SEPECAT Jaguar is India’s only tactical nuclear carrying and Ground Attack Aircraft
The SEPECAT Jaguar is an Anglo-French jet attack aircraft designed and developed by a joint venture between Breguet of France(Now part of Dassault) and UK based British Aircraft Corporation (BAC).It was built by HAL under licence.It was retired from British Royal Air Force in 2007and from French Armee de I’Air in 2005,But it served its service to INDIAN AIR FORCE till Now.
There are 4 forces that uses SEPECAT Jaguar in their airforce:Royal Air Force(UK),French Air Force(France),Royal Air Force (Oman) and Indian Air Force.From first forces it is retired but it is still in service with the IAF.A total of 543 Jaguars were built as of 2015.RAF replaced the SEPECAT Jaguar with Panavia Tornado and Eurofighter Typhoon and French Air force replaced it with Dassault Rafale.Indian plans to replace the Jaguar in future with its upcoming Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) which is under development by HAL.
Breguet and BAC joined in 1966 to develop the Jaguar.The first flight of jaguar took place on 8 September 1968.Orginally it was initially developed as jet trainer with a light ground attack capability but later on it was upgraded to perform various missions like supersonic flights,reconnaissance missions and tactical nuclear strike roles.
Latest Upgrade Of SEPECAT Jaguar Ground Attack Aircraft
Jaguar DARIN III
HAL Conducted the successful maiden flight of Darin III, the upgraded Jaguar ground attack aircraft,in November 2012.This aircraft is indigenously upgraded by HAL.The HAL upgraded navigation system,electronic warfare system and weapon delivery system but the IAF was not satisfied with that so HAL planned to upgrade more features .Now on March 25,2015 the HAL successfully undertakes the maiden flight of More upgraded Jaguar Strike aircraft with enhanced features as demanded by IAF.
India is unknown to run aircrafts well above their shell life with regular mid life up gradation programs. The Jaguar has already completed two MLU, and is now heading for their third MLU. The Darin (Display Attack Ranging Inertial Navigation) is going to be one of the notable features to be clubbed to the existing avionics jaguar package, Jag currently lacks a reliable Radar system instead uses the IRST (Infrared Search and Track ) and state of the art OLS(Optical Locator Systems). India is currently equipped with three different variants, the maritime version charged with the surveillance of the coast and the Deep Penetration bomber currently in use with the Air force and the one under Strategic Forces Command for tactical nuclear strikes.
The air force version is equipped with ground attack munitions, Martel ARM along with R 550 Magic Air to Air Missiles and two on board cannons. Primarily used for deep penetration, SEAD DEAD and Close Air support one of the best platforms in Indian Air force with good Combat Radius. In lo lo lo profile mission with two Martel ARM missiles it can strike targets beyond 1000 km.
The Darin III allows the Jaguar can carry new generation weapon systems like new generation ASRAAM Air to Air missiles more powerful AGM 88 HARM missiles for SEAD role, more powerful LGB/PGM’s with CBU-105 (Censor Fuzed Weapon). The Jaguar comes with RLG inertial navigation and a digital terrain mapping system which is a very good alternative to terrain hugging and avoidance Radar systems.
The Jaguar also comes with Israeli Listening pods for better recon and pin point ground attack missions with using of LGB/PGM. The DARIN III comes with IADS suites which allow the Jaguar escape from any kind of Airborne and Ground threats.
The Maritime version comes with Radar named Agave which can fire Sea Eagle Anti Ship missile, a primary maritime strike aircraft for IAF. This can be upgraded into DARIN III Standard with newer Israeli ELTA Radar, which is capable to fire the new Generation Harpoon Anti Shipping Missiles from Jaguar IM Aircraft. HAL has already completed the DARIN III Upgrade of Jaguars and IAF has accepted its performance and IAF will soon receive the upgraded Jaguar from HAL.
The SFC Jaguars comes with nuclear strike Missions. Currently IAF have only one certified Aircraft which can carry nuclear bombs. More than 20+ Aircraft’s are under SFC control and are capable of carrying out nuclear Gravity bombs.
Engine and Performance
The SEPECAT jaguar ground attack aircraft is powered by 2x Rolls-Royce Turbomeca Adour MK 102 turbofan engines that is capable of producing dry thrust of 22.75KN and with afterburners 3.5 KN.The aircraft has maximum take off weight of 15,700 kg.The engine is degined and developed by Rolls-Royce of UK and Turbomeca of France.
The Jaguar exploit by IAF is powered by 2x Adour Mk 811 turbofan engines.The IAF replaced its 125 Jaguar Aircrafts engines with either Adour mk821s or Honeywell F1251N to improve performance and reliability.
The Aircraft has a maximum speed of Mach 1.6 or 1699 km/h with the ferry range of 3524 km.It has combat radius of 908 km and service seiling of 14,000m.It has a rate of climb of 102 m/s.
The avionics suite of SEPECAT Jaguar is integrated with Global Positioning Satellite (GPS),new HUD,hand controller,TIALD laser designator pod,TERPROM terrain Referenced Navigation system,EO GP1 digital reconnaissance pod,helmet-mounted sight,improved cockpit displays,data-link and night vision goggles.
The aircraft was also fitted with fly-by-wire controls and aerodynamic alterations to the airframe.moreover radar altimeters,automatic direction finder,information friend,weapon aiming computer and digital data bus.The cockpit is equipped with head up display,multifunctional displays and it is enclosed with glass canopy.
The Jaguar Aircraft has armed with 2x30mm DEFA cannons guns with 5 hardpoints 4 uder wing and 1 under center-line pylon stations .It is also equipped with 8x Matra rocke pods with 18x SNEB 68mm rockets each.
Missiles include AS.37 Martel anti-radar missiles,AS-30L laser guided air-to-ground missiles and 2x R550 magic Air-to-air missiles.
Bombs included are various unguided or laser-guided or 2x WE177A nuclear bombs and 1xAN-52 nuclear bomb.It has also ECM protection pods,Reconnaissance Pod,ATLIS laser/electro-optical targeting pod,external drop tanks for extended range/loitering time.