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Hawker Hunter

Hawker Hunter

Overview


The Hawker Hunter is a subsonic British jet aircraft developed in the 1950s. The single-seat Hunter entered service as a manoeuvrable fighter aircraft
Fighter aircraft
A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat with other aircraft, as opposed to a bomber, which is designed primarily to attack ground targets...

, and later operated in fighter-bomber
Fighter-bomber
A fighter-bomber is a fixed-wing aircraft with an intended primary role of light tactical bombing and also incorporating certain performance characteristics of a fighter aircraft. This term, although still used, has less significance since the introduction of rockets and guided missiles into aerial...

 and reconnaissance
Reconnaissance
Reconnaissance is the military term for exploring beyond the area occupied by friendly forces to gain information about enemy forces or features of the environment....

 roles in numerous conflicts. Two-seat variants remained in use for training and secondary roles with the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 (RAF) and Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 until the early 1990s. The Hunter was also widely exported, serving with 21 other air forces; 50 years after its original introduction it is still in active service, operating with the Lebanese Air Force
Lebanese Air Force
The Lebanese Air Force is the aerial warfare branch of the Lebanese Armed Forces. The seal of the air force is constituted of a Roundel with two wings and a Lebanese Cedar tree, surrounded by two laurel leaves on a blue background.-History:...

.

On 7 September 1953, the modified first prototype broke the world air speed record, achieving 727.63 mph (1,171.01 km/h).
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Encyclopedia


The Hawker Hunter is a subsonic British jet aircraft developed in the 1950s. The single-seat Hunter entered service as a manoeuvrable fighter aircraft
Fighter aircraft
A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat with other aircraft, as opposed to a bomber, which is designed primarily to attack ground targets...

, and later operated in fighter-bomber
Fighter-bomber
A fighter-bomber is a fixed-wing aircraft with an intended primary role of light tactical bombing and also incorporating certain performance characteristics of a fighter aircraft. This term, although still used, has less significance since the introduction of rockets and guided missiles into aerial...

 and reconnaissance
Reconnaissance
Reconnaissance is the military term for exploring beyond the area occupied by friendly forces to gain information about enemy forces or features of the environment....

 roles in numerous conflicts. Two-seat variants remained in use for training and secondary roles with the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 (RAF) and Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 until the early 1990s. The Hunter was also widely exported, serving with 21 other air forces; 50 years after its original introduction it is still in active service, operating with the Lebanese Air Force
Lebanese Air Force
The Lebanese Air Force is the aerial warfare branch of the Lebanese Armed Forces. The seal of the air force is constituted of a Roundel with two wings and a Lebanese Cedar tree, surrounded by two laurel leaves on a blue background.-History:...

.

On 7 September 1953, the modified first prototype broke the world air speed record, achieving 727.63 mph (1,171.01 km/h). Hunters were also used by two RAF display teams; the "Black Arrows
Black Arrows
The Black Arrows, one of the predecessors of the current Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, were an aerobatic demonstration team formed in the 1950s from 111 Squadron...

", who on one occasion looped a record-breaking 22 examples in formation, and later the "Blue Diamonds", who flew 16 aircraft. Overall, 1,972 Hunters were produced by Hawker Siddeley and under licence. In British service, the aircraft was replaced by the Hawker Siddeley Harrier and the McDonnell Douglas Phantom.

Origins


At the end of the Second World War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, it was apparent that jet propulsion
Jet engine
A jet engine is a reaction engine that discharges a fast moving jet to generate thrust by jet propulsion and in accordance with Newton's laws of motion. This broad definition of jet engines includes turbojets, turbofans, rockets, ramjets, pulse jets...

 would be the future of fighter development. Many companies were quick to come up with airframe designs for this new means of propulsion, among these was Hawker Aviation's chief designer, Sydney Camm. The origins of the Hunter trace back to the Hawker Sea Hawk
Hawker Sea Hawk
The Hawker Sea Hawk was a British single-seat jet fighter of the Fleet Air Arm , the air branch of the Royal Navy , built by Hawker Aircraft and its sister company, Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft. Although its origins stemmed from earlier Hawker piston-engined fighters, the Sea Hawk became the...

 straight-wing carrier-based fighter
Carrier-based aircraft
Carrier-based aircraft are military aircraft designed specifically for operations from aircraft carriers. The term is generally applied only to fixed-wing aircraft, as naval helicopters are able to operate from a wider variety of aviation-capable ships. Carrier-based aircraft must be relatively...

, which had originally been marketed towards the Royal Air Force rather than the Fleet Air Arm
Fleet Air Arm
The Fleet Air Arm is the branch of the British Royal Navy responsible for the operation of naval aircraft. The Fleet Air Arm currently operates the AgustaWestland Merlin, Westland Sea King and Westland Lynx helicopters...

 of the Royal Navy; however the demonstrator Hawker P.1040 did not attract the RAF's interest. The Sea Hawk had a straight wing and used the Rolls-Royce Nene
Rolls-Royce Nene
|-See also:-References:NotesBibliography* Bridgman, L, Jane's fighting aircraft of World War II. Crescent. ISBN 0-517-67964-7-External links:* *...

 turbojet engine, both features that rapidly became obsolete.

Seeking better performance and fulfilment of the Air Ministry
Air Ministry
The Air Ministry was a department of the British Government with the responsibility of managing the affairs of the Royal Air Force, that existed from 1918 to 1964...

 Specification E.38/46, Sydney Camm designed the Hawker P.1052
Hawker P.1052
-Further reading:* Green, William and Cross, Roy. The jet aircraft of the world. London: Macdonald and Company, 1955.* Hannah, Donald. Hawker FlyPast Reference Library. Stamford, Lincolnshire, UK: Key Publishing Ltd., 1982. ISBN 0-946219-01-X....

