Bréguet 121 is the prototype, on which the SEPECAT (acronym for Société Européenne de Production de l'Avion d'Ecole de Combat et d'Appui Tactique) Jaguar is based. The Sepecat Jaguar, an Anglo-French joint venture by the British Aircraft Cor-poration and Breguet Aviation for a super-sonic strike-attack and reconnaissance air-craft, plus a two-seat operational trainer, first flew on 12 October 1969.
Developed cooperatively by the United Kingdom and France, the Jaguar. The Jaguar is a light but capable strike aircraft, having two afterburning turbofan engines. It is used in the reconnaissance, advanced training, close air support, maritime attack as well as in the strike and interdiction role. Powered by two Rolls-Royce Turbomeca Adour turbofan engines of, according to engine mark, these aircraft have a maximum speed of Mach 1.5 at optimum altitude, and Mach 1.1 at sea level. A maximum external load of 10,000 lb (4,500 kg) of stores which can include nuclear and conventional weapons can be carried.
There followed a production of some 203 examples for the Royal Air Force, which included 38 two-seat variants, and 200 for the French Air Force. The Armee de l’Air's first SEPECAT Jaguars became operational in January 1975. They had been modified to carry the French AN-52 tactical nuclear weapon.
Jaguar A is the original prototype and the French single-seat attack version. Jaguar E is the French tandem two-seat trainer variant with dual controls. Both were equipped with Adour Mk 101 engines of 7,305 lb thrust (with afterburning), although they were quickly replaced by the Adour Mk 102 of 8,600 lb thrust (with afterburning). The French Jaguars saw combat in Africa and the Balkans, before the last squadron (EC.01.007) retired its final examples from operational use on July 1, 2005.
Jaguar S designated GR.Mk1 (GR.1) by the Royal Air Force is the British equivalent of the Jaguar A with a laser in the nose. The Jaguar B is the RAF's advanced trainer designated T.Mk2 (T.2) and has a more advanced full suite nav/attack system. Although originally delivered with the Adour Mk 102 engines, they were quickly retrofitted with the more powerful Rolls-Royce/Turbomeca Adour Mk 104 turbofans. GR.1A is an upgraded GR.1 aircraft with the nav/attack system from the T.2 and self defense systems, which were also added to the T.2A upgrade. Reconnainssance aircraft are equipped with a centre-line pod housing five cameras and an IR linescan.
Armament of the A and S versions consists of two 30-mm cannon, and, rockets and missiles. Jaguar A and S production aircraft entered service with the Armee de l’Air and the RAF respectively in 1973.
Entering RAF service with No 226 Operational Conversion Unit on 13 September 1973, and front-line service with No 54 Squadron since 29 March 1974, the Jaguar has at one stage equipped eight RAF front-line squadrons based in the UK and, the then, West Germany.
Only the Royal Air Force employed the type in the reconnaissance role, equipped with the Jaguar GR.Mk 1 carrying a large pod on the centreline stores station, containing cameras and infra-red linescan equipment. Reconnaissance cameras are located in a pair of rotating drums within the pod, swivelling to expose the camera ports during photography. Two side-mounted and one forward-looking camera are positioned in the forward drum whilst the second can contain a pair of oblique cameras for low-level work or a solitary vertical camera best suited for photography from medium altitudes. This combination offers quite comprehensive coverage, one particularly useful facility being a data conversion unit which automatically annotates the aircraft's position on the film, details of this being obtained from the onboard navigation computer. IR-linescan film is similarly marked.The type is being continually upgraded into variants as the GR. 1A and lB. These upgrades, known as Jaguar ‘96 and ‘97, include the ability to carry the TIALD pod (thermal imaging and laser designator), new-generation reconnaissance equipment, an improved cockpit layout and an enhanced mission planning system and terrain reference navigation equipment.
The GR.3 and T.4 are the last RAF standards of RAF GR.1s and T.2s respectively. The upgrade program included 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 into the 21st century. Finally, in the twilight of their career with the RAF, 60 GR.3/T.4 aircraft were fitted with the Adour Mk 106 engine, a rebuild and enhanced version of the Mk 104 offering better reliability, maintainability and slightly more thrust.
