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 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.
Standard armament for the German Dornier mounts includes a 27mm MauserBK-27 series revolving autocannon in a fuselage centerline gun pod.
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.
PROPULSION : Two turbofan engines.
SPEED : 920 km/h.
SERVICE CEILING : 48,000 ft.
RANGE : 1,080 km.