by: Luciano Satornetti [ ]
Originally published on:
History and quotes SEPECAT (Société Européenne de Production de l’Avion d’École de Combat et d’Appui Tactique) was created in May 1966 by combining Breguet (now Dassault) and BAC (now BAe systems) to design and build the Jaguar in two production lines one in each country.
‘It is a straightforward aircraft of great reliability and it handles extremely well. Operationally speaking, it complies exactly with the French Operational Requirements, which called for medium- and low-altitude performance. It meets the short take-off and landing requirement, although this has tended to complicate the design somewhat. At the same time it is capable of high speeds, good manoeuvrability at low altitudes, an extensive range and supersonic capability. Like all prototypes, there have been problems but these are now cleared up and the aircraft is OK.’
Général d’Armée Aérienne, Claude Grigaut 1973
‘Looking back, the Jaguar was like most aircraft at the start of their careers – some way off being ready for what was demanded of them and us. The engines needed more thrust, the laser was not yet operational, there was no defensive aids, and the (not very accurate) navigation/weapon aiming system failed with monotonous regularity. But oh, Lord it was fun. The flying was challenging and the standards of one’s peers were a constant incentive to do better. To do anything, actually, rather than to be awarded that great fat pink pig at the trip of the day debrief!’
Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, who finished the Jaguar course in 1976
‘Those Jaguars pose us problems! The RAF boys truly part the sand and shave the rocks – they have a nice aeroplane; they fly it aggressively and their low level tactics are good – very good! They have got the hang of terrain masking their Jaguars. Yes, they gave us problems....We find them hard to acquire visually and when we do pick ‘em up, they’re surely no ‘easy’ kill. We’ve flown against the best....for my money your Jaguar boys are as good as any of ‘em and better than most!’
USAF Aggressor pilot debrief, Exercise Red Flag 1981
World wide users:
Royal Air Force
Armée de L’Air – French Air Force
Bharatiya Vayu Sena – Indian Air Force
Fuerza Aerea Ecuatoriana – Ecuadorian Air Force
Nigerian Air Force.
The Kit Everything arrives in a rather compact lift off lid style box considering the scale, the box top features an artist rendition of two ‘Desert Storm’ Jaguar’s flying over the desert. The box sides feature side profiles of the three decal options included in the kit.
Lifting the lid reveals a 24 page instruction booklet with colour glossy wrap-a-round cover and black and white inner pages, we also get one main decal sheet and a smaller one, a etch fret is also included which contains 28 parts. Now the plastic, the sprues are bagged in pairs except for the clear parts, forward fuselage and main fuselage the last of which are not attached to sprues. Looking over the parts anyone with the earlier release of the French Jaguar A will find it all there except for the tip of the nose which now has the LRMTS (Laser Ranger and Marked Target Seeker, chisel nose) as a clear part with a clear lens to be fitted behind. Parts count comes in at 297 medium hard gray plastic and 17 clear.
A test fit of the main fuselage shows that it should go together well but the seam where the forward fuselage joins will require a little work to smooth it all together without losing all the detail, (see the photo).
A study of the parts reveals the presence of both seat types on the sprues, the MB.9 for this kit and the French type for the earlier release, make sure to use the right one. Whilst in the cockpit the instrument panel which is made up of PE has parts for either the moving map display of the GR.1 or the portrait format LCD display with multi-function buttons of the GR.3A or Jaguar 97 upgrade. What’s not included is the MPCD display of the GR.1B 1994 upgrade.
The PE fret includes the afterburner rings and petals which should look nice when made up although the one in this review sample has a slight bend on one corner from where it’s free to rattle around in the box. Also included in PE are a seat harness, aerials, canopy mirrors and upper wing spoilers.
Two sprues are devoted to weapons, which in this release is a shame as the sprues are the same as the French release, i.e., mainly French weapons. Of the weapons included of which there are twenty two only five are usable for an RAF machine, namely the Phimat chaff pod, 2 x BL755 cluster bombs and 2 x AIM-9L Sindwinders. The instructions would have you fit the French LGB’s to the RAF machines including the ‘Desert Storm’ option, although LGB’s were cleared for use by the end of the war they never sortied with LGB’s of any type during the conflict, of the correct weapons only eight BL755’s were expended before the Jaguar’s switched to medium level sorties and the American CBU-87 Rockeye II’s were used instead. The rocket pods may be correct for an early Jaguar but ‘Desert Storm’ they carried Canadian CRV-7’s, also missing are the 1000lb bombs and an AN/ALQ-101 (V) jamming pod.
The Instructions We have touched on the instructions briefly already but let’s go over them in some more detail. We have twenty four pages with the front and back covers being a glossy finished full colour fold out design which contain the three decal options and the weapon painting guides. Page five has a parts layout although you can’t identify the small parts on it, while pages six to seventeen cover the twenty two main construction drawings plus weapon assemble drawings and a weapons position guide, all drawings are of the now typical exploded type with colour call outs in I think Mr Color as there is no paint colour guide. In this sample there is no page fourteen that’s stages nineteen and twenty but two of page sixteen, after contacting Kitty Hawk I was sent a scan of the missing page (included in the photos) and informed that the first batch sent out from the factory all have this error but this is corrected in later batches.
The Markings The decals come on two sheets, a main sheet and a much smaller one, the decals are in perfect register with the writing legible, but there is a question over the shade of blue used on the 54squadron flash as it appears much to dark being almost black where as it should appear a dark but deep blue. For some reason we also get a ‘bonus’ ‘Sadman’ nose art decal in what is possibly 1/32.
1. Jaguar GR.1 XZ364 ‘Sadman’ Desert Storm 1991, overall desert sand ARTF (Alkaline Removable Temporary Finish) ‘desert pink’
2. Jaguar GR.1 XX732 54(F) Sqn, Exercise Bull’s Eye ’79, Dark Green, Medium Sea Gray wrap around
3. Jaguar GR.3 XX725 54(F) Sqn, Exercise Snow Goose 2005, Medium Sea Gray and White wrap around
Option 1 is a GR.1A with operation Granby stage 3 mod and as such should have the larger ‘T-shaped’ single UHF aerial in place of the twin VHF aerials in the kit, likewise for option 3, which should also have the ‘T-shaped’ aerial. This difference although minor is a major recognition feature between the GR.1 and upgraded GR.1A / GR.3, the thing is the box art gets it correct! Now although it sounds minor it’s not as simple as it sounds to fix and we can only hope that one of the AM companies comes out with a correction set.
In Conclusion Well, it’s not all bad, you can build a nice GR.1 out of the box with a light weapon load but for a Desert Storm or upgraded Jaguar then you’ll need to carry out some modifications to the kit and source weapons. Kitty Hawk have made a major blunder with this as the kit is advertised as a GR.1 / GR.3 of which only the GR.1 can be built from the box.
I used the very good ‘SEPECAT Jaguar, Tactical Support and Maritime Strike Fighter’ book by Martin W Bowman ISBN13 978-1844155453 as a reference source.
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