, a new advanced – technology radar, swing wings, extra fuel (in a longer fuselage), the world’s most modern sensors and cockpit displays, and Skyflash and (not fitted here) AIM-9L missiles form an unequalled combination.

Panavia Tornado

Panavia Tornado
roles except close-range air combat, a specialised mission for which the common version of Tornado is not intended (though its performance in this role is considerably better than a Mirage III, F-5 or F-4).

The basic Tornado has highly compact and efficient engines of extremely advanced design, with automatically scheduled inlets and nozzles. Flight control is by large tailerons, augmented at low sweep angles by wing spoilers; the system is fully digital and signalled by quad fly-by-wire via an automatic command and stability augmentation system. For high lift at low speeds the wings have full-span slats and double-slotted flaps. Other equipment includes a mapping radar, terrain-following radar and computer, and laser target ranger for extreme accuracy. ECM and other penetration aids are exceptional. Planned production for the three original partners comprises 809 aircraft, of which 385 will be for the RAF, 202 for the Luftwaffe (replacing the F-104G and G91 R), 122 for the Marineflieger (replacing the F-104G) and 100 for the Regia Aeronautica (replacing the F-104G and G91Y) in all roles. The variety of external stores to be carried by MRCA exceeds that for any other aircraft in history, embracing almost every airborne store of three major nations in virtually all combat roles. A propor­tion of aircraft for the first three customers will be dual trainers (the first flew on 5 August 1 975) which retain all the fuel capacity and weapons of single­pilot versions.

Of the RAF total of 385, about 220 will be of the common IDS (inter-

Panavia Tornado
Above: Initial gun-firing trials took place in April 1978 with prototype 06 (the gun had been air-tested in a Lightning).

Left: Another photograph of 06, which was the first to fly stores – separation tests, a task completed in March 1976.

Below: First launch from Tornado of a Kormoran anti-ship guided missile took place from 09 at Decimomannu in July 1978.

Panavia Tornado

diction strike) variant: the other 165 will be of the ADV (air-defence variant) type, planned to replace the Phantom in the air defence of the UK, Commonality with the IDS aircraft is officially put at 80 per cent, differences mainly being confined to the forward fuselage though the wing-root gloves have acute sweep and no Kruger flaps. Engines are unchanged, though higher-thrust versions are available on customer request. The ADV fuselage is longer partly to accommodate Sparrow or Sky Flash missiles nose-to-tail and partly to accommodate much additional fuel. The radar is a completely new Marconi Foxhunter set, with planar scanner by Ferranti inside a more pointed radome which reduces drag. Computer and radar programs are quite different from those of the IDS, though each version has considerable capability in the primary role of the other. Great attention has been paid to the ADV target identification and vision-augmenting subsystems, to make full use of the range of the radar and Sky Flash missile. The radar homing/ warning installation is also new, and quite different from equipment fits used on the IDS version.

In mid-1979 the 16 prototype and pre-production Tornados had flown and been succeeded by the first few production machines (the first two being dual-pilot versions with full operational capability) and the first ADV prototypes. At that time three contracts for production batches had been signed for a total of 314 aircraft for inventory service with the four initial customers.

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.

McDonnell Douglas A-4 Skyhawk

A-4A to A-4S and TA-4 series

Origin: Douglas Aircraft Co. El Segundo (now division of McDonnell Douglas, Long Beach). USA.

Type: Single-seat attack bomber: ТА, dual-control trainer.

Engine: (В, C. L, P. Q. S) one 7,7001b (3493kg) thrust Wright J65-16A single-shaft turbojet (US Sapphire): (E, J) 8.5001b (3856kg) Pratt & Whitney J52-6 two-shaft turbojet: (F, G, H, K) 9.3001b (4218kg) J52-8A: (M, N) 11,2001b (5080kg) J52-408A.

