uk 75

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The subject which perhaps has been kicked around on this website more than any other is whether the UK could have designed and built a two seater fighter-bomber in the 1960s to replace RAF Lightnings and RN Sea Vixens and replace RAF Hunters (The RN already had Buccaneer).
The Hawker P1154 was the only attempt at doing this that came anywhere close to being built (and then only for the limited RAF Hunter replacement role).
Unfortunately for UK industry the F4 Phantom was.available. After the usual political chaos, F4s replaced some of the RAF and RN types mentioned. But it also took Jaguar and Tornado as well as P1127RAF and Sea Harrier.
Hawker Siddeley and British Aircraft Corporation plus Rolls Royce/Bristol S. had the technical ability to design and build a British Phantom.
What was lacking in no particular order was:
Money
Air and Admiralty Staff competence
Political decision making
Industrial and Business Management
Would the British Phantom have looked similar to the US one (HS Brough) or been a vstol/vg/incidence wing 60s wonder?
That is my summary over to you?
 

Archibald

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October 2006... doesn't make me younger by any mean.
 

zen

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The subject which perhaps has been kicked around on this website more than any other is whether the UK could have designed and built a two seater fighter-bomber in the 1960s to replace RAF Lightnings and RN Sea Vixens and replace RAF Hunters (The RN already had Buccaneer).
The Hawker P1154 was the only attempt at doing this that came anywhere close to being built (and then only for the limited RAF Hunter replacement role).
Unfortunately for UK industry the F4 Phantom was.available. After the usual political chaos, F4s replaced some of the RAF and RN types mentioned. But it also took Jaguar and Tornado as well as P1127RAF and Sea Harrier.
Hawker Siddeley and British Aircraft Corporation plus Rolls Royce/Bristol S. had the technical ability to design and build a British Phantom.
What was lacking in no particular order was:
Money
Air and Admiralty Staff competence
Political decision making
Industrial and Business Management
Would the British Phantom have looked similar to the US one (HS Brough) or been a vstol/vg/incidence wing 60s wonder?
That is my summary over to you?
Depends really.
Certainly components were in development, some into service.
We can say a twin reheated Avon powered aircraft, with 30mm ADEN cannon, AI.18, Red Top in IR and SARH versions. As with a number of other components, highly achievable.
We know BE.30, or RB.106 offered advanced turbojet equivalent or even better than US options. As was later RR and BSEL turbofans.

We know the AI effort was heading to FMICW after a sojourn into FMCW. We can say this earlier pre-Foxhunter set reached flight tests in a Canberra despite stop start funding/requirements. Starting with OR.346 back in 1960, this faced delays because of the changes to what or if it had a fighter to be developed for.
Had a consistent drive/funding been there....

In historical terms the Supermarine Type 556 was the RN desired solution and the stepping stone to a F4-ish sort of aircraft.

In a more cunning twist the Other Lightning. Delivers.


We can see, despite the risks with certain components, that DH's submission to OR.346 is actually the most pragmatic. A design that can be prototyped in a fairly low risk manner. Until the STOL components have to be tested.
Even had these failed (only the clang box diverter seems that risky) a big twin Spey Delta winged multirole aircraft, albeit tied to conventional runaways on land, could still result.
Not so fun for the Navy, but the RAF would be happy.
 

Archibald

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The subject which perhaps has been kicked around on this website more than any other is whether the UK could have designed and built a two seater fighter-bomber in the 1960s to replace RAF Lightnings and RN Sea Vixens and replace RAF Hunters (The RN already had Buccaneer).
The Hawker P1154 was the only attempt at doing this that came anywhere close to being built (and then only for the limited RAF Hunter replacement role).
Unfortunately for UK industry the F4 Phantom was.available. After the usual political chaos, F4s replaced some of the RAF and RN types mentioned. But it also took Jaguar and Tornado as well as P1127RAF and Sea Harrier.
Hawker Siddeley and British Aircraft Corporation plus Rolls Royce/Bristol S. had the technical ability to design and build a British Phantom.
What was lacking in no particular order was:
Money
Air and Admiralty Staff competence
Political decision making
Industrial and Business Management
Would the British Phantom have looked similar to the US one (HS Brough) or been a vstol/vg/incidence wing 60s wonder?
That is my summary over to you?
Depends really.
Certainly components were in development, some into service.
We can say a twin reheated Avon powered aircraft, with 30mm ADEN cannon, AI.18, Red Top in IR and SARH versions. As with a number of other components, highly achievable.
We know BE.30, or RB.106 offered advanced turbojet equivalent or even better than US options. As was later RR and BSEL turbofans.

