Global Aircraft -- Jaguar
Global Aircraft -- Jaguar
No known major achievements
The Armee de l'Air took delivery of the first production Jaguar in 1973, one of an eventual 160 single-seat Jaguar As. For type conversion training, France also took 40 of the two-seat Jaguar E. After Breguet was purchased by Dassault, the proposed Jaguar M variant, a carrier version for the French Aeronavale, was cancelled in favor of the Dassault Super Etendard.
The RAF accepted delivery of the first of 165 single-seat Jaguar GR.1s (or Jaguar S) with 54(F) squadron in 1974. These were supplemented by 35 two-seat trainers, the Jaguar T2 (or Jaguar B according to the manufacturer's designation). The Jaguar S and B had a more comprehensive nav/attack system than the A and E models used by the Armee de l'Air, and used 30 mm Aden cannon instead of 30 mm DEFA 553s. Some RAF Jaguars were used for rapid deployment and regional reinforcement, operating with the Coltishall wing, and others flew in the nuclear strike role from RAF Bruggen. The latter aircraft were the RAF's only single-seat strike platforms, and were later replaced by Tornados.
In December 1983 75 RAF Jaguars were updated to the GR.1A and T.2A standard with FIN1064 navigation and attack systems replacing the original NAVWASS. At about the same time, most were also re-engined with Adour 104 engines. In 1994, ten GR.1As and two T.2As were upgraded with the capability to carry the TIALD laser designator pod and redesignated GR.1B or T.2B respectively.
The upgraded GR.3A (also known as Jaguar 97) introduced fleet-wide TIALD LDP compatibility, provision for the EO GP1 (JRP) digital reconnaissance pod, a helmet mounted sight, a glass cockpit with a large AMLCD display and a new HUD, a new hand controller and stick top, GPS, TERPROM Terrain Referenced Navigation, an Improved Data Modem datalink, and improved Night vision goggles compatibility. The interim GR.3 (Jaguar 96) was delivered in three standards, for recce, attack and TIALD, but all were converted to Jaguar 97/GR.3A standards. All GR.3As were subsequently re-engined with the new Adour 106 turbofan. A number of T.2 trainers were also upgraded to Jaguar 96 standard and redesignated T.4.
Jaguars were also sold to a number of overseas countries. The largest single customer was the Republic of India which purchased about 40 of these aircraft and also acquired the license to manufacture 100 of them locally. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, India's leading aerospace agency, manufactured 100 Jaguars under the name Shamsher. The Jaguar International was an export version which was sold to Ecuador, Nigeria and Oman. Oman's Jaguars have been brought to full GR3A standards and serve with No.s 8 and 20 Squadrons.
The Jaguar saw combat during the first Gulf War of 1991, with the Armee de l'Air and RAF, the Balkan wars with the RAF, the Kosovo War with the Armee de l'Air and the Kargil War with the Indian Air Force. However, during the 1991 Gulf War, the RAF Jaguars were "paired" with Buccaneers, which had already been upgraded with TIALD.
The Jaguar International (in common with the Lightning) has provision for overwing pylons. Mounted on the Jaguar they are used for short-range air-to-air missiles, such as the Matra R550 Magic or the AIM-9 Sidewinder. This option frees up the under-wing pylons for other weapons and stores. RAF Jaguars gained overwing pylons in the build up to Operation GRANBY in 1990, but French Jaguars were not modified. The RAF's Jaguar 97s were wired for the carriage of ASRAAM on the overwing launchers, but clearance of this weapon was never completed due to funding cuts.
One Jaguar was converted into the Jaguar Active Control Technology (ACT) with fly-by-wire controls and aerodynamic alterations to the airframe. The aerodynamic instability improved maneuverability and test data was used for the Eurofighter development.
Jaguar A : Single-seat all-weather tactical strike, ground-attack fighter version for the French Air Force, two prototypes and 160 production aircraft built.
Jaguar B or Jaguar T.Mk 2 : Two-seat training version for the RAF, one prototype and 38 production aircraft built.
Jaguar T.Mk 2A : Jaguar T.Mk 2 upgrade similar to GR.Mk 1A (see below), 14 conversions from T2.
Jaguar T.Mk 2B : two Jaguar T.Mk 2A aircraft given TIALD capability.
Jaguar T.Mk 4 : Jaguar T.Mk 2A upgraded to Jaguar 96 standard.
