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Volume 6 Issue 6l

Published by
Orbis Publishing Ltd
@ Aerospace Publishing Ltd 1984
Colour profiles, diagrams and cutaway
drawings O Pilot Press Ltd

Editorial Offices
War Machine
Aerospace Publishing Ltd
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Managing Editor: Stan Morse

Editorial: Trisha Palmer

Chris Bishop
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Consultant Editor: Major General Sir
Artists: Jeremy Moore KCB OBE MC, Comman-
Keith Fretwell der of British Land Forces during the
Keith Woodcock Falklands campaign.


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The supetsonic iet fighters of the 1960s saw contbat several
times tlvoughoat the decad,e, where the new taclics were
wotked out thoroughJy, These actions spawned, several
classic afuc;raft guch as the MilG-Z I , which can ioin the list of
truhy great frghters, Eere we describe thefu developnent,
thefu actiotts and how their design teans made sutrntronic did n' t m ake it : the N orth Am erican F - I 07. I ndu s trial politics
O ne that
Ilight a Wadical proposilion prevented thisvery fine aircraftfrom making it to the frontline.

By the start of the I950s, the fighter designers had their sights firmly set used more as bombers than as f,ghters. The Vietnam war gnaphically
on supersonic flight and were working rapidly towards true supersonic illustrates the new breed of air war, with only a handflrl of Phantoms
fighters (as opposed to transonic aircraft often only able to reach Mach I carrying air{o-air missiles whilst the rest of the Phantoms, F- I05 Thun-
in a shallow dive). When the designs reached fruition, the course of air derchiefs and F-100 Super Sabres carried almost entirely bombs and
warfare changed considerably, with aircraft able to intercept each other other airto-gnound ioads. Even the Lockheed P-104 Starfigrhter was
at greater distances and in shorter times than had been previously employed for a while in Vietnam as a 'mud-mover', There must have
possible. Dogfights, however, were not fought at supersonic speeds, a been many fighters which never even saw a Sidewinder in Vietnam, Iet
trend that has lasted to this day. alone carried one,
A whole new realm of military aircraft opened up rapidly, with the The air combats that took place over Vietnam and especially the Sinai
North American F-100 and Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19 leading to the Desert during the 1967 and 1973 warswere different from those of Korea,
classic Dassault Mirage III, McDonnell F-4 Phantom II and MiG-21. as the air{o-air missiie, especially short-range missiles such as Sidewin-
These equipped the air forces of most of the major nations, aiongside the der and its Soviet copy 'Atoll', replaced cannon as the main armament for
Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, and these types were soon finding them- flghting. Cannon were still used for extreme close-in work, and several
seives ever more involved in action, mostly against each other. The two ofthe experienced Israeli pilots used only cannon as a show ofbravado,
wars in the Middle East and the long, protracted air war over the Together with the McDonnell F-4 Phantom il, these aircraft have
spectacular jungles, deltas and mountains of Vietnam forged the tactics shaped the modern fighter scene more than any other group, and their
of air combat between supersonic-capable aircraft, and these tactics inlluence will last for many years more. The lessons learned in all their
have lasted into the I980s. Of course, many of the aircraft described here actions, not only Vietnam and the Middle East, but those over the
still fly regmlarly as the front-line equipment of many nations, yet their hdo-Pakistan border and over Cyprus, have provided the current milit-
importance has been largely taken over by types such as the General ary strategists with all the experience of air combat needed to plan
Dynamics F-i6 and Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23. Aircraft from the pre- future defence.
vious subsonic era are still flying, and of course were used widely
throughout the period covered by this issue,
A fashion set during the later years of Worid War II was that of fighters Supersonic fighters were eagerly awaited by politicians, air forces,
schoolboys and Hollwood alike. A series of exciting desigms were unveiled,
being able to carry out ground attack missions as well as their traditional especially from America, where the'Century Series' caught the imagination of
air-to-air role, This had been developed with the first generations of jet the world. F irst came the N or th Anerican F - I 00 S uper S abre, s how n here, but
fighters and, when the supersonic age arrived, these aircraft were often other classics were soon tofollow.
>K iinc Li\t*ir,s
-r-:=nmg operational service {uring
-.--: r:Lrse of 1960, the BAC Ligh(ning
::;:s ihe distiriction of being the first
l:--sh airgraft to exceed Mach 2 in
-=;ei fught, and has been an integtral
p::: c: the UK's aerial defences lor the
;esr 24 years.
Development of what eventLrally be-
:::::e the Lightnlng can be traced
;a:k io 1947 when the English Electric
J::i.pany was awarded a study cqn-
::: rcr a supersonic research aircraft.
i'::c'r.n as the P. I, thrs made its matden
r'::r il early August 1954 and subse-
;:eTJy demonstrated Mach l+ per-
::::i.iance, semng as a startlnq point A,bove: Lightnings tlew for many
::: -.le P.lB wluch far more closely years with the RAF in natural metal
apprcached the requrrements needed finish and vivid paint schemes. This
:_.- a:r operational aucraft. Flight trials F.Mk3 servedwithNo. 56 Sqn at
,r.= ihe P.1B began in April 1957 and Wattisham in 1965, when the type
::-:',', ed srrfficient promise to wafiant a was the UK's main air defence
:::-tact for 20 pre-production test fighter.
spe::rnens ofthe Lightning, as the type
:ad cy then been named. a few of the latter mark are also still
lire ffst squadron to equrp was No, airwofihy,
-i ar Coltishall, this receiving the Modest success was also achieved
I variant which also
tightrdng F.IvIk on the export front, Saudi Arabia and
s::-red with Nos 56 and I I i Squadrons, Kuwart purchasing close to 50 aucraft
P:;duction then swrtched to the Light- between them, These are now be-
nrnq F.Mk 2, whrch offered better per- lieved to have been retired, beingr re-
::::lalce and was armed wrth Red placed by the McDonnell Douglas
l:p missiles in place of the Lightning F-15 and Dassault-Bregmet Mirage F, 1

: Nft l's Frestreaks, TWo squadrons respectively.

:::erved this model, both berng quick-
--.- noved to West Germany, whilst the
:::::h rmproved lrightning F.Mk 3 Specification
3;entually equrpped five home-based BAC Lightning F.Mk 6
:quadrons from mid-1964 onwards, Type: single-seat all-weather Weights: emptyabout 1270I kg The export derivative of the
lie final sinqle-seat Lightning to see interceptor (28,000 1b); norma.l loaded 19047 ks Lightning F.M k 6 was the F.Mk 53,
-n'ice wrth the RAFwasthe Lightning Powerplant: two Rolls-Royce Avon Mk (42, 000 lb); ma:omum take-off about supplied to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia: I
F.Mk 6 with a Ereatly modiied wing 302 turbojets, each rated at 71 i2-kg 22680 ks (50,000 ]b) one ofthe latter's aircraft is seen
much Lmproved fuel capacity, and ( I 5, 680-lb) afterburning thrust Dimensions: span 10,62 m (34 ft 10 in); here. Two-seat trainers were also
=d model remains active today with
-::s Performance: maximum speed length 16.84 m (55 ft 3 in) including supplied with the designation T.Mk 55.
:,r: squadrons at RAF Binbrook, 2414 kn/h (1,500 mph) at 12190 m probe; heighJ 5.97 m (19 ft 7 in); wing
in addition to slngle-seaters, two (40,000 ft); initial climb rate 15240 m area 35,3I mz (380. I sq ft) A Lightning F.M k 3 of No. 74 Sqn
:r,-3-seat variants were also built for (50,000 ft) per mrnute; sewrce ceiling Armament:two 30-mm Aden cannon, displays thecarriage of the
:a-nag duty, these being the Light- 16765 m (55,000 ft); range 1287 krrr (800 plus two Frestreak or Red Top infra- Fr'resfreakmissi/es and the original
ning T.lvlk 4 and lightning T.Mk 5, and miles) on internal fuel red homing air-to-air missrles straightwing.

,lr ,.

l .::::
i'r a:r-
I '" '::
fl ijXtu",rrt Super Mystdre
Unique in being the first Western
European aircraft capable of super-
sonic speed in level flight, the Dassault
Super Mystdre has virtually dis.
appeared from the scene although a
few are understood still to be active
with the Honduran air force,
A logrcal development of the earlier
Mystdre, the Super Mystere flrst flew
in prototype form on 2 March 1955,
although this aircraft was powered by
a Rolls-Royce Avon rather than the
SNECMA Atar 101G which was fitted
to production-configured machines.
Five pre-production test specimens Above: Israelwas a major operator
followed the prototype down the of the Super Mystdre and her aircraft
assembly line, the first of these getting saw much action, especially in the Six
airborne on 15 May 1956, whllst pro- Day War of 1 967, where it was
duction Super Mystdre B-2 aircraft be- employed in the ground-attack role
gan to enter service with the 10" usingironhombs.
Escadre de Chasse during 1957, other
operatronal unrs being the 5'Escadre air arm having received 12 from lsrael
at Oranoe and the 122 Escadre at Cam- during the 1970s. These aircraft pro-
brai, Pioduction terminated during vide further evidence of Israeli in-
1959, by which time some 180 Super genuity, for they were all modifled to
Mystdres had been built, this total in- take a non-afterburning Pratt & Whil
cluding 24 for sewice with the Israeli ney J52 turbojet,
air force, with which they saw combat
action on several occasrons. Specification
Development of the type did not Dassault Super Mystere B-2
cease with the Super Mystdre B-2 Type: single-seat fi ghter-bomber
model, for Dassault also completed Powerplant: one SNECMA Atar 101G-
hvo prototypes of the Super Mystdre 2 or Atar l0lG-3 turbojet rated at 3400-
B-4. Powered by a single SNECMA ks (7,495-lb) dry thrust and 4460-kg
Atar 09C engrne, this flew for the first (9, 833-lb) afterburning thrmt Dimensions: span 10.52 m (34 ft 6 in); The Super Mystdre was employed by
time on 9 February 1958 and evenhrai- Performance: maximum speed lengith 14. 13 m(46ft4Vq in); height Francefrom 1957 until the late 1970s.
1y achieved a top speed of Mach 1,4 in I 195 km/h (743 mph) at altitude; initial 4.55 m (14 ft 11 in); wingarea 35,00 m2 This Arm6e de l'Air example shows
level flight at i 1000 m (36,090 ft). In the climb rate 5335 m (17,500 ft) per (376.75 sq ft) the dogtaoth in the leading edge,
event, however, the even more prom- minute; service ceiling 17000 m Armarnent:two 30-mm DEFA cannon w h ich im p r ov e d high - a ltitu d e
rsing Dassault Mirage III was coming (55,775 ft); range (clean) 870 kn (540 and 35 68-mm (2,68-in) ungmided m an o e uvr a bi li ty. Ar m am e n t
along and the Super Mystdre B-4 even- miles) rockets (the latter in a belly pack), plus consk ted of two 30 - mm c annon and
tually slipped quietly into obscurity, Weights:empty 6930 kq (15,278 lb); up to 1000 ks (2,205 lb) ofexternal internal rockets, with pylons for
The only Super Mystdres now flying normal loaded 9000 kq ( 19,842 1b); ordnance includinq bombs and external stores. Most aircraft carried
are those ofthe Honduran arr force, thrs maximum take-off 10000 kg (22,046 lb) rockets Iong-range fuel tanks under the wings,