We know the AI effort was heading to FMICW after a sojourn into FMCW. We can say this earlier pre-Foxhunter set reached flight tests in a Canberra despite stop start funding/requirements. Starting with OR.346 back in 1960, this faced delays because of the changes to what or if it had a fighter to be developed for.
Had a consistent drive/funding been there....

In historical terms the Supermarine Type 556 was the RN desired solution and the stepping stone to a F4-ish sort of aircraft.

In a more cunning twist the Other Lightning. Delivers.


We can see, despite the risks with certain components, that DH's submission to OR.346 is actually the most pragmatic. A design that can be prototyped in a fairly low risk manner. Until the STOL components have to be tested.
Even had these failed (only the clang box diverter seems that risky) a big twin Spey Delta winged multirole aircraft, albeit tied to conventional runaways on land, could still result.
Not so fun for the Navy, but the RAF would be happy.

This is one of the most bizarre and frustrating aspects of post-Sandys British aircraft industry.
They had everything on hand to get either, a Mirage III or a Phantom world-beater (or at worse, a F-5 world beater)
- radars: check
- avionics: check
- AAMs: check
- advanced engines: check
What lacked was the right airframe at the right time. I remember drawing lists of "candidates" from Tony Buttler books.
There are a whole bunch of them from ER-103C to P.110 (1956 to 1981) : my favorites were the Blackburn 141 and its little brother the 146; the Hawker 1173; and some others I've forgotten.

Rolls Royce had a string of excellent engines from Avon to RB199; innumerable variants of excellent turbojets followed by advanced, compact turbofans that preceded the comparable G.E J101 that led to the complete P530 / F20 / Grippen families of LWF.
It must have been quite frustrating for RR to churn so many superb military engines and finding so few projects and airframes for them.
And obviously on the other side of the Channel, the situation was kind of reversed. Dassault was churning prototypes like crazy, only for them to fall victim of the Atar monoculture - or imported American engines, expensive and loathed by De Gaulle.
 

zen

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I have mused over the concept of a carrier Fighter Attack machine to AW.406.
This can be achieved if
the empty weight is under 20,000lb, Effective Little Coefficient at TO of 0.59 or above,
engine s.f.c dry 0.7 and rehear 1.8 or less
Engine weight each of 1,550lb or less
And wing about 400sqft.

However raising inclination above 15 degrees at TO would ease launch requirements somewhat.

Weight can be achieved, if the engines are light enough, as this impacts fusilage, and in turn wing and undercarriage weights.

Though everything gets surprisingly easy if we switch toba single large engine.
 

Grey Havoc

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Seems to me like you would need really need something along the lines of a turboramjet as engines for such a fighter though.
 

zen

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Seems to me like you would need really need something along the lines of a turboramjet as engines for such a fighter though.
Not really, 0.7 for a two shaft turbojet is achievable in the era.
Obviously turbofans achieve this more easily but often have lower thrust levels for a given diameter and lower velocity exhaust which impacts speed and altitude.
 

starviking

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Develop the Supermarine Scimitar into a supersonic two seater ?
The question is: could Vickers Supermarine make a successful plane? They made a mess of the TSR2 (engines being accessed from the tailpipes being one bad VS idea)
 

Archibald

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Hawker and English Electric always looked better than the rest of the lot - to me at least.
Hawker had experience.
English Electric had sophisticated, advanced designs (P.10, the British SR-71). They were also kind of "fresh" in the game (Canberra). The P.8 looked like a Lightning cured of its well know flaws, shame it wasn't picked for F155T: it could have rode the Lightning coattails.

The others were a mixed bag.
 

Archibald

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France had a similar mess and hodgepodge of good and bad, big and small aircraft makers in 1936 when the Front Populaire tried to rationalize the whole thing - and actually made it even worse. After the war (1952 was turning point) however the effort started rolling in the right direction; by 1970 with the merger of Nord and Sud aviation the job was done at least. It took aproximately 35 years, from 1936 to 1971, to achieve it.
Great Britain kind of did a similar move post-war and too late: in the jet age. The 1960 mergings into BAC were quite... brutal and counter-productive.

There are striking parallels between France miseries in the 1936-52 era and what happened on the other side of the Channel in the 50's.

Another interesting coincidence is the number of small-medium-large aircraft makers at the begnning: 15 to 20 players on both sides. I made a list of French aircraft makers circa 1936 for France fights on; I must still have somewhere. The number was quite astonishing, something like 18 or more (ever heard of Romano ? Hanriot ? and there were a whole bunch of others like them).
 