, which was essentially a Sea Hawk with a 35-degree swept wing
Swept wing
A swept wing is a wing planform favored for high subsonic jet speeds first investigated by Germany during the Second World War. Since the introduction of the MiG-15 and North American F-86 which demonstrated a decisive superiority over the slower first generation of straight-wing jet fighters...

. First flying in 1948, the P.1052 demonstrated good performance and conducted several carrier trials, but did not warrant further development into a production aircraft. As a private venture, Hawker converted the second P.1052 prototype into the Hawker P.1081
Hawker P.1081
|-See also:-References:NotesBibliography* Hannah, Donald. Hawker FlyPast Reference Library. Stamford, Lincolnshire, UK: Key Publishing Ltd., 1982. ISBN 0-946219-01-X....

 with swept tailplanes, a revised fuselage, and a single jet exhaust at the rear. First flown on 19 June 1950, the P.1081 was promising enough to draw interest from the Royal Australian Air Force
Royal Australian Air Force
The Royal Australian Air Force is the air force branch of the Australian Defence Force. The RAAF was formed in March 1921. It continues the traditions of the Australian Flying Corps , which was formed on 22 October 1912. The RAAF has taken part in many of the 20th century's major conflicts...

 (RAAF), but further development was stalled by difficulties with the engine reheat
AfterBurner
The AfterBurner is a lighting solution for the Game Boy Advance system that was created by Triton-Labs.Originally, portablemonopoly.net was a website created to petition Nintendo to put some kind of light in their Game Boy Advance system...

. The sole prototype was lost in a crash in 1951.

P.1067


In 1946, the Air Ministry issued Specification F.43/46 for a daytime jet-powered interceptor. Camm prepared a new design for a swept-winged fighter powered by the upcoming Rolls-Royce Avon
Rolls-Royce Avon
|-See also:-Bibliography:* Gunston, Bill. World Encyclopaedia of Aero Engines. Cambridge, England. Patrick Stephens Limited, 1989. ISBN 1-85260-163-9-External links:**** a 1955 Flight article on the development of the Avon...

 turbojet. The Avon's major advantage over the Rolls-Royce Nene, used in the earlier Sea Hawk, was the axial compressor
Axial compressor
Axial compressors are rotating, airfoil-based compressors in which the working fluid principally flows parallel to the axis of rotation. This is in contrast with other rotating compressors such as centrifugal, axi-centrifugal and mixed-flow compressors where the air may enter axially but will have...

, which allowed for a much smaller engine diameter and provided greater thrust; this single engine gave roughly the same power as the two Rolls-Royce Derwents of the Gloster Meteor
Gloster Meteor
The Gloster Meteor was the first British jet fighter and the Allies' first operational jet. It first flew in 1943 and commenced operations on 27 July 1944 with 616 Squadron of the Royal Air Force...

s that would be replaced by the new fighter. In March 1948, the Air Ministry issued a revised Specification F.3/48, which demanded a speed of 629 mph (1,010 km/h) at 45,000 ft (13,700 m) and a high rate of climb, while carrying an armament of four 20 mm (0.78740157480315 in) or two 30 mm (1.18 in) cannon (rather than the large-calibre gun demanded by earlier specifications). Initially fitted with a single air intake in the nose and a T-tail
T-tail
thumb|right|Grob motor gliderA T-tail is an aircraft tail stabilizer configuration in which the horizontal surfaces are mounted to the top of the vertical stabilizer. Traditionally, the horizontal control surfaces are mounted to the fuselage at the base of the vertical stabilizer...

, the project rapidly evolved into the more familiar Hunter shape. The intakes were moved to the wing roots to make room for weapons and radar in the nose, and a more conventional tail arrangement was devised as a result of stability concerns.

The P.1067 first flew from RAF Boscombe Down on 20 July 1951, powered by a 6,500 lbf
Pound-force
The pound force is a unit of force in some systems of measurement including English engineering units and British gravitational units.- Definitions :...

 (28.91 kN) Avon 103 engine. The second prototype, which was fitted with production avionics, armament and a 7,550 lbf (33.58 kN) Avon 107 turbojet, first flew on 5 May 1952. As an insurance against Avon development problems, Hawker modified the design to accommodate another axial turbojet, the 8,000 lbf (35.59 kN) Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire 101. Fitted with a Sapphire, the third prototype flew on 30 November 1952.

The Ministry of Supply
Ministry of Supply
The Ministry of Supply was a department of the UK Government formed in 1939 to co-ordinate the supply of equipment to all three British armed forces, headed by the Minister of Supply. There was, however, a separate ministry responsible for aircraft production and the Admiralty retained...

 ordered the Hunter into production in March 1950. The Hunter F.1, fitted with a 7,600 lbf (33.80 kN) Avon 113 turbojet, flew on 16 March 1953. The first 20 aircraft were, in effect, a pre-production series and featured a number of "one-off" modifications such as blown flap
Blown flap
Blown flaps are a powered aerodynamic high-lift device invented by the British and used on the wings of certain aircraft to improve low-speed lift during takeoff and landing. The process is sometimes called a boundary layer control system . They were a popular design feature in the 1960s, but fell...

s and area rule
Area rule
The Whitcomb area rule, also called the transonic area rule, is a design technique used to reduce an aircraft's drag at transonic and supersonic speeds, particularly between Mach 0.75 and 1.2....

d fuselage. On 7 September 1953, the sole Hunter Mk 3 (the modified first prototype, WB 188) flown by Neville Duke
Neville Duke
Squadron Leader Neville Frederick Duke DSO, OBE, DFC & Two Bars, AFC, FRAeS,Czech War Cross was a British Second World War fighter pilot. He was the top Allied flying ace in the Mediterranean Theatre, having shot down at least 27 enemy aircraft, and was acknowledged as one of the world's foremost...

 broke the world air speed record
Air speed record
An air speed record is the highest airspeed attained by an aircraft of a particular class. The rules for all official aviation records are defined by Fédération Aéronautique Internationale , which also ratifies any claims. Speed records are divided into multiple classes with sub-divisions...

