MRCA gets cancelled

Hood

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Agreed it would be a big job. Its not just the nacelle, both spar frames wrap around the engines plus two mounting rings and a firewall ring that all seem to join with the wing structure too. So HSA/BAe would need to do a substantial rebuilding programme.
Needs a wind tunnel test programme to design the nacelles, rear fuselage fatigue tests, recalculation of CofG and trim and thicker gauge rear skins.
Not sure what avionics from MRCA you could salvage to put in it, there is no successor radar to Blue Parrot, the S.2B already got a Ferranti INS, I suppose you could add LRMTS, RWR would be added to S.2B later anyway and provision of internal proved impossible with US pods being acquired instead. And if your ripping the aircraft apart and haven't got any better avionics to put inside it, is the cost really worthwhile?

Given the costs of all the above it seems unlikely the MoD would go down the re-engining route.

Anyhow a lighter less draggy Bucc still wouldn't need afterburners, its not going to ever be a viable supersonic platform, what you really need is lots of dry thrust to get you off he ground smartly with a hefty load of weaps and fuel.
 

tomo pauk

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The AJ-37 Viggen with British engine and electronics would not have been too bad. Plus the export potential since the US-made bits and pieces would've been kept at minimum.
After the late 1970s, make a fighter out of it. After late 1980s, start replacing Jaguars with the newest version.
 

zen

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RB.199 is not a panacea. Who said it was?
Buccaneer with dry thrust RB.199 is good enough......assuming it can fit in the 'o' ring holes in the main wing spar.

Avionics.
An entire fit was proposed for MRCA from UK aviation firms, but this lost out to US Texas Instruments based solution.
 

BLACK_MAMBA

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The AJ-37 Viggen with British engine and electronics would not have been too bad. Plus the export potential since the US-made bits and pieces would've been kept at minimum.
After the late 1970s, make a fighter out of it. After late 1980s, start replacing Jaguars with the newest version.
Interesting angle. For the Fighter version at least I would still maintain the Phantom upgraded would have been a better solution seeing as it was already in service, arguably offered a greater reach and had the same weapons fit, although it could carry more.
In the strike role Viggen could have worked well. Bigger than the Jaguar but I'd still prefer the Bucc with somewhat expanded capabilities.
 

tomo pauk

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Interesting angle. For the Fighter version at least I would still maintain the Phantom upgraded would have been a better solution seeing as it was already in service, arguably offered a greater reach and had the same weapons fit, although it could carry more.
In the strike role Viggen could have worked well. Bigger than the Jaguar but I'd still prefer the Bucc with somewhat expanded capabilities.

The BritVigg would've been loved by people usualy not fond of expensive things: the finance mistries of different countries.
 

red admiral

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Not sure Viggen was particularly cheap. Also lacks range compared to desired e.g. Buccaneer.

I wonder if we get a Jaguar with single RB.199 and avionics fit towards AST396? Relatively cheap, gives RR an engine, keeps Warton going, significantly greater range than normal Jaguar.
 

zen

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Perhaps some should note the different wing loadings of the Jaguar and Viggen.
As one is designed for reasonably comfortable flight at low level.....and the other for good STOL performance.

That said, as per the Viggen thread. A straight through Pegasus would be lighter and more rapid in throttle changes than the JT8D and of lower s.f.c to boot.

A single RB.199 powered Jaguar design was produced......but it is as massive a fusilage change as a twin RB.199 design.

The Spey 205 was aimed at delivering either higher thrust or longer TBO. The former option took it to 25,000lb reheated. This would certainly boost performance for the F4K and F4M. I'm not sure whst the dry thrust improvement was.
But assuming it's superior to the 202/203 then retrofit to Buccaneers is an attractive option.
 

tomo pauk

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Not sure Viggen was particularly cheap. Also lacks range compared to desired e.g. Buccaneer.

I wonder if we get a Jaguar with single RB.199 and avionics fit towards AST396? Relatively cheap, gives RR an engine, keeps Warton going, significantly greater range than normal Jaguar.

