posted on Oct, 27 2005 @ 09:39 PM
Provided there aren't any power lines and you've got a reasonably accurate radalt, flat dirt is easy to lowball over and in fact (as is shown) you
can INCREASE your visual signature by roostertailing a dustcloud.
OTOH, 'Back In The Day' (when we actually thought the Russkies were a-comin' right soon...) it was not unheard of for Jaguars to 'roll pull'
hillsides in Scotland and Wales and later Cold Lake Canuckland. On familiar route corridors, this would yield maximum conformity in their terrain
following profiles. 60ft AGLs were not at all uncommon where the range minimums were lax enough and in elevated terrain there is NOTHING like
cresting into a 'slightly misty' valley with the airframe inverted and the nose going negative. Especially if there is water in the bottom (when
isn't there in Scotland) the difference between up and down as the mere or minor sea steel-grey mirrors early in the morning can be particularly
'interesting' as a visual effect.
Of course this was never done with a full weapons load as the wing loading, CG static margin and thrust of the period Adours was (and remains) rather
pathetic for such a small airframe and the lack of internal volume means you are stuck with some pretty hefty tanks and selfprotect pods
The problem being that this performance shortfall gets serious as the density altitude goes up with heat and true altitude and so the Omani merc crews
had to do /something/ to make the Cat look baaaaaad, 'in a good way'.
As the cement block in the F.3s was replaced by working AI and the Brits got a feel for what their own monopulse Skyflash could do, the bug-on-rug
effect of restricted 3D maneuver was seen to be the vulnerability it was and less emphasis was placed on low level navigation as it also messed up
lookout and formation keeping while making horizon compressed laydown or low angle delivery with the LRMTS setup less useful than the risk to
golden-BB defenses imposed.
Today, Jaguar is basically a test-rat for all the systems they are going to put into GR.9 'someday' and retains the wrung-out professional logistics
footprint of a platform that is now the Brits 'best' (cheapest) expeditionary warfighter. Without radar it's still pretty much junk and will be
phased out soon as the Flubber (Typhoon) migrates almost immediately into multirole/strike instead of remaining a A2A restricted platform.