Boeing F-15A, F-15B, F-15C, F-15D Air superiority fighter


This mix of F-15Cs (and a single F-15D) are from the two Eagle squadrons of the Kadena AFB-based 18th Wing, one of PACAF’s key units.



he McDonnell Douglas-designed F-15 Eagle is viewed as the world’s best air superiority fighter and interceptor, particularly in the BVR [beyond visual range) air-to-air mission. It was designed for the USAF’s 1966 FX requirement which called for a long-range air superiority fighter to replace the F-4. McDonnell won that competition and flew a proto­type F-15 A on 27 July 1972, followed by a prototype F-15B two-seat trainer in July 1973.

The F-15 has an advanced aerodynamic design with large lightly-loaded wings conferring high agility. It features a sophisticated avionics system and its APG-63 radar introduced a genuine look-down/ shoot-down capability. Radar-guided AIM-7 AAMs form the primary armament, augmented by AIM-9 AAMs. While still in use. the AIM-7 has now been superseded by the far more capable AIM-120 AMRAAM. The USAF is also preparing to introduce the latest AIM-9X off-boresight short-range missile.

The USAF received 360 production F-l5As and 58 F-15Bs from 1976. Most remaining F-15A/Bs now serve with ANG units. The only foreign F-15A/B operator is Israel, which currently operates a force of about 50 A/Bs.

The F-15C, an improved and updated F-15A, was the definitive production version. The two-seat F-15D was a similarly-improved F-15B. First flying on 26 February 1979, the F-15C introduced uprated F100 engines and provision for conformal fuel tanks (CFTs). initial deliveries were made in September
1979 and F-15C/Ds later replaced F-15A/Bs with three wings. The F-15 Multistage lmprovement Program’ was initiated in February 1983, with the first production MSIP F-15C produced in 1985. Improvements included an upgraded central computer, a Programmable Armament Control Set, allowing for advanced versions of the AIM-7, AIM-9, and AIM-120A missiles, and an expanded Tactical Electronic Warfare System that provides improvements to the ALR-56C radar warning receiver and ALQ-135 countermeasure set. The final 4-3 were fitted with a Hughes APG-70 radar.

F-15C/Ds were delivered to the USAF (408/62), Israel (18/9) and Saudi Arabia (98). The equivalent F-15J/DJ is Japan’s principal air superiority fighter. Most of the JASDF’s 213 planned Eagles have been assembled under licence by Mitsubishi.

The USAF is now fitting all its F-15A/Cs with the upgraded APG-63(V)1 radar. The first of these air­craft entered service in April 2001. During 2000, 18 special F-15Cs were fitted with the APG-63(V}2 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar.

A yellow fin stripe marks this F-15C as an aircraft from the 2nd Fighter Squadron, 325th Fighter Wing, based at Tyndall AFB, in Florida.

image43Specification: Boeing F-15C Eagle Rowe rp I ant: two 106.0-Ш (23,830-lb) Pratt & Whitney FI OD-P-220 turbofans Dimensions: span 13.05 m (42 ft 10 in); length 19.43 m |63 ft 9 in); height 5.63 n {18 ft 5/ in) Weights: operating empty 12793 kg 128.600 lb); normal lake-oil 20244 kg (44,630 Ibi; maximum take-off 30844 kg 168.000 lb), with CFTs Performance: maximum level speed more than 2655 kmh (1.650 mph); maximum rate of climb at sea level more [ban 15240 ш 150,000 ft) per minute: service ceiling 18290 m (60.000 ft); combat radius 1967 km (1.222 miles) (interception mission)

Armament: one M61 20-mm cannon with 940 rounds; maximum ordnance 7257 kg [16,000 lb)

ElirOCOpter Gazelle Light multi-purpose helicopter


The British Army Air Corps’ Gazelle AH. Mk 1s continue to give sterling service, operating as scouts for the TOW-armed Lynx attack helicopters



uccessor to The ubiquitous Sud Alouette II, the Aerospatiale (now Eurocopter) Gazelle originated in a mid-1960s project oy Sud Aviation. Despite using many of its predecessor’s dynamic systems (includ:ng the 268-kW (360-shp) Astazou II power – plant), the X.300 design, soon renamed SA 341, achieved increased speed and manoeuvred lity through adoption of a more powerful turboshaft, aerodynamically-shaped cabin and covered tail – boom, and advancec rotor technology. The Gazelle used a rigid main rotor head, glass-fibre blades and the revolutionary ‘fenestron’ or fan-in-fin tail rotor. The SA 340 prototype flew on 12 April 1968 with non-standard conventional rotors. The revised SA 341 Gazelle incorporated the new rotor technology, and introduced a longer cabin, larger tail surfaces and a 440-kW (590-shp) Astazou III.

Six versions were launched initially: SA 341B (British Army Gazelle AH. Mk 1>, SA 3410 (Royal Navy HT. Mk 2 trainer); SA 341D (RAF HT. Mk 3 trainer); SA 341E (RAF HCC. Mk 4 VIP transport} – all with the Astazou INN: SA 341F (French army – ALAT) with Astazou NIC; and military export SA 341 FI. In the UK, Westland built 294 Gazelles, including 212 AH. Mk is. Generally unarmed, they carried rockets during the 1982 Faiklands War,
wh le nearly 70 were fitted with target-finding magnryirg sights for missi e-armed Lynxes, during the late 1980s. Of 170 SA 341 Fs. ALAT converted 40 to carry four HOT ATGMs as SA 341Мз anc 62 with a GIAT M621 20-mm cannor and SFOM 80 sight as the SA 34lF/Canon. Others have acquired an Athos scouting sight.

Powered by a 640-kW (858-shp) Astazou XIVH, the SA 342 replaced the SA 341 Foreign exports began with the military SA 342K, the latter soon replaced by SA 342Ls with an improved fenestron The ALAT equivalent is designated SA 342M and over 200 have been deliverec since 1980, typically armed with four HOT missiles arc fitted with an M397 sight.

During the 1991 Gulf War, 30 i-rench SA 342Ms were converted to SA 342M/Celtic standard, fitted with two Mistral air-to-air missiles and a SFOM 80 sight. This interim model has been replaced ny the definitive SA342ML1/ATAM ant-helicopter model This version is armed with four Mistrals ano a T2000 sight, and 36 Gazelles have been thus converted. The ALAT is also upgrading 70 of its at:ack-configured AS 342Ms to AS 342M1 Viviane standard, through the addition of the Viviane thermal – imaging sight, with a laser rangefinder.

Подпись: French army (ALAT) Gazettes have always operated in the armed rote. This SA 342M is seen launching a HOT wire-guided anti-tank missile. Specification: Eurocopter SA 341F Gazelle Powerplant: one 440-kW (590-hp) Turbomfica Astazou IMA

Dimensions: шзіп rotor diameter 10.50 m 134 ft 54 in); engtli overs!. rotor turning 11.97 n I39 fl 3 in) and fuselage 9.53 m (31 ft 3 in}: height overall 3.18 m (10 ft э25 in Weights: empty 920 kg (2,928 lb}: maximum take-off 1800 <g (3,968 lb)

Performance: maximum cruising speed 264 krrh [134 mph); maximum rate of climb at sea level 540 m (1,770 ft) per minute, service ceiling 5030 rri (16,405 It), hovering ceiling 2650 m (9.350 It) iCit: range 670 krr [416 mi es| Armament: maximum payload 700 kg (1,540 lb)

McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom миш-гоіе combat aircraft


The first upgraded Peace Icarus F-4E for Greece made its maiden flight on 28 April 1999. The bulk of the actual upgrade is being handled by HAI.



he McDonnell F-4 Phantom was originally designed as e shipboard interceptor for the USN and USMC. The prototype (XF4H-1) first flew on 27 May 1958. The first production version was The F-4B None of the naval versions remain in jse as fighters and even the handful operated by test agenc:es have now been_retired. saving only QF-4INI/S drones in service. I he USAF’s initial F-4C variant was followed by the F-4D optimised for air-to-ground operations. All US F-4C/Ds have been retired, but the model remains active n Iran end Sooth Korea.