Viggen is off-the-shelf - development is already made, production will be cheaper than what a twin-engined A/C (especially if it has swing wing) cost. The fuel and maintenance costs will be also down. More appealing to foreign buyers, too.
Tornado was not that a rangy bird itself - 860 miles for combat purposes. The jury is still on how Buccaneer was rangy, beyond what is stated at Wikipedia.

The Jaguar with one RB.199 is a great idea wrt. this thread.
 

BLACK_MAMBA

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The jury is still on how Buccaneer was rangy, beyond what is stated at Wikipedia.
I don't have a fixed number, but SAAF Buccaneers could take off in Waterkloof Pretoria, high-low-high to strike in Angola and land at Ondangwa or Grootfontein in Namibia. If that is not "rangy" I have no idea what is... Check the ranges on Google maps to put a number to them. This all on internal fuel without slipper tanks fitted.
 

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Hood

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Bucc range and fuel data from Janes's (1990/91):

Typical strike range 2,000 nm (3,700 km; 2,300 miles)
Endurance, with two in-flight refuellings 9 hrs

Fuel - eight integral tanks in upper part of central fuselage, total capacity 7,092 litres (1,873 US gal; 1,560 Imp gal), with provision for cross-feed of all fuel to either engine. In addition, a 1,932 litre (550 US gal; 425 Imp gal) bomb door fuel tank can be fitted, without detriment to the aircraft's bomb-carrying capability. Provision for additional 2,000 litre (528 US gal; 440 Imp gal) auxiliary tank in weapons bay, and/or two 1,136 litre or 1,955 litre (300 or 516 US gal; 250 or 430 Imp gal) underwing drop-tanks on the inboard pylons. Detachable probe standard. In tanker role (max capacity 12,797 litre; 3,800 US gal; 2,815 Imp gal) the starboard inboard pylon is occupied by a 636 litre (168 US gal; 140 Imp gal) Mk 20B or 20C refuelling pod which is fed continuously from the main fuel system.

For comparison the Tornado IDS is quoted as:
Radius of action with heavy weapons load, hi-lo-lo-hi 750nm (1,390km; 863 miles)
Ferry range approx 2,100nm (1,390km; 2,420 miles)

Fuel capacity (internal) approx 6,090 litres (1,610 US gal; 1,340 Imp gal) plus 551 litre (145.5 US gal; 121 Imp gal) fin tank in GR.Mk.1. Provision for one or two 1,500 litre (396 US gal; 330 Imp gal) drop-tanks under fuselage and single tanks on the shoulder pylons and inboard wing pylons (1,500 or 2,250 litres; 396 or 594 US gal; 330 or 495 Imp gal). Detachable and retractable probe.
Italian and German aircraft could use 1,135 litre (300 US gal; 250 Imp gal) Sargent-Fletcher Type 28-300 buddy refuelling pod.
 

Archibald

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Wait, does this mean the Buccaneer STRIKE range nearly matched the Tornado STRIKE range ?
I always said that going supersonic for strike aircraft was perfectly stupid, and this confirm it.
(Vautour vs Mirage IVA, cough, cough).
(Vautours considered as tankers for the Mirage IVA: cough intensifies).

The freakkin' Israelis flew their Vautours from Israel to Luxor and back in '67, even flying on one engine to save fuel (!). They took the surviving Egyptian air force with their pants down - kind of "frack, how could they came demolishing us THAT FAR south ??!!" longest strike of the Six days war, first of many ultra-long-range IDF/AF strikes, years before the Phantoms and F-15s, and without any tanker support... Tunis, Entebbe stemmed from that pivotal moment....
 

BLACK_MAMBA

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Wait, does this mean the Buccaneer STRIKE range nearly matched the Tornado STRIKE range ?
Maybe you mistyped but I read Hood's post as the Bucc has nearly double the strike range of the Tonka?

The Bucc has shown multiple times that a subsonic aircraft could do the job. In SAAF service they flew into incredibly contested airspace over a very long range but their ability to fly fast and low in the danger areas kept them safe. These days with long range stand off weapons becoming common even the useful part of supersonic flight in combat is further diminished - for strike roles at least.
 

Archibald

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Wait, does this mean the Buccaneer STRIKE range nearly matched the Tornado STRIKE range ?