, achieving 727.63 mph (1,171.01 km/h) over Littlehampton
Littlehampton
Littlehampton is a seaside resort town and civil parish in the Arun District of West Sussex, England, on the east bank at the mouth of the River Arun. It lies south southwest of London, west of Brighton and east of the county town of Chichester....

. The record stood for under three weeks before being broken on 25 September 1953 by an RAF Supermarine Swift
Supermarine Swift
The Supermarine Swift was a British single-seat jet fighter of the Royal Air Force , built by Supermarine during the 1950s. After a protracted development period, the Swift entered service as an interceptor, but, due to a spate of accidents, its service life was short...

 flown by Michael Lithgow.

Overview


The Hunter was a conventional all-metal monoplane with a retractable tricycle landing gear
Tricycle gear
Tricycle gear describes an aircraft undercarriage, or landing gear, arranged in a tricycle fashion. The tricycle arrangement has one wheel in the front, called the nose wheel, and two or more main wheels slightly aft of the center of gravity...

. The pilot sat on a Martin-Baker
Martin-Baker
Martin-Baker Aircraft Co. Ltd. is a manufacturer of ejection seats and safety related equipment for aviation. The company origins were as an aircraft manufacturer before becoming a pioneer in the field of ejection seats...

 2H or 3H ejector seat
Ejector seat
In aircraft, an ejection seat is a system designed to rescue the pilot or other crew of an aircraft in an emergency. In most designs, the seat is propelled out of the aircraft by an explosive charge or rocket motor, carrying the pilot with it. The concept of an eject-able escape capsule has also...

, while the two-seat trainer version used Mk 4H ejection seats. The fuselage was of monocoque
Monocoque
Monocoque is a construction technique that supports structural load by using an object's external skin, as opposed to using an internal frame or truss that is then covered with a non-load-bearing skin or coachwork...

 construction, with a removable rear section for engine maintenance. The engine was fed through triangular air intakes in the wing roots and had a single jetpipe in the rear of the fuselage. The mid-mounted wings had a leading edge sweep of 35° and slight anhedral, the tailplanes and fin were also swept. The aircraft's controls were conventional but powered. A single airbrake was fitted under the ventral rear fuselage on production models.


The definitive version of the Hunter was the FGA.9, on which the majority of export versions were based. Although the Supermarine Swift
Supermarine Swift
The Supermarine Swift was a British single-seat jet fighter of the Royal Air Force , built by Supermarine during the 1950s. After a protracted development period, the Swift entered service as an interceptor, but, due to a spate of accidents, its service life was short...

 was initially viewed more favourably politically, the Hunter proved to be far more successful, having a long life due to its low maintenance and operating costs. The Hunter served with the RAF for over 30 years, and as late as 1996 hundreds were still in active service in various parts of the world.

Armament


The single-seat fighter version of the Hunter was armed with four 30 mm (1.2 in) ADEN cannon
ADEN cannon
The Royal Small Arms Factory ADEN is a 30 mm revolver cannon used on many military aircraft, particularly those of the British Royal Air Force and Fleet Air Arm...

, with 150 rounds of ammunition per gun. The cannon and ammunition boxes were contained in a single pack that could be removed from the aircraft for rapid re-arming and maintenance. Unusually, the barrels of the cannon remained in the aircraft while the pack was removed and changed. In the two-seat version, either a single 30 mm ADEN cannon was carried or, in some export versions, two, with a removable ammunition tank. A simple EKCO
EKCO
EKCO from Eric Kirkham Cole Limited was a British electronics company producing radio and television sets from 1924.Expanding into plastic production for its own use, Ekco Plastics produced both radio cases and later domestic plastic products; the plastics company became Lin Pac Mouldings...

 ranging radar was fitted in the nose. Later versions of Hunter aircraft were fitted with SNEB
SNEB
The SNEB rocket is an unguided air-to-ground rocket projectile manufactured by the French company TDA Armements, designed for launch by combat aircraft and helicopters. Two other rockets were developed in the and caliber...

 Pods; these were 68 mm (2.7 in) rocket projectiles in 18-round Matra pods, providing an effective strike capability against ground targets.

Engine



The P.1067 first flew from RAF Boscombe Down on 20 July 1951, powered by a 6,500 lbf (28.91 kN) Avon 103 engine from an English Electric Canberra
English Electric Canberra
The English Electric Canberra is a first-generation jet-powered light bomber manufactured in large numbers through the 1950s. The Canberra could fly at a higher altitude than any other bomber through the 1950s and set a world altitude record of 70,310 ft in 1957...

 bomber. The second prototype was fitted with a 7,550 lbf (33.58 kN) Avon 107 turbojet. Hawker's third prototype was powered by an 8,000 lbf (35.59 kN) Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire 101. Production Hunters were fitted with either the Avon or the Sapphire engine.