The definitive F-4E for the USAF first flew in June 1967, and introduced a 20-miri cannon fitted under the nose. F-4Es remains in service with Egypt, Greece, Iran, Israel, South Korea and Turkey. The type has been withdrawn from US service and many have been converted to QF-4E target drones.

The F-4G ‘Wild Weasel’ anti-radar variant resulted from the conversion of 116 F-4E airframes. Deleting the integral cannon and adding an APFi-38 RHAWS. They were the last US Phantoms to see active service, in the 1991 Gulf War. The survivors have been converted to QF-4G drores.

Five irso’ Pnantom operators have upgraded their surviving aircraft, extending airframe ives and adding modern radar, improved avionics and self- defence systems. In the mid-1980s Israeli launched the Kurnass 2000 upgrade, which adds a completely new mission avionics package to ts
remaining F-4Es and RF-4E/RF-4E(S) Oref (raven) reconnaissance aircraft. Israel is now upgrading Turkish F-4Es to Phantom 2000 standard with EL/IV1-2032 multi-mode radars, a digita cockoit anc enhanced weapons capability.

The Luftwaffe’s F-4F ICE (Improved Combat Efficiency) upgrade added the APG-65 radar and AMRAAM capability to about 150 aircraft. DASA is also upgrading 39 Greek F-4Es to a similar level, under the Peace Icarus programme. Japan operates about 90 upgraded F-4EJ Kais, with APG-66 ‘adars, expanded weapons capability and updated avionics.

The reconnaissance-configured RF-4Cand RF-4E have a modified nose housing ootical cameras, e. ectronic equipment,. IR sensors and a mapping/ terrain avoidance radar. RF-4Es remain active with Greece, Iran, Turkey and Israel, while Spain operates modernised RF-4Cs. Israel’s armed RF-4Es are equipped with ndigenous reconnaissance and avionics equipment and have fixed refuelling probes. Japan operates 14 UQgraded RF-4EJ Kais with new radars and modernised recce systems.

Подпись:Specification: McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom II

Powerplant: two r9.82-klN (17,900-lb) General Electric J79-GET7A afterburning turbojets Dimensions: wing span 11.71 m (38 ft b n), length 19.70 n (03 ft); height 5.02 mfl6 ft 5/ in) Weights: basic empty 13757 kg I33.328 ib); combat take-off 18818 kg (41,487 lb): maximum take-off 28C30 kc (51,795 lb) Performance: maximum level speed 2393 kmh (1,485 mpn), maximum rate of climb a: sea level 18715 m (31,400 ft) per minute: service ceiling 18Э75 in [62,250 ft); area interception combat radius 1266 km (786 miles)

Armament: one V151 20-mrr cannon with 640 rounds, maximum ordnance 7253 <п 116.0DCI lb!

Boeing F-15E, F-151 Strike Eagle


The F-15E is arguably the best all-round combat aircraft in the world today as it combines the fighter genes of the F-15C with a precision attack capability.



he F-15 was originally intended as dual-role air­craft, incorporating ат-to-ground capability and wired for the carriage of air-to-ground ordnance, This ground attack role was abandoned in 1975, but later resurrected in 19R2, when the second TF-15A was modified as the privately-developed ‘Strike Eagle’ It was conceived as a replacement for the F-111. Development of the the resulting F-15E began in February 1984 and the first production air­craft made its maiden flight on 11 Decemoer 1986, The F-15E’s primary mission is air-to-ground strike, for which it carries a wide range of weapons on two underwing pylons, underfuselage pylons and 12 bomb racks mounted directly on the CFTs. It introduces redesigned controls, a wide field of vision HUD, and three multi-purpose CRTs displaying navigation, weapons delivery and systems operations, The rear-cockpit WSO employs four multi-purpose CRT terminals for radar, weapon selection and monitoring of enemy tracking systems. The WSO also operates an AN/APG-70 synthetic aperture radar and LANTIRN navigation and targeting pods. The navigation pod incorporates its own TFR, which can be linked to the aircraft’s flight control system to allow automatic coupled terrain following flight. The targeting pod allows the aircraft to self-desig­
nate LGBs. The F-15E’s original F100-PW-220 turbofans were soon replaced by P&W’s F100-PW – 229 engine under the Improved Performance Engine competitive programme,

The F-15E has been exported to Israel as the F-151 Ra’am, and to Egypt as the F-15S Israel has acquired 25 F-15ls and the first two aircraft were delivered in January 1998. Israel’s F-15ls are identi­cal to USAF F-15Es, but the Saudi F-15S aircraft have been downgraded, with some air-to-air and air-to-ground capabilities deleted. The first of 72 F-15Ss made its maiden flight on 19 June 1995. Boeing has offered another version of the the F-15Er the F-15K, to South Korea.

The USAF took delivery of 209 F-15Fs between 1987 and 1994, A follow-o batch of 17 aircraft was delivered in 2000, bringing that total up to 226 aircraft. These F-15Es were equipped with new advanced data processors, a new digital mapping system, provisions for an upgraded Programmable Armament Control System, expanded smart weapons carriage capability (to include JDAM), and an embedded Global Positioning Sysiem/lnertial Navigation System for increased accuracy. The USAF plans to upgrade all its Strike Eagles to this standard.

Подпись: The F-15E is a long-range deep strike aircraft, with both conventional and nuclear weapons capability. This example is from the Lakenheath-based 43Ih FW. Specification: Boeing F-15E Eagle Powerplant: wo 129.45-kN (29.100-lb)

Pratt & Whitney F’OO-PW-229 turbofans Dimensions: wing span 13.05 m(42 ft 10 in); length 19.43 m (63 ft 9 in); height 5.63 m (18 ft 5.5 in)

Weights: operating empty 14379 kg (3′ ,700 lb); maximum take-off 36741 kg (81.000 lb) Performance: maximum evel speed ‘clean’ at high altitude more :han 2655 kmh (1.550 mph); maximum rate of climb at sea level more than 15240 m (50,000 ft) Der minute; combat radius 61270 km (790 miles)

Armament: one M61A1 20-mm cannon with 940 rounds; maximum ordnance load of 11113 kg (24.500 lb)

Eurocopter Puma, Super Puma, Cougar Transport helicopter


The reliable and well-proven Puma HC. Mk 1 (built by Westland) is the mainstay of the RAF’s Support Helicopter Force.



he Aerospatiale (now Eurocopter} Puma is a medium-lift transport helicopter, designed to a French army specification, 2nd is in service with air arms around the globe, The basic Puma which first flew in April 1965 carries 15 fully-equipped troops or 2 tonnes of internal cargo (2.5 tonnes under­slung). Inftia military versions comprised; SA 330B for the ALAT (Aviation Legere de I’Armee de Terre), SA 330C for military export and SA 330E (RAF Puma HC. Mk 1) Availability of uprated Turmo IVC engines in 1974 better equipped the Puma for ‘hot – and-high’ operations and the French air force oought~37 of the resulting military SA 330H var ant as SA 330Bas. Glass-f’bre mtors became available n 1977, uprating the H to SA 330L standard.

In 1978 Aerospatiale introduced the SA 332 Super Puma, re-engined with pa r of more powerful Tumomeca Makila 1A turboshafts. The initial тііітагу version, the AS 332B. was no larger than the orig nal Purr, a, but n 1979 1he AS 332M (military) introduced a 76-cm (30-in) increase in cabin length.

