Aircrafts / Fighters / European Union / Jaguar

Number of Engines 2
Total Thrust (kg) 6 626
Length (m) 16.83
Height (m) 4.80
Wingspan (m) 8.69
Top Speed (km/h) 1 610
Ceiling (m) 12 192
Max. Takeoff Weight (kg) 15 000
Range (km) 3 525
Crew 1
Date Deployed 1982
Unit Cost ($) N / A
Overview Background Service Gallery

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.

Starting in the early 1960's, the French Air Force began looking for aircraft to replace its Lockheed T 33 and Fouga Magister trainers as well as its Myst?re IV tactical fighters. In April 1964, the Aeronautics Technical Bureau invited French aeronautics companies to respond to a preliminary design in a programme for a twin-engined aircraft to equip ECAT (Ecole de combat and d’appui tactique, or School of Combat and Tactical Support). The ECAT programme resulted in the companies Dassault, with the Cavalier, and Breguet, with the Br 121, entering into competition. On 30th June 1964, the engineering offices of Breguet, headed by Georges Ricard, submitted to the competent authorities the project Br 121, a version of the Br 1001 Taon, with twin Rolls Royce RB 172-45 engines. The project Cavalier was finally abandoned following the choice of the Breguet aircraft.

It quickly became apparent that the RAF also needed an aircraft that corresponded rather closely to the characteristics of the Br 121. On 17th May 1965, the two countries concluded a protocol agreement for the study and joint manufacture of a low-altitude combat and training aircraft. Responsibility fell to Breguet Aviation and the British Aircraft Corporation, under the management of the Franco-British joint-company SEPECAT (Soci?t? europ?enne de production de l’avion d’?cole de combat and d’appui tactique, or European Company for the Production of Aircraft for the School of Combat and Tactical Support). Breguet Aviation was acquired by the company Dassault in 1967.

The first prototype, Jaguar A, flew from Istres (Bouches-du-Rh?ne, France), on 08 September 1968.
Difficulties in cooperation, due to the lack of a true main contractor, and changes in the definition delayed the Jaguar entering service until 1972. Originally a program for a trainer aircraft, it ended up as a ground attack aircraft with little in common, either in terms of size or cost, with the model initially foreseen. The French and British versions also were not identical, since each country had imposed, for its own models, nationally-sourced equipment.

In the end, a total of 573 aircraft were ordered. France and Britain purchased 403 to which were added 54, exported to three countries (Oman, Ecuador and Nigeria), and 116 to India of which 70 were produced under license in that country.

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.

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