Early on in the Hunter's service the Avon engines proved to have poor surge margins, and worryingly suffered compressor stall
Compressor stall
A compressor stall is a situation of abnormal airflow resulting from a stall of the aerofoils within the compressor of a jet engine. Stall is found in dynamic compressors, particularly axial compressors, as used in jet engines and turbochargers for reciprocating engines.Compressor stalls result in...

s when the cannon were fired, sometimes resulting in flameout
Flameout
A flameout refers to the failure of a jet engine caused by the extinction of the flame in the combustion chamber. It can be caused by a number of factors, including fuel exhaustion; compressor stall; insufficient oxygen supply; foreign object damage ; severe inclement weather; and mechanical...

s. The practise of "fuel dipping", reducing fuel flow to the engine when the cannon were fired, was a satisfactory solution. Although the Sapphire did not suffer from the flameout problems of the Avon and had better fuel economy, Sapphire-powered Hunters suffered many engine failures. The RAF elected to persevere with the Avon in order to simplify supply and maintenance, since the same engine was also used by the Canberra bomber.

The RAF sought more thrust than was available from the Avon 100 series; in response Rolls-Royce developed the Avon 200 series engine. This was an almost wholly new design, equipped with a new compressor to put an end to surge problems, an annular combustion chamber, and an improved fuel control system. The resulting Avon 203 produced 10,000 lbf (44.48 kN) of thrust, and was the engine for the Hunter F.6.

Royal Air Force


The Hunter F.1 entered service with the Royal Air Force in July 1954. It was the first high-speed jet aircraft equipped with radar and fully powered flight controls to go into widespread service with the RAF. The Hunter replaced the Gloster Meteor
Gloster Meteor
The Gloster Meteor was the first British jet fighter and the Allies' first operational jet. It first flew in 1943 and commenced operations on 27 July 1944 with 616 Squadron of the Royal Air Force...

, the Canadair Sabre, and the de Havilland Venom
De Havilland Venom
The de Havilland DH 112 Venom was a British postwar single-engined jet aircraft developed from the de Havilland Vampire. It served with the Royal Air Force as a single-seat fighter-bomber and two-seat night fighter....

 jet fighters in service. Initially, low internal fuel capacity restricted the Hunter's performance, giving it only a maximum flight endurance of about an hour. A tragic incident occurred on 8 February 1956, when a flight of eight Hunters was redirected to another airfield due to adverse weather conditions. Six of the eight aircraft ran out of fuel and crashed
1956 Hawker Hunter multiple aircraft accident
On 8 February 1956 the Royal Air Force lost six Hawker Hunter jet fighters in a multiple aircraft accident. Eight aircraft from RAF West Raynham had been carrying out a 4x4 dogfight exercise at...

, killing one pilot.
Another difficulty encountered during the aircraft's introduction was the occurrence of surging and stalling
Compressor stall
A compressor stall is a situation of abnormal airflow resulting from a stall of the aerofoils within the compressor of a jet engine. Stall is found in dynamic compressors, particularly axial compressors, as used in jet engines and turbochargers for reciprocating engines.Compressor stalls result in...

 with the Avon engines. The F.2, which used the Armstrong-Siddeley Sapphire engine, did not suffer from this issue. Further problems occurred; ejected cannon ammunition links had a tendency to strike and damage the underside of the fuselage, and diverting the gas emitted by the cannon during firing was another necessary modification. The original split-flap airbrakes caused adverse changes in pitch trim and were quickly replaced by a single ventral airbrake. This meant, however, that the airbrake could not be used for landings.

To address the problem of range, a production Hunter F.1 was fitted with a modified wing that featured bag-type fuel tanks in the leading edge and "wet" hardpoints. The resulting Hunter F.4 first flew on 20 October 1954, and entered service in March 1955. A distinctive Hunter feature added on the F.4 was the pair of blisters under the cockpit, which collected spent ammunition links to prevent airframe damage. Crews dubbed them "Sabrinas
Sabrina (actress)
Norma Ann Sykes , better known as Sabrina, was a 1950s English glamour model who progressed to a minor movie career. Her main claim to fame was her hourglass figure of prodigious breasts coupled with a tiny 17" waist...

" after the contemporary movie star. The Sapphire-powered version of the F.4 was designated the Hunter F.5.

The RAF later received Hunters equipped with an improved Avon engine. The Avon 203 produced 10,000 lbf (44.48 kN) of thrust and was fitted to XF 833, which became the first Hunter F.6. Some other revisions on the F.6 included a revised fuel tank layout, the centre fuselage tanks being replaced by new ones in the rear fuselage; the "Mod 228" wing, which has a distinctive "dogtooth" leading edge notch to alleviate the pitch-up
Pitch-up
In aerodynamics, pitch-up is a severe form of stall in an aircraft. It is directly related to inherent properties of all swept wings.-History:Pitch-up problems were first noticed on high-speed test aircraft with swept wings...

 problem; and four "wet" hardpoints, finally giving the aircraft a good ferry range. The Hunter F.6 was given the company designation Hawker P.1099.

During the Suez Crisis
Suez Crisis
The Suez Crisis, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression, Suez War was an offensive war fought by France, the United Kingdom, and Israel against Egypt beginning on 29 October 1956. Less than a day after Israel invaded Egypt, Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to Egypt and Israel,...

 of 1956, Hunters of No. 1
No. 1 Squadron RAF
No. 1 Squadron is a squadron of the Royal Air Force. It operated the Harrier GR9 from RAF Cottesmore until 28 January 2011.The squadron motto is In omnibus princeps , appropriate for the RAF's oldest squadron and one that has been involved in almost every major British military operation since...

 and No. 34
No. 34 Squadron RAF
No. 34 Squadron RAF was a squadron of the Royal Air Force. During the First World War it operated as a reconnaissance and bomber squadron, and in the 1930s operated light bombers...