Il ijXs"ort Mirase III and Mirase 5

By far the most successful post-war
European fighter aircraft, the Dassault
Mirage III and Mirage 5 remained in
production in late 1984, albeit in a very
small way.
Developed rn response to a French
arr force requirement of the early *
1950s, the Mirage was one of three
submissions put forward, all of which
were intended to use dual turbojeV
rocket power in order to gain altitude Above: The major aircraftof Israel's
rapidly in fulfllling the primary task of lightning victory over its Arab
interceptron. Subsequently, it became neighbours in I 967 was the Mirage
clear that this unusual concept signi- IIL This was used for both air-to-air
ficantly imparred endurance and Das- and air - to- ground mr'ssrbns.
sault returned to the drawing board,
comrng up with the now familiar tail- ments including the Mirage IIIB two-
less delta which relied on a single seat pilot training version, the Mirage
SNECMA Atar 10lG twbojet for prop- IIIE for tactical nuclear strike and con-
ulsion, plus an optional boost rocket. ventional attack, and the Mirage IIIR
Construction of a private-venture for reconnaissance, In additton to the
prototype forged ahead rapidly, this Iarge numbers built for sewice with
eventually taking to the air for the flrst the French air force, versions ofall four
time during November 1956 and very basic types have been exported
qutckly vindicatrng Dassault's theories, throughout the worid.
whilst at the same time providing valu-
able data whrch could be rncorporated Specification
in any future production variant. Dassault Mirage IIIE
Official interest, initially lukewarm, Type: single-seat al1-weather fighter- rocket) 17000 m (55,775 ft); combat Dassault's remarkable Mirage III has
was quickly confirmed by an order for bomber radius 1200 km (746 miles) on a servedwith theArm6e de I'Air since
10 pre-production specimens just su Powerplant:one SNECMA Atar 9C grround-attack mission 1961 , and still flies in large numbers.
months after the maiden flight. Testing turbojet rated at 6205-kg ( 13, 680-lb) Weights: empty 7200 kq ( 15,875 1b); These early Mirage IIICs are
and evaluation of these began in May afterburmng thrust, plus one optional normal loaded (clean) 9800 kg receiving pre-flight preparations.
1958 and qulckly led to the first major SEPR 844 rocket rated at 1500-kg (21,605 lb); maximum take-off 13500 kg
production order for a variant known (3,307-lb) thrust (29 762 lb) Armament:two 30,mm DEFA cannon,
as the Mirage IIIC, this duly entering Performance: maximum speed Dimensions: span1.ZZ m(26 ft I I 7z in); plus up to 2270 kg (5,004 Ib) ofexternal
sewice at Dijon durlnq 1961, 2350 kr'/h (1,460 mph) at 12200 m lenglh I 5.03 m (49 ft 37: in); height ordnance includrnq air{o-air missiles,
From then on, the Mirage never (40,025 ft); climb to I 1000 m (36,090 ft) 4 50 m (14 ft 9 in): wing area 35.00 mz air-to-surface missiles, bombs, rockets
looked back, successive develop- in 3 minutes; service ceiling (without (376,75 sq ft) andnapalm


Air Wcrr in the Middle Easf

The aircraft developed by France and was evident that it was just a matter ol time ted to action, just eigrht fighters being held back
the Soviet Union clashed spectacularly before the rapidly-increasing tension erupted for defensive pwposes. But the flawless execu-
over the Suez region in 1967, testing out into full-scale warfare, and the only real ques- tion of the plan meant that within three hours c:
all the developments of the previous tion being asked at the time was concerned hostilities beginning, the Egyptian air force hac
decade. The next few years saw these wlth who would strike first, virtully ceased to exist as an effective figrhtinq
At this time Israel stood totally alone, facing force, close to 300 aircraft at 17 airfields berng
aircraft, and newcamers from America, the armed forces ol Egiypt, Jordan and Syria destroyed on the opening day.
Iocked in battle time and time again. which were backed up by air and gror:nd ele-
ments from Algeria, Iraq, Kuwait and Lebanon, Flard work for the pilots
Srnce its creation in May 1948, the state of lsrael In terms of air power, the Arab nations could With only a limited number of combat au-
has spent much of the trme in a state of near- muster about 650 fighters whilst Israel posses- craft available, intenslve flying was demandec
war with its Arab neighbours, the uneasy sed only 196, many of which were of urierior of ali, and many Israeli pilots completed up ic
peace that prevails in this troubled part of the performance when compared with the eight sorties per day, using conventlonal 25C-
world being shattered on numerous occasrons Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19s and MiG-21s, kq (5511b) and 500-ks (1,102-1b) bombs or-
by fuil-blooded conflict, In most of these Sukhoi Su-7s and Hawker Fiunters of their hos- their initlal pass before returning to strafe
periods of hostility the lsraeli Defence Force/ tile neighbours, ground targets with cannon armament. Witi
Arr Force has been at the very heart of the In a war of attrition, it was evident that lsrael ammunition expended, the Israeli aircraft ther.
action, usualiy demonstrating superior ability would almost certainly be overwhelmed, and headed back to home base in order to refue.
to that of its adversaries and gaining a well- the Israelis were thus left with little alternative and rearm, the efforts of the pilots being more
deserved reputation as being amongst the but to opt for a pre-emptive strrke: ilthey could than matched by those of the ground crews
best-trained air arms in the world. This ele- thus succeed in eliminating the threat posed by who routinely accomplished turn-round in
vated status is perhaps best illustrated by enemy air power and so gain control of the seven or eight minutes, permitting the fighters
examining the IDF/AF's part in the so-called skies, they could then turn their attention to to return to the fray within the hour.
Sx-Day War'of June 1967 when, in a matter of ground forces secure in the knowledge that the With the Egyptian air force eflectively out oi
just a few hours, it all but wiped out aerial opposing armies could not call for aerial pro- commission for the duration, attention then
opposition by a series of well-planned and brii- tection. Such a course of action did at least hold switched to the airfields of Iraq, Jordan and
hantly executed pre-emptive strikes, out the prospect of averting eventual defeat, Syria and within another hour eight of these had
The build-up to open warfare in 1967 took although it was quite clearly a gamble for the also been reduced to a state of inoperability,
place over a period of months, but appears to very highest stakes, namely the matter of sur- approximately 50 aircraft and helicopters also
nave been largely prompted by Egypt's Presi- vival of Israel as a sovereign nation. being destroyed. Thus, in just four hours, the
Cent Nasser, who directed Egryptian troops to On the morninq of 5 June 1967 the IDF/AF IDF/AF had scored a crushing victory over the
cccupy the Sinai peninsula during May of that swung into action, rts onsiaught being directed numericaily superior forces of its adversaries
year, Srnce this inhospitable tract of iand initially against Egypt's large and weil- and, far more importantly, had paved the way
served as a 'buffer' between the two nations it equipped air force, Within an hour of the for the ground battle to be won, Once again, the
was hardly surprising that israel responded attacks beginning, air bases at Beni Suei{ Blr Arab nations possessed far larger forces, up to
with a partlal mobilization, but the situation Tamada, Fayid, Gabel Libni, Inchas and Kabrit 500,000 troops being supported by nearly 2,000
worsened almost immediately when Nasser had been rendered inoperative, whilst Egypt's armoured vehicles; lsrael, on the other hand,
or.rsted troops of the United Nations Organiza- fleet of30 Tupolev Tu-16'Badger'bombers at could muster just 50,000 troops plus 200 000
tron undertaking the peace-keeping function in Cairo West had been wiped out, thus removing reservists and approximately 850 armoured
Slnal, At the same time Syria and Jordan each at a stroke one ofthe greatest threats to Israel. vehicles, many of which were of World War II
mobilized, which meant that Israel was now In the initial phases of the aerial assault, which vintage.
threatened from virtually ali sides, A further was accomplished mainly by Dassault Mirage Happily for Israel, the availability of air pow-
factor rn the worsenrng situation was the clos- IIiCJs, Dassauit Super Mystdre B-2s, Dassault er did more than just balance the equation, and
ure of the Straits of Tiran to sea-going traffic Mystdre IVAs and Sud-Ouest Vautour IlAs, vir- for much of the remainder of the 'Six-Day War'
bound for Israel. Thus, by the end of May 1967 it tually the entire IDF/AF inventory was commit- IDF/AF aircraft were concerned mainly with

The First Supersonic Fighters
During the Yom Kippur War of I 973 the Egptians
did not suffer as badly as they had in I 967, and
scenes sucft as this M iG - 2 I dispa tching an I s r aeli
Phantom were not uncommon, despite the overall
air superiority held by the Israelis. These two
aircraft types have seen many combats against

ciose air support oi the army, flying repeated troying more than 350 aircraft and helicopters, quickly set about the task of making good the
missions against enemy armour, strongpoints Thrs remarkable achievement was not accom- losses suffered by the Arab nations, Within 1ln:
and troop concentrations with rockets, napalm, plished without loss, however, for some 40 IDF / a few weeks of the initial strilce, Egiypt's au
bombs and gun fire as they helped soldiers of AF aircraft feli foul of the enemy, Included in force had been rearmed on a quite massive
the Israeli army in the advance across Srnai, In this taliy of attrition were three Ouragans, eight scale, the 90 MiG-2ls that were lost being re-
addition to the principal types already de- Mystdre IVAs, three Super Mystdre B-2s, six placed on a one-for-one basis by new aircrar
tailed, other types used in the support were the Mirages, five Vautours and six Magisters, all of Further, the number of MiG-19s on hand hai
Dassault Ouragan and the Fouga Magister, the which represented a great blow; bui more se- virtually doubled to I20 whilst the originat flee:
latter type being piloted mostly by reservists rious still was the loss of 20 invaluable pilots, of 30 T\r- 16s (all destroyed on 5 June) had beer:
and proving quite effective in this, its first expo- Not surprisingly, losses were heaviest during largely made good with the arrival of 24 mcre
sure to combat. the first couple of days of the war, when the aircraft of this type.
The success of the pre-emptive strikes of the IDF/AF was concemed principally with attack- In subsequent years, modernization further
morning of 5 June was such that encounters ing alr bases and other ground targets within improved Egypt's capability with regard tc
between oppositing fighters were relatively the territory of its neighbours, Most of the aerial warfare, and when war broke out agat^
few, but in the small number of engagements casualties were carised by ground-based antl- during October 1973 the Egryptian arr force
which did occur, Israeli pilots again demons- aircraft artillery, the Egryptian bases being par- gave a far better account of itself althouqh
trated superior qualities, claiming victories ticularly well-defended in this respect, once again, Israel did eventually emerle
over Egyptian MiG-2Is and Su-7s and Jorda- In the event the stunning success of the 'Six- victorious.
nian Hunters amongst others, most of these Day War' did succeed in bringing back an
falling victim to the Mirage IIiCJ's twln 30-mm uneasy state of peace in this part of the Middle The death of an Egyptian MiG-2 I at the hands o{ an
DEFA cannon installation. East for several years. However, the IDF/AF's Israeli Phantom is dramatically caught in a
By the end of the brief but bloody conllict, brilliant strategry was soon rendered more or camera- gun tilm sequence over the Suez C anal
Israel had decimated Arab air power, des- less void by the Soviet Union, whrch very battlefield.


