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)

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)


Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet


An elaborate tiger scheme marks this Portuguese Alpha Jet as an aircraft of 301 Esguadra, a unit that belongs to the NATO Tiger Squadron Association.



n July 1969 France’s Dassault ana’ Germany’s Dornier agreed to jointly develop and produce a new advanced trainer. The resultant Alpha Jet had swept shoulder-mounted wings, two Larzac turbo­fans and stepped tandem cockpits. French and German equipment fits varied considerably. Because the Luftwaffe decided to continue its military pilot training in the US, its requirement for the Alpha Jet moved on to a light grojnd-attack replacement for its Fiat G91R/3s. This necessitated advanced nav/attack systems, ‘nciuding a twin-gyro INS, Doppler navigation radar, HUD, and a beily- mounted 27-mm Mauser cannon pod (instead of the 30-rr. m DEFA pod found on French Alphas). The initial order for 200 aircraft for each country was ultimately reduced to 175.

Alpha Jet development was finally approved in February 1972, and two prototypes were fiown in France ano Germany in 1973 and 1974 respectively French production Alpha Jet Es (Ecole) began flying in November 1977 and service trials commenced in 1978. German production started with the first Alpha Jet A (Appui Tactique) flying in April 1978. In 1993 Germany retired ah but 20 German Alphas (for lead-in training for Tornado crews) and a total of 50 Surplus aircraft was transferred to Portugal Initial exports were mace to Belgium (33). Egypt (30 including 26 locally-assembled Alpha Jet MS 1 trainers). Ivory Coast (12). Morocco (24), Nigeria (24), Qatar (six) and Togo (five).

In addition to Portugal refurbished former – Luftwaffe Alpha Jet As have been sold to Thailand and the LJK. In Thailand 25 aircraft will serve as lead-in fighter trainers while12 were acquired by Britain’s Defence Evaluation and Research Agency

For lead-in fighter training and light ground – attack, Dassault launched the Alpha Jet IMGEA (Nouvelle Generation Appui/Ecole) or Alpha Jet MS2 programme in 1980. It featured unrated engines and new avionics including an INS, CRT HUD and laser rangefinder, plus provision for Magic AAMs. Customers included Cameroon (seven) and Egypt (15).

In the early 1990s Dassault proposed an MS2- derived Alpha Jet 3 Advanced Training System, or Lancier, with twin multi-function cockpit displays for mission training with such sensors as AGAVE or Anemone radar, FUR, laser, video ano ECM systems, plus advanced weapons. This version may form the basis for a possible upgrade now being considered for the Alpha Jet Es still :n Armee de Г Air service.

The blunt-nosed Alpha Jet E is still the standard jet trainer for France’s Armee de /’Air, but it will have to be upgraded to function in the Rafale era.

Specification: Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet E

Powerplant: two 13.24-kN (2,976-lb) SNECMA/T urbomdea Larzac 04-C6 turbofans Dimensions: wing span 9.11 m!?S ft 10 34 in); length 11.75 m (38 ft 54 in): height 4’9 m (13 ft 9 in)

Weights: empty equipped 3345 kg (7,374 lb), maximum take-oil 8000 kg (17.637 lb) Performance: maximum level speed 1000 kmh (621 mph). service ceiling 14630 m (48,000 ft): operational radius 361 nm [670 km, 416 miles) on a lo-lo It) mission with two drop tanks Armament: one ventral cannon ood (27-mm Mauser or 30-mm DEFA), four indenting stations for up to 2500 kg (5,511 lb) of stores



Tupolev Tu-22IVi Backfire Sub-strategic strike/attack bomber


The final production version of the Tu-22M was the Tu-22M3 Backfire-C which introduced the improved NK-25 engine and superior weapons.



evelopment of the Tu-22M began in 1962, concurrently with the variable-geometry Su-17 programme (with which it shared a very similar wing plan-form). The first of about nine Tu-22IVl-0 prototypes made its maiden flight on 30 August 1969. Nine pre-production Tu-22M-1s were used for test and evaluation, and the first of 211 production Tu-22M-2 ‘Backfire-B’ bombers made ts fret flight in 1975. This introduced a longer-span wing, з redesigned forward fuselage for four crew and a revised undercarriage, retracting inwards. The tail armament was increased to two remotely – controlled NR-23 23-mm cannons, controlled by the new ‘Fan Tail’ radar.

