“Year of the Cat” Kitty Hawk 1/48th SEPECAT Jaguar GR. Mk 1A RAF Operation Granby
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12 RAF Coltishall Jaguars were sent to Muharraq International Airport, Bahrain in October of 1990. Here would be their base of operation throughout if and when the war would start. Several modifications were made to each of the Jags in theatre. First the distinctive overwing rails fitted for self defense, which were the AIM-9L Sidewinder missiles, the reason to free up the underwing pylons for the necessary ground munitions and associated pods. One of those was the Westinghouse AN/ALQ-101 (V)-10 ECM Jamming Pod mounted on the port outer pylon. A Philips-Matra Phimat Chaff dispenser mounted on the starboard outer pylon. 2 Tracor AN/ALE-40 flare dispensers under the tail. The original plan was to operate with 2 drop tanks and the center fuselage pylon to carry the ordnance. This really limited the weapons load to go along with Aden 30mm cannons. The JagDet was assigned daylight operations only and workups prior to combat were limited with bad weather. European tactics, at first had the training missions conducting low level missions over the desert. But a change was made to a medium level attack profile, supported by fighters and Wild Weasels jamming package before combat started, this gave the best prospect for safety. Which at the end of the war turned out to be true. Not one Jaguar was lost in combat. Mission requirements set by coalition command to provide 2 eight ship missions per day. Though on day one only 4 Jaguars participated which involved attacking an Iraqi army barracks in Kuwait. It didn't take long to decide to change the configuration to drop tank on center pylon and the 2 inner pylons would be use for ordnance, which allowed the Jaguars to double their bomb load.
At the start of the war, the main operating area of the JagDet was in Kuwait south of the capitol. Though special ops did send some packages to attack the Republican Guard encampments, and to a few targets into Iraq itself. The target list had fuel and ammunition dumps and command centers. On 26 January, Silkworm missile sites were added to the list and attacked that day. This in preparation for the much publicized amphibious landing to take place by the Marines, which was really a deception. Another type of mission the JagDet participated in was providing CAP and CSAR missions which 2 aircraft were detailed for this op, for up to 4 hours. On 5 February this mission requirement was no longer needed due to the lack of naval targets. Though 2 Jaguars did manage to sink an 1120 ton Polnocheny landing craft. As the air war was soon to become a ground war. Recon missions were soon added to the tasking. Though 4 BAe recon pods were sent to the Gulf. Only 2 aircraft were configured for the tasks. Flying in pairs or with an attack force for extra protection. The data gathered on the approach routes to future targets as a supplement to satellite imagery. 31 sorties were completed in this role.
The final phase of the JagDet mission as the ground war approached, artillery pieces and equipment. Very successful these ops were, one in particular when destroying 5 Astros multi-range rocket launchers on 13 February. The land war began on 24 February, most of the JagDet sorties were north of Kuwait City which after 3 days the war ended.
Final count was 611 sorties of all types flown by the Jaguar, of these 532, which represents 114 missions were offensive sorties, resulted in the release of 750 bombs of the 1000lbs variety, 385 CBU-87's, 32 LAU-5003 pods(608 CRV-7 rockets) 8 BL755 CBU's, 9000 rounds of 30mm ammunition and 3 AIM-9L Sidewinders(launched accidently). A tribute to a very effective platform. Delivering it's warload and returning it's aircrew safely home.
The kit, after reading some of the reviews, I was ready to tackle this one. It was a love/hate/love/hate and finally done relationship with this kit. It started out like any relationship, loving kind, unselfish easy anything for you build at the beginning. So I'm thinking, what is everybody talking about, this kit is ok so far. Once I was done with the forward fuselage, I skipped a couple of steps and started work on the main fuselage. and it was where you get to the engine part. This where test fitting will prevent misalignment issues. Well you need to pay attention to this section as you can muck it up here. And I did. The one part I dreaded turned out wasn't so bad was the landing gear and it's complexity. Yet unlike the Trumpeter MiG-23, it was not so difficult, still take your time. The gear is very sturdy, each mating point are positive and again by taking your time, it assembles ok. And is quite sturdy. But still so many pieces and a little fiddly make up the landing gear endeavour. It took me 2 days just to be safe. There were some frustrating moments. A little filler here and there especially around the lower fuselage section around the engines. I did find that the gear doors did fit well when in the closed position. Also the open gear and compartment doors fit very well also when it came to attaching them. So yes it is a tough kit, labor intensive, and I still yet have to build a Hasegawa F-14. I used the Eduards zoom set to give it a little more enhancements to go along with the kits own PE fret that is in the kit. I used some of the stencils from the kit for the weapons and pylons. Eduards Remove Before Flight Tags, the AN/ALQ-101 pod came from the Monogram A-10, the Phimat Pod and weapons are from the kit. The decals for "Britania" are from Model Alliance 48-117. They worked out quite well using the Microscale process. I used Xtracolour enamel for the RAF Desert Pink scheme. These Jags did get pretty weathered as they flew everyday when not down for a gripe. This finish on this particular one could use a little more weathering as the mission marks indicate. But overall I like how I survived it. Will I build another one, good question, as I had planned to have several Jags on the ramp. I may just get an Esci Jag which is much more simpler to build. It is a favorite of mine these Jags. This is the 1st Kitty Hawk I have attempted. I can understand why some just don't like them if this is an indicator of what the other kits are like. It takes a lot of patience and test fits as you go along. At this time I only have the KH Mirage F-1 was hoping to get the Kaman Seasprite and the Huey, don't know about the SU-17/22 kit. For comparison, with a couple of it's coalition mates, Hase A-7E USN, and A Tamiya A-10. In the end, it is quite fulfilling that I finished it. A thanks to my good friend Louis for this wonderful GB. Encouragement from him and my fellow I modeler friends, and at this time I will dedicate this build for my friend looking down from heaven. Bernard Hackett Jr., who was always positive in his outlook and unselfish character. Rest in Peace my friend.