L A ivrirl[v"n-Gurevich MiG-I9/Shenyang J-6

Europe's first truly supersomc produc-
tron jet fighter traces its lineage back
to the late 1940s and was initially con-
ceived around the newly-developed
Lyulka AL-S axial-flow jet engine,
However, slow progress with this
powerplant prompted a change to a
twin-engine design wrth a pair of
Mrkulin AM-Ss. In its earliest form, as
the I-350, the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG- Carrying four AA-l 'Alkali' missiles and featuringlztmrudradar, the
19 featured a Ttail layout but this was MiG- 1 lPM was one of the Warsaw Pact's first missile fighters' This example
quickly revised following the Ioss of served with Poland, who retained these fighters until about I 970.
the prototype as a result of flutter, a
low-set taiiplane being adopted and
successfi;lly flown on the I-350(M) dur-
ing late i952,
Production-configured MiG- 19F
fighters began to appear soon after-
wards, but these were destined to -en-
joy only short servtce careers, high
attiltion rates bringnng about the mod-
el's forced retirement.
The second version to make its de- TheStateAircraftFactory atShenyang beganproducing copies of theMiG-I9 for theChineseairforceunder the
but was the slabtailplane MiG-I9S designationJ-6.These appearedmainlyinnaturalmetalbutafewwerecamouflagedinthe 1960s.
which began to enter servicejn 1955,
and this proved to be much more relt- years. The MrG-I9 has the NATO re- 9 Sidewinder air-to-ar mrssile, 9145 m (30,000 ft) per minute; service
able although it was quickly sup- porting name'Farmer'. Although now rather dated, the ceiling 17900 m (58,725 ft); tactical
planted by the MiG-lgPF, which intro- Soviet manufachre of the MiG-19 is MiG-19/l-6 is still a most potent war- radius 685 lcn (425 miles) wlth two
duced lzumrud radar and whtch ultt- understood to have ceased during plane if flown by an experienced pilot, drop tanks; ferryrange 2200 larl (1,365
mately provided the basis for the flrst 1958 but the type remained in produc- possessing gEeat agiility and devastat- miles) with maximum internal and
supersonic Soviet missile-armed tion in Czechoslovakia until at least Ing quns. externalfuel
fighter, the MiG-lgPM, backbone of 196I, whilst a copy, known as the J-6, Weights: empty 5670 kg ( 12,700 1b);
Soviet air delences for a number of has been butlt by Qhina's Shenyang Specification normal loaded 7545 kg (16,634 Ib);
factory for many years, Mikoyan-Gwevich MiG I 9/Shenyang maximum take-off 8965 kq ( 19, 764 ib)
Examples of the J-6 have also been J-6C Dimensions:span9.20 m (30 ftZVq in);
Pakktan has been a maior recipient supplied to a number of friendly na- Type: single-seat fighter length 12.60 m (41 ft 4 in) excluding
of the S heny ang J - 6 and this country tions including Albama, Pakistan, Tan- Powerplant: two Wopen-6 (T\rmarsky probe; height 3,BB m (12 ft 83/q in); wirq
has appreciated the type's zania and Vretnam, the Pakistani R-9BF-8I l) hnbojets, each rated at area 25,00 mz (269. I sq ft)
tougfiness and agility. The Pakistani machines berng particularly unusual in 3250-kq (7, 165-1b) afterburning thrust Armament: two orthree 30-mm NR-30
J -6 s are fi tted with M artin- B aker that they are fitted wrth British Martin- Performance: maximum speed cannon, plus up to 500 kg ( 1, 102 lb) of
ejection seats and are Sidewinder- Baker ejection seats and have provt- 1540 knh (957 mph) at I i000 m external ordnance includrnq fow air-
capable. sion for carriage of the American AIM- (36,090 ft); initial chmb rate more than to-au missiles, rockets and bombs
l{iG-21 in Action
Built in greater numbers than any other
post-war fighter, the MiG-Z1 has seen
actionin aII quarters of the globe,where
its agility and basic structure have stood
up well to the more capable fighters it

Having now completed a quarier cenhrry of

service, the MiG-21 is assured of a place in
aviation history as one of the most successfirl
fighters of the period after World War II, and in
its final production form as the MIG-2 ibis 'Fish-
bed-N' it is clearly far superior to the rather
unsophisticated aircraftwhich began to join the
Soviet air force in 1959. Currently in service
with a host of air arms ranging from Afghanistan
to Zambia, the MiG-z1 is also a combatveteran
of some note, having seen plenty of action in
Vietnam, the Middle East and over the Indian
ln the course of combat action the fortunes of called Tonkin Gulf incident which sparked off One of severalcountries to have takenits MiG'ZI s
the MiG-21 have been mixed, with aircraft of massive US involvement in South East Asia, a towar is India, whose aircraft took partin the
the Egryptian and Syrian air forces taking a real batch of 30 MiG-17 fighters arrived at the Phuc conflict with P a kis tan in I 9 7 1 . T he I ndians licence-
produced the MiG-2I for their own air force in a
battering at the hands of the Israelis, whilst Yen air base in North Vietnam, but it was not
variety ofversions.
those of the Indian air force are generally re- until the summer of 1966 that the MiG-ZI was
garded to have performed well in the l97l first encouitered in combat and thereafter the
Indo-Pakistan War. A similar story also number available to the North Vietnamese During the 1966-8 timeframe, MiG armament
emerges from South East Asia, where MiG-Zls rose fairly rapidly, reaching a peak ofabout 50 generally comprised an integral cannon back-
of the North Vietnamese air force scored a when the US air campaign against North Viet- ed up by a pair of 'Atoll' air-to-air missiles, a
number of successes, although in combat with nam ceased in late 1968. By I972,when the USA weapon which possessed similar perflrrmance
McDonneli Dougias F-4 Phantoms they almost resumed raids on North Vietnam, the number
invariably seemed to come off worse. But this of MiG-Z ls had risen yet again to just under I00, Oneof theearliestMiG-Z1s, this MiG-21F was
may well have been related to levels of pilot and these did succeed in disrupting US bomb- supplied to Finland in I 963 . The aircraft is fairly
skill rather than to shortcomings on the part of ing missions to some extent although they were primitive compared to later models, carrying Ettle
the Soviet-built fighter. often withdrawn to the sanctuary of China, a in the way of all-weather sensors and extremely
In Augnrst 1964 just a few days after the so- 'no-qo'area for US pilots. limited in range and weapons.
MiG-2I inAction

il ifrtov"n-Gurevich MiG-21
Continuing in production and develop-
ment more than 25 years after its
maiden fliqht, the Mikoyan-Gurevich
MiG-21 looks set fair to establish a
longevity record which rs uniikely to
be equalled and provides perhaps the
classic example of how an aircraft can
'grrow' in service,
Development of the MiG-21 began
dwing the mid-1950s and was in large
part predlcated upon the experience The first version in sewice with the
gained rn the Korean War, which indr- ance to strike and close alr support in the hands ofa skilled pilot it rs still a enlargednose cone, necessitated by
cated a need for an uncompromised and in its most recent €nrise, as the most capable opponent. the larger R L radar, was the MiG-

air superiority fighter. A series ofpro- MiG-2lbis, it is corsidered to possess 2 I PF, built in vast numbers rh fie
totypes was constructed and flown rn genuine multi-role capability although Specification J 960s fo eguip the air defence
1955-6, and after detailed study rt was range and payload potential are still Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG2 lbis regiiments of the S ouiet U nion.
decided to adopt the tailed-delta Ye-s somewhat hmited. Nevertheless, the Type: single-seat mr:1ti-role fighter
as the basis for a new frghter, a few MrG-2lbrs is now the pilncipal expod PowerpLuxt: one T\rmansky R-25
examples of the pre-series Ye-6 enter- variant and could concelably be en- turbojet rated at 5800-kg ( 12, ?90tb) maximum take-off about 10000 kq
ing service with a trials unit in 1957, but countered anyvrhere where Soviet in- dry thrust and 7500-kg (16,535-1b) (22,046 rb)
it was not until 1959 that the first defini- fluence is strong. The NATO reporting afterbuming thrust Dimensions: span 7. 15 m (23 ft 572 in);
tive vanant became available, This name for the series is'Fishbed'. Performance: maximum speed lengthabout 17,56 m(51 ftB7z in)
was the MiG-2IF, essentially a flne- Currently in service with more than 2,230 lam/h ( I,386 mph) at altitude; includrngprobe; height4.50 m(14 ft
weather interceptor possessing'short 30 air arms throughout the world, initial climb rate I 7675 m (57, 990 ft) per 9 in): wingarea 23.00 m'z (247.6 sq ft)
legs'and only marginal payload capa- variantsof the MiG-21 have engagedin minute; service ceiling about i7500 m Armament:one 23-mm GSh-23L twin-
bility. combat on numerous occasions, from (57,415 ft); ferryrange about 1590l<n barrel cannon plus up to I 500 kg
Subsequent redesign has seen the Israel to Indra and from Afghanistan to (988 miles) (3,307 ib) of external ordnance
MiG-21 assume a muliitude of functions Vietnam, with varying degEee of suc- Weights: empty6200 kg(13,670 Ib); including air-to-air missiles, auto-
from interception throuqh reconnarss- cess, but there can be httle doubt that normal loaded 7960 ks(17,550 Ib); surface missiles, bombs and rockets

to the Sidewinder which it closely resembled. Mikoya n-G u revich MiG-21 M F cutaway drawing key
Improving capability meant that in 1972 the 1 Pitot-staticboom 42 Avionicsbay 75 Oiltank l0'1 Rudderconstruction
MiGs usually carried four of these missiles as 2 Pitchvanes 43 Controlrods 76 Avionicspack 102 Rudderhinge
3 Yawvanes zl4 Airconditioning plant
well as a single 23-mm cannon, 4 Conical three-position 45 Suctionreliefdoor
77 Engineaccessories
78 Tumansky R-'13 turboiet
03 Braking parachute hinged
In practice, the MiG-21 pilots were given intake centrebody 46 lntaketrunking (rated at 6600-kg/'l 4,5501b 104 Brakingparachute
little opportunity to use their initiative, remain- 5 'Spin Scan' search-and- 47 Wingroot attachment thrustwith full reheat) stowage
track radarantenna fairing 79 Fuselage breaUtransport 105 Tailpipe(variable
ing under strir:t GCi control throughout an in- 6 Boundarylayerslot 48 Wing/fuselage spatrlug joint converoent nozzle)
terception, However, the North Vietnamese 7 Engineairintake attachment points (four) 80 lntake 1 06 Af terbu-rner installition
I 'SpinScan'radar 49 Fuselage ring f rames 81 Tail surface control linkage 'I
07 Af terburner bay cooling
radar net was most comprehensive, and it was 9 Lowerboundary layerexit 50 lntermediaryframes 82 Artificialfeelunit intake
'10 Antennae 51 lV!ainfuselagefueltank
rare for the US forces to take it by surprise. So 1 Nosewheeldoors 52 RSlUradiobay
83 Tailplanejack 108 TailDlane linkaoefairino
1 84 Hydraulicaccumulator '1
09 Nozzle actuatiig cylindiers
the MiGs could often be vectored into an ideal 12 Nosewheellegandshock 53 Auxiliaryintake 85 Tailplanetrim motor 1'10 Tailplanetorquetube
posltion from which to initiate an attack on absorbers 54 Leading-edge lntegral fuel 86 Finsparattachmentplate 1 'l 1 All-movinq tailptane
13 Castoringnosewheel tank 87 Rudderjack 'I12 Anti-flutterweiqht
strike forces, which were often forced to jetti- 14 Anti-shimmydamper
'15 Avionicsbayaccess
55 Starboard outerweaoons 88 Ruddercontrollinkage 113 lntake
pVlon 89
son ordnance when faced with such a threat. 16 Attitudesensor 56 Outboardwing
Finstructure 1 14 Alterburnermountino
90 Leading-edgepanel 1 15 Fixedtailplane rootfairinq
Those combats which did occur seldom lasted 17 Nosewheelwell conslruction 91 Radiocableaccess 1 16 Lonqitudrnal lap joint
for more than 30 seconds, MiG-2ls generally 18 Spilldoor 57 Starboard navigation light 92 Magneticdetector 117 Externalduct{nozzle
19 Nosewheel retraction pivot 58 Leadingedge suppressed 93 Finmainspar hydraulics)
operating 1n groups oifour to six aircraft during 20 Bifurcated intaketrunking aenal 94 nSlU (radiTstantsiya 1 '18 Ventralfin
the summer of 1966. By the end of that year the 21 Avionicsbay
22 Electronics equipment
59 Wingfence
60 Aileroncontroljack
istrcbitelnaya e
North Vietnamese were beginning to learn 23 lntaketrunkinq 61 Starboardaileron
u lt rako rotkykh vol
shortwavefighter radio)
n -v ery - a
lrom earlier fights, and the increasing availabil- 24 Upperboundarylayerexit 62 Flapactuatorfairing antenna plate
25 Dynamic pressure probe 63 Starboard blown flao-SPS 95 VHF/UHF aerials
ity olthe 'Atoll' missile meant that many attacks forq-feel (soluva pogranichn6vo 96 lFFantennae
26 Semielliptical armoutr
took the form of 'hit-and-run' passes at very glasswindscreen
64 Multi-sparwing structure
97 Formation light
98 Tailwarningradar ir
high speed (above Mach I.4), after which the 27 Gunsightmounting 65 Main integralwing fuel 99 Rearnavigation
MiGs zoomed to a position of relative safety. 28 Fixedquarterlight tank light100 Fuelvent
29 Radarscope 66 Undercarriage mounting/
This mode of operation was particularly effec- 30 Controlcolumn {with pivotpoint
tive in that it exposed the MiG-21 to little risk tailplanetrim switch and 67 Starboard mainwheel leg
twofiring buttons) 68 Auxiliaries companment
whilst at the same time offerrng every chance of 31 Rudderpedals 69 FuselagefueltanksNos2
disrupting US strike elements. 32 Underfloorcontrol runs and 3
33 KM-'1 two-position zero- 70 Mainwheelwell external