Initially, Tu-22Ms were usually seen carrying a single AS-4 ‘Kitchen’ ASM on the centreline, semi – recessed, but today a more usual load seems to be two underwing missiles. In the later Tu-22M-3 ‘Backfire-C’, these bays can accommodate the rotary launchers for the RKV-500B (AS-16 ‘Kick-back’) short-range attack missile, used mainly for defence suppression, with two more of these missiles under each wing. Defensive armament is reduced to a single cannon.

The new variant also introduced completely new wedge-type engine intakes, a recontoured upturned nose possibly housing a new attack radar and TFR. ‘Backfire-C’ is believed to have entered service during 1985. and 268 were built at Kazan, A Tu-245 upgrade configuration is planned, with new
radar and avionics. A handful of Tu-22MP EW/escort jammers were produced but are not believed to have entered service, although 12 Tu-22MR recce aircraft with Shompol SLAR are in service wi;h the AV-MF, Production continued at a rate of 30 per year until 1992, when about 497 had been completed.

With its wings fully swept back (to 65°), the Tu-22M is capable of a Mach 2 dash at high altitude, and of speeds up to Mach 0.9 at low level. Unrefuelled combat radius of the Tu-22M-2 ’Backfire-B’ is quoted as 4000 km (2,485 miles), and the radius of action of ‘Backfire-C may be even better. The Tu-22M continues to play a vital role in the Russian air forces (with 68 in use), and with Russian nava aviation (82 in service), and between 54 and 70 more are in service in the Ukraine. The Tu-22M-3 has been offered for export on several occasions, with customers such as Iran, Libya and Syria all expressing an interest. India is understood to have agreed a Teasing deal with Russia for the supply of Tu-22M3s

Подпись:Specification: Tupolev Tu-22M-2 Backfire-B"

Powerplant: two 196.13-kN(44,092-lbl KKBM (Kuznetsov) NK-2? turbo fans Dimensions: wing span 34.30 m (112 ft 6/ ir) spread and 23.40 m (/6 It 9/ in) swept; length 39.80 in 1129 ft 11 in); height 10.80 m (35 ft 54 in)

Weights: basic empty 54000 kg [113.048 lb): maximum take-off 130000 kg (286.5Э6 lb) Performance: maximum level speed 2125 kmh (1,320 mph); service ceiling 18000 m (59,055 It); ferry range 12000 km (7,457 miles), combat radius 2.159 nm (4000 km; 2,486 miles] Armament: one GSh-23 23-mm cannon in tad turret; normal load 12000 kg (26.455 lb!

Antonov An-24f An-26, An-32 (Xian Y-7) Tactical transports


Libya has a small number of An-26 transports. The rear ramp of the ‘Curl’ slides down and then forward along tracks, to lie directly under the fuselage.



he twin-turboprop Antonov An-24 (NATO code – name ‘Coke’) made its maiden flight on 20 December 1959, and was aimed at an Aeroflot requirement to replace piston-engined 11-14s and 11-12s. Its robustness, strength and performance appealed to military customers, and approximately 1,200 were built by the time production finished in 1978, The major production An-24V variant has seat­ing for 28-40. a side freight door and a convertible cabin.

Although derived from the An-24, the An-26 (‘Curl-A’) is a new design with a fully-pressurised cargo hold, uprated engines and a new rear-loading ramp to facilitate loading from trucks. All An-26s are fitted with an RU-19 turbojet in the rear of the star­board engine nacelle. As well as actirg as an APU, this can be useo as a take-off booster.

A small number of An-26s have been converted as Elint/Sigint/EW platforms. These bear the NATO reporting name ‘Curl-B’. and have a profusion of swept blade antennas above and below the cabin. Some An-26s delivered to Angola and Mozambique were fitted with exterior bomb-racks along the fuselage.

