……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.



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.

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.
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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