MiGs fooled by the 8th

level e,ection seat
34 Portinstrumentconsole 7'l
lvlainwheel {retracted)
35 Undercarriage handle 72 Trunkingcontours
On 2 January 1967, however, the MiG-2ls 36 Seatharness 73 Control rodsindorsalspine
recerved a rude awakening when attacking 37 Canopyrelease/lock 74 Compressorface
38 Starboard wall switch $
what they thought were bomb-laden Republic panel
F-105s but which were in reality missile-armed 39 Rearviewmirrorfairing
F-4Cs of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, and in
jnst 12 minutes of hectic combat no less than
seven MiG-2ls fell victim to AIM-7 Sparrow
40 Starboard-hinged canopy
41 Ejectionseatheadrest
and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles launched by
the Phantoms. This setback led io a period of
relative quiet whilst the North Vletnamese lick-
ed their wounds, and it was not untii eariy in
March that battie was rejoined, the 'hit-and-run'
mode of attack eventually forcing the US Air
Force to adopt different tactics for its strike
echelons and to aliocate special fligrhts of F-4
Phantoms to escort duty,

I 208
The First Supersonic Fighters
The Warsaw Pact countries were amply equipped
with. the MiG-Z I F, and these have beei stdaciit'y
replaced by later MiG-21 models. This MilG-ZiF of
the EastGerman air force typifies hundreds flying
in Eastern Europe during the t g 60s.

. Whel the 'Rolling Thunder' campaign en-

ded in November 1968 a total of 25 MiG-Zls had
been claimed by the USAF, several more fall-
ing victim to US Navy fighters operating from
aircraft-carriers at 'Yankee Station', lut tire
casualties had not all been one-way, MiGs
racking up victories against F-l0Ss anci F-4s on
several occasions. By 1972, US efforts to im-
prove the killloss ratio paid handsome di
yiQelds, and although some American fighters
did fall victim to the MiG-21, no less tiran +3 oi
the Soviet-built fighters were claimed as des-
troyed in iittie more than I I months. Clearly,
the balance had shifted significantly in favour of
the American aircrews.
Several thousand miles away, in the hot-bed
of conllict which is the Middte East, Israeli
pilots repeatedly emerge as victors in combat
with the MiG-21, although even here the MiG
did achieve some success. However, this was
at best limited and it should be noted that of the
i02 aircraft lost by the Israel Defence Force/
Air Force during the 1973 'Yom Kippur War'
only three per cent were directly attiibutable

119 Enqrnequrderarl
120 ATOas4emblvcanrpd
121 ATOassemblythruslillate
forks (rear mountinq)
1 22 ATO assembly pacli
I 23 Ventral atrbrdke (retracted)
124 Trestlepoint
125 ATOassembiy release
so enoid {front mounttno)
126 Underurnq lan.jinq tiqhl-
1 27 Ventral stores 0v on
128 Marnwheel inbodrcl cloor
1 29 Splayed link chute
130 Twrn23,mmcsh-231
cannon installation


'l31 Cannonmuzzlefairino
132 Debr s deflectorplate-
133 Au{lliaryventra {lroplank
a 134 Port fomard arr hr:kc
fr lextended)
135 Ledding edgerntegra fuel
'/- tank
136 Undercatriage retractjon
'137 Aileron
control rods in
lead ng edoe
138 Ponrnboardweapons
,= pvtoo
1 39 UV 1 6-57 rockel Dod
p 140 Poftmainwheel
141 Mainwheeioutboarddoor
142 Mainwheel leq
143 Aileron control linkaoe
7 144 Mainwheel leg pivoipoint
145 Main integralwinq f uel
146 FlapactuatorLlnnq
147 Portaileron
'i48 Aiieron control iack
149 Outboardwing'
50 Port navigation lrqht
O Pilot Press Limrted 1 51 PortoutboardweaDons
152 K-l34'Atolt' lB homino
153 Wing fence
I 54 Radio altimeterantenn:

I 20:

This MiG-Z 1 bis ('Fishbed-N') is typical of many

hundreds of similar fighters in service as thehasic
day air-combat fighters of the V-VS. Features ot
this late model are awider and deeper full-lengrth
dorsal spine, internal cannon pack enabling a
centreline fuel tank to be carried as well, improvd
avionics and an uprated engine. Missile armatnent
is infra-red homing (inboard) and semi-active
radar homing (outboard) versions of ffieiRussian
S idewinder copy, the AA- 2' Atoll'.

The Chinese have produced a copy
of the M iG -2 F with the de signation

Sheny ang J -7. The copy w as made

without any drawings or Soviet
assr'sfance and m any local
modifications havebeer
incor por ated, C hina is seeJang
Western equipment to fit out its J-Zs,
as well as other fighters.

An early MiG-Z I PF 'Fishbed-D' as

supplied to the air force of the Arab :
republic of EqWL These airctaft
have been widely used by Egrwt in
il actions against the Israeli air
where the M iG olten fought
with its old rival, the F-4 Phantom.

The MiG-2 t has been the subi ect of

the biggest aviationprogramme in
Asia since that of the J apanese in*
World War I L At least seven versions
have been manufactured under
Ecence by Hindustan Aerospace with
Indian designations. This is an FL,
btown to the Indians as the MiG

to enemy aircraft, Perhaps the most startling ing Pakistani aircraft. After a brief chase in
proof of Israeli superiority is provlded by the afterburner at low level, the No. 47 Squadron
kilLloss ratio, claimed better than 100:i, no less MiG was able to bring its giuns to bear and the
than 334 Arab aircraft being shot dovm in aerial ensuing burst of cannon fire resulted in the
combat. Even the diminutive Douglas Skyhawk Starfighter crashing into the Gulf of Kutch after
(hardty a dogrfighter in the truest sense of the its pilot had ejected. A second F-104A also
term) found itself on the scorecard, one A-4 succumbed to the MiG-21 at a later date.
pilot ciaiming two MiGs in a single combat only
to be prevented from gettinq a third by a pair of
over-eager IDF/AF Dassault Mirages which As far as can be ascertained, honours seem
stepped in just as he was lining up for the kill. to have been about even in the I97I war, one
MiG-21 being shot down by a North American
lndiansuccesses F-86 Sabre and another losing out in an encoun-
In Indian service, the pichre is rather diffe- ter with a Shenyang J-6, the Chinese-built ver-
rent, probably because the disparity in pilot sionof the MiG-19. Several more MiG-Zls were
skill between the Indians and the Pakistanis is claimed by ground defences dwing the brief
by no means so grreat. In conllict against Pakis- hvo-week conilict, but perhaps the most intri-
tan during 1971, the MiG-z1 performed well in gming casualty was the MiG-zI which was shot
both ground-attack and air-superiority tasks, down by an 'Atoll' missile fired by the section
gaining a number oi kilis of which perhaps the leader in another MiG-21; this tragic mishap
most significant was that of a Lockheed F-104 apparently occurred during an attempted
Starfighter. Designed with pretty much the night interception of a Mirage IIIRP engaged
same purpose in mind and largely to the same on a reconnaissance sortie, the latter duly mak-
criteria, these two types are true contempor- ing good its escape at high speed dwing the
aries and both were, in the cowse of their ensuing confusion.
sewice lives, developed into far more capable Although it has generally come off worse in
Photographed from a USAF jet, this MiG-2I is in the
aircraft than was originally the case. air-to-air combat, the MiG-z1 is nevertheless a service of the North Vietnamese, who flew the
The variant responsible for downing the most icrmidable opponent when flown skilfirl- aircraft alongside the MiG- I 7 and MiG- I 9 under
F-104A on 12 December 197i was a MiG-2IFL ly, but perhaps its greatest contribution to the tight ground-control against US strike aircraft
(Icnovm as the Tlpe 77 in Indian sewice), and saga oiair power is that it made genuine Mach attacking the North. They achieved many
the encounter took place in the vlctnity of Sik- 2 capability available at modest cost to many of successes buf were far from immune to attack
ka, the victim being part of a force of maraud- the less sigmificant air arms in the world today. themselves.

India received MiG- 2 I s direct from

theSovietUnion aswell as licence-
building others. This MiG - 2 I PE*
'F ishbed-D' carries a GS h- 23L gun
pod and a pak of K- I 3A air-to- air.
missiles. The camouflage scheme
was haphazardly applied during the
I 97 I I ndo-P akistan war.

U H"trtoi Su-9/lI The First Supersonic Fighters
Never as widely used or as well knovrn
as the contemporary Mtkoyan-
3urevrch MrG-21 'Fishbed'or Su-7 'Fit-
ter-A', the Sukhoi bureau's delta-wing
prototype of 1955-6 nevertheless 1ed to
ihe Su-9 'Fishpot-B', the most numerous
supersonic interceptor in the PVO (Alr
Defence Forces) fleet for many years.
The type was supplanted by the Su-15
Flagon'on the production lines in the
late I960s, but some 600 remained in
service throughout the 1970s,
The Su-9 was designed as an all-
weather flghter based on the same
tarled-deita configuration as the MIG-
21, Entering service in 1958-59, it
t1pified Sovret practice in that it com-
bined a new engrne and arframe with
an existing weapon, the K-5M 'Atkall'
atr-to-air mssile already in servtce on
the MiG-I9PFM 'Farmer'. The small
radar fitted quite simply into the nose
of the Su-9, which was closely similar to
that of the Su-7, However, the ail- name 'Fishpot-C'; it appears to be been more successful, and has re- Frrsl supersonic interceptor in the
weather capability of the Su-9 was fair- Soviet practice to apply new designa- marned in service and under develop- Soviet inventory with limited all-
Iy limited, as this radar lacks search tions to reflect relatively minor ment for many years, weather capability, the Sukhoi Su-S
range, In practice, the type certainly changes, the Su-Il beinq no more Like most Soviet interceptors, the served rn /argre numbers. It is now
operated in close co-operation with different from its predecessor than Su-9/11 serres has never been ex- outolseruice, alongwith tfteSu-J J
ground control, some MiG-21 versions differ from ported, even to the Warsaw Pact. improvedmodel.
The 196i Tushino air disPlaY, others,
howevel, saw the appearance of a new A measure of the comparative worth Specification Weights: empty 9000 kg ( 19,842 lb),
derivative ofthe basic type, featuring a of the 'Alkali' and later 'Anab' mtssiles Type: all-weather interceptor maximumloaded 13500 kg(29,873 lb)
Ionger and less tapered nose. The inlet is the fact that the Soviet air force was Powerplant: one 10000-kg (22,046ib) Dimensions: span 8.43 m (27 ft B ta);
diameter was considerably larger, prepared to accept tvvo of the more ai'terburning Lyulka AL-?F turbojet lengrth (includrng instrument boom)
and there was a proportionate in- potent later weapons on the Su-ll in Performance: maximum (clean) 18.3 m (60 ft); height 4.9 m (15 ft): wtns
crease in the size of the centre-body place of four Alkalis' on the Su-9, it ts 2250 kn/h (i,398 mph), or Mach 2. I; area 26.2 mz (282 sq ft)
radome to accommodate a new and probable that, like many first- maximum speed with hvo AAMs and Armament: (Su-g) four K-SM (AA- 1
more powerfirl radar known to NATO generation missile systems, the per- external fuel tanks I 600 lcn/it 'Alkali') beam-ridrng au-to-air missiles
as 'Skip Spin', The new type replaced formance of the K-SM leumrud system (994 mph) or Mach l,5; servrce ceiling on wing pylons; (Su-l l) two AA-3
the Su-9 on the production [nes, and was barely Erood enough for operation- 20000 m (65,615 ft); ranse about 'Anab' semi-active homing (almost
was desigrnated Su-]1, with the code- al clearance, The Anab'has clearly I125 l<rn (699 miles) certainly) AAItds