Along with Russia, Ukraine and most CIS states, current An-26 operators include Afghanistan, Benin, Bangladesh, Bulgaria. Cape Verde, China, Cuba,

Congo, Czech Republic, Germany, Ethiopia, Guinea Bissau, Hungary, Iraq, Laos, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Vietnam, Yemen and Zambia.

The An-32 ’Cline’ replaced the An-26 in production, and offers dramatically improved take-off performance, ceiling and payload, especially under ’hot-and-high’ conditions. The cabin can accommo­date up to 50 passengers, 42 paratroops, or 24 stretcher patients and three attendants. The basic production aircraft are fitted with 3812-kW (5,112-hp) AI-20D turboprops. These are mounted above the wing in very deep nacelles to give greater clearance for the incrcased-diameter propellers The An-32B offers uprated engines and Antonov has also devel­oped a water-bomber version (fitted with external water tanks), the An-32P Firekiller, In addition to the air forces of Russia, Ukraine and some CIS states, the An-32 has attracted several military customers including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cuba, India, Mongolia and Peru and Tanzania.

China builds ts own military transport version of the An-26 as the Xian Y-7H-500 – while also the building a family of other Y-7 airliner variants based on the civil-standard An-24 airframe.

Подпись: The An-28s formerly operated by the Czechoslovakian air force are now spilt between the Czech and Slovakian airforces (seen here). Specification: Antonov An-26B Curl-A’ Powerplant two 2103-kW (2,820-hp) ZMDB Progress (Ivchenko) AI-24VT turboprops, and

one 7.8b-kN (1,765-lb) Soyuz (Turmanskii) RU-19A-3G0 turbojet

Dimensions: w rig span 29.2C m (95 ft 9.5 in); length 23 80 m (78 ft 1 in), height 8 58 m (28 ft 15 in)

Weights: empty 15400 kg (33,957 Ih); maximum take-off 24400 kg (53,790 lb): maximum payload 5500 kg (12.125 lb) Performance: maximum level speed 540 kmh, (336 mph); range 2550 km (1,585 miles) with maximum fuel or 1100 km (683 miles) with maximum payload

Подпись: Atlas CheetahSouth Africa Multi-role combat aircraft


uring the 1980s South Africa embarked on an extremely ambitious, and extremely secret, transformation of its Dassault Mirage Ills into a highly-modified and improved family of combat aircraft The international arms embargo against the Apartheid regime made the acquisition of any now aircraft impossible, at a time when South Africa felt it was facing an increasing threat from neighbouring, hostile African nations~The state-owned firm of Atlas Aviation, with considerable help from Israel’s IAI, began to adapt the modified airframe and the improved avionics suite of the IAI Kfir to the South African Air Force’s own aircraft, to produce the Cheetah – in several distinct versions.

The most important of these was the two-seat Cheetah D attack aircraft, based on the Mirage IIIDZ airframe (though a few single-seat Mirage IIIEZs were also converted). Atlas modified approxi­mately 16 aircraft to Cheetah D standard. They resemble the IAI Kfir TC-7, with their distinctive extended cranked noses and canard foreplanes. The nose houses an Elta EL/M-2001В ranging radar and the Cheetah Ds are fitted with refuelling probes. The first converted aircraft was rolled out in 1986 and entered service almost immediately.

Cheetah D development paralleled the single­seat Cheetah E conversions, based on the SAAF’s Mirage INEZ fighters. The Cheetah E had much the same systems fit as the Cheetah D (including an advanced RWR, EW jamming suite and chaff/flare

The Cheetah C is now the sole air superiority fighter in SAAF service, but the aircraft also has a formidable attack capability.

dispensers, and bore a strong resemblance to the Israeli Kfir C7. Both the Cheetah E and Cheetah D were fitted with a new, reprofiled wing with a ‘dog­tooth’ leading edge. Sixteen Cheetah Es were built, but they were retired in the early 1990s when a radically superior Cheetah fighter was introduced.

