The Jaguar was originally designed as an advanced supersonic jet trainer to replace the Folland Gnat, the Hawker Hunter and also have light ground attack capabilities.
The Jaguar was designed by Sepecat as a joint venture between the British and the French to be used by the Royal Air Force and the Armee de l'air.
The first prototype was a 2-seat aircraft fitted with an Adour engine and first flew on the 8th of September 1968. On its third flight the prototype aircraft achieved supersonic flight, however, the aircraft was lost to an engine fire during landing on the 26th of March 1970.
A series of eight prototypes went on to be produced during the development of the Jaguar and its required role quickly changed from a jet trainer to reconnaissance, tactical strike and ground attack.
A carrier based aircraft was also considered for the French service but after evaluation this variant was cancelled in favour of the Dassault Super Etendard.
The Jaguar was developed as a single-seat, swept wing, twin engine aircraft capable of a maximum take-off weight of 34,612lb with a combat radius of 530 miles. The Jaguar has hardpoints for up to a load of 10,000lb to fit weapons such as Rocket pods, 100mm bombs, anti-air missiles, Sidewinders and cluster bombs.
After further development the Jaguar was also equipped with two DEFA or Aden cannons and was capable of having overwing pylons fitted for short-range air-to-air missiles.
The Jaguar is powered by two Rolls Royce Turbomeca Adour turbofan engines with afterburners which were developed primarily for the aircraft. The Jaguar was designed with ease of maintenance in mind and it was possible to change an engine in just 30 minutes.
During the Gulf War, the Jaguar proved to be mechanically more reliable than the Panavia Tornado, however, the avionics were less than satisfactory and proved a hinderence to conducting missions.
To overcome the shortcomings of the Jaguar's navigation and target aquisition it had to be escorted to its target. The French Jaguars were escorted by Dassault Mirage F1CR and the British Jaguars were escorted by Blackburn Buccaneers acting as laser designators.
Even with its avionic shortcomings the Jaguar proved a valuable aircraft during the conflict with the RAF flying 612 combat sorties with no loses, however, significant changes were made during and after the conflict.
The Jaguar did not see service in the Iraq War due to refusal by Turkey to use their airbases and due to planned defence cuts plans were made in 2004 to withdraw the Jaguar by 2007.
The last British Military flight by a Jaguar took place on the 20th of December 2007.
|Crew:||1 or 2 (in tandem)|
|Length:||55ft 3in (16.83m)|
|Wingspan:||28ft 6in (8.69m)|
|Height:||16ft 1in (4.89m)|
|Empty Weight:||16,975lb (7700kg)|
|Max. Weight:||34,612lb (15700kg)|
|Engines (x2):||Turbomeca Adour turbofan|
producing 5,115lbf* each.
*7,305lbf with afterburner.
|Max. Speed:||1,062 mph (1700 km/h)|
|Range:||2,203 miles (3525 km)|
|Cannon:||2 x 30mm DEFA|
|Hardpoints:||4 x underwing|
1 x centre pylon
total capacity of 10,000lb.
|Rockets:||8 x Matra rocket pods|
|Missles:||AS.37 Martel anti-radar or|
2 x R550 Magic air-to-air
1 x AN-52 nuclear.
ATLIS targeting pod
external drop tanks.
Single-seat ground attack fighter for the French Air Force, 160 built.
Two-seat training aircraft for the Royal Air Force, 38 built.
Upgrade of T2, similar to GR1A, 14 converted.
Upgrade of T2A
Two-seat training version for the French Air Force, 40 built.
Single-seat ground-attack fighter for RAF, 165 built.
GR1 with NAVWASS II, chaff/flare, ECM and Sidewinder, 75 conversions.
GR1 modified to carry TIALD pods, 10 conversions.
GR1A with upgrade to Jaguar 96 avionics.
GR1B/GR3 with upgrades to Jaguar 97 avionics.
Single-seat prototype for French Navy, 1 built.
For further variants please visit Wikipedia.
The Sepecat Jaguar is an Anglo-French ground attack jet aircraft, originally used by the Royal Air Force and the Armee de l'air.
It was used in close air support role and also as a nuclear strike role, and is still in service with export customers such as the Indian Air Force.
Photographed above a Jaguar GR3 which displayed at the Royal International Air Tattoo, Fairford in 2005.