re V"tout"v Yak-28P
Yakovlev Yak-2&P'Fkebar' of the IA-PVO Strany.Possessrhgrlon g range, the
Aiexander Yakovlev's Yak-28 famiiy of
combat aircraft, srmilar in concept and Yak-h&P was used for fiong-distance interceptrbn, and sfilJ survives in small
performance to the French Sud-Ouest numbers jn tir's roletoday.
Vautour series, continue to filI an im-
portant role in the Soviet air arm,
alhough the numbers in service are
declimng. The last to be retired will be
the 'Brewer-E' ECM aircralt, with so!0e ::,.:.....:.., E-"q*e*u@**'-. "

Yak-28P 'Firebar-Es' carrying on in

m1 'tF''*L.1.::i: !ru
less strategically important areas of the
Soviet periphery,
The current Yak-28s are dtrect de-
scendants of the original Yak-25, de- single nose and outrrgger wheels, l,ike beyond a generai similarity in con- space for a large weapons bay be-
veloped from i950 as the Soviet Un- the Mikoyan-Gurevtch MiG-19, the fign.uation. Initially, the Yak-28 seems h\reen the main units. On the Yak-28F
ron's first ali-weather jet fighter, The Yak-25 was powered by Mikulln AM-S to have been developed as a transonic interceptor this space is used for fue-
layout of the Yak-25, with engines engines, which eventuaiiy were manu- all-weather fighter using hvo of the
'.:nder the swept wings, was most un- factured by Tumansky and became Tumansky R-lI turbojets developed B elow : D is playing its futuris tic
usual and followed wartime German the RD-9, Developments of the Yak-25 for the MiG-21, The Yak-28's wing is layout, thisYak-29P prepares to land.
studres; it was one of the first aircraft to rnciuded the Yak-2SRD 'Mandrake', more sharply swept than that of its pre- The bicycle main under carriage with
ieahne a 'zero-track tricycle' under- Yak-26 and Yak-27 'Manerrove'. decessors and is raised from the mid to w ingtip outriggers was a no tab Ie
:arriage, with a single twin-wheei The Yak-28 series bears little rela- the shoulder position. The landing feature of the Upe. Tie ml'ssiles are
marn unit on the centre of gnavtty and tionship to these earlier aircraft, gear has a true bicycie layout, leaving AA-3'Anabs'.

;:/:t:.1t?tir:rrjii:iii.:1 |.:i,r:
Yakovlev Yak-28P (continued)

the strike version carnes stores in the underwing pylons. 'Firebar-A' and'Firebar-B' had already level Mach 0.85; sewice ceiling
rntemal bay, and drop tanks on under- Developed rn parallel with the Yak been allotted, the 'Brewer' series 17000 m (55,775) ft
'wlng stations, 2BP was a glazed-nose slrike version appears to have started as'Brewer-C'. Weishts: empty 13600 ks (29,982 ib);
Deliveries of the Yak-2BP 'Firebar' with a second crew member seated maximum loaded 20000-22000 kq
started in 1962, and the type is still ahead of the pilot and a bombing- Specification (44,092-48,502 ib)
widely used by the PVO air-defence navigation radar aft ofthe nose landing Type: Yak-2BP'Frrebar' all-weather Dimensions: span i2.95 m (42 ft 6 in);
force. It offers slightly better endur- gear. Originally codenamed'Firebar' lnterceptor; Yak-2BU'Maestro' two- lenErth (except late 'Firebar') 21,65 m
ance than the Sukhoi Su-15, which has by NATO, the type was re-christened seat conversion trainer (7i ft); length (iate 'Firebar') 23. 17 m
srmrlar engrines but is lighter and much 'Brassard' when its bomber role be- Powerplant: two 6000-kg ( 13, 228tb) (76 ft); height3.95 m(i3 ft)
faster, Later Yak-2BPs, seen ftom 1967, came obvious, and the reportinet name Tlmarsky R- I 1 afterburning turbojets Armament: ('Firebar C') tvvo AA-3
have sharper and much longer nose was then changed to 'Brewer'to avoid Performance: maxrmum speed at 'Anab' air{o-air missiles and, on some
radomes and provision for AA-2'Atoll' confusion with the French Holste mediumaltitude 1200 kmlh (746 mph) aucraft, two AA-2'Atoll' air{o-air
short-range missiles on additional Broussard. Because the desrgnations or Mach 1, 13; maxrmum speed at sea misslles

Saab 35 Draken
One of several classlc fighters which The tirstproductionversion of the Drakenwas theJ35A, shown here in the
originated in Europe at around the markings of F 1 3 wing based at Norrk6ping. I t features the early Swedish
same tme, the highly distinctive dou- striped camouflage.
bie-delta Saab 35 Draken (dragon) is
still extensively used by the Swedsh
air force (FlyWapen) and also serves
with Finland and Denmark in some
fuising in response to a 1949 spe.:--* - - -
ciication calling irr a single-seat all-
weather interceptor capable of opera-
tion from relatively short and austere convert from the J29, and this was by the SF37 and SH 37 Viggen. seas orders, Denmark purchasingt
airstrips, the Draken prototype flew for gurckly followed by Fl6 at Uppsala. The most capable variant of the fighter-bomber, reconnaissance and
the first time on 25 October 1955, thts Refinement ofthe fire control system Draken, and incidentally the most trainer versions ofthe Saab-35X export
event havrng preceded by a series of resulted in the appearance of the J35B nurnerous, was the J35F which entered variant. Finland also opted to buy the
trlals with the much smaller Saab-210 (many of the oriqinal J3SAS being pro- servrce during 1965-6, relying on 1i- Draken, acquiring 12 J35Xs intercep-
in order to explore handllng charac- gressively modified to this standard), cence-built radar and infra-red hom- tors which it presentiy operates alonq-
tenstics of what was then a unique deliveries taking place from 1961, The ing versions of the Hughes Palcon. side a number of former Swedish air
wing planform. next single-seat vanant was the J35D In addition to the single-seaters force J35Bs, J35Fs and Sk3SCs,
Several pre-production aircraft also which was essentlally smilar to the already described, one two-seat mod-
took part in the fliqht test progrramme J35B apart ftom incorporating a rather ei also attained quantrty production for
ftom early 1958 but by this time the more powerful version of the licence- the Flygvapen, this being the Sk35C A pair ofJ 35Ds from F I 3 wing display
Draken was well establnhed in pro- buik Rolis-Royce Avon engine, and used for operational training, the distinctive lines of thk frne
duction, an inttial order for the J35A this was foiiowed by the S35E for re- Althouqh Saab made repeated aircraft. The dark smudges on the
being placed during the summer of connaissance duties. Fitted with a bat- strenuous attempts to find export cus- leading edges of the wings mark the
1956. Deliveries to the Flygvapen got tery of cameras in an extensively rede- tomers, it was not until shortly before position of the twointernal cannon.
under way on B March 1960, Flygflottilj signed nose, the S35E first flew on 27 production was due to cease that the The missiles carried are licence-built
13 at Norrkdping being the first unit to lune 1963 but has now been replaced company succeeded in securing over- Sidewinders"
Saab 35 Draken (continued)

Type: single-seat all-weather
Powerplant: one Svenska Plygrmotor
RMOC turbojet rated at 8000-kg
(17, 637tb) afterbwning thrust
Performance: maximum speed
2I25Wn/h(1,320 mph)at 12200 m
(40,025 ft); initial climb rate 10500 m
(34,450 ft) per minute; service ceilingr
about i9800 m(64,960 ft); ferryrange
3250 lan (2,020 miles) with maximum lenqth 15.35 m (50 ft 4 in) includins auto-air missrles plustwo RB28 Falcon The finalinterceptor version of the
extemalfuel ' probe; heisht 3.89 m (12 ft 9 in); wing infta-red homing au-to-air missiles, or Draken is the J 35F, which features
Weights: empty 8245 ks (tB, I77 lb); area 49,20 m2 (529,6 sq ft) a combination of these missile type much improved avionics.It is easily
maxrmum take-off 12270 kg (27,050 ib) Armament: one 30-mm Aden cannon wtth the RB24 Sldewinder rnfra-red distingaished from earlier marks by
Dimensions: span 9,40 m (30 ft I0 in); and two RB27 Falcon radar-homing homing air-to-air missile the infra-red seeker under the nose.

North American F-100 Super Sabre

The first example of the classic 'Cen- Assigmed to the 127th TFS, Kansas ANG at McConnellAFB, this F-100C was
tury-sedes' of fighters to attain oper- one of the oldestSuperSabres left in service at the end of the I970s.The rear
atlonal status, the North American fusdlagewas left unpainted due to the high temperatures.
F-I00 Super Sabre is perhaps most
noteworthy for being the first fighter in
the world after the MiG-lG to possess
genuine supersonic performance. Pro-
viding the backbone of US tactical air
power for several years during the late
1950s and early 1960s, rt is now r.rsed by
the US Air Force only as the QF-100
target drone, although a number.of.f:..-.,..
l00s remain operational wrth the a[
arms of Tarwan and Turkey,
Begmn as a development of North 1951, and the first YF-1004 made a suc- Thus far, development had progrres- extended wingtips; thrs and other
American's highly successful F-86, the cessful maiden flight on 25 May 1953. sed smoothly, but then a series of changes were retrospectively applied
F-100 was inltiaily known by that com- Production-confign:red F- l00A aircraJt mysterious crashes occurred during to the first 70 F-100As,
pany as theSabre-4s, thrs appellation began to join the test programme in 1954, these eventually leading to the
referring to the degree of wing sweep, mrd-October of the same year, and the F-100 being gnounded during Novem-
and development of the type began in Super Sabre subsequently entered ber whilst investigations were made An F- I 00D drops a bomb on a Viet
early February 1949, North American's servrce less than a year later, on 27 into the cause of the accidents. It later Cong target in SouthVietnam. As
enterprise was rewarded with a con- September 1954, when the 479th Fight- became clear that under certain con- well as South EastAsia, the'Hun' also
tract for a pair of prototypes and Il0 er Day Wing at George AFB, Califor- ditions ro1l-coupling was taking place, saw combat with the Turkish forces
production specimens in November nia, received its first aircraft. and the marn cwe was the fittinq of overCyprus.
Nodh American F- I00 Super Sabre (continued)