Despite the upgrades, it was decided the Jaguar would ultimately leave RAF service in 2007. The last RAF Jaguar squadron, 6 Sqn, was planned to disband in October 2007, retiring its aircraft. However the date was brought forward by some six months to 30 April 2007, a decision which had been announced only six days earlier by the UK MOD. Only one GR.3A and one T.4 aircraft remained active for trials with QinetiQ at Boscombe Down, Wiltshire, UK.
The Jaguar had somewhat limited export success, but the international vari-ant was sold to the Ecuadorean Air Force (12), India, Nigeria, and the Royal Air Force Oman (24), as well as the Nigerian Air Force (18 these are currently (1999) stored and have not been operational for many years). The first of 10 SEPECAT Jaguar In-ternational fighters (the export version) was delivered to the Sultan of Oman's air force in March 1977.
All export Jaguar Internationals are based on the RAF's Jaguar B/S airframe.
The Indian Air Force received 40, where the type is known as the Shamsher (assault sword). An additional 45 were supplied and assembled in India and a further 46 followed, being produced in India by Hindustan Aeronautics. The first of 45 HAL-assembled Jaguars flew in March 1982, and production ended in 1998.
India was the biggest Jaguar operator today, with Jaguar IS strike , IT trainer and IM maritime strike aircraft. The latter have the Agave radar in a reprofiled nose and are armed with BAe Sea Eagle anti-ship missiles.
While the original manufacturing countries of the Jaguar, France and the United Kingdom, had retired the Jaguar from air force service, India was still producing new aircraft of the type for the Indian Air Force (IAF). HAL's Bangalore production line assembled the last batch of 20 single-seat Jaguars complete with the DARIN (Display Attack Ranging Inertial Navigation) II upgrade, including HOTAS, MFD, and new INS/GPS nagivation system. At Aero India 2007, February 2007, it was revealed that five of the 20 new Jaguars were ready for delivery with another three in final assembly. The eight were scheduled for delivery to the IAF before March 31, 2007, with the remaining 12 aircraft to be delivered within a year.
Latest versions have uprated Adour Mk.811 engines and overwing air-to-air missiles, while optional equipment includes multipurpose radar, Sea Eagle, Harpoon, Exocet, or Kormoran anti-shipping missiles, and a system such as low-light TV for enhanced night operations.
During the 1970s and early 1980s considerable research was undertaken into a host of aeronautical fields but this was generally performed with conversions of existing aircraft such as the SEPECAT Jaguar converted by British Aerospace for fly-by-wire control development.
Engine: 2 x R-R / Turbomeca Adour. Installed thrust (dry / reheat): 50 / 75 kN
Span: 8.7 m
Length: 15.5 m
Wing area: 24.2 sq.m
Empty wt: 7700 kg
MTOW: 15,430 kg
Warload: 4760 kg
Max speed: 1350 kph, M1.4
Initial ROC: 1.5 min to 9150 m
Ceiling: 14,000 m
T/O run: 880 m
Ldg run: 470 m
Combat radius lo-lo-lo: 535 km
Fuel internal: 4200 lt
Air refuel: Yes
Armament: 2 x 30 mm
Hard points: 5
Powerplant: two Rolls-Royce/ Turbomeca Adour Mk 104 turbofans, 3647-kg (8,040-1b) afterburning
Maximum speed at 10.975m (36,000 ft) 1700 km/h (1,055 mph) or Mach 1.6
Service ceiling 14,020m (46,000 ft)
Ferry range 4205 km (2,614 miles)
Weight empty about 7000 kg (15,432 lb)
Maximum take-off 15700 kg (34,612 lb)
Span 8.69 m (28 ft 6 in)
Length 15.52 m (50 ft 11 in)
Height 4.89 m (16 ft ½ in)
Wing area 24.18 sq.m (260.27 sq.ft)
Armament: two 30mm Aden Mk.4 cannons / 150 rounds per gun
External load: 4763 kg (10,500 lb)
Hardpoints: five + wingtips