|Produced to meet a joint
Anglo-French requirement in 1965 for a dual-role advanced/operational
trainer and tactical support aircraft, the Jaguar has been transformed into
a potent fighter-bomber. The RAF originally intended to use the aircraft
purely as an advanced trainer, but this was later changed to the offensive
support role on cost grounds. The first RAF aircraft took to the air in
October 1969, and each air force placed orders for 200 aircraft - the RAF
opting for 165 single-seat and 35 two-seat aircraft. Deliveries to No 226
OCU at Lossiemouth began in 1973, and at its peak the Jaguar equipped 8
front-line and 1 training squadron; Nos 14, 17, 20 and 31 Sqn at Bruggen
(strike/attack), II(AC) Sqn at Laarbruch (reconnaissance) as well as the
three Coltishall based squadrons (6, 41 and 54) and Lossiemouth based
16(Reserve) Sqn where it continues to give sterling service.
A variety of
weapons including cluster, freefall, retard and laser guided bombs, as well
as rockets can be carried on the four wing and one fuselage stations. Two
30mm cannon are mounted internally. To mark targets for laser-guided
weapons, the aircraft carries the thermal imaging and laser designation (TIALD)
pod. For self-defence, overwing Sidewinder infra-red missiles are carried
and the aircraft is fitted with a comprehensive suite of electronic
countermeasures. Perhaps the Jaguar's most impressive feature is its
navigation and attack system. With mission data fed into the computer, all
the necessary information for a pinpoint attack is relayed to the head-up
display. From the display, the pilot knows exactly where the target is
located and precisely when to release his weapons for maximum effect.
The fleet is currently undergoing an upgrade programme, and this will see
aircraft fitted with new cockpit displays, helmet-mounted sights, the
ability to carry the new Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM)
and other system improvements to further extend the life of the aircraft
well into the next century.
||Powerplant: Two Turbomeca/Rolls-Royce
Adour 104 turbofans of 7,305lb st.
Span: 28ft 6 in (8.69m)
Length: 55ft 2.5in (16.83m)
Max Speed: 990mph (1,593km/h) at 36,000ft (11,000m).
Accommodation: GR1B pilot only; T2: pilot and pupil in tandem.
Armament: Two 30mm Aden guns and up to 10,000lb (4,500kg) stores
including Martel, rockets and laser-guided bombs.
Recognition: Long sleek fuselage with a large swept tail fin and
rudder. Relatively short-span swept wings are shoulder-mounted on the
fuselage. The internal jet engines have intakes either side of the fuselage
behind the cockpit, with their top surfaces forming an extension of the
wing. The rear jetpipes are located forward and below the tailplane which
has marked anhedral. The raised bubble canopy is set above the
sharply-pointed nose. The twin mainwheels of the undercarriage retract into
Jaguar GR1A with T2A (lower side-view)