 Squadrons based at RAF Akrotiri
RAF Akrotiri
Royal Air Force Station Akrotiri, more commonly known as RAF Akrotiri , is a large Royal Air Force station, on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. It is located in the Western Sovereign Base Area, one of two areas which comprise Akrotiri and Dhekelia, a British Overseas Territory, administered as a...

 in Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

 flew escort for English Electric Canberra
English Electric Canberra
The English Electric Canberra is a first-generation jet-powered light bomber manufactured in large numbers through the 1950s. The Canberra could fly at a higher altitude than any other bomber through the 1950s and set a world altitude record of 70,310 ft in 1957...

 bombers on offensive missions into Egypt. For most of the conflict the Hunters engaged in local air defence due to their lack of range.

During the Brunei Revolt
Brunei Revolt
The Brunei Rebellion broke out on 8 December 1962. The rebels began co-ordinated attacks on the oil town of Seria and on police stations and government facilities around the protectorate...

 in 1962, the Royal Air Force deployed Hunters and Gloster Javelin
Gloster Javelin
The Gloster Javelin was an "all-weather" interceptor aircraft that served with Britain's Royal Air Force in the late 1950s and most of the 1960s...

s over Brunei
Brunei
Brunei , officially the State of Brunei Darussalam or the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace , is a sovereign state located on the north coast of the island of Borneo, in Southeast Asia...

 to provide support for British ground forces; Hunters launched both dummy and real strafing runs on ground targets to intimidate and pin down rebels. In one event
Limbang raid
The Limbang raid was a military engagement between British Royal Marine commandos and insurgents of the North Kalimantan National Army , on 12 December 1962...

, several Bruneian and expatriate
Expatriate
An expatriate is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing...

 hostages were due to be executed by rebels; Hunter aircraft flew over Limbang
Limbang
Limbang is a border town and the capital of Limbang District in the Limbang Division of northern Sarawak, East Malaysia, on the island of Borneo. The division has an area of 3,978.1 square kilometers, and a population of 42,600...

 while the hostages had been rescued by Royal Marines from 42 Commando in a fierce battle. In the following years of the Borneo Confrontation, Hunters were deployed along with other RAF aircraft in Borneo
Borneo
Borneo is the third largest island in the world and is located north of Java Island, Indonesia, at the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia....

 and Malaya
Federation of Malaya
The Federation of Malaya is the name given to a federation of 11 states that existed from 31 January 1948 until 16 September 1963. The Federation became independent on 31 August 1957...

.

The Hunter F.6 was retired from its day fighter role in the RAF by 1963, being replaced by the much faster English Electric Lightning
English Electric Lightning
The English Electric Lightning is a supersonic jet fighter aircraft of the Cold War era, noted for its great speed and unpainted natural metal exterior finish. It is the only all-British Mach 2 fighter aircraft. The aircraft was renowned for its capabilities as an interceptor; Royal Air Force ...

 interceptor. Many F.6s were then given a new lease of life in the close air support
Close air support
In military tactics, close air support is defined as air action by fixed or rotary winged aircraft against hostile targets that are close to friendly forces, and which requires detailed integration of each air mission with fire and movement of these forces.The determining factor for CAS is...

 role, converting into the Hunter FGA.9 variant. The FGA.9 saw frontline use from 1960 to 1971, alongside the closely related Hunter FR.10 tactical reconnaissance variant. The Hunters were also used by two RAF display units; the "Black Arrows
Black Arrows
The Black Arrows, one of the predecessors of the current Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, were an aerobatic demonstration team formed in the 1950s from 111 Squadron...

" of No. 111 Squadron
No. 111 Squadron RAF
No. 111 Squadron of the Royal Air Force operated the Panavia Tornado F3 from RAF Leuchars, Scotland until March 2011, when the squadron was disbanded, ending the Tornado F3's RAF service.-In World War I:...

 who set a record by looping and barrel roll
Barrel roll
A barrel roll is an aerial maneuver in which an airplane makes a complete rotation on its longitudinal axis while following a helical path, approximately maintaining its original direction. It is sometimes described as "a combination of a loop and a roll"...

ing 22 Hunters in formation, and later the "Blue Diamonds" of No. 92 Squadron
No. 92 Squadron RAF
No. 92 Squadron, also known as No 92 Squadron, of the Royal Air Force was formed as part of the Royal Flying Corps at London Colney as a fighter squadron on 1 September 1917. It deployed to France in July 1918 and saw action for just four months, until the end of the war. During the conflict it...

 who flew 16 Hunters.

In Aden
Aden
Aden is a seaport city in Yemen, located by the eastern approach to the Red Sea , some 170 kilometres east of Bab-el-Mandeb. Its population is approximately 800,000. Aden's ancient, natural harbour lies in the crater of an extinct volcano which now forms a peninsula, joined to the mainland by a...

 in May 1964, Hunter FGA.9s and FR.10s of No. 43 Squadron RAF
No. 43 Squadron RAF
No. 43 Squadron was a Royal Air Force aircraft squadron originally formed in 1916 as part of the Royal Flying Corps. It last operated the Panavia Tornado F3 from RAF Leuchars, Scotland in the air defence role until disbanded in July 2009.-In World War I:...

 and No. 8 Squadron RAF were used extensively during the Radfan campaign against insurgents attempting to overthrow the Federation of South Arabia
Federation of South Arabia
The Federation of South Arabia was an organization of states under British protection in what would become South Yemen. It was formed on 4 April 1962 from the 15 protected states of the Federation of Arab Emirates of the South. On 18 January 1963 it was merged with the crown colony of Aden...

