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Military Learjets

Matej

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I have heard (rumours) that the Argentina was before or during Falklands war trying to modify some of the Learjets to cary Exocet missiles on pylons under the wing. The aim was to replace Super Etendard fighters, mostly destroyed by british forces.

Can anybody confirm that and add some additional info?
 

elmayerle

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IMHO, not an easy move. The Learjet wing, while still retaining the multiple spars of its military ancestry, didn't have the structural provisions for underwing hardpoints. The structure could be modified, but it would be neither an easy nor quick fix. Now, some of the various operators have bought provisions for hardpoints built in new on their learjets (I think Finland did; I know they have an interesting ESM fit plus provisions for a centerline dual camera pod and for a starboard drop hatch). Retrofitting wing hardpoint provisions after the fact is quite do-able, but it's not done quickly, at least, not if you're concerned about airframe long-term integrity.

Oh, I should note that the Learjet wing is a single assembly from tip to tip that gets built up separately and then mated to the fuselage (much like the wing of the P-51). De-mating them is easy, but remating and re-doing all the electrical and fluid (fuel, hydraulics, bleed air for de-icing, etc.) connections takes rather longer.
 

TinWing

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Matej said:
I have heard (rumours) that the Argentina was before or during Falklands war trying to modify some of the Learjets to cary Exocet missiles on pylons under the wing. The aim was to replace Super Etendard fighters, mostly destroyed by british forces.

I thought that no Super Etendards were lost in the Falklands, but Argentina did run out of Exocet missiles?
 

yasotay

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I seem to remember reading somewhere that the Argentine Air Force used Lear Jets during the war for reconnaissance, trying to get the RN to light up their radars to allow the Argentine to triangulate the locations. I think they were said to be used in conjunction with the Super Entendard, but did not actually launch the missiles.

I could be wrong though.
 

roberto_yeager

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Yes, none SuE was lost in the war. And none Learjet was used for launch Exocet. They were in a civil flight unit (escuadron Fenix) for try to disturb the english radar.

There was a similar project years later for the use of light transport planes (I don´t remember if was Learjet or Gulfstream) in Chile for carry two exocet. There was a prototype.


1Saludo
 

Archibald

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Aparently one of the Learjet was shot down by a SHAR in mid- may .
None SE was lost, but the Armada only 5 Exocets, which were expanded quickly (with well- known results :( )

Don't know for the Learjet, but it seems that the Guardian 2 (maritime patroll variant of the Falcon 20) could carry some excocets... any pics of this machine ? Wasn't it proposed to Iraq (which badly needed every aircraft carying Exocet, including super Frelon, SE, Mirage F1...)
 

Iranian F-14A

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Yes,the Guardian 2 was offered to Iraq,as to if they bought any,I'm not sure.Wasn't Libya also interested in it as well? I know they got a few Falcons to train their Mirage pilots,but not sure about the maritime model.
 

huey21ar

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Matej said:
I have heard (rumours) that the Argentina was before or during Falklands war trying to modify some of the Learjets to cary Exocet missiles on pylons under the wing. The aim was to replace Super Etendard fighters, mostly destroyed by british forces.

Can anybody confirm that and add some additional info?

Hello friends
No SuE was damaged by British actions. The only casualties occurred after the war due to operational accidents. In addition, the AM-39 belonged to the Navy while the Lear Jet was owned by the Air Force. Eventually, during the crisis of 1978 with Chile, had explored the possibility of arming the Lear Jet with bombs and rockets, but there is no evidence that any modification was made

Saludos!
 

huey21ar

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yasotay said:
I seem to remember reading somewhere that the Argentine Air Force used Lear Jets during the war for reconnaissance, trying to get the RN to light up their radars to allow the Argentine to triangulate the locations. I think they were said to be used in conjunction with the Super Entendard, but did not actually launch the missiles.

I could be wrong though.

That's right, the Lear were used in reconnaissance missions, a guide for the attack packets, and distraction, flying attack profiles, pretending to be fighters to generate the reaction of the CAPs and create gaps for real fighters. But not carried out operations in conjunction with the SuE

Greetings!
 

huey21ar

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Archibald said:
Aparently one of the Learjet was shot down by a SHAR in mid- may .

In fact, the Lear Jet was shot down by a Sea Dart fired from the HMS Exeter, while on a distraction mission with another Lear Jet, although some sources assert that it was a photo reconnaissance mission at high altitude.

Saludos!
 

tonkaboy

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Supplemental Type Certificate STC SA1670CE covers installation of wing hardpoints on most of the earlier Learjets. Wing hardpoints are pretty common with special mission operators that provide training services to military operators mainly being used for target towing or electronic warfare pods. Most of these planes are converted from plain vanilla civilian operators. I've flown with one that had cloud sampling gear hung on the pylon. I looked around, but haven't been able find weight limits, but I doubt it would be sufficient for an Exocet. An Exocet is 1500lb where most of the equipment I've seen used weighs less than 500lb. I also don't know that there would be clearance to fit an Exocet under the wing. A Lear sits pretty close to the ground. The Argentinian Learjets were purchased for photo recon with a camera bay forward of the wing, but I don't think they had wing pylons.
 

XP67_Moonbat

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For lack of a topic on armed civilian planes, I'll just leave this here. While not specifically on an armed Learjet, this article is on a related note.... that of an armed business jet.

In this case, an Iraqi Falcon 50 bizjet retrofitted to carry Exocets. It appears to have been the plane that attacked the USS Stark in' 87.

https://warisboring.com/in-1987-a-secret-iraqi-warplane-struck-an-american-frigate-and-killed-37-sailors-b341a948fa21#.fgl2yxocg
 

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Ray

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Many years ago I remember seeing a Lear 24 with hard points that was in for service. As I recall, I was told that it was for podded machine guns and the aircraft was out of somewhere in Africa.
 

ZacYates

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Forgive my ignorance: where would the Exocets be mounted on a Lear? Is the landing gear tall enough to provide clearance if they're mounted under the wing/fuselage?
 

elmayerle

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It depends on how deep your pylon is. The Learjet 24 that was first used to test the "Longhorn" wing was test flown at one point with two tip tanks converted to drop tanks to regain lost fuel capacity. I believe the Learjet has the same ground clearance its Swiss ancestor had and that aircraft was able to carry significant underwing stores. There were also various PD/AD (Preliminary Design/Advance Design) studies for underwing carriage of different stores but nothing that even went to mockup, let alone metal cutting and bending.
 

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