In the ate 1980s, the basic military Super Puma was split along two lines, the AS 332 Ml Super Puma Mk I and the AS 332M2 Super Puma Mk II he M.< was an AS 332M (stretched AS 332B) fitted with the Makila 1A1 engines. The Mk II was stretched again, by a further 0.76 m (2 ft 6 in). In 1990, the military line was reorganised once more, as the AS 532 Cougar Versions included the AS 532UC (formerly AS 332B1), a short-fuse, age
transport; AS 532UL (formerly AS 332M11 basic Transport; AS 532AC, armed version of the AS 532UC; AS 532AL, armed version of the AS 532UL. A soecialised naval version of the long-fuselage AS 332F1 was CSveloped as the AS 532SC, with the Royal Saudi Navy as its launch customer. This version could be armed with Exocet anti-ship missiles. French Army Aviation has developed a version of the AS 532UL to carry its Horizon battlefield surveillance radar.

The AS 532U2 (formerly AS 322M2) was the stretched, up-engined military transport version, while the AS 532A2 Cougar Mk II was its armed derivative. The AS 532A2 s tne basic airfranve used for the French air force’s new RESCO Combat Search and Rescue helicopter,

The firal (basic) Cougar variant was developed in 1997. This was tne AS 532UB Cougar 100, a sim­plified ‘low cost’ basic transport version witnout the externa! sponsons, revised main undercarriage struts erd a new systems fit. An armed version was designated the AS 532AB

Подпись: The Royal Saudi Navy is a customer for the armed AS 532A2 Cougar Mk //, which is currently the ultimate evolution of the Puma family. Specification; Eurocopter AS 532A2 Cougar Powerplant two 1235-kW 11,657 hp) ТигЬотбоа Makila 1A2 turoosliafts Dimensions: main rotor diameter 16.20 m (53 ft 1У in); length overall, rotors turning ‘9.5 in (03 It V in) and fuselage ‘5.79 m (55 ft A in); height overall 4.97 n П 0 ft 4 in) Weights: empty 5П12 kg |11,05(1 lh); maximum take-off 11340 kg (25,Out) lb| Performance: тахітіїїт cruising speed 277 kmh (172 mph). maximum rate of climb at sea level 441 m (1,447 ft) ner minute; service cei ing 5’ 80 m {17,090 ft); hovering celling 2699 m (8.320 fll in ground effect and 1=00 n (B,24G ft| nut nf ground efffic:; mnge 926 km (575 mites)

McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender


The KC-10A Extender is a more capable tanker/transport than the Boeing KC-135, but it is available in far fewer numbers.



he McDonnell Douglas KC-10A Extender strategic tanker/transport is based or tne DC-10 Series 3QCF commercial fre ghter/airliner and was developed to satisfy the USAF’s ATCA (Advancec Tanker Cargo Aircraft) requirement. An in tial oatch of 16 aircraft was first ordered in 1977 and procure­ment was later increased to 60 aircaft. The first Extender made its maiden flight on 12 July 1980 and deliveries to SAC took place between March 1981’and November 1988.

Changes from the commercial DC-10 standard include provision of an IFR receptacle above the cockpit, an improved cargo handling system and some military avionics. A McDonnell Douglas Advanced Aerial Refuelling Boom (AARB) is fitted beneath the aft fuselage. The digital FBW control boom can transfer fuel at a rate of 5678 litres (1,249 Imp gal) per minute. The KC-10 is also fitted with a hose and reel unit :n the starboard aft fuse­lage and can thus refuel Navy and USMC aircraft during the same mission. This is a unique capability and one that makes it much more versatile than the KC-135. More recently, wing-mounted HDU pods have been fitted to all KC-10s so that three receiver aircraft may be refuelled simultaneously with this very capable system.

The KC-10’s substantial fuei-off/oad and cargo­carrying ability makes it well suited to supporting fighter deployments over long distances.

The wring ano fuselage fuel cells contain approxr mate y 68610 itres (15,092 Imp gal) and are nter – connected with tne aircraft’s own basic fuel system. The KC-10 is aole to transfer 90/18 kg (200,000 lb) of fuel to a receiver 3540 km (2,200 miles) from its home base and return to base. For conventional strategic transport missions the KC-10 has a port-side cargo door and carries standard USAF pallets, bulk cargo or wheeled vehicles. Dual tanker/transport missions include accompanying deploying fighters.

Two ex-Martinair DC-10-30CFs were procured by the Netherlands for conversion by McDonnell Douglas to tanker configuration, and entered service with the KLU in 1995 as the KDC-10. Unlike the KC-10 refuelling operator who guides the refu­elling through an optical window, the KDC-10 ‘Boomer’ uses a Three camera TV system to give a ‘three dimensional’ view. The Dutch tankers have been used to support F-16 deployments to Red Flag’ and other exercises in the US

the USAF now has a fleet of 59 KC-10s after one was destroyed in an accident on the ground. All active aircraft are operated by Air Mobility Command, based principally at McGuire AFR (305th AMW) and Travis AFB (60th AMW).


Specification: McDonnell Douglas KC-10A Extender

Powerplant; tiree 233.53-kN (52,50C-lh| General Electric CF6-50C2 turbofans Dimensions: wing span £7 34 m (155 It 4 in), length 55.35 m (181 ft 7 in); heigh: 17.70 m (58 ft 1 in)

Weights: operating empty 103331 kg 1240.065 lb): maximum take-off 267620 kg 1590,000 lb) maximum payload 73843 kg (163,403 lb) of cargo

Performance: maximum level speed 382 Sctnh (610 mph). maximum cruising speed 908 kmb (564 mph); maximum rate ol climb at sea level 884 m 12,900 ft) per minute: maximum range with maximum cargo 7032 km (4.370 miles)


Boeing F/A-18A, В, C, D Hornet


This VFA-82 F/A-18C is carrying a toad of eight 1,000-lb Mk 83 general purpose bombs, plus two A/M-7 Sparrow and two АІМ-9 Sidewinder A AMs.



he Hornet was a more sophisticated navalised derivative of the Northrop YF-17, which was developed in its final form in partnership with McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing). The first of 11 pre-production aircraft made the Hornet’s maiden flight on 18 November 1978 and production followed of 371 F/A-18As. A two-seater Hornet version was initially designated TF-18A, before becoming the F/A-18B Basically identical to the F/A-18A, provision of a second seat m tandem was accomplished at a six per cent cut in fuel capacity.

The F/A-18 was revolutionary for introducing a genuinely multi-ro! e capability and the first truly modern fighter cockpit. The pilot has three multi­function displays and true HOTAS controls, which can switch easily from the air-to-ground role to air-to-air or defence suppression duties. The F/A-1 8’s dogfighting capability is remarkable, advanced wing design with large slotted LERXcs conferring excellent nigh-Alpha capability and turn performance Similarly, the multi-mode APG-65 radar is as effective at putting bombs with high accuracy on target as it is at detecting and engaging multiple aifborne targets.

The improved F/A-18C was first flown in September 1986 An expanded weapons capability introduced the AIM-120 AMRAAM, imaging IR AGM-65 missiles end other weapons. The F/A-18C also features an avionics upgrade with new AN/ALR-67 RHAWS, provision for the AN/ALQ-165
airborne self-pro:ection jammer (ASPJ) and improvements to mission computer equipment. After 137 baselfro F/A-18CS had beer delivered, production switched to a night-attack capable version, featuring compatibility with Cat’s Eyes PNVGs, a Hughes AN/AAR-50 TINS (Thermal Imaging Navigation Set) pod, externally-carried AN/AAS-38 targeting FLIP pod and colour MFDs.

The two-seat F/A-18D trainer is broadly similar to the single-seat F/A-18C. However, the US Marine Corps has deveioped a sophisticated two crew combat-capable version, the Night Attack F/A-18D (originally known as the F/A-18D + J. F/A-18D$ can also be fitted with the ATARS recon­naissance system, fitted in a redesigned nose.