MERDRE. Second try: Wait, does this mean the Buccaneer STRIKE range nearly matched the Tornado FERRY range ?
 
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zen

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Yeah......TO from Gib, transit to Cyprus, exercise and return.
TO from Eagle in Easter Atlantic, tanking once, overfly army camp bordering Belize (bomb bays open), return with tanking.

But for the oil can limit, they'd have flown Black Buck missions.
 

Hood

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The only caveat I would add is that the Bucc at that range would probably be limited to four internal dumb 1,000-pounders, possible something hanging off the outer underwing pylons (prob ECM/chaff pods).
The Tornado's action radius is listed as 'heavy weapons load' which implies perhaps no external tanks? Its a very vague description but doubtless the Tonka would be toting LGBs or runway denial packs.

Let's see what else Jane's tells us:

NAMC Q-5
Internal fuel 3,648 litres (964 US gal; 802.5 Imp gal) plus two 760 litre (201 US gal; 167 Imp gal) drop-tank on centre wing pylon or two 400 litre (105.7 US gal; 88 Imp gal) drop tanks on outer pylons.
Combat radius lo-lo-lo no reheat and max external stores at 500 m;1,640 ft: 216nm (400 km; 248 miles)
Combat radius hi-lo-hi no reheat and max external stores: 324 nm (600 km; 373 miles)
Range at 11,000 m; 36,000 ft with max internal and external fuel nearly 1,080 nm (2,000 km; 1,243 miles)
A5M with WP6A had worse radius figures (174 nm, 280 nm but ferry range was the same)

Mirage IV
Internal fuel capacity not stated, two 2,000 litre (528 US gal; 440 Imp gal) drop-tanks. Refuelling probe.
Tactical radius 668nm (1,240 km; 771 miles)
Ferry range 2,158nm (4,000 km; 2,485 miles)

Jaguar
Internal fuel 4,200 litres (1,109.7 US gal; 924 Imp gal), up to three 1,200 litre (317 US gal; 264 Imp gal) drop-tanks. Refuelling probe.
Attack radius internal fuel only hi-lo-hi 460 nm (825 km; 530 miles); lo-lo-lo 290 nm (537 km; 334 miles)
Attack radius with external fuel hi-lo-hi 760 nm (1,408 km; 875 miles); lo-lo-lo 495 nm (917 km; 570 miles)
Ferry range with external fuel 1,902 nm (3,524 km; 2,190 miles)

Viggen
No fuel capacities stated. One ventral drop-tank.
Tactical radius with external weapons hi-lo-hi over 540 nm (1,000 km; 620 miles); lo-lo-lo over 270 nm (500 km; 310 miles)

F-111
No fuel capacities stated.
Range with max internal fuel (F-111A) over 2,750nm nm (5,093 km; 3,165 miles)

A-6
Internal fuel 8,873 litres (2,344 US gal; 1,952 Imp gal), up to five external drop-tanks each of 1,135 litres (300 US gal; 250 Imp gal) or 1,514 litres (400 US gal; 333 Imp gal). Refuelling probe.
Range with max military load 878 nm (1,627 km; 1,011 miles)
Ferry range with max external fuel 2,380 nm (4,410 km; 2,740 miles) or if tanks dropped when empty 2,818 nm (5,222 km; 3,245 miles)

F-14
Internal fuel 9,029 litres (2,385 US gal; 1,986 Imp gal), two external tanks each of 1,011 litres (247 US gal; 222 Imp gal). Refuelling probe.
Max range with external fuel approx 1,735 nm (3,220 km; 2,000 miles)

F-4E
Internal fuel 7,022 litres (1,855 US gal; 1,545 Imp gal), ventral external tank of 2,270 litres (600 US gal; 500 Imp gal) and two underwing tanks each of 1,400 litres (370US gal; 308 Imp gal). Refuelling probe.
Interdiction range 618 nm (1,145 km; 712 miles)
Ferry range 1,718 nm (3,184 km; 1,978 miles)

F-15C
Internal fuel 7,836 litres (2,070US gal; 1,724 Imp gal), conformal tanks each with 2,839 litres (750 US gal; 624 Imp gal); up to three external tanks each of 2,309 litres (610 US gal; 508 Imp gal). Max internal and external fuel capacity 20,441 litres (5,400 US gal; 4,496 Imp gal). Refuelling probe.
Ferry range without CFTs more than 2,500 nm (4,631 km; 2,878 miles); with CFTs 3,100 nm (5,745 km; 3,750 miles).
Max endurance unrefuelled with CFTs 5 hrs 15 mins; with refuelling 15 hrs.