Production then switched to the subsequently saw extensive servtce as Specification 2415 krn (1,500 miles) with drop tanks
F-I00C model, which made its first a fighter-bomber in Vietnam, North American F- I00D Super Sabre Weights: empty 9526 kq (21,000 lb);
flrght in January 1955 and which had The only other sigmflcant variant to Type: singie-seat fighter bomber normalloaded 13500 kq(29,762 1b);
qEeater payload capability, Entering appear was the two-seat F-I00F com- Powerplant: one Pratt & Whitney J57- maximum take-off 15800 kg (34,832 lb)
sen'rce fkst with the 450th Fighter Day bat proficiency trainer, first flown on 7 P-2 IA turbojet rated at 5307-kg Dimensions: span 11,81 m (38 ft 9 in);
Wing in july 1955, 476 F-100Cs were March 1957 and of which no less than ( I 1,700-1b) dry thrust and 7689-kg length 16,54 m (54 ft 3 in) rncluding
completed, these being followed bY 339 hdd been built by the time produc- ( 16, 950tb) afterburning thrust probe; heigh-t 4.96 m (16 ft 23l+ in); wing
the definitive F-100D whieh featured a tion ceased in 1959. A small number Performance: maximum speed area 35.77 mz (385 sq ft)
number of detail design improve- Iater served as 'Wild Weasel' SAM-a 1390 kn/tt (864 mph) at 10970 m Armament: four 20-mm Pontiac M39E
ments, including inboard landing flaps suppression aircraft in South East Asia (36,000 ft): initial climb rate 4875 m cannon, plus up to 3193 kq (7,040 lb) of
and modified vertical tail surfaces, No although they were soon replaced by (16,000 ft) per minute; service ceiling external ordnance includinq bombs,
less than 1,274 F-l00Ds were burlt be- Repubiic F-I05F Thunderchiefs, 13715 m(45,000 ft); combatradius rockets and napalm
hveen 1955 and 1959, and this modei (clean) BB5 lcr (550 miles); ferry range

E itr"oonnell F-10I Voodoo

Aithough its desigmation indicates that
the McDorurell F-I0l Voodoo was the
second of the 'Century-series' fighters
to make an appearance, development
of this type in fact predated that of the
F-100 and can be traced back to the
srmrner of 1946, when McDonnell be-
gan work on a strateEnc penetration
fighter to escort bomber aircraft of the
Strategic Air Command. Initially
known as the )G-88 and first flown in
prototype form during October 1948, Originallyplannedasan escortfighterforStrategicAirCommand, theF-l0lAsoonpassed to TAC andthento
McDonnell's original proposal was Eur-ope, where this aircraft r's seen rh the colours of the 81st TFW hased at Bentwaters and Woodbridge in England.
cancelled in Augn:st 1950 only to be
reborn in the following year as the machines, and these two variants en-
F-101, joyed a lengthy operational career,
Again, it was intended to sewe as a seeing extensive combat duty in Viet-
strategic fighter, a batch of 29 pre- nam. The RF-101 airframe was basical-
production machines being ordered in 1y similar to that of the earlier fiqhter-
May 1953, but SAC soon lost interest in bomber apart from the modified nose
the requirement and subsequently section which housed a batterY of
cancelled it at the end of September carneras,
1954. By then, however, Tactical Atr The most numerous variant of the
Command had begn:n to show interest Voodoo was the two-seat F-1018 inter-
and development was allowed to con- ceptor, which made its maiden flight
tinue, the first pre-production F-l0IA on 27 March i957, a total of 480 even-
flying on 29 September 1954, tually being built for service wrth Air
At this time, the type was intended Defense Command although 66 of
as a fighter-bomber, but early flight these were transferred in 1961 to what
trials revealed numerous deficiencies was then the Royal Canadian Air
including a serious tendency to 'pitch Force, Retired from the operational
up' and enter an uncontrollable spin. USAF inventory in the earlY 1970s,
Work on eradicating these failings some F-IOlBs remained active with
eventually achieved the desired re- the Air National Guard until 1982,
sult, but it was not until May 1957 that whilst the Canadian fumed Forces are
the F-101A entered sewice with the replacing their CF-I0IBs by CF-18s.
27th Fighter-Bomber Wing at Berg-
strom AFB, Ultrmately, the F-101A and
the basically similar F-I0lC joined Specification
USAFE's Blst Tactical Fighter Wing, McDonnell F- I0IB Voodoo
remaining in use until about 1965 when Type: hvo-seat all-weather interceptor 2495 l<rn(i,55Omiles) One of the firstUS jet aircraft togo to
the suwivors were modtfled to recon- Powerplant: two Pratt & Whitney i57-P- Weights: empty 1314I kq (28,970 1b); Vietnam was the RF- I 0 I C, the only
naissance configuration as the RF- 55 turbojets, each rated at 5439-kg normalloaded 18099 ks (39,900 Ib); Voodoo model to sewe in that
t0lG and RF-l0lH respectrvely and ( I I,990{b) dry thrust and 6799-ks maximum take- oft 23462 kg (5 I, 724 lb) theatre. These were the prime
rssued to the Arr National Guard. ( 14, 990{b) a.fterburning thrust on an area interceprion mission reconnar'ssance platforms for the
In addition to fighter-bomber mod- Performance: maximum speed Dimensions:span 12.09 m (39 ft B in)i USAF in the early years.
els, a substantial number of Voodoos 1963 km/h (1,220 mph) at 12190 m length20,55 m(67 ft4e/q in); height ^
were built from the outset for recon- (40,000 ft); initialclimb rate 5lB0 m 5,49 m (18 ft 0 in); winsarea 34.19 m' tipped unenrided air-to-air rockets and
naissance tasks, 35 RF-IOIA aircraft (]7,000 ft) per minute; servtce ceiling (368 sq ft) two AIM-4C infra-red homing air{o-air
beins followed by 166 RF-101C 15545 m (51,000 ft); maximumrange A.rmament: two AIR-24 nuclear- mrssrles


Convair F-I02 Delta Dagger

Capitaluing to a gneat degrree on war- The type was first flown on 24 Octo- further major redesign was necessary side seating afiangement m a com-
time German research and early post- ber 1953 in prototype form as the YF- with regard to the vertical tail and air pletely new forward fr:selage section,
'rrrar experience gained with the ex- 102, but early trials were marred bY inlet ducting, so it was not until April Retired from servtce as an intercep-
perimental XF-92A, the Convair F-I02 the loss of the inltial machine and by 1956 that the type entered service with tor with the Air National Guard during
Delta Dagger was unique rn being the the realization that drastic redesign Air Defense Command, the latter half of the 1970s, the Delta
f,rst supersonic delta-winged aircraft would be necessary, the Parent com- Subsequently, the F-1024 enjoyed a Dagger gained a new lease of life as
to enter operational service, pany eventually having no option but to lengrthy operational career, servtng as the PQM-102 target drone, severai
This was an ambitiorx project from retum to the drawing board and in- an interceptor with ADC, Paciflc Air hundred being converted for use in
the outset, and development which corporate the then-new concePt of Forces and United States Atr Forces in weapons training and trials pro€Eam-
began in eamest in 1950 was plaQnred area rule which seemed to offer the Europe, 875 of the BB9 single-seaters mes.
by numerous problems, not least of best chance of reducinq unacceptably bullt eventually joining the active in-
which was the fact that in its original hrgh transonic drag. In the event, ventory, In addition, 111 examples of Specification
iorm it was clear that the type would adoption of the so-called 'coke bottle' the two-seat TF-1024 combat pro- Convair F- 1024 Delta Dagger
never exceed Mach 1, one of the fuselage lines sattsfactorily resolved ficiency trainer were also completed, Tlpe: single-seat all-weather
pnme featwes of the requirement, the performance questton although this rather unusually adopting side-by- interceptor
Convair F- 102 Delta Dagger (continued) The First Supersonic Fighters

Powerplant: one Pratt & Whitney J57-

P-23 twbojet rated at 5307-kg ( I 1,700-
lb) dry thrust and 7802-kg ( i7 200-lb)
afterburning thrust
Performance: maxmum speed (clean)
1328 lsn/h (825 mph) at 12i90 m
(40,000 ft); initial climb rate 5305 m
(17,400 ft) perminute; service ceiiing
16460 m (54,000 ft) tactical radlus
805 krn (500 miles) wrth external fuel
Weights: empty 864I kg (19,050 ib);
normal loaded i2565 kg (27,700 1b);
maximum take-off 14288 kq (31,500 lb)
Dimensions:span Ii.62 m(38 ft 1/z in);
Ienqth 20. 84 m (68 ft 47s in) including
probe; heighJ 6,46 m (21 ft 2/z in); wtng
area6l.45 ma(661,5 sq ft)
Armament: various combinattons of
AIM-4C Falcon infra-red homing air-
to-air missiles, AIM-44/AIM-4E Falcon
radar homing air-to-air missiles, and
AiM-26A Falcon nuclear-tipped airto-
air mrssiles in an internal weapors bay

These two F - 1 0 2As are Wical of the

aircraft which defended the
continental United States for several
years. Later thesewere converted to