F/A-18A/Bs were exported to Australia (57/18 AF-18A/BS), Canada (98/40 CF-188A/Bs) and Spain (60/12). F/A-18C/Ds have been sold to Finland (57/7), Kuwait (32/8) and Switzerland (26/8). The last of 1,479 first-generation Hornets was delivered in late 2000, and production has now moved on to the larger, more advanced F/A-18E/F Super Hornet,

A ‘aggressor’ camouflage scheme marks this Hornet as an aircraft from the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, the unit now responsible for ‘Topgun’.

image47Specification: Boeing F/A-18C Hornet Powerplant: two 73.73-kN (17.700-lbl General Electric MU’! GE-402 lurbofans Dimensions: wing span 12.Зі n |40 fl 5 in) with :ip-mcunted AAMs, lencth 17.07 m (55 ft): he ght 4.66 m (15 It Sin)

Weights: empty ‘CFfab kg (23,050 lb), normal ’.axe-oil 16652 kg (36.710 ib) fighter mission, or 23541 kg (51,900 lb) attack mission Performance: maximum level speed nrore than 191bkmh(1,’OOmph); maximum rate Ы climb at sea level 13715 m (45,000 ftl per minute, combat radius over 740 km (460 miles) Armament: one M61A1 20-mm cannon with 570 rounds, maximum ordnance load 7031 kg (15.5001b)


Under current plans the F/A-18E will replace the US Navy’s early-nwdel Hornets, while the two-seat F/A-18E/F will replace the F-14 Tomcat.


Подпись: Specification: Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Powcrplant: two 97.9 kN (22,000-lb) General Electric F414GE-400 afterburning lurbofans Dimensions: wing span 13.62 m (44 ft 8/ inf with tip-mounted AAMs; length 18.31 m [SDft Min); height4.88m{16 ft) Weights: emery 13.197 kg (29,574 lb); normal take off 29927 kg (66.000 lb), attack mission Performance: maximum level speed Iv'ach 1.8; combat ceiling 15243 rr (50,000 III; maximum combat radius 760 km (477 miles) Armament: one №61 Ai 20-mm cannon with 570 rounds, maximum ordnance load 8051 kg (17,750 lb)

When the US Navy was forced to cancel the General Dynamics A-12 long-range, stealthy attack aircraft, :t still faced with the problem of how to replace its A-6 Intruders end early-mode* F/A-18 Hornets. The chosen solution, was to develop an improved version of the Hornet, albeit one that would be suostanrially different to existing aircraft. This Super Hornet was first proposed in 1991 and the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) contract was officially awarded to McDonnel Doug ss in Jjne 1992. Sir. cle-sear Super Hornets were given the designation F/A-18E, while the two-seat version became the F/A-18F

The Super Hornet is based on the basic F/A-18C airframe, but is longer and heaver with ncreasec wing a^es, larger tai surfaces and extended leading – edge extensions. Many elements, such as the eng ne intakes, have been redesigned to make the aircraft stealthier. The Super Hornet can carry more fuel than earlier Hornets, ard has a mucn higher landing weight limit. The final production standard will be fitted with the AESA radar and a very advanced mission computer fit and digital cockpit.

The Super Hornet EMD contract covered seven prototypes, five F/A-18Es and two F/A-18Fs. The first Super Hornet (an E) made its maiden flight on

The F/A-18E/F has a reprofiled, deeper wing with larger control surfaces than the F/A-18C/D, and a distinctive ‘dogtooth’ on the wing’s leading-edge.

29 November 1995. On H February 1996 the first aircraft arrived at the Naval Air Warfare Centre, Patuxent River, for a three-year test programme. The fifth, and final EMD prototype made its maiden flight or 11 October 1996. Carrier trials began in mid-1996 and low-rate in ifaI production was approved in March 1997 (the same year that Boeing took over tne programme from McDonnell Douglas). By 12 January 1999 the Super Hornet test fleet nac flown 4,000 hours.

Durirg flight tests the F/A-18E/F encountered a number of unexpected problems, and suffered much criticism for poor handling and a lack of performance. With the Joint Strike Fighter facing an uncertain future, the Super Hornet is the only next-generation fighter immediately availaole to the US Navy, and so the rectification of any prob­lems with the aircraft was of tne highest priority.

Ir November 1999 tne F/A-18E/F passed its critics Ooeratioral Evaluation and achieved its initial oper­ating capability in 2000. The first active squadron is VFA-122, which was establ shea at NAS Lem,00re, in January 1999. The JS Navy hopes to acquire /8b Super Hornets. Boeing is now offering a SEAD version of the F/A-18E/F to replace the EA-6B Prowler, dubbed the F/A-18C2W or the ‘Growler’.

Подпись: The T-45C is the latest version of the Goshawk. It is fitted with the ‘Cockpit 21' system, adding two new monochrome multi-function displays for each pilot.

At the beginning of the 1980s the US Navy launched its VTXTS requirement, to find a replacement for its TA-4J and T-2C carrier-capable trainers. In November 1981, a modified version of the British Aerospace (now BAE SYSTEMS) Hawk was chosen, ■following a fierce competition. This aircraft was selected by the US Navy as its T45TS (Training System), with McDonnell Douglas {now Boeing) becoming the prime contractor. The principal sub-contractor was British Aerospace, which built the wings, centre and rear fjselaae, fin, tailplane, windscreen, canopy and flying controls. As first proposed there were to be two vanants, a ‘wet’ T-45A fitted ‘or carr’er operations and a ‘dry’ T-45B restricted to lane-based training. Life extension of the T-2 and TA-4J led to a decision to acquire 300 T~45As only (later reduced to 187).

In order to tailor the basic Hawk airframe to meet stringent US Navy requirements ‘or carrier operations, the aircraft has a strengthened twin nosegear, compatible with its ship’s steam catapu ts. The main gear is redesigned, with longer stroke oleos. Fir neight and tailplane span are increased end a single ventral fin is added. The ventral airbrake is replaced by two fuselage side-mounted units. The T-45 has new full-span leading-edge sets and is fitted with an arrester hook, US Navy standard cockpit instrumentation and radios, Martin-Baker Mk 14 NACES ejection seats and a rev;sed fuel system.

The T-45A was given the name Goshawk and work on two prototypes began in February 1986. The first T-45 made its maiden flight on 16 April 1988 and an aircraft made its first carrier landing (aboard the USS John F. Kennedy! on 4 December 1991. The first squadron to be equioped with T-45As was VT-21, part of Training Wing 2, based at NAS Kingsville, Texas. This unit was declared ope’ational in October 1993, Full-rate T-45A produc­tion was authorised in 1995.

In 1994 a new advanced ‘glass’ cockpit fit, called ‘Cockpit 21’, was flown in a deve. opment aircraft ‘or the first time. This makes the T-45 more compatible with the curent generation of Navy combat aircraft and it s olanned to be refitted to al earlier aircraft. Beginning in 1997 the new digital cockpit systems were fitted to all new-built і-45s (from the 87th example onwards) and these upgraded aircraft have been designated T-45Cs.

-45Cs can be identified by the GPS antenna fitted to their spines. T-45C de iveries are scheduled to continue until 2005.

Подпись: Specification: Boeing T-45C Goshawk Powerplant: oie 26.00 kN (5.345 !t> St) Ra Is- ПоусеЯигЬотёсэ F405-RP.-4QI tutbofan Dimensions: wing span Э.ЗЭ in ІЗС ft 9K in!: lenglfi 11.95 m (39 It 4 in) including probe: height 4.26 m (14 ft I Weights: emoty 4450 kg 19,8.14 lh|; maximum take-off 6387 kg (14,081 lb) Performance: maximum level speed 'clean' at 2440 m (8.000 ft) 1006 kirn (G25 mph); maximum rate of cl:rb at sea level 2440 m (8,000 ft* per minute: service ceiling 12200rn |40,COO ft); take-ad distance to 15 m {50 ft) 1100 m ІЗ.бЮШ at maximum take-off weight; ferry range on internal luei 1532 km {952 miles)

The T-45A is based on the Hawk Mk 60, but a number of important changes have been made for its demanding carrier training role,

The US Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme is an ambitious effort to develop a replacement for an entire generation of USAF, US Navy and US Marine Corps aircraft using one common ‘stealthy’ airframe. The JSF is earmarked to replace the F-16, F/A-18, AV-8B and other types in the US ‘nventory, and will also be exportable to customers world wide. The JSF has its roots in a number of studies for advanced, affordable combat aircraft that were launched in the early 1990s. These were merged into the JAST (Joint Advanced Strike Technology) programme in 1995, which later became JSF.