_Del_

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I'd still like to see the AFVG target a smaller (say Flogger -sized), less ambitious (and expensive) fighter. A little smaller and less capable than a Phantom or Tornado or MG, but useful and affordable. Something bigger than a M2000, not so big as a M4000. Bigger than the Jag, smaller than a Tornado. You could have a dedicated strike version a la the Flogger and Tornado families (M200N might count here as well), but might aim for a more limited multi-role from the start.

Then the Jaguar stays in the Alpha Jet/Hawk light class as originally intend allowing both parties to take advantage of huge economies if scale on both programs.
 

zen

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I'd still like to see the AFVG target a smaller (say Flogger -sized), less ambitious (and expensive) fighter. A little smaller and less capable than a Phantom or Tornado or MG, but useful and affordable. Something bigger than a M2000, not so big as a M4000. Bigger than the Jag, smaller than a Tornado. You could have a dedicated strike version a la the Flogger and Tornado families (M200N might count here as well), but might aim for a more limited multi-role from the start.

Then the Jaguar stays in the Alpha Jet/Hawk light class as originally intend allowing both parties to take advantage of huge economies if scale on both programs.
You mean like....this?
 

_Del_

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Nice! Yes, something very much like that! I know there were a slew of designs of all sizes related to AVG. Probably on the other side of the channel, as well.
Seems like a lost opportunity for something they could make and sell a slew of. Erases the need to keep adding capability to the Jaguar project.

And if what becomes the Jag stays small as originally intended, there's a market for thousands of those as well.
 

Thorvic

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Ralph you missed something, the Hawker P1154 was foisted on to the FAA, they had AW406 as a Sea Vixen replacement and the Supermarine/Vickers 583 was leading contender. The Phantom & Buccaneer, were both 50s designs with 50s technology so their capabilities meant they did it simple & heavy duty. The RN wanted a supersonic mach2 interceptor with the capabilities to match or better the phantom, but using more advanced design technology in structures, design, engines & avionics to produce a smarter/lighter type capable of secondary strike role and able to carry ASM to replace the Buccaneers.
The P1154 was forced upon them, and the 583 mothballed, then when the P1154 proved unsuitable to meet RN needs the F4 Phantom was ordered as a stop gap, the hope was still to develop a more advanced VG design, and the 583 experience was channelled into the AFVG, again seen as a common type t replace Phantom/Sea Vixen & Buccaneer in the early 70s.

The P141 was a 1967 design for a UK Phantom, aimed at the RAF (as the FAA Carrier fleet was doomed at that stage) however there is a mention in the brochure about it being compatible for development to Carrier use should the need arise. The brochure does detail alot of the reasoning behind the design decision.
 

blackkite

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NOMISYRRUC

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To me the obvious solution to the OP is for Hawker Siddeley to design and build a Phantom-class heavy fighter with two Spey engines instead of the P.1154. The money spent on the P.1154 & BS.100 engine 1962-65 and the Spey-Phantom from 1964 would pay for it.

Several Spey-powered P.1154s were proposed in the period 1962-64 and they had folded dimensions that were similar to the Sea Vixen which aught to make a one-to-one substitution possible.

That brings me to the second possibility which is that the British Phantom may have slower take-off and landing speeds than the F-4K which might make it capable of operating from aircraft carriers that could operate the Sea Vixen and that would be extremely beneficial for the Royal Navy.
 

zen

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I've tried on the basis of certain figures to estimate a Spey powered solution to AW.406.
But the truth is the engine is too big, too low a thrust-to-weight-ratio and too high on s.f.c figures to produce such a solution.
Not without novel elements that impose high risk.

It's easier to use a single larger engine. Such as Olympus, Medway, Conway, Gyron or RB.122.

And this goes for Avon as well.

And in turn this is part of why there was the requirement for new engines of below 30" diameter and over 7,000lb of thrust of low weight requested in 1954.

Sadly the cheap option of a scaled down Gyron, which became the Gyron Junior was the winner of that process.

Because the scaled down Rolls-Royce RB.106, the proposed Bristol BE.33 and the Armstrong Siddely P.151 all sit in the sweet spot.
 

pathology_doc

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The subject which perhaps has been kicked around on this website more than any other is whether the UK could have designed and built a two seater fighter-bomber in the 1960s to replace RAF Lightnings and RN Sea Vixens and replace RAF Hunters
Not in the environment that Sandys created. You can do it if you stop F.155T and ask for something realistic in its place rather than the wholesale massacre we actually got, and maybe the answer is P.1121 if you can find a radar for it that supports SARH illumination (IIRC there was a two-man nose). It replaces the Lightning and Hunter. Not so much the Sea Vixen; depends on how carrier-friendly P.1121 is.