Dimensions: Span 27ft 6in (8 38m): length (A) 39ft 1 in; (B) 39ft 6in (42ft 10Jin over FR probe); (E, F. G. H. K, L, P, Q. S) 40ft 1 iin (12-22m); (M, N) 40ft 3Jin (1227m); (ТА series, excluding probe) 42ft 7^in (1 2-98m); height 1 5ft (4 57m); (early single-seaters 1 5ft 2in, ТА series 1 5ft 3in). Weights: Empty (A) 7.700lb; (E) 9,284lb; (typical modern single-seat, eg M) 10.4651b (4747kg); (TA-4F) 10,602 (4809kg); maximum loaded (A) 17,0001b; (B) 22,0001b; (all others, shipboard) 24,5001b (11,113kg); (land-based) 27.420lb (12,437kg).

Performance: Maximum speed (clean) (B) 676mph; (E) 685mph; (M) 670mph (1078km/h): (TA-4F) 675mph; maximum speed (4.000lb, 1814kg bomb load) (F) 593mph; (M) 645mph; initial climb (F) 5,620ft (1713m)/ min; (M) 8,440ft (2572m)/min; service ceiling (all, clean) about 49,000ft (14,935m); range (clean, or with 4,000lb weapons and max fuel, all late versions) about 920 miles (1480km); maximum range (M) 2,055 miles (3307km).

Armament: Standard on most versions, two 20mm Mk 12 cannon, each with 200 rounds; (FI, N, and optional on other export versions) two 30mm DEFA 553, each with 150 rounds. Pylons under fuselage and wings for total ordnance load of (А, В, C) 5,000lb (2268kg); (E, F, G, FI, K, L. P, Q, S) 8,200lb (3720kg); (M, N) 9,1551b (4153kg).

Flistory: First flight (XA4D-1) 22 June 1954; (A-4A) 14 August 1954, squadron delivery October 1956; (A-4C) August 1959; (A-4E) July 1961; (A-4F) August 1966; (A-4M) April 1970; (A-4N) June 1972; first of ТА series (TA-4E) June 1965.

Users: Argentina, Australia, Israel, Kuwait, New Zealand, Singapore, USA (Air Force in SE Asia, Navy, Marine Corps).

Development: Most expert opinion in the US Navy refused to believe the claim of Ed Fleinemann. chief engineer of what was then Douglas El Segundo, that he could build a jet attack bomber weighing half the 30,0001b

McDonnell Douglas A-4 Skyhawk

Above: Three-view of McDonnell Douglas A-4M Skyhawk II.


specified by the Navy. The first Skyhawk, nicknamed "Heinemann’s Hot Rod", not only flew but gained a world record by flying a 500km circuit at over 695mph. Today, more than 23 years later, greatly developed versions are still in production, setting an unrivalled record for sustained manufacture. These late versions do weigh close to 30.0001b, but only because the basic design has been improved with more powerful engines, increased fuel capacity and much heavier weapon load. The wing was made in a single unit, forming an integral fuel tank and so small it did not need to fold. Hundreds of Skyhawks have served aboard carriers, but in the US involve­ment in SE Asia "The Scooter" (as it was affectionately known) flew many kinds of mission from land bases. In early versions the emphasis was on improving range and load and the addition of all-weather avionics. The F model introduced the dorsal hump containing additional avionics, and the M. the so-called Skyhawk II, marked a major increase in mission effectiveness. Most of the TA-4 trainers closely resembled the corresponding single – seater, but the TA-4J and certain other models have simplified avionics and the TA-4S (Singapore) is a rebuild by Lockheed Aircraft Service with two separate humped cockpits and an integral-tank fuselage. Production of the M for the US Marine Corps continued in production to the 2,960th Skyhawk in February 1 979,

McDonnell Douglas A-4 SkyhawkLeft: In no country has the Skyhawk seen more combat duty, nor suffered such heavy losses, as Israel. This A-4H (H for Hebrew) is typical of the large force which even today equip six combat – ready Heyl Ha’Avir squadrons.

McDonnell Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
Below: Launching a Shrike anti-radar missile from a ‘Camel’ (hump-backed A-4) from US Navy attack squadron VA-55 at the Pacific Missile Range.

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.