Three contractors – Boeing, Lockheed Martin and McDonnell Douglas – were selected by the US DoD to submit JSF designs. In November 1996 Boeing and Lockheed Martin were selected to build two demonstrator aircraft, essentially JSF prototypes, to conduct a Concept Demonstration Program At the end of this period one single contractor would be chosen to build its winning JSF design. Boeing’s CDP aircraft was given the designation X-32.

While the JSF concept demands a common airframe, there will be different versions for the throe main US users, and two distinct variants of the basic design. The USAF and the US Navy are looking for a conventional take-off and landing
(CTOL) capability, though Navy aircraft will have io be modified for carrier operations. The Marines need aircraft with short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) capability to replace the Harrier, so the USMC’s JSF variant will have to have a modified propulsion system for vertical lift. Britain’s Fleet Air Arm (Royal Navy) has also signed up to acquire the STOVL JSF to replace its Sea Harriers.

Boeing has built two different CDP aircraft. The CTOL X-32A and the STOVL X-32B The X-32A made its maiden flight on 18 September 2000, while the X-32B flew for the first time on 29 March 2001. Boeing’s JSF design is far more unconven­tional than its rival, the Lockheed Martin X-35. and features a one-piece blended wing, with twin all – moving vertical tails and inset rudders. The STOVL version has two directional, vemrai exhaust nozzles. The Х-32’s high wing layout was chosen to aid STOVL performance and the chin-mounted air intake ‘droops’ to allow a greater intake of engine air for STOVL flight and hovering.

Подпись: Specification: Boeing X-32A JSF (CDP) PowerplanU one Pratt & Whitney JSF119-614 turbofan, with two-dimensional cruising поггіе Dimensions: wing span 10.97 m (36 ft); length 13.65 m 1-ОЇ ft 8 in) excluding probe: height 400 m (13 fit in) Weights: maximum take-off 16692 kg 136,800 lb) Performance: maximum level speed over Mach 1.0; Armament; one internal Bk 27 27-mm cannon (Full specification not available)

A decision date on the winning JSF design has been pushed back several tirr. es, but is now planned before the end of 2001. The first operational aircraft are expected to be the Marines’ STOVL variants in 2008, followed by the CTOL aircraft in 2010.

Подпись: The first WAH-64D Longbow Apache was handed over to the UK Army Air Corps in March 2000 and deliveries will continue until 2003.
Hughes’ AH-64A Apache was developed to meet a US Army requirement for an advanced attack helicopter (AAH) suitable for the all-weather day/night anti-armour role. The AH-64 is a two-seat helicopter with armoured structure, advanced crew protection systems, avionics, electro-optics, and weapon-control systems, including the TADS/PNVS (Target Acquisition and Designation System/Pilot’s Wight Vision Sensor). Hughes was bought by McDonnell Douglas in 1984, which became McDonnell Douglas Helicopters 1985. In 1997 McDonnell Douglas was itself taken over by Boeing The YAH-64 prototype first flew on 30 September 1975, The production-standard AH-64A entered US Army Aviation service in April 1986 and the last of 821 AH-64As delivered to the Army was handed over on 30 April 1996. The first export cus­tomer for the AH-64A was Israel, in 1990. Subsequent customers included Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Greece.

In January 1991 Army AH-64As flew the very first mission of Operation Desert Storm, attacking radar positions inside Iraq The lessons learned from Desert Storm fed directly into a new and substantially improved version of the AH-64, the AH-64D, This aircraft is designed to use the Longbow millimetre – wave radar, which significantly increases the Apache’s ability to detect, classify and identify targets at long ranges. AH-64Ds fitted with the Longbow radar (mounted above the main rotor) are known as

AH-64D Longbow Apaches, and are armed with a new version of the Hellfire anti-tank missile, the AGM-114L (or Longbow Hellfire). This radar-guided weapon can be fired from concealed positions and does away with the need to remain in line-of-sight contact demanded by the standard laser-guided Hellfire missile. The first of six AH-64D prototypes flew on 15 April 1992.

The US Army plans to remanufacture 501 AH-64As as Longbow Apaches, Work on the first batch of 232 aircraft began in 1995 and about 170 aircraft had been delivered by mid-2001. A second batch of 269 AH-64Ds will be delivered between 2002 and 2006. The AH-64D has been ordered by the Netherlands (30), Singapore (9) and the UK (67). The Dutch AH-64Ds will not be fitted with the Longbow radar. The UK’s Apaches are being assembled by Westland, as WAH-64Ds. Egypt and Israel are upgrading some of their existing AH-64As to AH 64D standard. The US Army also plans to replace the TADS/PNVS target sight with the next – generation Arrowhead system.

Greece was the first European customer for the Apache, and took delivery of its first AH-64As in June 1995. A total of 20 are now in service.

Boeing F/A-18A, В, C, D Hornet

Specification: Boeing AH-64D Apache Power plant: two 342-kW (1.800-hp) General Electric T700-GE-701C turboshafts Dimensions: main rotor diameter 14.63 m (48 ft); length overall, rotors turning 17.76 m (58 ft 3/ in) and fuselage 14.97 m (49 ft 1.5 in), height overall 4 63 m (15 ft 3.5 inj Weights: empty 5165 kg (11.387 lb), maximum take-off 9525 kg (21,000 lb)

Performance: maximum level speed clean 293 kmh (182 mph); maximum vertical rate of climb at sea level 762 m (2,500 ft) per minute; range 428 km. 300 miles) with internal fuel Armament: one M230 Chain Gun 30-mm cannon with 1.200 rounds, with 2841 – kg (6,263-lb) or ordnance



United States Heavylift tactical transport helicopter


The Royal Netherlands Air Force’s Chinooks are CH-47Ds that have been fitted with the ‘glass’ cockpit systems of the CH-47SD.



he Boeing CH-47 Chinook (originally Boeing Vertol) is the US Army’s standard medium-lift helicopter and utilises Vertol’s proven twin-rotor concept with externally-mounted engines. The first of 350 CH-47As was first flown on 21 September 1961 and the type entered service in August 1962. The subsequent CH-47B (108 built) had uprated engines and increased-diameter rotor blades. The CH-47C introduced greater improvements, including further uprated engines and additional fuel. A total of 270 was built, of which 182 were retrofitted with composite blades and crashworthy fuel systems. CH-47Cs were also sold to Argentina, Australia, Egypt, Greece, Iran, Libya, Morocco. Spain and the UK {RAF designation Chinook HC. Mk 1/1B)

The US Army standardised all its_earlier Chinooks as CH-47Ds, beginning in 1982. The CH-47D is a mix of conversions from all three former variants and some new-build machines. The full programme covers 403 aircraft for Army Aviation, re-engined with T55-L-712 turboshafts (with a greater emer­gency power reserve and greater battle damage resistance), a new NVG-compatible flight deck and triple cargo hooks. The CH-47D can carry up to 55 troops, or a wide variety of loads up to a maximum of 10341 kg (22,798 lb) externally or 6308 kg
(13,907 lb) internally The CH-47D International

Chinook (Model 414) is an export-optimised variant. US Army re-equipment with the CH-47D is now complete, the variant in service with active – duty. National Guard and Reserve units. Foreign operators include Australia, Greece, Korea, the Netherlands, Spain, Thailand, and the UK (Chinook HC. Mk 2/2A). In Japan Kawasaki has built CH-47Ds under licence as the CH-47J and has also developed the improved FLIR and radar-equipped CH-47JA The latest Boeing-built version of the Chinook is the ‘Super D’ or CH-47SD, fitted with a ‘glass’ EFIS cockpit, radar and enlarged fuel tanks {similar to those of the MH-47E). Customers include Singapore and Taiwan.