F/A-18C
Internal fuel 6,061 litres (1,600US gal; 1,333 Imp gal), up to three external tanks each of 1,250 litres (330US gal; 275Imp gal). Refuelling probe.
Combat radius interdiction hi-lo-lo-hi 290 nm (537 km; 340 miles)
Ferry range unrefuelled more than 1,800 nm (3,336 km; 2,073 miles)


Against these figures the Tornado doesn't do too badly at all. The Buccaneer though seems to have outranged the A-6 by some margin too. The F-15 though is a prodigious beast.
 
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PMN1

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Bucc range and fuel data from Janes's (1990/91):

Typical strike range 2,000 nm (3,700 km; 2,300 miles)
Endurance, with two in-flight refuellings 9 hrs

Fuel - eight integral tanks in upper part of central fuselage, total capacity 7,092 litres (1,873 US gal; 1,560 Imp gal), with provision for cross-feed of all fuel to either engine. In addition, a 1,932 litre (550 US gal; 425 Imp gal) bomb door fuel tank can be fitted, without detriment to the aircraft's bomb-carrying capability. Provision for additional 2,000 litre (528 US gal; 440 Imp gal) auxiliary tank in weapons bay, and/or two 1,136 litre or 1,955 litre (300 or 516 US gal; 250 or 430 Imp gal) underwing drop-tanks on the inboard pylons. Detachable probe standard. In tanker role (max capacity 12,797 litre; 3,800 US gal; 2,815 Imp gal) the starboard inboard pylon is occupied by a 636 litre (168 US gal; 140 Imp gal) Mk 20B or 20C refuelling pod which is fed continuously from the main fuel system.

For comparison the Tornado IDS is quoted as:
Radius of action with heavy weapons load, hi-lo-lo-hi 750nm (1,390km; 863 miles)
Ferry range approx 2,100nm (1,390km; 2,420 miles)

Fuel capacity (internal) approx 6,090 litres (1,610 US gal; 1,340 Imp gal) plus 551 litre (145.5 US gal; 121 Imp gal) fin tank in GR.Mk.1. Provision for one or two 1,500 litre (396 US gal; 330 Imp gal) drop-tanks under fuselage and single tanks on the shoulder pylons and inboard wing pylons (1,500 or 2,250 litres; 396 or 594 US gal; 330 or 495 Imp gal). Detachable and retractable probe.
Italian and German aircraft could use 1,135 litre (300 US gal; 250 Imp gal) Sargent-Fletcher Type 28-300 buddy refuelling pod.

Would there be anything to stop the aircraft using conformal fuel tanks if the idea was fashionable at the time?
 

tomo pauk

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Viggen
No fuel capacities stated. One ventral drop-tank.
Tactical radius with external weapons hi-lo-hi over 540 nm (1,000 km; 620 miles); lo-lo-lo over 270 nm (500 km; 310 miles)

Swedish-language Wikipedia notes the fuel weight for the JA-37 fighter Viggen:

Max. bränslevikt4 454 kg internt
1 190 kg i fälltank

At 0.78 kg/l for the JP-4 fuel, this is 5710L, or 1508 US gals, or 1256 imp gals - all for internal fuel.

FWIW, a lot of SAC sheets for the US types can be found here.
 

Zoo Tycoon

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The RB199 primary optimisation point was transonic flight at near sea level and the secondary was Mach 2 at about 25K ft. The engine bypass ratio was too large for high altitude high Mach number performance as it suffers an alarming loss of performance much above 30-35K ft.

So ok for anything at low level but needs a good snap up missile is required to cover the upper airspace… together with a thick skin to tolerate everyone reminding you how good all the alternatives are. (The Tornado F3 aka “what this was to fighters was the same that the Austin Allegro was to Formula 1).

