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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

An IAF Jaguar Kitted To Deliver PWNAGE! [Image Of The Day]

Indian Air Force [IAF] SEPECAT Jaguar [Shamsher] aircraft armed in its primary mission configuration - deep-penetration strikes.

This picture appeared in the May 2013 issue of the 'Combat Aircraft Monthly' magazine, taken during the IAF's 'Iron Fist 2013' Exercises, held in February, this year. It shows the Jaguar laden with eight 1000 lbs. unguided, free-fall bombs, mounted on all of its available hardpoints. Photographs of IAF birds, flying with their full complement of armaments, are a little hard to come by. This might be the first showing the Shamsher in a fully-laden "Bomb Truck" configuration.

click on the image to view it in larger size


Its designers had optimised the bird's airframe for low-level, supersonic flight. This feature greatly reduces its probability of detection by ground-based radars. Thus, once the enemy's air defences capabilities have been sufficiently deteriorated, the IAF could then use these aircrafts to launch bombing sorties to neutralise strategic installations, deep inside enemy territory. The mission would require that they be escorted by a couple of more agile, lightly-armed fighters to fend off any attempted aerial interception by the enemy aircraft - the payload on the Jaguar's belly would preclude any evasive manoeuvres, without first jettisoning the bombs. The recent refitting of In-Flight Refuelling [IFR] probes onto the aircraft now gives the aircraft the ability to reach much further.

With the relatively recent induction of the Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fighters the IAF now has, in its arsenal, an aircraft with much greater payload carrying capacity & extended, unrefuelled range. One would assume that this responsibility of the Jaguar would now be shouldered by the 'Flanker'. Yet, the IAF's plans to retrofit a more powerful engine onto the Jaguar possibly indicates their continued preference of the aircraft for such missions. Given the higher operating costs of the Su-30s & the low-level flying capabilities of the Jaguar, it appears that the Anglo-French aircraft would remain the IAF's platform of choice for such missions for some time to come.

P.S: Noticed some of the bombs in the picture have green painted tips while others are painted black. Any idea why they're painted so?


Related: India To Induct The Twin-Seat T-50 PAK-FA Fighter Variant After All, It Appears