Corgi AA35416 RAF SEPECAT GR.1 Jaguar Attack Aircraft - GR.1 XX109, M55 Motorway Trials, Lancashire, England, 1975 (1:72 Scale)
"Obsolete weapons do not deter."
- British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
The SEPECAT Jaguar is an Anglo-French jet ground attack aircraft still in service with several export customers, notably the Indian Air Force and the Royal Air Force of Oman. It was among the first major Anglo-French military aircraft programs. The aircraft served as one of the French Air Force's main strike/attack aircraft until July 1st, 2005 (when it was replaced by Dassault Rafale) and with the Royal Air Force until the end of April 2007.
The Jaguar program began in the early 1960s, in response to a British requirement (AST 362) for an advanced supersonic jet trainer to replace the Folland Gnat T.1 and Hawker Hunter T.7, and a French need for a cheap, subsonic dual role trainer and light attack aircraft with good short field performance to replace the Fouga Magister, T-33 Shooting Star and Dassault Mystere IV.
After development started, both the French and British trainer requirement changed and were eventually fulfilled instead by the Alpha Jet and Hawker Siddeley Hawk respectively. In the meantime, the RAF created a new requirement for the Jaguar, to replace the Phantom FGR.2 in the close air support, tactical reconnaissance and tactical strike roles. In addition, a carrier-capable version to replace the French Aeronavale's Dassault Etendard IV was specified. From these apparently disparate aims would come a single and entirely different aircraft: relatively high-tech, supersonic, and optimized for ground attack in a high-threat environment.
Cross-channel negotiations led to the formation of SEPECAT (
Societe Europaenne de Production de l'Avion d'aole de Combat et d'Appui Tactique - the European company for the production of a combat trainer and tactical support aircraft) in 1966 as a joint venture between Breguet now Dassault Aviation and the British Aircraft Corporation to produce the airframe, and a separate teaming of Rolls-Royce and Turbomaca to develop the Adour afterburning turbofan engine. Though based in part on the Breguet Br.121, using the same basic configuration and an innovative French designed landing gear, the Jaguar as built also incorporated major elements designed by BAC - notably the wing and high lift devices.
The first of eight prototypes flew on September 8th, 1968. It was an orthodox single-seat, swept-wing, twin-engine design but with tall landing gear. It had a maximum take-off weight in the 15 tonne class and could manage a combat radius on internal fuel alone of 850 km. Maximum speed was Mach 1.6 (Mach 1.1 at sea level) and hardpoints were fitted for an external weapons load of up to 10,000 lb (4,500 kg).
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a RAF SEPECAT GR.1 Jaguar attack aircraft that took part in M55 Motorway Trials, in Lancashire, England, during 1975.
Pre-order! Ship Date: Summer 2020.
Release Date: ?
Historical Account: "No Problems" - The aviation product of a 1960s Anglo-French collaboration, the SEPECAT Jaguar was a highly effective tactical strike/attack, close air support and reconnaissance aircraft, which went on to see service with the Royal Air Force for an impressive 33 years. Featuring a high set wing and long undercarriage, the Jaguar was capable of being operated from grass airfields and roughly prepared landing strips, an ability which was famously demonstrated in front of the British press on April 26th, 1975. Flying from the nearby British Aircraft Corporation airfield at Warton, second production Jaguar GR.1 XX109 made a parachute assisted landing on the carriageway of the soon to be opened M55 motorway at Weeton, near Blackpool. BAC test pilot Tim Ferguson made a familiarization pass over the landing area, before bringing the Jaguar in low over a motorway bridge and impressively slamming it down on the carriageway, as part of the Jaguar's ongoing operating trials program. Once landed, the aircraft was taxied back to a semi-concealed position under the motorway bridge, where it was fitted with four bombs by armorers, to represent a full tactical weapons load for the aircraft.
With the carriageway clear, the Jaguar blasted into the air once more, clearly demonstrating the operational flexibility of the RAF's new strike jet, with the pilot later describing the thrilling events as posing him 'no problems' and not being beyond the capabilities of the squadron pilot. Although the nuclear capable SEPECAT Jaguar's ability to operate from rough ground and motorways undoubtedly enhanced its operational effectiveness, this attribute was never actually called upon during its service career, with the M55 motorway landing in 1975 proving to be the most highly publicized demonstration of these impressive capabilities. With a number of TV cameras recording the momentous occasion, these videos not only show the Jaguar being operated in spectacular fashion, but also many members of the public appearing to be standing perilously close to the action at the side of the motorway, something which would certainly not be allowed in these current health and safety conscious times. The thrilling aviation events which took place on the M55 back in 1975 have also been beautifully captured by talented award winning aviation artist Simon Mumford, whose painting entitled 'Motorway Trials' was part of the 2019 Guild of Aviation Artists annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London. It shows the moment Jaguar XX109 came in for its landing on the M55 motorway, passing only feet from a bridge and seconds before its landing parachute was deployed. Spending most of its career as a trials aircraft, SEPECAT Jaguar XX109 is now one of the prized exhibits at the City of Norwich Aviation Museum, where she can be seen wearing a smart RAF No.54(F) glossy scheme.