€ i,fctr,eed F-I04 Starfishter

The most widely used, and possibly
best-Iqrovrrn, member of the 'Century
series', the drminutive Lockheed F-104
Starfighter is still in service today with
several at arms throughout the worid,
although its days as an operationai
flghter are now cleariy numbered.
Intended rnitially to sewe purely as
a day superiority fighter, the type first Assignedprimarilytothetacticalreconnaissancerole,theF-l?4GStarfighters €f'tT**
flew in prototlpe form on 7 February of the Netherlands'JVo. 306 Sgn carry optical cameras and Qude Delft infra-red linescan systems.
1954 and like most of its contempor-
aries it suffered ftom numerous teeth- as well as from Canada (as the CF- 104)
ing troubles, no less than 52 Starfight- and Japan (as the F-1041), eventually
ers belng involved in the test program- becominq one of the most important
me at one time, In the event, most of fighters of the 1960s and the centre-
these drfficulties were overcome and piece of a bribery scandai which
the F-1044 entered service vnth the emerged in the 1970s, A tvvo-seat de-
USAF's 83rd Fighter Interceptor rivative intended for training duties is
Squadron shortly before the end of known as the TF-I04G (CF-104D for
January 1958, only to be grrounded in Canada), this retaining parttai
April following a sertes of engine- weapons capability, Two other trainer
related accidents, Re-engining with variations, both based essentially on
the J79-GE-38 went some way towards the earlier F-104D, are the F-104DJ for
resolving these problems, but the Japan and the F-104F for West Ger- In order to train pilots for this tricky This retains the NASARR radar and
type's generally poor safety record manv, The RF-104G rs the dedicated fighter, Lockheed developed a two- weapon delivery boxes but the
and short range resulted in it dis- reconnaissance version of the F- 104G, sea t trainer version, the TF - I 04G. internal rotary cannon was deletd
appearing from the US front-line in-
ventory in 1960, most surviving Specification
F-104As being rssued to the Air Nation- tockheed F- l04G Starfighter
al Guard. Type: single-seat multi-roie fighter
The first multi-mission model was Powerplant: one General Electric J79-
the F- 104C, which served with Tactical GE- I 1A turbojet rated at 4536-kg
Air Command for several years and ( 10, 000-lb) dry thrust and 7 167-kg
which incorporated inliighlrefuelling ( I 5, 800{b) aft erburning thrust
equipment as well as the ability to car- Performance: maximum speed
ry a ranqe of stores on two underwing 2092 lffj/h (1,300 mph) at I2i90 m
stations. In the event only 77 F-IO4Cs (40,000 ft); initral climb rate 12495 m
were built, these being the last (41,000 ft) permtnute; sewice ceiling
Starfighters to be used operationally 16765 m (55,000 ft); tactical radius
by the USAF; some undertook combat I I I0 lsn (690 miles); ferry range
in South East Asia, although their con- 3200 kn (1,988 miles) with maxrmum
kibution was smail. TWo-seat equiva- externalfuel
lents of the F-I04A and F-104C were Weights: empty 6388 kg (14,082 1b);
the F-1048 and F-104D respectively, a maximum take-off 13054 kg (28, 779 lb)
combined total of 47 being produced, Dimensions:span6.68m(21 ft II in);
The definitive Starflethter was the length 16,69 m (54 ft 9 in); height 4, I I m
F-104G, which is a true multt-mission (13 ft6 in); vnng areaI8.ZZmo
machine with sophisticated radar opti (196. I sq ft)
mized for air-to-arr and air-to-grround Armament: one 20-mm M6 lAI Vulcan
modes. Development of this variant rotary-barfel cannon and two tip-
began in 1958 and it subsequently se- mounted AIM-9 Sidewinder infra-red On patrol over Vietnam : the F- I 04 lowJevel, high-speed stri&es. /t ras
cwed substantial orders from Euro- homing air-to-air missiles, plus up to served in a minor role inSouthEast nof foo successfuJ at either and w*
pean members of the NATO alliance IB 14 kg (4,000 lb) of extemal ordnance Asia on both air-to-air sorties and on quicklyreplaced.
Fighters inVietncrm
Nowhere was the 1960s fighter tested out more thoroughly 1964 that the scale o{ involvement was stepped up. Tactical lighters lrom the
than over the steamy jungles of South East Asia. The IISAF flew USAF formed part of the initial response to'the 'ionkin Grrlf incide;t;, No;th
several types which became legendary into the fiercest American F-100 Super Sabres and Republic F-105 Thunderchiefs being commit
concentrations of anti-aircraft fire ever encountered.. The tedtoactionatanearlydate,butitwasnotuntilthestartof the'RollindThunder'
campaign in March 1965 that heavy and sustained application ofiir power
attentions of the Vietnamese MiGs made life doubly difficult. occurred.
In the event, the 372-year 'Rolling Thunder' campaiqn cost the US Air Force
As far as the United States armed forces are concerned, the war in Vietnam dear in terms of both man and macnine, the brunt of tlie losses beinq borne bv
provided a splendid opportunity to evaluate a variety of weapons under oper- the F-105 which was responsible for the lion's share of tne,out-coirntrV,wai
ational conditions, and the experience gained in battle dunng the 'l O years of war over North Vietnam, operating as a fighter-bomber continuously from 196b to
undoubtedly played a significant partin formulating futurj requirements. 1 968
ln the case of the US Air Force. and indeed all of the service3. such benefits Escort duties_were primarily entrusted to the McDonnell Douglas phantom,
were tempered by the losses in hUman resources which inevitably occur in any rnrtrally in its.F-4C guiselhough later, as the war dragged on, thie succeeding
conflict, but there can be no denial of the fact that the current generation o? F-4D and F-4E variants also saw extensive actjon Ot66r types which played 5
combat jet aircraft capitalizes on the lessons learned at that tim6. signrf]e in prosecution of the air war included the F-i b0 Super Sanre, the
Although the United States had maintained a small military presence in McDonnell RF-l01 Voodoo and the RF-4C phantom, whilst eximples of the
Vietnam, in the form of advisers, f or several years, it was not until ih6 summer of Convair F-102A Delta Dagger and the Lockheed F-104C Starfightei wer" also

Though obsolescent as a tirst-line

USAF interceptor, theF-t00was to
play an important part in the war in
Vietnam. Operating in both air-to-air
and ground attack roles, the airciaft
impressed all with its load-carrying
ability and sturdiness. Most of its
fighting was' in-country', in the
Mekong Delta and around the
Central area otVietnam close to the
D M Z ( demilitari zed zone ). The
mrbsjons qrere usually against Viet
Cong guerrillas rather than the North
Vietnamese army.In the course of
this counter- insurgency, ffi e Super
Sabre racked up over 300,000
missjons, more than were flown by
the 16,000 P-S I Mustangs of World
War I I. The amount of armament
fired and bombs droppedwas
colossal and the rewards limited,
although the'Hun' did not suffer
inordinale /osse3.

12 1B
present for a whrle although their involvement was of a farrly limited nature.
For the most part, the F-l00 was confined to operations in the more permis-
sive environment of South Vietnam, single-seat F-1 00Ds being employed in
close-air support tasks and two-seat F-100Fs engaglng in the 'Misty' high-speed
forward air control role in which they co-ordinated air strikes with forces operat-
ng on the ground. Wrth regard to the RF-101 and RF-4C, their work encompas-
sed reconnaissance missions over the entire operating area and, like the F-105,
they were particularly hard hit, especially rn North Vietnam which, as the war
progressed, gained ever more fearsome defences. F-1 02A Delta Daggers had,
by all accounts, a fairly peacef ultime, being entrusted with air defence of South
Vietnam, hardiy an onerous task slnce North Vietnam never once attempted to
raid the numerous bases by air, whilst the F-104C Starfighter's exposui'e to
combat was fa rly bref, although the type was used over both North and South
Vretnam between 1965 and and did suf{er some losses to enemy fire.
Ultimately. in July 1967, the Starfighter gave way to the far more capable F-4D.
One American type which did not fare too weil in its initial experence of
conrbat was the General Dynamics F-1 1 1A, the 'Combar Lancer' depioyment of
six aircraft during March 1968 beinE marred by the loss of three machines in littie
more than a month of operations from Takhlr in Thailand. Although the losses Above and below: The Republic the NorthVietnamese in the early
were made good, combat operations ceased and the F-1 11As saw little more F- 105 Thunderchief, in its'D'version, days.They suftered heavy losses bu:
action brefore they returned to the USA in November 1968. The'Aardvark' was the aircraftwhich took thewar to their strikes were devastating,
eventually returned to the combat zone in September 1972 when two squad-
rons were despatched to Takhli, and on this occasion they fared rather better
although there were still problems.
ln dlstinct contrast, the 1965-6 'SkoshiTiger' combat evaluation of the dim nu-
trve Northrop F-5A was successful although it did not result in large-scale orders
for service with the USAF. Nevertheless, in the course of the evaluation, the F-5
was exposed to combat in both South and North Vietnam as a close support,
lnterdrction, air to air and armed reconnaissance tool.
ln additron to the USAF, both the LJS Navy and US Marine Corps each piayed a
major part in the conduct of the air war, usrng such fighters as the Vought F-8
Crusader and F-4 Phantom for vrrtually the duration of this conflict. US Navy
fighters operating from aircraft-carriers at'Yankee Station'in the Tonkin Gulf
helped carry the war to North Vretnam, whllst their US Marine counterparts for
the most part f lew f rom bases in South Vietnam and were concerned principally
with their traditional role of supporting US Marine ground forces.
Although the projection of air power in South East Asia was predominantly an
Amencan affair, North Vietnam did possess a fairly small air force of its own.
Examples of the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17, MiG-19 and MiG-2'1 formed the
combat elements of this air arm, and during the '1 0 years of war these were
responsible for the destruction of a fair number of American f ighters in air-to-air
combat. Employed essentially in a purely def ensive capacity, they operated only
over North Vietnam, and on numerous occasions were able significantly to
disrupt the US bombing campaign by causing strike alrcraft to jettison ordnance
well away from the planned target area.
€ iLpublic F-I05 Thunderchief
fuguably the gneatest of the 'Century The originalF-105 productionversionwas theF-1058, seenhereinthemarkings of the
series' by vrtue of its exploits in com- 335thTFS,4thTFW atSeymour-JohnsonAFB.Thiswas theonlyfront-linewing tooperate
bat over South East Asia, the Republic thismodel.
F-I05 Thunderchief also suffered its
fair share of development headaches
and teething troubles during its early
sewrce career, Lrke the F-102, it was
largely redesigrned in detail to take
advantage ofthe benefits bestowed by
area rule, and this resulted rn perform-
ance figures which handsomeiy ex-
ceeded those originally envisaged advanced F-I05D in 1958, and this
and which were to prove of inestim- eventually became the definitive
able value to the pilots who later flew it variant, 610 berng completed by Janu-
in combat, ary 1964, just a few months before the
The F-I05 ori$nated as a private- type began to fly combat missions in
venture successor to the highly suc- Vietnam.
cessfirl Republic F-84 Thunderstreak, Although attempts to produce a two-
and was rewarded with a develop- seat model for training duties had
ment contract in 1954, the type being been made in the 1950s it was not until
intended at that time to fu]fll the nuc- the advent ofthe F- l05F that these suc-
lear strike role, Non-availability of the ceeded, the 143 aircraft ofthis subtype
planned J75 engine meant that the pro- that were manufactured havrng been
totype YF-1054 entered flight test on ordered originally as F-105D single-
22 October 1955 with the J57-P-25 seaters. Retainrng full operational
powerplant, and it was not until May capability, the F-105F also saw exten- Powerplant: one Pratt & Whitney j75- Bombed-up and headed forVietnam,
1956 that the definitive engrne/air- sive combat action and provided the P- 19W turbojet rated at 7802-kg this F - I 0 5D carries conventional
frame pairing took to the air for the first basis for the 'Wild Weasel'surface-to- ( 17,200{b) dry thrust and I I I l3-ks bombs, some fitted with fuse
time, this ending in near drsaster when arr missile suppression modification, (24, 500tb) afterburning thrust; thrust extenders which ensured the bomb
the landrng gear failed to lower satis- specrally confignued F-IOSFs under- could be increased to 12020 kg exploded hefore it buried itself in the
factorily, test pilot Hank Beaird ex- taking this hazardous duty for much of (26,500 ]b) for 60 seconds by the use of mud. These were commonly
periencing the ignominy of a wheels- the Vietnam War, At a later date, water injectlon referred to as' d aisy- cu tters'.
up landing on the dry lake bed at Ed- approxrmately 60 were fitted out mth Performance: maximum speed
wards AFB, California. an intemally mounted jamming system 2237 lan/h (1,390 mph) at 10970 m Dimensions:span 10,65 m (34 ft
t'ollowing the completion of flight and other mission-related equipment, (36,000 ft); initial clrmb rate (clean) lIla in); length 19.51 m(64 ft0 in);
trials, the F-1058 variant began to enter these being known as F-I05G aucraft. I0485 m (34,400 ft) perminute; service height 5.99 m ( l9 ft B in): wing area
service with the 335th Tactical Fighter After a service career spanning ceilins 15850 m (52,000 ft); tactical 35.77 mz (3BS sq ft)
Squadron rn Augrust i958, but its early some 25 years, the last airworthy Thun- radius I4B0 lcn (920 miles) with two Armament: one 20-mm M6 lAl Vulcan
career was marred by poor ser- derchiefs were retired by the Air Bullpup mrssiles and three drop tanks; rotary-barrel cannon, plus up to
viceability rates, most of the probiems Force Resewe during February 1984, ferry range 3845 kn (2,390 miles) 5443 ks ( 12,000 Ib) of external
encountered being ailied to the highly Weights: empty 12701 ks (28,000 1b); ordnance including AIM-9 Sidewinder
sophisticated fire-control system, In Specification normal loaded (clean) 17252 kg air-to-air missiles, AGM- 12 Bullpup
the event, only 75 F-105Bs were built, Republic F- I05D Thunderchief (38,034 lb); maximum take-off 23835 ks air-to-surface mrssiles, conventional
production switchinq to the even more Type: single-seat strrke fl ghter (52,546 ]b) bombs, napalmandrockets