. SAS
Special Air Service
Special Air Service or SAS is a corps of the British Army constituted on 31 May 1950. They are part of the United Kingdom Special Forces and have served as a model for the special forces of many other countries all over the world...

 forces would routinely call in air strikes that required considerable precision, and, predominantly using 3-inch high explosive rockets
RP-3
The RP-3 , was a British rocket used in the Second World War. Though primarily an air-to-ground weapon, it saw limited use in other roles. Its 60 lb warhead gave rise to the alternative name of the "60 lb rocket"; the 25 lb solid-shot armour piercing variant was referred to as the "25 lb rocket"...

 and 30 mm ADEN cannon, the Hunter proved itself to be an able ground-attack platform. Both squadrons continued operations with their Hunters until the UK withdrew from Aden in November 1967.

Hunters were flown by No.63
No. 63 Squadron RAF
-In World War I:No. 63 Squadron was formed on 31 August 1916 at Stirling, Scotland as a squadron of the Royal Flying Corps. The squadron was intended to operate as a day-bomber unit over the Western Front in France, and was therefore equipped with de Havilland DH4 aircraft; however at the last...

, No. 234
No. 234 Squadron RAF
No. 234 Squadron RAF had a long career within the RAF, being operational on flying boats in World War I and on fighter aircraft in World War II. After the war it remained a fighter unit till 1957. In its last incarnation the squadron was in turn Operational Training Unit , Tactical Weapon Unit and...

 and No. 79 Squadron
No. 79 Squadron RAF
-World War I:It was first formed at Gosport on 1 August 1917 as a squadron of the Royal Flying Corps. It was equipped with Sopwith Dolphin fighter aircraft in December that year, moving to France in February 1918. It specialised in low-level ground-attack operations, mainly in support of the...

s acting in training roles for foreign and Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 students. These remained in service until after the Hawk T.1
BAE Hawk
The BAE Systems Hawk is a British single-engine, advanced jet trainer aircraft. It first flew in 1974 as the Hawker Siddeley Hawk. The Hawk is used by the Royal Air Force, and other air forces, as either a trainer or a low-cost combat aircraft...

 entered service in the mid-1970s. Two-seat trainer versions of the Hunter, the T.7 and T.8, remained in use for training and secondary roles by the RAF and Royal Navy until the early 1990s; when the Blackburn Buccaneer
Blackburn Buccaneer
The Blackburn Buccaneer was a British low-level subsonic strike aircraft with nuclear weapon delivery capability serving with the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force between 1962 and 1994, including service in the 1991 Gulf War...

 retired from service, the requirement for Hunter trainers was nullified and consequently all were retired.

Indian Air Force



India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 arranged for Hunters to be purchased in 1954 as a part of a wider arms deal with Britain, placing an order for 140 Hunter single-seat fighters; simultaneous to an announcement by Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 of its own purchase of several North American F-86 Sabre jet fighters. The Indian Air Force
Indian Air Force
The Indian Air Force is the air arm of the Indian armed forces. Its primary responsibility is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during a conflict...

 (IAF) were the first to operate the Hunter T.66 trainers, placing an initial order in 1957; the more powerful engine was considered beneficial in a hot environment, allowing for greater takeoff weights. During the 1960s, Pakistan investigated the possibility of buying as many as 40 English Electric Lightning
English Electric Lightning
The English Electric Lightning is a supersonic jet fighter aircraft of the Cold War era, noted for its great speed and unpainted natural metal exterior finish. It is the only all-British Mach 2 fighter aircraft. The aircraft was renowned for its capabilities as an interceptor; Royal Air Force ...

s; however, Britain was not enthusiastic about the potential sales opportunity because of the damage it would do to its relations with India, which at the time was still awaiting the delivery of large numbers of ex-RAF Hunters.

During the Sino-Indian War
Sino-Indian War
The Sino-Indian War , also known as the Sino-Indian Border Conflict , was a war between China and India that occurred in 1962. A disputed Himalayan border was the main pretext for war, but other issues played a role. There had been a series of violent border incidents after the 1959 Tibetan...

 in 1962, the Hunter's superiority over the Chinese MiGs gave India a strategic advantage; and deterred the use of Ilyushin Il-4
Ilyushin Il-4
|-See also:-Bibliography:* Gordon, Yefim and Khazanov, Dmitri. Soviet Combat Aircraft of the Second World War, Volume 2: Twin-Engined Fighters, Attack Aircraft and Bombers. Earl Shilton, UK: Midland Publishing Ltd., 2006. ISBN 1-85780-084-2...

 bombers from attacking targets within India. The Hunter would also be a major feature in the escalation of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 was a culmination of skirmishes that took place between April 1965 and September 1965 between Pakistan and India. This conflict became known as the Second Kashmir War fought by India and Pakistan over the disputed region of Kashmir, the first having been fought in 1947...

; along with the Gnat the Hunter was the primary air defence fighter of India, and regularly engaged in dogfights with Pakistani F-86 Sabres. The aerial war saw both sides conducting thousands of sorties in a single month. Despite the intense fighting, the conflict was effectively a stalemate.

Hunters flown by the IAF extensively operated in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 was a military conflict between India and Pakistan. Indian, Bangladeshi and international sources consider the beginning of the war to be Operation Chengiz Khan, Pakistan's December 3, 1971 pre-emptive strike on 11 Indian airbases...

; at the start, India had six combat-ready squadrons of Hunters. In the aftermath of the conflict, Pakistan claimed to have shot down 32 Indian Hunters overall. Pakistani infantry and armoured forces attacked the Indian outpost of Longewala
Longewala
Longewala is a place in western India where the Battle of Longewala occurred during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 in the western Indian state of Rajasthan....

 in an event now known as the Battle of Longewala
Battle of Longewala
The Battle of Longewala was one of the first major engagements in the Western Sector during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, fought between assaulting Pakistani forces and Indian defenders at the Indian border post of Longewala, in the Thar Desert of the Rajasthan state in India.The Indian infantry...

