BAC Strikemaster

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.


BAC Strikemaster
Class Aircraft
Type Bomber
Manufacturer British Aircraft Corporation
Production Period 1967 - 1984
Origin United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain)
Country Name Origin Year
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) 1967
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Ecuador View
Kenya View
Kuwait View
Oman (Muscat) View
Saudi Arabia View
Singapore View
Sudan View
Yemen View
Botswana View
New Zealand View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
British Aircraft Corporation 1967 1984 146 View

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, shortened landing gear, and a revised fuel system including conformal fuel tanks on the wing tips. 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.

The Strikemaster was capable of operating from rough air strips, with dual ejection seats suitable even for low-altitude escape, and it was therefore widely used by third-world nations. Operations by the type was restricted by most military users after the Royal New Zealand Air Force found fatigue cracking in the wings of its aircraft. Many aircraft retired by the 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.

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.

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


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

  • Never exceed speed: 518 mph (450 knots, 834 km/h)
  • Maximum speed: 481 mph (418 knots, 774 km/h) at 18,000 ft (5,485 m)
  • Stall speed: 98 mph (85.5 knots, 158 km/h) (flaps down)
  • Range: 1,382 mi (1,200 nmi, 2,224 km) (at max take-off weight)
  • Combat radius: 145 mi (126 nmi, 233 km) with 3,000 lb (1,360 kg) weapons, lo-lo-lo profile
  • Service ceiling: 40,000 ft (12,200 m)
  • Rate of climb: 5,250 ft/min (26.7 m/s)

Armament

  • Guns: 2× 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) of bombs, machine gun pods, air-to-ground rocket pods, fuel drop tanks, and napalm tanks.

End notes