This was the Cheetah СГ which entered service in January 1993. Until then not a single fact about the programme had emerged – this secrecy was doubtless due to the fact that the 38 aircraft used in the Cheetah C conversions were acquired from a source outside South Africa (almost certainly Israel). The Cheetah C was a major step forward because it was fitted with an Elta EL/M-2001 multi – mode radar, and was powered by the more powerful Atar 09K50 engine. The Cheetah C is also stretched, with a plug measuring approximately 58 cm (23 in) inserted between the cockpit and engine intakes The new radar allows the Cheetah C to be armed with the Kentron R-Darter BVR missile, as well as the agile, IR-guided U-Darter dogfight missile, used in conjunction with a helmet-mounted sight.

Подпись: The Cheetah D has a dual training and attack role. Today all South Africa’s Cheetahs are operated by No. 2 Sqn, based at AFВ Louis Trichardt. Specification: Atlas Cheetah C Powerplant: one SNECMA Atar 09K50 turbojet rated at 49,03 kN (11,923 lb st| dry and 70.82 kM (1b.873 lb st) with afterburning Dimensions: wing span B.22 in (26 ft 1Ш in); canard foreplaae span 3.73 mil7 It3 in); length including probe 15.65 m (51 ft 4K in): height 4.5 m (14 ft 11 in)

Performance: maximum level speed ‘clean’ at 12000 m (39.370 ft). 233Й kmh [1,453 mph); maximum cruising speed at 11000 rn (35,090 ft) 956 kmh (594 mph): service ceiling 17000 m 155.775 ft)

Armament: two internal DEFA 30-тгп cannon plus up to 4000 ky (8,818 lb) of ordnance

Lockheed C-5 Galaxy


The C-5 is still the cornerstone of the United States’ heavy strategic airlift capability, and the centre of great debate about how it can ever be replaced.



he Lockheed C-5 Galaxy heavy logistics trans­port originated from a 19S3 USAF CX-HLS (Cargo Experimental-Heavy Logistics System! recuirement for a capability to carry a 113400-kg (250,000-loJ payload ever 4828 km (3,000 miles) without air refuelling. The resulting design incorpo­rates a high-wing. T-tailed configuration, powered by four urtderwrng codded TF39 turbofans. Key to the С-5’s mission is its cavernous interior and ‘roll on/roL off’ cargo loading capability, with access to the vast cargo bay at both front end rear via an upward-lifting visor nose and standard rear clamshell doors. The C-5A first flew cn 30 June 1968 and operational C-5s were delivered between 17 December 1969 and May 1973 T. ne C-5A suffered initially from wing crack problems anc infamous cost overruns, but has served well since then and is an irreplaceable asset for the US At Force’s Air Mobility Commard. To extend their service lives, 77 C-5As underwent a re-winging programme from 1981 to ‘987.

In the mic-1980s, the production line was reopened to meet an urgert USAF demand for additional heavy airlift capacity. Fifty C-5B aircraft were built, essentially similar to the C-5A, but incorporating numerous mocifications and improve­
ments resu ting from operations with the C-5A. The C-5B model dispensed with the C-5A’$ complex crosswind main landing gear ard introduces an iinproved AFCS (automated flig. nt control system). The first production C-5B was delivered on 8 January 1986 and Deliveries were completed by 1989. A further variant is the secretive C-5C, (two converted! which is optimised for carrying satellites and space equipment, The C-5C has a bulged rear cargo door and a sealed nose door.

Typical C-5 loads include two ІУІ1А1 Abrams MBTs, 16%-ton trucks, 10 LAV-25S, or a CH-47. Although not usually assigned airdrop duties, the Galaxy can also drop paratroopers. С-БА/Bs serve with the USAF’s AMC, AFRC, and the ANG. Ga axies have served in airlifts supporting US operations in Vietnam, Israel (October 1973 Wad and Deser: Shield/ Storm (1990-91), during which they flew 42 per cent of cargo and 18.6 per cent of passenger missions.

Under the recently announced C-5 Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program (RtRP), the Galaxy wil be refitted with General Electric CF6-80C2 engres and a modernised cockpit. All 126 aircraft will be upgraded between 2005 ard 2014, possibly receiving the C-5D designation.