The US Army’s 25 MH-47E special operations aircraft are used for covert infil/exfil work. They have a fixed IFR probe, NVG-compatible advanced cockpit displays, jam-resistant communications, a terrain-following and mapping radar and AAQ-16 FLIR. Comprehensive defences include missile-, laser – and radar-warning receivers, jammers and chaff/flare dispensers. MH-47Es are armed with M-134 0.30-in mini-guns. The UK is planning to acquire eight similarly-modified versions (based on the CH-47SD) as the Chinook HC. Mk 3

Подпись: In 1990 the RAF decided to upgrade its Chinook HC.Mk 1s to HC.Mk 2 (CH-47D) standard. Following their overhaul by Boeing, deliveries began in 1993. Specification; Boeing CH-47D Chinook Powerplant: two 2237-kW (3,000-tip)

Textron Lycoming T55-L-712 turboshafts Dimensions: rotor diameter, each 18 29 m (SO ft); length, rotors turning 30.14 m (98 ft 1Q/I ml and fuselage 15.54 m [51 ft 0 in); height 5.77 m (18 ft 11 in) to lop of roar rotor head Weights: empty 10151 kg (22,379 lb]; maximum take-off 22579 kg (59.000 lb); maximum payload 10341 kg (22.798 lb) Performance: maximum cruising speed at optimum altitude 256 kmh (159 mph); maximum rate of climb at sea level Б69 m (2.195 ft) per minute; service ceiling 6735 m (22,100 ft); operational radius between 185 and 56 km (115 and 35 miles)



he civil AS 350B Ecureuil (Squirrel) led to the

militarised AS 350L which first Hew in March 1985. Powered by an Arriel ID turboshaft, the AS 350L later became the AS 350L1 when powered by the 732-shp (546-kW) Arriel 1D1 turooshaft. A military version of the twin-engined AS 355 Twin Squirrel, the AS 355M, was developed in 1988/89. France was the primary customer for this version with the air force acquiring 52 aircraft. An export version was dubbed AS 355M2

In January 1990 Aerospatiale (now Eurocopter) renamed The single-engined military variants as the AS 550 Fennec and twin-engined aircraft as the AS 555 Fennec Variants included the AS 550U2 transport, AS 550A2 cannon-armed version, AS 550C2 missile-armed version. AS 550C2 naval utility version, AS 550C2 armed naval version, AS 555UN utility transport; AS 555AN cannon­armed version, AS 555MIM naval utility version, and the AS 555SIM armed naval version. In French service the AS 355AN has been solely gun-armed, usually with the GIAT M621 20-mm cannon The naval version of the AS 555 can be fitted with an RDR-1500 search radar under the nose and a Magnetic Anomaly Detector under the tailboom. The AS 555 can be armed with Two torpedoes.

The single-engined AS 550A2 can be armed with a M621 20-mm cannon pod, and is equipped with the ESCO HeiiTOW sighting system above the roof.

In 1990 the Danish army acquired 12 combat – capaoie AS 550C2s, amred with the ESCO HeliTOW system, This comprises a roof-mounted sight and four TOW missiles in twin pods on each pylon. A similar system is in service in Singapore.

A specialist training version of the civil-standard AS 350B2, the AS 350BB, was developed for the UK’s Defence Helicopter Flying School. The School operates two versions of the aircraft, 26 Squirrel HT. Mk 1s and 12 NVG-capable Squirrel HT. Mk 2s

In Brazil Helibras has built over 300 Squirrels under licence as the Esquilo. The air force operates 16 CFI-50 transports (AS 550U2), 20 TH-50 trainers with a secondary fire-fighting role (AS 550U2), 11 armed CH-55s (AS 555U2) and two VIP-dedicated VH-55s (AS 355F2). The navy operates 16 UH-12s (AS 550BA) and nine UH-12Bs (AS 355F2), The Army flies a mix of 36 HA-ls (AS 550A2s). The Paraguayan air force and navy operate four AS 3508 Esquilos.

In 1996 China’s Change Aircraft Industries Corporation unveiled its Z-11 helicopter, which is clearly a direct copy of the AS 350B. The Z-11 is certified in civil and military versions, and is now in service with the People’s Liberation Army. Change claims that the Z-11 first flew in 1994 but few facts are known about its development.

image105Specification: Eurocopter AS 555 Fennec Powerplant: two 302-kW (406-hp) Turbomeca TM 319 Arrius 1A turboshafts Dimensions: main ^otor siameier 10.69 m (35ft Xin): fuselage length 10.93 m (35 ft Iff/ini; height overall 3.34 m (‘Oft У 7. in)

Weights: basic empty 1436 kg (3,166 ib);

: maximum take-off 2600 kg (5,732 lb) Performance: maximum cruising speed at optimum altitude 222 kmh (138 mph); service ceiling 3800 m 112.460 ft): maximum rate of climb at sea level more than 384 m (1.250 It) per minute: range 722 km (448 miles) Armament optional cannon, machine gun pods, one homing torpedo

MD Helicopters MD 500, MD900


The MD530MG Defender is based on the civil MD530T model and is the latest in a long-line of military MD 500 variants.



ughes’ YH0-6 design was developed to moot s I960 US Army requirement for a light observation helicopter. The production OH-6A Cayuse entered service in 1965 and was widely used in Vietnam. The civilian Hughes 500 introduced an uprated engine, increased fuel and a revised interior, The first military variant was the Model 500M Defender The 50DM/ASW has a MAD ‘bird’ ana can carry torpedoes. The civilian 500D variant intro­duced a slow-turning five-bladed rotor and a T tail. It was built undei licence in Japan as the OH-6D The military Model 500MD Defender had armour protection and IR exhaust suppressors. Variants have been developed tor ASW, anti-tank and scout duties. The Model 500E introduced a revised, pointed nose, more spacious interior and an Allison 250 C20B engine. Dedicated military models are designated 500MG Defender. The up – engined 530MG Defender had options for a mast – mounted TOW sight, FUR, RHAW gear, IFF and a laser rangefinder, and can be armed with TOW 2 missiles, 2.75 in rockets and Stinger AAMs The US Army has developed a family of special- missions variants called the ‘Little Birds’, which are operated by the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. Current service variants include the FLIR-equipped MH-6H special forces insertion aircraft, and the armed AH-6G Equivalent aircraft fitted with the NOTAR (NO ТАІІ Rotor) system are designated MH-6J and AH-6J

In the rr d-1990s South Korea developed the licence-built armeo MD520MK Black Tiger The

assembly work was undertaken by the engineering departmental Korean Air Lines.

Hughes helicopters was acquired by McDonnell Douglas in 1984. When Boeing merged with McDonnell Douglas in 1997, McDonnell Douglas Helicopters was sold off, and acquired by a Dutch company to become MD Helicopters. MD Helicopters continues to offer military variants of the MD 530MG model, but is also working on armed versions of the MD 900 Explorer

The Explorer, which first flew in December 1992, is much larger and more advanced than the Model 500/520 and uses the NOTAR anti-torque system instead of a conventional tail rotor A proposed combat-capable version was announced in 1995, designated the Combat Explorer, but in 2000 MD Helicopters developed a simplified gun/rocket package to equip the Explorers already in service with the Mexican navy. The Explorer was also evaluated by the US Coast Guard.

