……the Alpha Jet isn’t Going No Where Either.

The agile twin-engined tandem seat jet trainer and light fighter-bomber aircraft produced by a joint venture between France and Germany.

The Alpha Jet merges the intricacies of jet-powered flight training and high-speed weapons delivery. The twin-engine, two-seat strike platform proved an agile mount and was given a high-mounted, swept-wing monoplane arrangement which allowed for clearance of various ordnance types under the wings

The forward-most pilot managed good visibility out of the large two-piece glass canopy. The instructor/co-pilot was seated in the more obstructed rear cockpit position.

The undercarriage was of a conventional tricycle layout with two single-wheeled main landing gear legs and a single-wheeled nose landing gear leg – all retractable.

Power is supplied by a pair of SNECMA Turbomeca Larzac 04-C5 series turbofan engines buried within the middle-aft portion of the fuselage. Maximum listed speed is 620 miles per hour at sea level with a ferry range out to 1,800 miles. The listed service ceiling is 48,000 feet with a rate-of-climb exceeding 11,200 feet per minute.

The NAF operates both versions. The German version denoted by a sharp spiked nose.

ARMAMENT

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An Alpha Jet and its panoply of weapons displayed in an aircraft hanger.

Standard armament for the German Dornier mounts includes a 27mm MauserBK-27 series revolving autocannon in a fuselage centerline gun pod.

A German variant of the NAF Alpha jet with stub mounted rocket pods and 250kg bomb.

The French Dassault versions substitute this for a 30mm DEFA internal cannon at the same fuselage position. The Alpha Jet supports  Matra Magic II series air-to-air missiles and can carry conventional drop bombs, cluster bombs, cannon pods and rocket pods across five hardpoints (5,500lb maximum load). She is plumbed at two hardpoints for 2 x jettisonable external fuel tanks.

Nigeria has 16 Alpha jets in its inventory and has practically converted the Alpha jet to a close air support aircraft. German Alpha Jets were fitted with Doppler radar navigation systems and an advanced nav-attack suite capable of fulfilling the close-support requirement.

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Alpha jets lined side by side on the tarmac of an air base.
Two Alpha jet line up for takeoff.
Two Alpha jets takeoff from an airstrip.
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An Alpha Jet pilot.

 

PROPULSION : Two turbofan engines.

SPEED : 920 km/h.

SERVICE CEILING : 48,000 ft.

RANGE : 1,080 km.

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