Подпись: The Galaxy is the only US aircraft able to cany the M1 main battle tank, and is also highly prized for its ability to carry large numbers of smaller vehicles. Specification: Lockheed C-5B Galaxy Powerplant: ‘o ur 191.27-kN (43,D0D-lb) General Electric TF33-GE-1C tirbofars Dimensions: wing span 6/.8B rr (222 ft 8/ ini; length /5,54 m 1247 ft 10 in); heigh" 19 35 m [65 ft 1 ik in)

Weights: operating empty 169843 <g (374,000 lb); maximum payload 115387 kg (251,000 Ibl; maximum take-off 379657 kg (837.000 Ibl Performance: max level speed at 7620 m (25.000 (1) 913 knit; maximum cruising speed between 888 and 908 krm (552 and 564 mph), [571 mph); maximum rate of climb at sea leve 525 m (1,725 ft) per minute; service ceding 10595 m [35,750 ft); range 10411 km (5/69 miles] with maximum fuel

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)

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


DeneK AH-2A Rooivalk


DeneTs Rooivalk attack helicopter has so far only entered service with one squadron (No. 16Sqn) of the South African Air Force.



outh Africa’s Rooivalk (red kestrel) helicopter was designed to meet a 1981 SAAF require­ment for an indigenously-designed attack heli­copter. The Atlas Aircraft Corporation (renamed Denel Aviation in 1996) began work on a number of technology development aircraft, including the XH-1 weapons testbed (based on an Alouette III air­frame) and the XTP-1 (a modified Puma). Experience with these aircraft fed directly into the Rooivalk prototype, the XH-2 (Experimental Helicopter 2), which made its maiden flight in 1990.

The Rooivalk follows the well-proven attack helicopter layout of stepped, twin-tandem seating in a narrow fuselage, with stub wings for weapons carriage, nose-mounted sensors and an undernose cannon. Drawing on South Africa’s substantial combat experience from the ‘Bush War’ conflicts in Namibia and Angola, Atlas designed the Rooivalk as a highly-survivable aircraft able to absorb battle damage while protecting its crew and remaining operational on the battlefield.

Several elements of the Aerospatiale (Eurocopter) Puma design found their way into the Rooivalk – hardly surprising as the Puma was an important type in the SAAF inventory and many were modified and upgraded by Atlas to improved Oryx standard. The

This is the first production-standard AH-2A Rooivalk, seen carrying a load of eight ZT6 Mokopa anti-tank missiles and two 68-mm rocket pods.

Rooivalk has the Puma’s Tudoomeca Turmo IV engine (licence-built as the Topaz in the XDM and ADM) and the same rotor system, The Rooivalk is designed to carry up to 16 Denel ZT6 Mokopa anti­tank missiles, in addition to rocket pods and Mistral IR-guided anti-aircraft missiles. The 20-mm under­nose cannon is linked to a helmet-mounted sight The XH-2 prototype was refined to serve as the XDM (Experimental Development Model) which first flew on 11 February 1990. A second prototype was built as the ADM (Advanced Demonstration Model), and it first flew in 1992. A third pre-production Rooivalk, the EDM (Engineering Development Model! flew on 17 November 1996. In 1996 the South African Air Force signed an order for 12 Rooivalks, with the service designation AFI-2A (previously CSH-2). The first deliveries were made in January 1999, and the SAAF has a requirement for up to 36 additional aircraft.

An export version of the Rooivalk was a strong contender for the British Army’s attack helicopter requirement in 1993/94 and a version dubbed the RedFlawk was offered for Australia’s Air 87 com petition in 2000/01. Malaysia announced an initial deal for eight Rooivalks in 1998, but a firm order remains as yet unsigned


Specification: Denel Rooivalk Powerplant: two 1420-kW |1r904-hp| Turbomaca Makila 1K2 rurbcshafts Dimensions: rotor diameter 15.58 m (51 ft 12 in), length 1673 m (61 ft 52 in), including rotors: height 5.185 m (17 ft У in)

Weights: empty 5730 kg 112.63? lb); maximum take-off 8.750 kg (19.290 lb)