H ionu"i, F-106 Delta Dart

A substantially improved develop- D elta D arts flew in coburtul m ar kings, and this F - I 0 6A of the 49 th F ighter
ment of the F-102A Delta Dagger, the Interceptor Squadron is no exception. This unitwas based atGriftiss AFB,
Convair F-I06 Delta Dart began life as nearRome, iVewYork.
the F-1028 and was intended to fulfrl
the 1954'Ultimate Interceptor' require-
ment, Work on the F-1028 got under
way dunnq the early 1950s, the first
formal contract being awarded in
November 1955 and calling for an ini- UkS.AlR,,EE'RFA
tial batch of 17 aircraft, But by
1956 it was fast becominq
that the proposed F-102B would drffer
significantly from its predecessor and
it was therefore decrded to redesigr- seat F-I06B arrcraft for training tasks
nate it F-106, with effect from July 1960,
Flight testing of the new interceptor Despite the numerous problems en-
began on 26 December 1956, and countered in development and early
while early USAF trials revealed gneat service, the Delta Dart proved to be a
promise subsequent evaluation re- flne interceptor and progressive mod-
vealed deflciencies in the areas of ification enabled it to keep pace with
acceleratlon and maximum speed; improvements being made in the field
Convair therefore incorporated a few of air defence. Today, it still equips
modificatrons to achieve the desired three front{ine units as well as four Air
objectives. Inevitably thrs resulted in National Guard squadrons, but the
delay which, coupled with the USAF phase-out process has begnrn and it
decision also to purchase the McDon- now seems lkely that the Delta Dart
nell F-1018, almost brought about can- will disappear from the active inven-
cellatron in 1957, Finally, it was de- tory in about 1987-8, (40,000 ft); initial climb rate l2i30 m The Delta Dart soldiered on in the
cided to continue with both types but (39,800 ft) perminute; sewice cetling defence of the United States, slowly
this in turn greatly reduced planned Specification 17375 m (57,000 ft); combat radius beingreplaced by theF-15 Eagle.
acqursition, total production of the De- Convair F- 106A Delta Dart 925 kn (575 miles) on internal tuel Several others.serve on tesf unjfs,
Ita Dart being just 340 instead of the Tlpe: singrle-seat all-weather Weights:empty 10726 kq (23,646 lb); such as this Weapons Development
1,000 orignnally envisaged. interceptor maximum take-off 17554 kg (38,700 lb) F-106A.
Of this figrure, 277 emerged as singl Powerplant: one Pratt & Whitney]T5- Dimensions: span I 1,67 m (38 ft 1tlz in);
Ie-seat F-I064 interceptors, this P-I7 turbojetrated at 7802-kg (17,200- lengrth 21.56 m (70 ft83/4 rn); height AIM-4F Falconand AIM-4G Falcon
variant entedng service wrth the 498th lb) dry thrust and I I I13-kg (24,5001b) 6. 18 m (20 ft 37q rn); rrrng area 58.65 m' air-to-air weapons carried internally;
Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Ger- afterburmng thrust (631,3 sq ft) aircraft with the 'Srxshooter'
qer AFB, Washingrton, in 1959, whilst Performance: maxrmum speed Armament: variom combinations of modification can carry one 20-mm
the remaining 63 were tandem two- 2454 l<rrl/h (1,525 mph) at 12190 m AIR-2A Genie, AIR-28 Super Genie, M6 IAI Vulcan rotary-barel cannon

& Armed Forces of the World

US ArrrUPa*,
From its home base in the continental USA, this itself , the US Army had its nucleus in the rebel force ning to pack up. Under a conservative administrat oa
army garrisons large f orces in West Germany, South which ousted the British in the Revolutionary War generous in seeking funds from the Congress, tne
Korea, ltaly, Japan and the Panama Canal Zone, lt (1776-1783). The US Armywas formally established US Army has managed to bring itself back to ts
stands behind seven major defence treaties, the in 1783 and defeated British forces again in the War traditional sense of purpose.
most crucial belng the North Atlantic Treaty Organ- of 1812. Thereafter, at times neglected and down to Failure, of course, must be blamed on tr'a
ization (NATO) and the US-Republic of Korea Mutual a few companies while state militias predominated, decision-maker and the diplomat while success, a
Defense Treaty. Additionally, the US Army operates the US Army throughout the 1800s fought)t-s series too often, must be wrought by brave young men r
Foreign Military Sales (FMS), International Military of lndian wars far f rom the centres of population and battle. The American soldier is, in the end, no rro!'s
Education and Training (IMET) and Military Assist- power. Torn asunder by the Civll War (1861-5), than the f inal resort on the cutting edge of Amer;can
ance Groups (MAG) in 53 nations. Army attaches, where West Point officers commanded on policy. Whether a private or a general, his equ c-
who are on detail to the Defense lntelligence opposing sides and casualties were staggering, the ment, training, doctrine and valour must come iro-
Agency for their diplomatic postings abroad, serve US Army then became an insular body, separate what he is given and what he is told'io do. ln F sca
at embassies in 76 capitals. from the rest of the natlon: a professional fighting Year 1984, he will be given an unprecedente3
The US Army has 781,648 soldiers on active duty, force which took men, trained them, and sent them $274.1 billion in the US defence budget. He witi oe
of whom 74,360 are women. A further 901,153 off to war on the western plains, in the Caribbean given AH-64 helicopters, M1 tanks, and an .--
soldiers can be called to active duty from the ranks and as far as the Philippines. With the entry of the popular new-style helmet. And he will be tcld to ta<-.
of the Army Reserve and the Army National Guard. United States into World War l, a newly-expanded on challenges equallywithout precedent in a nuciea.
This vast force naturally influences many areas of US Army backed by the nation's industrial might world which is a nightmare for the Pentagorr's
American society (veteran Dwight D. Eisenhower helped determine the outcome. Then the US Army planners.
warned Americans of the impact of a 'military- settled down to garrison duties until 1941 , when it Policy and pragmatism in the 1980s requre a
industrial complex'), but throughout its history the again went to war and helped assure Allied victory rapid deployment force able to fight and win n tre
US Army has remained faithfulto the civilian leader- over Germany and Japan. heat and sands of Middle East oilfield country. n tn:
ship it serves. A military coup would be unimagin- The years since VJ-Day have seen the conflict in raging cold of the Arctic, or wherever Washingt:-
able. The US constitution and American tradition Korea (1950-3), and the longest war ever fought by
place command of the military in the hands of Americans, in Vietnam. The built-up US Army in
The 82nd Airborne Division is the prime US Atmy
elected civilians or their civilian appointees. In Vietnam suffered from eroded discipline, drug
component of America's Rapid Deployment J oint
wartime, the National Command Authority passes abuse and racial strife, but on the battlefield the Task Force. Celebrating after the brief Grenadan
'rom President to Vice President to Secretary of American soldier acquitted himself well. Low operation, the 82nd demonstrate a new-found
Defense. morale resulting from failure in Vietnam followed by willingmess in the US government to intervene
Pre-dating the formation of the United States lean budgets during the Carter years is now begin- militarily overseas.

Armed Forces of the World

American troops starterecting a tentin EWpt

during Exercise 'Bright Star' , held in I 982 . As there
were no pre-positioned stockpiles of weapons and
other essential equipment, the Americans had to
sea, which
bring everything they required by air or
is time-consuming and expensive.

decides. Some of the troopers who saw their recruiting of these highly-qualified people, especi- Troopers of the IstCavalrytake awell-earned
equipment snarled by sand on manoeuvres in ally doctors, remains difficult. break during the I 9 I 3' R etorger' ex ercise s, which
Egypt, and who lost mates in the daring but f ruitless The elite US Army of{icer comes from the 'long are desigmed to test the rapid reinforcement of
gray line' (for the uniform coloud of the United Europe by air andsea. Some units come complete
April 1980 rescue raid in lran, found themselves with their equipment, while others use weapons
under fire recently on the little-known Caribbean States Military Academy at West Point, the ivy- and s tor e s stockpile d in Europe.
island of Grenada. covered institute in upstate New York which has
Current manpower of the US Army is 781 ,648 ot bred the nation's lieutenants, generals and heroes eight-week 'boot camp' indoctrination at one of
whom 218,913 serve in Europe, 31,000 in the Far since the 1 800s, Competition to enter West Point is three locations and then proceed, as do new
East (mostly in Korea) and 7,900 in the Canal Zone. fierce, and its four-year mix of military and university off icers, to their Army Service Schools. Some of the
The US Army's enlisted men and women education is gruelling. Cadets may take Airborne most important of these are listed on the accom-
volunteer from all walks of life for an initial three- and Ranger training during their course and, on panying chart.
year tour of duty. The draft was eliminated with the graduation, must serve five years. Entering cadets For officers, further leadership and military
creation of the 'all-volunteerArmy' in 1974 (although are college students; upon entering, they become technical training comes at each stage in a career.
registration for the draft for 18-year-olds was members of the armed forces in the special For those at field grade (major or above). the most
relnstated in 1 981 ) and a return to general conscrip- category of cadet. not fully 'officer' or 'enlisted'. important is the Command and General Staff
tion is probably a political impossibility today. Critics During their senior year, each selects the branch of College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The course at
charge that this means that the USA no longer has a service (lnfantry, Artillery, Corps of Engineers, etc.) this institute runs for one year, and without it no
'citizen army', and for the first time since 1940 a in which he or she will receive a regular commission officer is likely to ever wear a general's star on his
generation of young Americans includes many who as a second lieutenant. The sense of tradition in the shoulder. Other key institutes are the Armed Forces
have never donned a uniform. For a time. the 'all- halls and on the parade grounds at West Point is Staff College, an inter-service establishment at
volunteer' concept attracted disproportionate chllling: West Pointers have fought in all the nation's Norfolk, Virginia; the lndustrialCollege of theArmed
numbers of racial minorities and new immigrants, wars except the first, and 21 per cent of the Class of Forces (ICAF) and the National War College, both
creating a low educational level and a mentality 1964 died in Vietnam. ln his final public appearance located at Fort McNair, Washington, DC. Army
where 'comic books' were needed to teach a man tn 1962, an ageing General of the Army Douglas officers are also eligible for courses given for senior
how to drive an armoured personnel carrier. lt MacArthur (Class of 1904) talked to the Point's managers by other branches of the government.
remains true that blacks, 13 per cent o{ the US cadets about his own days there and concluded with such as the Department of State and the Central
population, make up 29.3 per cent of the US Army. an impromptu speech which has become one of the lntelligence Agency. A successful course, like a
But the economic recession and better pay benefits most famous in American history, centring on the combat decoration, is seen as a 'ticket'to promotion
have recently attracted better-qualified recruits of all three words essential to a West Point officer's life: and to an important command slot.
backgrounds. A private can reach non-commis- duty, honour and country.
sioned officer (NCO) status in three years and retire Once accepted for active duty. whether recruited 7th Cavalry troopers board an Air National Guard
with a pension after 20 years, a strong inducement as a private or commissioned at the Point, the US Lockheed C-130 of the l79thTAG at Diisseldorf.
for men and women who can receive a pension Army soldier is trained in one of over 400 military Flown from theUSA, they are abouttopickuptheir
beginning as early as age 37. Retention of skilled occupation specialities at one of several dozen train- heavy equipment which has been pre-positioned
NCOs, especially those with technical credentlals ing establishments. Enlisted recruits begin with an on the NATO Centtal Front.
needed by industry, remains the US Army's critical
personnel problem.
The US Army long ago eliminated its segregated
Women's Army Corps (WAC) and opened up most
career ladders to the fair sex, with encouraging
results. Slnce 1978 the number of women in the US
Army has rocketed from about 1 2,000 to the current
14,360. Although women are precluded by law f rom
assuming combat dutres, nearly all military occupa-
tion speciallties (MOS) are open to them, and the US
Army recently re-opened 13 out of 26 speclalities
which had earlier been defined as 'combat' duties.
The bulk of the off icer corps now comes to the US
Army from the 303 colleges and universities which
offer Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) pro-
grammes. ROTC training is only incidental to a four-
year university education, and is voluntary. lt leads
to a reserve commission as a second lieutenant who
then, on entering active duty, proceeds to his branch
Service school. A few US Army officers in the
Medical Corps, the Army Nurse Corps, and the
Chaplains' ranks come directly f rom civilian life, and