Jaguar, Sepecat


Sepecat Jaguar

French/British low-altitude ground attack aircraft. The French and British air forces each bought around 200; the Jaguar also did well on the export market. The Jaguar is a relative small aircraft with a tiny shoulder-wing, giving a smooth 'ride' at low altitude. It is not very sophisticated, but versatile and effective, and upgrade programs are now extending its capabilities. The British versions are the S attack aircraft (Jaguar GR) and the B two-seat trainer (Jaguar T). The Jaguar A is the French attack version, and the E the French two-seat trainer. The Jaguar M shipboard attack aircraft was cancelled. The Jaguar International is the export version; it is being license-built in India.

Type: Jaguar GR.1
Function: attack
Year: 1973
Crew: 1
Engines: 2 * 35.7kN R.R.-Turbomeca Adour Mk.104
Wing Span: 8.69 m
Length: 16.83 m
Height: 4.89 m
Wing Area: 14.18 m2
Empty Weight: 7000 kg
Max.Weight: 15700 kg
Speed: M1.6
Ceiling: 14020 m
Range: 4210 km
Armament: 2*g 30mm 4765 kg
Unit cost: 8 million USD

Type: Jaguar International
Function: attack
Year: 1978
Crew: 1
Engines: 2 * 3647kg R.R.-Turbomeca Adour Mk.804
Wing Span: 8.69 m
Length: 16.83 m
Height: 4.89 m
Wing Area: 24.18 m2
Empty Weight: 7000 kg
Max.Weight: 15700 kg
Speed: 1699 km/h
Armament: 2*g30mm 4763kg

Type: Specifications (Jaguar A)
Crew: One
Powerplant: 2× Rolls-Royce/Turbomeca Adour Mk 102 turbofans, 32.5 kN (7,305 lbf) each Length: 16.83 m (55 ft 3 in)
Wingspan: 8.69 m (28 ft 6 in)
Height: 4.92 m (16 ft 1 in)
Wing area: 24 m² (258 ft²)
Empty weight: 7,000 kg (15,400 lb)
Loaded weight: 11,000 kg (24,250 lb)
Maximum Take-Off Weight: 15,700 kg (34,00 lb)
Maximum speed: 1,593 km/h (990 mph)
Range: 535 km combat, 3,525 km ferry (335 mi / 2,190 mi)
Service ceiling: 14,000 m (46,000 ft)
Rate of climb: m/s (ft/min)
Wing loading: kg/m² (lb/ft²)
Thrust/weight: 0.60
Armament:
* 2x 30 mm ADEN cannons or DEFA cannons with 150 rounds per gun
* Five hardpoints for 4,500 kg (10,000 lb) of disposable stores
* Option of two AIM-9 Sidewinders on overwing pylons
* LAU-5003B/A CRV-7 rocket launchers
* Joint Reconnaissance Pod


Background

The Jaguar program began in the early 1960s, in response to a British requirement for an advanced supersonic jet trainer, and a French need for a cheap, subsonic dual role trainer and attack aircraft with good short field performance. From these apparently disparate aims would come a single and entirely different aircraft: relatively high-tech, supersonic, and optimised for ground attack in a high-threat environment. It was planned as a replacement for the RAF Hawker Hunter and the Armee de l'Air F-100 Super Sabre.

Cross-channel negotiations led to the formation of SEPECAT (the Société Européenne de Production de l'Avion d'Ecole de Combat et d'Appui Tactique) in 1966 as a joint venture between Bréguet (the design leader) and the British Aircraft Corporation to produce the airframe, and a separate teaming of Rolls-Royce and Turboméca to develop the Adour afterburning turbofan engine.

The first of 8 prototypes flew on September 8 1968. It was an orthodox single-seat, swept-wing, twin-engine design but with tall landing gear. It had a maximum take-off weight in the 15 tonne class and could manage a combat radius on internal fuel alone of 850 km. Maximum speed was Mach 1.6 (Mach 1.1 at sea level) and hardpoints were fitted for an external weapons load of up to 10 000 lb.

Replacement

The aircraft has been updated several times and remains in front-line service with the United Kingdom and India. It is to be replaced by the Eurofighter Typhoon in the RAF and the Rafale in the Armée de l'Air. India plans to replace its Jaguar fleet by the Medium Combat Aircraft.

Demands by the UK Treasury demanding cuts in the defence budget led to reports that the Jaguar was a possible candidate for early retirement. Announcing plans for the future of the British military on July 21 2004 Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon detailed plans to withdraw the Jaguar by 2007.

Critics say the aircraft is near the end of its service life and does not have all the capabilities required of a front line jet. Proponents argue that the aircraft has been recently updated and is the most cost effective of all the RAF's fast jet force.

India on the other hand is modernizing its current Jaguar fleet and also placed an order for 29 additional upgraded Jaguar IM aircraft from Hindustan Aeronautics in 2005. The Medium Combat Aircraft (MCA) is expected to go under mass production in 2015 and will replace India's Jaguar fleet.
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