Jaguar E : Two-seat training version for the French Air Force, two prototypes and 40 production aircraft built.
Jaguar S or Jaguar GR.Mk 1 : Single-seat all-weather tactical strike, ground-attack fighter version for the RAF, 165 built.
Jaguar GR.Mk 1A : Jaguar GR.Mk 1 with navigation, chaff/flare, ECM and Sidewinder capability upgrades, 75 conversions from GR1.
Jaguar GR.Mk 1B : Ten GR.Mk 1 aircraft modified to carry TIALD pods.
Jaguar GR.Mk 3 : Jaguar 96 avionics upgrade to GR.Mk 1A/B.
Jaguar GR.Mk 3A : Jaguar 97 avionics upgrade to GR.Mk 3.
Jaguar M : Single-seat naval strike prototype for the French Navy, one built.
Jaguar Active Control Technology : One Jaguar converted into a research aircraft.
Jaguar International : Export versions based on either the Jaguar S or Jaguar B.
Jaguar ES : Export version of the Jaguar S for the Ecuadorian Air Force, ten built.
Jaguar EB : Export version of the Jaguar B for the Ecuadorian Air Force, two built.
Jaguar OS : Export version of the Jaguar S for the Royal Air Force of Oman, 20 built.
Jaguar OB : Export version of the Jaguar B for the Royal Air Force of Oman, 4 built
Jaguar IS : Single-seat all-weather tactical strike, ground-attack fighter for the Indian Air Force, 35 built by BAe and 60 built by HAL.
Jaguar IT : Two-seat training version for the Indian Air Force, five built by BAe and 10 built by HAL.
Jaguar IM : Single-seat maritime anti-shipping aircraft for the Indian Air Force. Fitted with Agave radar and capable of carrying Sea Eagle anti-ship missile, 12 built.
Jaguar SN : Export version of the Jaguar S for the Nigerian Air Force, 13 built
The Jaguar program began in the early 1960s, in response to a British requirement (AST 362) for an advanced supersonic jet trainer to replace the Folland Gnat T.1 and Hawker Hunter T.7, and a French need for a cheap, subsonic dual role trainer and light attack aircraft with good short field performance to replace the Fouga Magister, T-33 Shooting Star and Dassault Mystere IV.
After development started, both the French and British trainer requirement changed and were eventually fulfilled instead by the Alpha Jet and Hawker Siddeley Hawk respectively. In the meantime, the RAF created a new requirement for the Jaguar, to replace the Phantom FGR.2 in the close air support, tactical reconnaissance and tactical strike roles. In addition, a carrier-capable version to replace the French Aeronavale's Dassault Etendard IV was specified. 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.
Cross-channel negotiations led to the formation of SEPECAT (Societe Europeenne de Production de l'Avion d'Ecole de Combat et d'Appui Tactique - the European company for the production of a combat trainer and tactical support aircraft) in 1966 as a joint venture between Breguet now Dassault Aviation and the British Aircraft Corporation to produce the airframe, and a separate teaming of Rolls-Royce and Turbomeca to develop the Adour afterburning turbofan engine. Though based in part on the Breguet Br.121, using the same basic configuration and an innovative French designed landing gear, the Jaguar as built also incorporated major elements designed by BAC - notably the wing and high lift devices.
The first of eight 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 (4,500 kg)
The aircraft has been updated several times and remains in front-line service with India and Oman. It is to be replaced by the Eurofighter Typhoon in the RAF and the Rafale in the Armee de l'Air. India plans to replace its Jaguar fleet with the Medium Combat Aircraft.
Demands by the UK Treasury to cut 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. An expected date of October 2007 for the out of service date (OSD) was brought forward at just five days notice to 30th April 2007.
Critics say the aircraft was near the end of its service life and did not have all the capabilities required of a front line jet. Proponents argued that the aircraft was recently updated and was 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 enter mass production in 2015 and will replace India's Jaguar fleet. The India Air Force, which operates two different types of Rolls Royce/Turbomeca engines, Mk804E and Mk811 (produced under license by HAL) will possibly be upgrading their Mk811 engines to the Mk821 which will combine a number of thrust and reliability improvements gained from the RAF Jaguar experience in the last 5 years. This will allow the Indian Air Force to have a more capable aircraft at medium and high level sortie profiles where most of the flying is carried out. The engines may also share similar components to the Adour Mk871 which has been fitted to the Indian Air Force Hawk supplied by BAES.
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