Let's admit it, though; the Phantom was one of aviation's true greats. Even equalling it is difficult.
 

Archibald

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There were some very interesting "mutated Hunters" between P.1090 and P.1103 - the complete list features in Tony Buttler's books.
ER.103C was tempting too.
Ideally - F.155T gets downrated into some kind of ER.103 interceptor: something akin, not to a British Mirage III but rather: a F-106 look alike. Either with one big engine (no lack of them: Gyron, Medway, Conway, Olympus...) or two RB.122 or 146.
 

Wyvern

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Alternatively, the P.1121 could be given a look as well; its overall performance didn't seem too bad on paper, and it was quite similar in performance to the Mirage, but would have brought weapons capability very close to that of the Phantom (although only British types were considered, I would assume that American weapons could be retrofitted onto it as well)

Not so much the Sea Vixen; depends on how carrier-friendly P.1121 is.
I wouldn't doubt whether Hawker had one on the drawing board.
 

Derfel Cadarn

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Blackburn P.141 look like the product of a Phantom and Tornado having a one-night stand.
Archibald speaks from experience
Yeah but look at the date. 1967. It’s a copylike F.4 that wouldn’t be in service until mid 70s only to be surpassed by the teen series. Fairey had twin engined delta variants, including an all weather fighter that could easily have been in service and superior to Phantom contemporaneously.
 

Archibald

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Blackburn P.141 look like the product of a Phantom and Tornado having a one-night stand.
Archibald speaks from experience
Yeah but look at the date. 1967. It’s a copylike F.4 that wouldn’t be in service until mid 70s only to be surpassed by the teen series. Fairey had twin engined delta variants, including an all weather fighter that could easily have been in service and superior to Phantom contemporaneously.

Good point, but the RAF / GIUK needs are peculiar - would the P.141 fare better or wose than the Tornado ADV ?
 

Derfel Cadarn

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Blackburn P.141 look like the product of a Phantom and Tornado having a one-night stand.
Archibald speaks from experience
Yeah but look at the date. 1967. It’s a copylike F.4 that wouldn’t be in service until mid 70s only to be surpassed by the teen series. Fairey had twin engined delta variants, including an all weather fighter that could easily have been in service and superior to Phantom contemporaneously.

Good point, but the RAF / GIUK needs are peculiar - would the P.141 fare better or wose than the Tornado ADV ?
My first choice would be a pair of CVA-01s with full air groups. F-4K then F-14 (just).

If it has to be land based then I’m afraid I always thought a Vulcan F.3 or Victor F.2 with big dish AWG-9 and 12 x Phoenix internally would be good.

If agile fighter opposition is zero why not go meaty early? If the big threat is cruise missiles and Blinder / Backfire sky flash might not cut it.

Two pilots for endurance, two RIOs for looking and listening and a little bunk somewhere for downtime. Talk about loiter.

Then you got that great big wing on Vulcan and all manner of speedy lines on Victor to keep things active.

Tornado ADV needed those great big hindenburg externals to meet the range requirements making it less agile than either of the V-bombers. Instead we got Victors passing fuel and Vulcans sweeping the sea with nav radar.

After that? F-14D? If it had to be locally produced then a Concorde development?

TSR2 wouldn’t have had space for a big enough radar, F-111 would have.
 

uk 75

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The two seater 1154 with Speys and no VG and no VSTOL seems to me to answer the question best. a bit of redesign at the back end so that the two engines dont have to cross over. Red Tops are fine for most of what the RN and RAF need it to kill (Migs, Badgers and Bears). Sparrow or whatever can come later.
 

zen

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P.1154 with 350sqft wing and twin Speys....

Only those Speys had all the supersonic components stripped out to meet weight criteria.
Which why the proposal was dropped once this was realised.

And no, it doesn't work unless you get the wing over 500sqft. Because the Speys weigh a lot and the fuel needed drives up weight.

However had this been a pair of RB.153....
the weight drops.
So wing area drops.
So weight drops.
Fuel needed reduced.
Weight drops again.
You can cut fusilage structure weight.
And landing gear weight.
and this in turn cuts wing area and weight.
And you start to get within criteria...
 

