The SEPECAT Jaguar has just been formally retired from service by the French Air Force and its final days with the RAF are also not too far away. In
many eyes this retirement is rash and premature, especially considering the extensive programme only recently completed in the UK to produce the
This will leave India as the Jaguars main operator and stealth spy will be able to tell us what their plans are for the type.
A little recent digging has revealed to me just what extensive plans BAC, co-creators of the Jaguar, had for developing the type.
Fairly well known is the 1978 'Super Jaguar' which was to be re-winged, re-engined with RB-199'S and 'turned into a fighter in the F-16 class' as
an interim type to serve the RAF until the aircraft we now know as the Eurofighter (then merely AST403) was ready for service.
Of course this never came to pass but then neither did a plethora of developments that were started before the Jaguar had even entered service at
As far back as 1971, three years before the RAF recieved its first aircraft, BAC was planning to replace the Jaguar and the Harrier in a single swoop
by effectively combining the two aircraft. More accurately they sought to install the Pegaus engine (complete with PCB as developed for the cancelled
P.1154) into a redesigned Jaguar airframe. This was project P.70, as illustrated below. As you can see the P.70 evolved to a radically different, but
still clearly Jaguar based, twin boom design but the problem was that even with burning (or PCB) it was only just supersonic due to induced drag.
After further study BAC concluded that the drag penalty of the Pegasus made the design not worth pursuing and that developments in modern lightweight
lift engines, namely the Rolls-Allison XJ.99, coupled with the practical experience gained with the Short SC.1, Mirage IIIV and VFW-Fokker VAK 191B
meant that something more akin to a 'minimum change' develoopment could be pursued.
Although 'minimum change' was the aim the actual developments were equally as radical in their final application. These are covered by designs in
the P.71 range.
The baseline P.71 was to be a long term Jaguar development with two RB.199's and two XJ.99 lift engines which were mounted behind the cockpit in a
lengthened fuselage. The RB.199'S were to be fitted with 'cascades' which were downward facing 'vents' through which the thrust of the RB199
could be diverted for vertical lift at the rear of the aircraft working in conjunction with the XJ.99's at the front. This arrangement can be seen on
the second illustration which shows a much scaled down P.71 variant for the Royal Navy with just one RB.199 and one lift engine. A further version of
the full sized P.71 was schemed with a single, cascade equipped, P&W F-100, just like the ones in the F-15 and F-16!
One final development of this was the P.72, a lightweight fighter based on the scaled down RN version which differed only in respect of having a
tailless delta configuration and makes an interesting comparison with todays LCA Tejas which matches it in most respects except for the lift engine.
This comparison is made more interesting for me by the fact that India is such a major operator of the basic Jaguar today.
source; British Secret Projects - Bombers since 1949 by Tony Buttler.
[edit on 30-9-2005 by waynos]
Mod Edit: Image Size.
[edit on 4/10/2005 by Mirthful Me]