Подпись: Mexico became the fist customer for a militarised MD 900 Explorer and can arm its aircraft with 70-mm rockets and 0.50-in machine guns, Specification: MD Helicopters Model 500 Powerplanfcone 236-<W (317-hp) Allison 250-C18A turbnshafl

Dimensions: mail rotor diameter 8.03 m (26 fl 4 in); length overall, rotors turring 3.24 m (30 ft Ш in); height 7.48 tn (8 ft Un Weights: empty 493 kg (1,038 lb}: max тілі take-off 1361 kg (3.003 lb)

Performance: maximum level sueed 244 kmh (152 moh|; maximum rate of climb at sea level 518 m (700 ft) per minute; service ceiling 4390 m (14,400 ft), hovering ceiling 2500 m 18,200 ft) IGE. 1615 m 15,300 ft) 0GE: rarge 505 km 1307 miles)

Armament two external hardpoints for gun pods, rockets or TOW missiles

Soviet Union (Russia) Lightweight fighter


This Russian MiG-21 is carrying the R-27 (AA-10 ‘Alamo’) and R-72 (AA-11 ‘Archer’) air-to-air missiles offered for the upgraded MiG-21-93.



he original MiG-21 was developed as a light.

high performance, short-range interceptor. Early MiG-21F-13 ‘Fishbed-Cs’ were armed with one NR-30 cannon, and two AA-2 ‘Atoll’ AAMs, while the MiG-2lP ‘Fishbed-D’ dispensed with the cannon armament altogether, but introduced R1L radar, The R-11 F2-300-engined MiG-21PF was similar, although late MiG-21PF ‘Fishbed-Es’ intro­duced a broader-chord fin_and provision for an external GP9 cannon pod. The R-1 lF-300-engmed MiG-21FL was for export, The MiG-21PFS and MiG-21PFM had two-piece canopies, blown SPS flaps and the R-11F2S-300 engine.

All later variants had blown flaps, two-piece canopies, broad-chord tailfins and four pylons. The MiG-21 PFM-based reconnaissance MiG-21R had an enlarged dorsal fairing and provision for centre­line reconnaissance pods. The MiG-21S was similar, with a centreline GP9. The R-13-300-engined MiG-21SM put the GSh-23L cannon in a fixed installation, instead of in the removeable GP9 gon­dola. The R-11F2S-300 engined export MiG-21 M was built under licence in India, while the MiG-2lMF introduced AAM capability on all four pylons. The MiG-21MT used the more powerful R-13F-300 engine, while the MiG-21SMT ‘Fishbed-K’ was fitted
with a further enlarged spine. Significant numbers of MiG-21 Rs, MiG-21 Ms and MiG-21 MFs remain in service. The multi-role R-25-300-powered MiG-21bis introduced improved avionics, AA-8 ‘Aphid’ AAMs, and improved Sapphire-21 radar.

The MiG-21U ‘Mongol-A’ tandem two-seat trainer could carry a centreline gun pod and had two underwing pylons, The MiG-21 US ‘Mongol-B’ had increased fin chord, improved ejection seats, a bigger spine, a retractable periscope and blown SPS flaps, while the MiG-21 UM was similar, with updated instruments and avionics.

The number of MiG-21 s in service has declined dramatically since the end of the Cold War, with force reductions and a growing trend for ex- Warsaw Pact nations to turn to the West for combat aircraft. Aerostar and Elbit are jointly upgrading 110 Romanian air force MiG-21 s to Lancer standards, with new radar, digital databus, cockpit, avionics and weapons. Romania’s Lancer Is are upgraded MiG-21 M/MFs, while the Lancer II is an upgraded MiG-21 UM/US. The Lancer III is aimed at the export market, and based on the MiG-21 bis

Mikoyan and the Sokol plant are upgrading 125 MiG-21 s to MiG-21-93 standard for the Indian Air Force, adding new radar, weapons and systems.

Подпись: Aerostar has upgraded 10 of the Romanian air force's two-seat MiG-21 trainers to Lancer II standard (service designation Lancer B). Specification: MiG-21 bis Fishbed-M’ Powerplant: ore Tumanskii R-25-330 Uirbcjct rated at 69.58 kN (15,650 Ibl Dimensions: wing spar 7,15m (23 ft 5Yi in): length 15.76 m (51 ft 8/ in) including probe, height A. 12 m (13 ft 6 2 in)

Weights: empty 5350 eg (11,705 lb): maximum takeoff 9661 <g (21,299 lb)

Performance: maximum level speed 2230 kmh |l,385 mpb); maximum rate of climb at sea level 7200 m (23,622 ft) per minute; service ceiling 19000 m (62,336 ft), typical combat radius 150-500 km (280-311 miles) Armament: one centreline twin-barrelled GSh-23 23-mm cannon, with 2000-kg (4,409 lb) of ordnance on four underwing hardpoints


Libya was a typical customer for the down-graded export version of the MiG-23MF, the MiG-23MS. This aircraft is armed with AA-2 Atoll’ air-to-air missiles.



he MiG-23 was developed as a MiG-21 replace­ment, with greater range and firepower. It was ordered into production as the MiG-23S. The MiG-23M and export MiG-23MF ‘Flogger-B’ had ‘High Lark’ pulse-Doppler radar, an IRST, AA-7 ‘Apex’ missiles, and a shortened rear fuselage. Some remain in use with Bulgaria, Cuba, India, Romania and Syria. The down-graded MIG-23MS JFlogger-E’ was an export version with ‘Jay Bird’ radar, and no BVR missile, and remains in service with Algeria, Libya and perhaps Syria.

The lightweight MiG-23ML ‘Flogger-G’ intro­duced airframe, engine, radar and avionics improve­ments. Aircraft remain in service in Angola, Bulgaria, Cuba, Iraq, North Korea. Syria and Yemen. The MiG-23P was a dedicated PVO interceptor. The fina MiG-23MLD ‘Flogger-K’ fighter variant is still used by Belarus. Kazakhstan and Bulgaria.

The attack-dedicated MiG-23B/BN ‘Flogger-F’ had an upgraded nav/attack system and a derated R-29B-300 engine. The JFlogger-H’ introduced a new RWFL MiG-23BNs were exported to Algeria, Angola, Bulgaria, Cuba. Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Ethiopia, India. Iraq and Syria. The MiG-23UB ‘Flogger-C’ is a tandem two-seat trainer version delivered to all MiG-23/-27 operators.

The MiG-27 remedied the deficiencies and reduced the cost of the ground-attack. ‘Flogger’. It introduced simplified, fixed intakes, and an engine with a two-position afterburner nozzle. Fuel economy
is improved and weight mduced, at the expense of performance. A new GSh-6-30 30-mm cannon replaced the original 23-mm cannon, The MiG-27 ‘Flogger-D’ had the same avionics as the MiG – 23BN, with a Fone laser rangefinder and it first flew in prototype form in 1972.

The ‘straight’ MiG-27 was soon replaced by the MiG-27M ‘Flogger-J’, which was equipped with the PrNK-23M nav/attack system and a Klyon laser rangefinder, and which introduced fixed wing leading edge root extensions housing Beryoza RWR anten­nas. India was the only export customer for the MiG-27, and builds the type under licence.

The most advanced member of the family was the IVUG-27K ‘Flogger-J2’, deployed from 1977. This had a Kaira-24 laser designator in an under­nose fairing with a TV system in the enlarged, oval nose window, with a De! ta-2NG missile guidance transmitter antenna in a ‘pimple’ on the tip of the nose, re-located from its usual location on the glove pylons. The twin pitot probes were mounted low on the nose.