Performance: maximum cruising speed 278 kmh (1 /3 mpht hovering ceiling, IGE 5850 m (19.200 ft). 0GE 5455 m (17.900 ft); maximum range 1335 km (829 miles) with external tanks Armament: one 20-mm Arm SCO r F2 carnon with 700 rounds of ammunition, four underwing stations lor up to 2032 kg (4.470 lb) of stores


Tupolev Tu-95, Tu-142 ‘Bear’


For many years the Tu-95R was the most commonly encountered version of the Bear’, as it routinely shadowed Western naval forces.



he first Tu-95/1 prototype of Tupolev’s extraor­dinary ‘Bear’ made its maiden flight on 12 November 1952. The swept-wing bomber had unheard of performance for a turboprop-powered aircraft. All of the early variants have now been retired, including the original Tu-95 and Tu-95M ‘Bear-А’ Tee-fall nuclear bombers (some of them converted as Tu-95U trainers). Various missile­carrying variants have also been retired, including the Tu-95K-20r and the refuelling-probe equipped Tu-95KD ‘Bear-B’, and the TU-95KM ‘Bear-C’ with an ECM tailcone. These variants had a broad under­nose radome housing ‘Crown Drum’ guidance radar and carried AS-3 ‘Kangaroo1 missiles. The Tu-95K – 22 ‘Bear-G’ was externally similar but had a new "Down Beat’ radar and K-22 (NATO AS-4 ‘Kitchen’) missiles. The AV-MF’s Tu-95RT ‘Bear-D’ mid­course missile guidance/maritime radar recce plat­form has also been withdrawn, along with the long – range reconnaissance Tu-95R ‘Bear-EsT

The dedicated maritime reconnaissance/ASW Tu-142 ‘Bear-F’ incorporated several significant improvements, including a strengthened wing, a redesigned undercarriage, a fuselage plug, uprated NK-12MV engines and redesigned weapons bays. Four sub-variants had detail differences, but most
had a new cockpit with a raised roofline, and fea­tured a new ventral radome housing a maritime search radar, About 55 ‘Bear-Fs’ remain in AV-MF (Russian naval aviation) service.

The sole export customer was the Indian Navy, which received eight Tu-142Ms. The Tu-142M ‘Bear-F’ also formed the basis of the Tu-142MR ‘Bear-Jr communications relay variant, which had an underfuseiage tracing wire antenna pod but no search radar, A total of 24 of these aircraft are in service.

The ‘Bear’ production line re-opened in 1983 to build 33 Tu-95MS-6 ‘Bear-H’ strategic bombers. This version was developed specifically to carry the new FSK-55 (AS-15 ‘Kent’) cruise missile. This was based on a shortened version of the Tu-142 airframe, but with a deeper, shorter radome and a new weapons bay accommodating a rotary launch­er for six RK-55 missiles. Some 56 later aircraft (known as Tu-95 MS-16s) carry an add tional 10 RK-55s on underwing pylons, but these pylons were removed to comply with the provisions of the SALT and START treaties. The Tu-95MS remains in service with Kazakhstan (six aircraft) and Russia (68 deployed, 64 declared as missile carriers), but Ukraine’s aircraft are being scrapped.

Подпись: The Bear-F’ is the most up-to-date of the 1Bear1 maritime reconnaissance variants and it uses the modernised and improved Tu-142 airframe. Specification: Tupolev TU-142M ‘Bear-F Mod 3’

Powerplant: four 11033-kW |H,795-hp) KKBM (Kuznetsov) NK-12MV turbopreps _ Dimensions: wing span 51.10 m (167 ft Т/ in); length 47.50 m (155 ft 10 in) excluding IFfi probe and 49.50 m (’02 ft 4.8 in) including IFR probe; height 12.12 m (39 ft 9.2 in)

Weights: empty «quipped 86000 kg (189,594 lb); maximum take-off 185000 kg |407,84B lb) Performance: maximum level speed 925 knh (575 mph); climb to 5000 m (16,405 ft) in 13 minutes, service ceiling 12000 m (39,370 ft); combat radius 5400 km (3.977 miles) Armament: twin NR-23 23-mm cannon in ‘ail turret; maximum ordnance 11340 kg (25.003 lb)