BAC Strikemaster

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BAC 167 Strikemaster
Bac.167.strikemaster.mk87.arp.jpg
Privately owned BAC 167 Strikemaster Mk 87
Role Attack aircraft, trainer aircraft
Manufacturer British Aircraft Corporation
First flight 26 October 1967
Status In service with 5 countries
Primary users Saudi Arabia
Ecuador
Kenya Air Force
Royal New Zealand Air Force
Royal Air Force of Oman
Produced 1967-1984
Number built 146
Developed from BAC Jet Provost

The BAC 167 Strikemaster is a British jet-powered training and light attack aircraft. It was a development of the Hunting Jet Provost trainer, itself a jet engined version of the Percival Provost, which originally flew in 1950 with a radial piston engine.

Design and development[edit]

The BAC 167 Strikemaster is essentially an armed version of the Jet Provost T Mk 5; the Strikemaster was modified with an uprated engine, wing hardpoints, a strengthened airframe, new communication and navigation gear, uprated ejection seats, a revised fuel system, and shortened landing gear. First flown in 1967, the aircraft was marketed as a light attack or counter-insurgency aircraft, but most large-scale purchasers were air forces wanting an advanced trainer although Ecuador, Oman and Yemen have used their aircraft in combat. A total of 146 were built.

Operational history[edit]

Capable of operating from rough air strips, with dual ejection seats suitable even for low-altitude escape, it was widely used by third-world nations. Use of the type was restricted by most users after the Royal New Zealand Air Force found fatigue cracking in the wings of its aircraft. Aircraft retired by Botswana, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and Singapore have found their way into museums and private collections.

The Strikemaster was deployed by the Royal Air Force of Oman on several occasions during the Dhofar Rebellion, including a notable appearance providing Close Air Support during the Battle of Mirbat. Three Strikemasters were shot down over the course of the war, including one lost to an SA-7 missile. In popular culture, the Battle of Mirbat was the basis for the plot of the 2011 film Killer Elite (film).

The Ecuadorian Air Force deployed the Strikemaster during the brief 1995 Cenepa War, flying ground sorties against Peruvian positions. An Ecuadorian Strikemaster crashed during a training mission in the Northern Border area, near Colombia, on 25 March 2009. Both pilots ejected; one later died of injuries received during the rescue attempt.[1]

In 2009 a new UK-based aerobatic-display team named "Team Viper" after the Viper engine used in the Strikemaster began displaying at air shows with a fleet of Strikemasters. They fly formation aerobatics including high speed opposition manoeuvres and some solo work. "Team Viper" operated five Hawker Hunter aircraft from 2011, until they disbanded in 2012.[2]

Photographed 14 years after it was retired, this BAC Strikemaster still wears the colours of No. 14 Squadron RNZAF.
The four BAC Strikemasters of the UK aerobatics display team Team Viper at Cotswold Airport, Gloucestershire, England
One of Botswana's Strikemasters
RNZAF Strikemasters in 1984

Variants[edit]

  • Strikemaster Mk 80 : Export version for Saudi Arabia, 25 aircraft.
  • Strikemaster Mk 80A: 20 aircraft were sold to Saudi Arabia as part of a follow-up order.
  • Strikemaster Mk 81 : Export version for South Yemen, four aircraft.
  • Strikemaster Mk 82 : Export version for Oman, 12 aircraft.
  • Strikemaster Mk 82A: 12 aircraft were sold to Oman as part of a follow-up order.
  • Strikemaster Mk 83 : Export version for Kuwait, 12 aircraft.
  • Strikemaster Mk 84 : Export version for Singapore, 16 aircraft.
  • Strikemaster Mk 87 : Export version for Kenya, six aircraft.
  • Strikemaster Mk 88 : Export version for New Zealand, 16 aircraft.
  • Strikemaster Mk 89 : Export version for Ecuador, 22 aircraft.
  • Strikemaster Mk 89A: A number of aircraft were sold to Ecuador as part of a follow-up order.
  • Strikemaster Mk 90 : Export version for Sudan. The last Strikemaster was delivered to Sudan in 1984.

Production[edit]

  • Strikemaster 80: 136
  • Strikemaster 90: 10

Operators[edit]

 Botswana
 Ecuador
 Kenya
 Kuwait
 New Zealand
 Oman
 Saudi Arabia
 Singapore
 South Yemen
 Sudan
 United States
  • Blue Air Training LLC operates five Mk 88 and Mk 80 Strikemasters in support of US Defense contracts.

Specifications (Strikemaster Mk 88)[edit]

BAC Strikemaster, Shoreham Airshow 2014

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1976–77[3]

General characteristics

  • Crew: two (pilot,copilot)
  • Length: 33 ft 8½ in (10.27 m)
  • Wingspan: 36 ft 10 in (11.23 m)
  • Height: 10 ft 11½ in (3.34 m)
  • Wing area: 213.7 ft² (19.85 m²)
  • Airfoil: NACA 23015 (modified) at root, NACA 4412 (modified) at tip
  • Empty weight: 6,195 lb (2,810 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 9,303 lb (4,219 kg) (pilot training)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 11,500 lb (5,215 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Rolls-Royce Viper Mk.535 turbojet, 3,140 lbf (15.2 kN)

Performance

Armament

  • Guns:7.62 mm NATO machine guns with 550 rounds each
  • Hardpoints: 4 (2 per wing) with a capacity of 3,000 lb (1,364 kg) and provisions to carry combinations of:
    • Other: bombs, machine gun pods, air-to-ground rocket pods, fuel drop tanks, and napalm tanks.

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ "Ejected Pilot Survives Crash, Dies During Rescue Accident." foxnews.com, 26 March 2009. Retrieved: 26 April 2012.
  2. ^ "Viper Display Team." Viper Display Team and Hunter Flying, 9 July 2009. Retrieved: 9 July 2009.
  3. ^ Taylor 1976, pp. 172–173.
Bibliography
  • Taylor, John W.R. "Hunting Jet Provost and BAC 167." Combat Aircraft of the World from 1909 to the present. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1969. ISBN 0-425-03633-2.
  • Taylor, John W. R. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1976–77. London: Jane's Yearbooks, 1976. ISBN 0-354-00538-3.

External links[edit]