The Incredible Anglo-French Attack Jet Ready For Nuclear Strikes
Pretty soon the Jaguar was redesigned as a supersonic jet capable of landing on aircraft carriers and carrying tactical nuclear payloads. It was expected that there would be two versions of the Jaguar: a two-seat training jet and a single-seat attack aircraft. When all was said and done, there were not two or even four, but 23 different variants of the Jaguar.
The Jaguar’s most impressive feature may be that it made it to production at all, eventually outfitting the U.K. and France with over 400 jets, roughly split evenly between the two nations. In addition, another 170 were sold to countries on four different continents, including Ecuador, Nigeria, Oman, and India. Perhaps most notably, Jaguars performed operations in support of the Persian Gulf War in the 1990s, but they participated in other combat operations as well.
Most of these aircraft have since been retired, replaced with Tornados and Typhoons in the U.K. and Rafales (still built by Dassault) in France. Other countries have also retired their Jaguars with the notable exception of India, which — unlike the others — purchased a license to manufacture its own Jaguars and still has many in service today. All in all, it’s an impressive resume for what started out as a training jet.
[Featured image by Tech. Sgt. Rose S. Reynolds by via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled | Public Domain]