. Six IAF Hunters stationed at Jaisalmer Air Force Base were able to halt the Pakistani advance at Longewala by conducting non-stop bombing raids. They attacked Pakistani tanks, armoured personnel carriers and gun positions; and created a sense of chaos on the battlefield, resulting in the Pakistani retreat. Hunters were also used for many ground attack missions and raids into Pakistan, most notoriously used in the bombing of the Attock Oil refinery, to limit Pakistani fuel supplies during the war.

The Hunters were not used by India in the 1999 Kargil War
Kargil War
The Kargil War ,, also known as the Kargil conflict, was an armed conflict between India and Pakistan that took place between May and July 1999 in the Kargil district of Kashmir and elsewhere along the Line of Control...

, and the last IAF Hunter was phased out of service in 2001. The Hunter was replaced by the Sukhoi Su-30MKI.

Swiss Air Force



The Swiss Air Force
Swiss Air Force
The Swiss Air Force is the air component of the Swiss Armed Forces, established on July 31, 1914, as part of the Army and as of January 1966 an independent service.In peacetime, Dübendorf is the operational Air Force HQ...

 adopted the Hawker Hunter in 1961, many of them refurbished and modernised ex-RAF aircraft, to replace earlier aircraft such as the De Havilland Venom. The Hunter survived the procurement efforts of several aircraft promising to be superior; in the case of the Dassault Mirage III
Dassault Mirage III
The Mirage III is a supersonic fighter aircraft designed by Dassault Aviation during the late 1950s, and manufactured both in France and a number of other countries. It was a successful fighter aircraft, being sold to many air forces around the world and remaining in production for over a decade...

 this was due to excessive cost overruns and poor project management rather than the attributes of the Hunter itself. A second competition between the Mirage III and the LTV A-7 Corsair II concluded in neither winning a contract; additional Hunters were purchased to meet the demand instead.

By 1975, plans were laid to replace the Hunter in the air-to-air role with a more modern fighter aircraft, the Northrop F-5E Tiger II. The Hunter remained in a key role within the Swiss Air Force; like the RAF's Hunter it transitioned to be the country's primary ground attack platform; and would remain in this role until the Swiss government purchased 32 McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornets as replacements in the late 1990s. The Patrouille Suisse
Patrouille Suisse
The Patrouille Suisse is an aerobatic team of the Swiss Air Force. The team flies six Northrop F-5E Tiger II fighter/bomber jets. The Patrouille Suisse was founded on 8 August 1964 as a part of the Swiss Air Force...

, the Swiss Air Force's display team, performed in Hunters for many years; like the rest of the Air Force they have now transitioned to flying F-5 aircraft.

Republic of Singapore Air Force


Singapore was an enthusiastic operator of the Hunter, first ordering the aircraft in 1968 during a massive expansion of the city-state's armed forces; deliveries began in 1971 and were completed by 1973. At the time, considerable international controversy was generated as Britain (and, as was later revealed, the U.S.) had refused to sell Hunters to neighbouring Malaysia, sparking fears of a regional arms race and accusations of favouritism
Elitism
Elitism is the belief or attitude that some individuals, who form an elite — a select group of people with intellect, wealth, specialized training or experience, or other distinctive attributes — are those whose views on a matter are to be taken the most seriously or carry the most...

. The Republic of Singapore Air Force
Republic of Singapore Air Force
The Republic of Singapore Air Force is the air arm of the Singapore Armed Forces. It was first established in 1968 as the Singapore Air Defence Command...

 (RSAF) eventually received 46 refurbished Hunters to equip two squadrons.

In the late 1970s, the Singaporean Hunter fleet was upgraded and modified by Lockheed Aircraft Services Singapore (LASS) with an additional hardpoint
Hardpoint
A hardpoint, or weapon station, is any part of an airframe designed to carry an external load. This includes a point on the wing or fuselage of military aircraft where external ordnance, countermeasures, gun pods, targeting pods or drop tanks can be mounted.-Rail launchers:Large missiles and...

 under the forward fuselage and another two inboard pylons (wired only for AIM-9 Sidewinder
AIM-9 Sidewinder
The AIM-9 Sidewinder is a heat-seeking, short-range, air-to-air missile carried mostly by fighter aircraft and recently, certain gunship helicopters. The missile entered service with United States Air Force in the early 1950s, and variants and upgrades remain in active service with many air forces...

s) before the main gears, bringing to a total of seven hardpoints for external stores and weapons delivery. As a result of these upgrades, they were redesignated as FGA.74S, FR.74S and T.75S. The RSAF Black Knights
RSAF Black Knights
The Black Knights is the official aerobatics team of the Republic of Singapore Air Force featuring six F-16C Fighting Falcons in formation flight...

, Singapore Air Force's aerobatic team
Aerobatics
Aerobatics is the practice of flying maneuvers involving aircraft attitudes that are not used in normal flight. Aerobatics are performed in airplanes and gliders for training, recreation, entertainment and sport...

, flew Hunters from 1973 until 1989.

By 1991, Singapore's fleet of combat aircraft included the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, the Northrop F-5 Tiger II, as well as the locally modernised and upgraded ST Aerospace A-4SU Super Skyhawk; the Hunters were active but obsolete in comparison. The type was finally retired and phased out of service in 1992, with the 21 surviving airframes being sold off to an Australian warbird
Warbird
Warbird is a term used, predominantly in North America, to describe vintage military aircraft.- Naming :Although the term originally implied piston-driven aircraft from the World War II era, it is now often extended to include all military aircraft, including jet-powered aircraft, that are no...

 broker, Pacific Hunter Aviation Pty, in 1995.