So any speculation on re-engining with a stock RB199 has to ask the question “can the thing cope with dismal high altitude performance?”.

The RB199 three shaft architecture was chosen partly because it made the project politics easy but it made building an engine family, with higher thrust variant next to impossible;- the traditional easy/low cost method of “zero staging” ie adding an extra bigger fan at the front and bigger turbine at the very back, doesn’t work as it ups the bypass ratio which probably isn’t a good thing for recovering high altitude performance. When push came to shove and RR had to develop the follow on they went XG40, twin shaft and many wondered why RB199 was never this architecture.

A wild card for you, A Buccaneer with the twin shaft M45G.

I remember asking a pilot with front line experience in both Tornado GR1 and Buccaneer S2 which he preferred. He replied a Buccaneer with a Tornado nav attack system. He even preferred the Buc’s high lift huff and blow over the Tornado swing wing. Which of course is another problem, no such off take on the 199.
 
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tomo pauk

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The RB199 primary optimisation point was transonic flight at near sea level and the secondary was Mach 2 at about 25K ft. The engine bypass ratio was too large for high altitude high Mach number performance as it suffers an alarming loss of performance much above 30-35K ft.

So ok for anything at low level but needs a good snap up missile is required to cover the upper airspace… together with a thick skin to tolerate everyone reminding you how good all the alternatives are. (The Tornado F3 aka “what this was to fighters was the same that the Austin Allegro was to Formula 1).

Note the thrust value of the RB.199. It was in class of F404 or RD-33. (yes, the F404 was a low-bypass engine, but the RB.199 was not with as high bypass ratio as the 'true' high bypass ration engines, with values of 4-8)
For the Tornado, the engine used should've been making perhaps halfway the thrust between the historical 199 and the P&W F-100, ie. about 90 kN for starters.

So any speculation on re-engining with a stock RB199 has to ask the question “can the thing cope with dismal high altitude performance?”.

The RB199 three shaft architecture was chosen partly because it made the project politics easy but it made building an engine family, with higher thrust variant next to impossible;- the traditional easy/low cost method of “zero staging” ie adding an extra bigger fan at the front and bigger turbine at the very back, doesn’t work as it ups the bypass ratio which probably isn’t a good thing for recovering high altitude performance. When push came to shove and RR had to develop the follow on they went XG40, twin shaft and many wondered why RB199 was never this architecture.

If the 'fighter' part of the upped Buccaneer is not required, like it was not required from the Tornado IDS, the RB.199 as-is is more than enough. For the Bucc to do Mach 2, the wing profile, size and sweep say 'no can do please change us 1st'.
RAF has the 'fighter' part covered by Phantoms and Lightnings in 1970s and early 1980s.


I remember asking a pilot with front line experience in both Tornado GR1 and Buccaneer S2 which he preferred. He replied a Buccaneer with a Tornado nav attack system. He even preferred the Buc’s high lift huff and blow over the Tornado swing wing. Which of course is another problem, no such off take on the 199.

The Buccaneer is no longer based on carrier vessels, the RB.199 installation means the A/C is 2000 lbs lighter, and it has more power for take off (even more so since there is no power diverted to the blown high-lift devices).
 

zen

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These maps date from 1966, so be aware that actual F-111 performance in service was probably slightly less than presented on these maps.

View attachment 670295
View attachment 670296
Ooooo those look.....interesting

Possibly a bit skewed shall we say to favour the F111A.
780nm for Buccaneer sounds like internal without slipper tanks and without bomb bay door tank.
And I'll put 10 to 1 odds the F111A figures are all subsonic.
.....
.....
Hang on....
....
Gan!!!!! Is this the infamous RAF maps that moved Gan?!!!
 

Zoo Tycoon

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If the 'fighter' part of the upped Buccaneer is not required, like it was not required from the Tornado IDS, the RB.199 as-is is more than enough. For the Bucc to do Mach 2, the wing profile, size and sweep say 'no can do please change us 1st'.
RAF has the 'fighter' part covered by Phantoms and Lightnings in 1970s and early 1980s.