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Would a shortened Hawker P.1129 be a Phantom equivalent? With some modification, a more powerful AI radar could have been put in, and the aircraft could have become a decent multirole fighter.
 

zen

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Would a shortened Hawker P.1129 be a Phantom equivalent? With some modification, a more powerful AI radar could have been put in, and the aircraft could have become a decent multirole fighter.
The earlier P1125 which re-used 1121 components is closer. Since it was based on a twin engined fusilage using RB.133 Avons.
Vaguely like a certain French design.
But the P1129 is based around twin RB.142 Medway turbofans and is heavy and large.
 

zen

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So as per another thread, the DH GOR.339 offering is quite a performer and potentially quite modifiable.
 

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Having the EE design the Lightning with engines one aside to another? A lot of fuel can be held behind the pilot now (so it can be as rangy as Phantom), leaving the belly to carry missiles/bombs/tanks. 2-seater is probably a must for 1960s electronics state-of-the-art? A radar-guided version of Firestreak/Red Top is also needed.

Even the historical Lightning might've cut it - a 2-seater as per training versions, again the radar-guided missiles, wing-tip drop tanks, over-wing missile racks...
 

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Breguet's rival to the Mirage G was the unbuilt Br.120 which I believe was to have been powered by a pair of Speys. I also believe that the specification that the two aircraft were designed to meet called for them to be capable of operating from Clemenceau and Foch.

If both of the above are true would the Br.120 have been able to operate from the British aircraft carriers Eagle (in her 1964 condition), Victorious and possibly Hermes and Centaur?

And if that's true could the Br.120 have been developed as a joint venture between Breguet and Hawker Siddeley as a replacement for the Sea Vixen in the FAA and Crusader in the Aeronavale?

@Archibald is probably the person that's best qualified to answer these questions.
 
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Archibald

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Why not ? indeed Breguet competed in the Mirage G but lost.
My memory of Jean Cuny's Breguet monography is the Breguet Br.1200 were an entire family of VG projects from Mig-23 to F-111 size... including a Mirage G competitor.
Would have need much more agressive management after Louis Breguet death in May 1955. Henri Potez would have been a perfect "anti-Dassault".

Whatever, Breguet had its own Mirage G lookalike at the right moment to screw both Dassault and... Jaguar.

OTL Mirage G touched down at 108 kt and weighed 15 tonnes. Good for Centaurs Clems Victorious and Audacious indeed.

Grant SNECMA a Spey license in 1959 or 1963... the company slept with Pratt for TF30, BS for Concorde's Olympus, and G.E for CFM56 later.
 
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NOMISYRRUC

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The P141 was a 1967 design for a UK Phantom, aimed at the RAF (as the FAA Carrier fleet was doomed at that stage) however there is a mention in the brochure about it being compatible for development to Carrier use should the need arise. The brochure does detail a lot of the reasoning behind the design decision.
I looked the P.141 up in my copy of Roy Boot's From Spitfire to Eurofighter. According to him (and he should know)...
In 1965, as the brainchild of Rod Melling, came the last of our attack projects, the P.141. This was offered as an alternative concept to the MRCA (later Tornado). The approach was to avoid the size and complexity incurred by having an airframe with the capability of fulfilling a number of roles by a modular approach, where role-related major components could be attached, on the assembly line, to a common core, thereby producing a smaller and cheaper product.
The next paragraph said that the characteristics of the aircraft were...
  • Two Bristol Siddeley/SNECMA M45G turbofans of 7,460lb dry thrust and 13,000lb with reheat.
  • Wing area 400sqft.
  • Span 35ft.
  • Length 56ft.
  • Basic weight 23,000lb.
  • Normal take-off weight 38,000lb.
  • Maximum speed about Mach 2.
  • Radius of action up to 1,000 miles.
  • A good short-field performance was also a feature of the design.
How do they compare to the characteristics quoted in the brochure that you mentioned?

It's in the section on possible Buccaneer successors which also includes the B.123 and P.135 which were to have had reheated Spey engines. Which suggests to me that the P.141 wasn't really a British equivalent to the Phantom. However, the brochure that you are using as your source suggests otherwise.
 

Archibald

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I use to see the P.141 as the perfect in-between Phantom and Tornado... and Jaguar. The M45 however lacked thrust, barely 12000 pounds each. One of the reasons AFVG sunk in '67: everybody hated its engine, SNECMA included. Even a Mirage IIIC Atar 9 had more thrust.

Shame the P.141 couldn't screw both Jaguar and AFVG with Breguet as partner. And Turbomeca rather than SNECMA. In fact Adour is a subscale M45... and made Jaguar as underpowered as AFVG and P.141 would have been...

Then again Adour mk.104 / 106 are proof donkeys can be turned into thoroughbreds.
P.141 would need mk.106 M45s with 30% more thrust.
 
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