Подпись: This is a ‘Flogger-J2' the most advanced version of the ground-attack MiG-27. Unlike the MiG-23BN, the MiG-27 had fixed engine intake ramps. Specification: MiG 23ML ‘Flogger-G’ Powerplant: one 12/719 kN (28,66Q-lb| MNPK ‘Soyuz (Khachatourov) R-35-300 afterburning turbojet

Dimensions: wing spar – ■ 3.97 m|45 ft 10 in) spread ЕП" 7.78 m (25 ft 6/ in) swept, length 1670 nt (54 ft Ш in); heglrt 4,82 m Weights: empty 10200 kg (22.487 lb); maximum take-aff 17800 kg 139,242 lb) Performance: maximum leve: speed 2590 kmh (1.553 mph); maximum rate of climb at sea aval 14400 m (47.244 ft) per minute; service ceding 18500 m (50,695 ft); combat radius 1150 km (715 miles) with six AAMs Armament: one GSh-23 23-mm cannon; maximum ordnance 3000 kg (6.613 lb)



he MiG-25 (NATO code-name ‘Foxbat’) was developed to counter the high-flying Mach 3 XB-70 strategic bomber. It featured advanced construct on techniques, us ng tempered steel for most of the airframe with titanium for the eading edges. The prototype Ye-155P-1 flew on 9 September 1964, powered by a pair of 100 kN {22.500-lb) Mikulin R-15B-300 turbojets.

Production of the refined MiG-25P ‘Foxbat-A’ fighter began in 1969, and it entered service in 1973. The definitive MiG-25PD ‘Foxbat-E’ featured a new RP-25 look-down/shoot-down radar, an IRST, more powerful R-15BD-300 turbojets and provision for з iarge 5300-litre (1,166-Imp gal) belly tank. About 370 surviving ‘Foxbat-As’ were brought up to PD standard, as the MiG-25PDS. Some MiG-25PDs were fitted with a 250-mm {10-ir) nose plug to allow installation of a retractable IFR probe, taking overall length to 24.07 m {78 ft 11.67 in). The MiG-25PU ’Foxbat-C’ conversion trainer lacks radar and has a new instructor’s cockpit stepped down in an elongated nose in front of the standard cockpit. MiG-25 fighters were exported to Algeria, Iraq, Libya and Syria, and also remain in small-scale service in Russia and a handful of former Soviet states.

The MiG-25 PU and MiG-25RU Foxbat-C’ trainers were largely identical, but the MiG-25RU ivas not fitted with the underwing pylons of the MiG-25PU

This Foxbat-B’ is a M1G-25RBT, fitted with the Tangazh Sigint system in its nose (note the grey di-electric antenna panel).

The MiG-25 was also develooed for use in the high-speed, high altitude reconnaissance role. The prototype Ye-155R-1 flew on 6 March 1964, six months before the prototype fighter and the pro­duction IVfiG-25R ‘Foxbat-B’ recce variant passed state acceptance tests in 1969. The MiG-25RB was a dual-role reconnaissance bomber able to drop stores from high altitudes at supersonic speeds. Sigint models were the MiG-25RBK ‘Foxbat-D’, with Kub Sigint equipment (subsequently upgraded as MiG-25RBFs with Shar-25), the MiG-25RBV with Virazh, and the MiG-25RBT with Tangazh. Radar recce versions included the MiG-25RBS with Sablya SLAR, most of which were upgraded to MiG-25RBSh with the improved Shompol radar. MiG-25RBs were exported to Algeria, Bulgaria, India, Iraq, Libya, Peru and Syria. The dedicated MiG-25RU recce trainer has no cameras, but like other reconnaissance aircraft has reduced wing span and a constant-sweep leading edge, instead of the fighter’s ’cranked’ leading edge.

The dedicated defence-suppression MiG-25BM ‘Foxbat-F’ was armed with *our underwing AS-11 ‘Kilter’ missiles. The prototype first flew in 1976, and limited deployment of the 100 or so built began in 1982 The type became operational in 1988.


Specification: MiG-25PDS ‘Foxbat-E" Powerplant: two 109.83-kll {24.691 – ib) MhiPK Soyu2’ (Tumanskii) R-l 5B0-3OO turbojets Dimensions: wing spar 14 02 m 145 ft 112! in), length 23,8? m 178 ft 1K in); height 6.10 m (20 ft A in)

Weights: normal take-off 34920 kg 176,894. lb), maximum take-off 36720 kg (80,952 Ib) Performance: maximum level speed Mach 2.8 (3000 kmh,1,864 mph); climb to 2000D m (65.615 ft) in 8 minutes 54 seconds: service ceiling 70700 m {67,315 ft); range with internal fuel 1730 km (1.075 miles) subsonic Armament Four undenting hardpoints for four or six AAMs, with centreline hardpoint for drop-tank


Boeing/Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche Advanced scout helicopter



he US Army issued its LHX (Light Helicopter Experimental) requirement in 1982, initially calling tor 5,000 helicopters to replace UH-1, AH-1, OH-6 and OH-58 scout/attack/assault aircraft. By 1990 this number had been cut back to 1,292 aircraft tor the scout/attack role only. Boeing/Sikorsky’s ‘First Team’ was awarded the contract (over the Bell/ McDonnell Douglas ‘Super Team’) for three (later two) YRAH-66 dem/val aircraft on 5 April 1991

The RAH-66 Comanche has a five-bladed all – composite bearingless main rotor and an eight-bladcd tan-in-fin shrouded tail rotor Its largely composite airframe is designed for low observability, employing a degree of faceting and sunken-notch intakes for the two LHTEC T800 turboshafts. The undercarriage is retractable, and all weapons are housed internally, with missiles carried in bays on t. ne fuselage sides, directly attached to the bay doors which act as pylons when they are open, A chin turret will house a 20-mm cannon, and in the extreme nose is a sensor turret for a FLIR and a laser designator. The Longbow MMW radar of the AH-64D Apache will also be fitted in a radome above the main rotor.

The Army has specified maximum avionics com­monality with the USAF’s F-22 and the Comanche pilot (front) and WSO each have two flat screen MFDs for presentation of tactical situation, moving map and FLIR/TV information, The pilot also has a wide field-of-view helmet-mounted display system, allied to an electro-optical night navigation and

The Comanche is lighter but only slightly smaller than the AH-64, and will back up – but not replace – the Apache in the combat role.

targeting systems. Flight control is by a triplex fly-by-wire system, with sidestick cyclic-pitch controls. The RAH-66 also features a wide array of defensive equipment, including laser – IR – and radar-warning receivers, RF and IR jammers.

Work on the first prototype began in November 1993, and it flew on 4 January 1996. The early flight test programme was slowed by gearbox failures, but by August 1997 progress was being made once more. The second aircraft was rolled out in April 1998 and made its maiden flight on 30 March 1999. One 1 June 2000 the RAH-66 was approved to enter its engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase Boeing/Sikorsky will build 13 FMD RAH-66s, and the Army hopes to then acquire an interim batch of 12 aircraft between EMD and the launch of initial low-rate production, in 2006. The first EMD aircraft will fly in 2004. The US Army’s 2000 Aviation Force Modernization Plan still recom­mends the acquisition of 1,213 Comanches, valued at nearly 534 billion. I he first RAH-66s are scheduled to be operational in December 2006.

The Boeing/Sikorsky team has now rebuilt one RAH-66 with a revised empennage and tail and also added a radome for the Longbow radar.

Specification: Boeing/Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche (provisional)

Powerplant: two 1068 TW (1/132 slip)

LHTEC T800-IHT-80Q turboshafc Dimensions: main rotor diameter 11.90 m |39 ftin); length overall, rotor turning 14.28 m |tS ft 10.25 n) and fuselage ‘3.20 in (43 ft ■/. ini excluding gun barre., height overall 3.39 m (11 ft 1.5 in) over stabiliser Weights: empty 3942 kg (8,690 lb); normal take-off 4807 kg (10,597 lb]

Performance: max level speed 3?4 kmh (201 mph), ferry range 2334 km (1,450 miles) Armament one General Dynamics three – barrelled 20-mm cannon with up to 500 rounds, with 2296 kg (5.052 lb) of ordnance



United Kingdom