When the Tornado GR1 was in service they found they didn’t need the Mach 2 performance for the mission, so they deleted it by inhibiting the upper intake ramps.

The Buccaneer is no longer based on carrier vessels, the RB.199 installation means the A/C is 2000 lbs lighter, and it has more power for take off (even more so since there is no power diverted to the blown high-lift devices).

While not impossible, that revises the Buccaneers entire high lift architecture with impacts throughout. Ie the brakes and landing gear will need to be designed landing at much higher speeds, the approach airbrake drag balance etc, etc. This will erode a portion of the weight saved from the engine switch. It’s this kind of knock on, knock on that the Spey F4 suffered from, some of which was never satisfactorily resolved;- peace time restrictions on missile carriage. A number of former Buccaneer pilots noted for all it engine faults the S1 was much nicer to fly than the S2. The best solution is always an airframe matched to an engine rather than an engine bodged into an airframe.
 
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tomo pauk

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The Buccaneer is no longer based on carrier vessels, the RB.199 installation means the A/C is 2000 lbs lighter, and it has more power for take off (even more so since there is no power diverted to the blown high-lift devices).

While not impossible, that revises the Buccaneers entire high lift architecture with impacts throughout. Ie the brakes and landing gear will need to be designed landing at much higher speeds, the approach airbrake drag balance etc, etc. This will erode a portion of the weight saved from the engine switch. It’s this kind of knock on, knock on that the Spey F4 suffered from, some of which was never satisfactorily resolved;- peace time restrictions on missile carriage. A number of former Buccaneer pilots noted for all it engine faults the S1 was much nicer to fly than the S2. The best solution is always an airframe matched to an engine rather than an engine bodged into an airframe.

Good points.
Better have the RB.199 modified to have the bleed-off for the blown flaps etc.
 

Archibald

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Gan!!!!! Is this the infamous RAF maps that moved Gan?!!!

LMAO - I was thinking alike and prepared to make some idiotic joke , akin to "I DO hope that map wasn't drawn by the RAF ..."

(for those who are unaware of the "fuss": in the TSR-2 / F-111K vs CVA-01 debate, the RAF moved that pesky Australia some hundred miles closer, to try and help the case of those too short range supersonic strike aircraft...

Mirage IVA carried 8.6 metric tons of internal fuel, that is 6880 L.
Plus 2 huge drop tanks 2500 litres each. Kerosene is 0.8, 5000 L is 4000 kg.

Ferry range was 4000 km yet the longest mission ever flown was 10 hours or more with heavy tanker support to spy on Gaddhaffi in 1986. Jaguar was not that far behind, two engines but oil-limited like the Buccaneer.

All single-engine Mirages were much more restricted.
 

alertken

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Tornado, especially ADV, is much traduced. In 7/68 it was not really to be multi-role (as its predecessor, (C)F-104(G) was), but multi-User (6 Nations). That reduced (9/70, Italy on board) to 4 Air Arms (LW+MFG/ItAF/RAF), 1+a bit roles (IDS+MFG anti-ship/port), later plus RSaAF. It became multi-role when FRG and UK redefined some of the Production Offtake they had committed to secure their work-shares. So, ECR and ADV were sort-of-free (penalty to deceived Partners if they did not buy what they had stated; only modest role R&D).

That is why we cannot give OP a simple response to a chop whiff. Those 5 Air Arms and 3+a bit roles might have taken 8+directions before some degree of commonality over the 3 roles emerged late-70s in AMD's family, actual and schemed. But France(= AMD/SNECMA), at that time, would not have assigned noble work to FRG+Italy to build their Aero Industries to the present status, as MRCA did. See Belgium's share on Mirage F.1. UK, I fear, would have filled most in US, most by MOTS, $ Offset elsewhere. So, no BAES as we know and love.
 

zen

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If MRCA is broken up after 1973, this puts it firmly after certain decisions and spending have been committed.
Thus it puts partner states into a bit of a tizz as to what their plans would be. A lot of backup plans hinged on an earlier cancellation or failure to agree.
Certain other aviation projects were doomed to be unfunded because of the MRCA taking the lions share of funds.
 
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