Africa


During the 1950s, the Royal Rhodesian Air Force
Royal Rhodesian Air Force
The Rhodesian Air Force was the air arm of the British colonial state of Rhodesia. It existed between 1935 and 1980 under various names, and is now the Air Force of Zimbabwe.-History:...

 was an important export customer of Britain, purchasing not only Hunters but De Havilland Vampire
De Havilland Vampire
The de Havilland DH.100 Vampire was a British jet-engine fighter commissioned by the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. Following the Gloster Meteor, it was the second jet fighter to enter service with the RAF. Although it arrived too late to see combat during the war, the Vampire served...

s and Canberra bombers as well. The Royal Rhodesian Air Force used its Hunter FGA.9s extensively against ZANU/ZAPU insurgents in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s, occasionally engaging in cross-border strikes. The Air Force of Zimbabwe
Air Force of Zimbabwe
The Air Force of Zimbabwe is the air force of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces. It was known as the Rhodesian Air Force until 1980. The Air Force of Zimbabwe saw service in the Mozambican Civil War in 1985 and the Second Congo War of 1998–2001....

 used its Hunters inherited from the Rhodesian Air Force to support Laurent Kabila during the Second Congo War
Second Congo War
The Second Congo War, also known as Coltan War and the Great War of Africa, began in August 1998 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo , and officially ended in July 2003 when the Transitional Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo took power; however, hostilities continue to this...

, and were reported to be involved in the fighting in Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

. During Siad Barre
Siad Barre
Mohamed Siad Barre was the military dictator and President of the Somali Democratic Republic from 1969 to 1991. During his rule, he styled himself as Jaalle Siyaad ....

's regime in present day Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

, Hunters were used, often flown by former Rhodesian Air Force pilots, to conduct bombing missions during the civil war in the late 1980s.

Belgium and the Netherlands


The Belgian Air Force received 112 Hunter F.4s between 1956 and 1957 to replace the Gloster Meteor F.8
Gloster Meteor
The Gloster Meteor was the first British jet fighter and the Allies' first operational jet. It first flew in 1943 and commenced operations on 27 July 1944 with 616 Squadron of the Royal Air Force...

. The aircraft were built under licence in both Belgium and the Netherlands in a joint programme, some using U.S. offshore funding. SABCA
Société Anonyme Belge de Constructions Aéronautiques
SABCA is a Belgian aerospace company, a subsidiary of the Dassault Group.Its main sectors of activity are civil aviation, space and defence.The company has three locations:...

 and Avions Fairey
Avions Fairey
Avions Fairey was the Belgian-based subsidiary of the British Fairey Aviation that built Fairey aircraft designs for the Belgian government.-History:...

 built 64 aircraft in Belgium and a further 48 were built in the Netherlands by Fokker
Fokker
Fokker was a Dutch aircraft manufacturer named after its founder, Anthony Fokker. The company operated under several different names, starting out in 1912 in Schwerin, Germany, moving to the Netherlands in 1919....

. The Hunters were used by Nos. 1, 3 and 9 Wings but did not serve for long; the aircraft with 1 Wing were replaced in 1958 by the Avro Canada CF-100 Canuck, and most were scrapped afterwards.

The Belgian and Dutch governments subsequently ordered the improved Hunter F.6, with Nos. 1, 7 and 9 Wings of the Belgian Air Force receiving 112 Fokker-built aircraft between 1957 and 1958. Although built in the Netherlands, 29 aircraft had been assembled from kits in Belgium by SABCA and 59 by Avions Fairey, and were operated by 7 and 9 Wings. No. 9 Wing was disbanded in 1960, and by 1963 the Hunter squadrons in 7 Wing had also been disbanded. A large number of the surviving Hunters were sold to Hawker Aircraft and re-built for re-export to India and Iraq, with others to Chile, Kuwait and Lebanon.

Middle East


Between 1964 and 1975, both Britain and France delivered significant quantities of arms, including Hunters, to Iraq. The Hunters were far more effective in fighting guerrilla activity than the Russian MiG
Mig
-Industry:*MiG, now Mikoyan, a Russian aircraft corporation, formerly the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau*Metal inert gas welding or MIG welding, a type of welding using an electric arc and a shielding gas-Business and finance:...

s then operated by Iraq. In 1967, Hunters of the Iraqi Air Force
Iraqi Air Force
The Iraqi Air Force or IQAF is the military branch in Iraq responsible for the policing of international borders, surveillance of national assets and aerial operations...

 saw action after the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

 between Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 and several neighbouring Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 nations. During the War of Attrition
War of Attrition
The international community and both countries attempted to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict. The Jarring Mission of the United Nations was supposed to ensure that the terms of UN Security Council Resolution 242 would be observed, but by late 1970 it was clear that this mission had been...

 Iraqi Hunters usually operated from bases in Egypt and Syria. While flying a Hunter from Iraqi Airbase H3, Flight Lieutenant Saiful Azam, on exchange from the Pakistan Air Force
Pakistan Air Force
The Pakistan Air Force is the leading air arm of the Pakistan Armed Forces and is primarily tasked with the aerial defence of Pakistan with a secondary role of providing air support to the Pakistan Army and the Pakistan Navy. The PAF also has a tertiary role of providing strategic air transport...

, shot down two Israeli jets including a Mirage IIIC. Some missions were also flown by the Royal Jordanian Air Force
Royal Jordanian Air Force
The Royal Jordanian Air Force is the air force branch of the Jordanian Armed Forces.-Early days:...

, but most of the Jordanian Hunters were destroyed on the ground on the first day of the Six-Day War. Replacement Hunters for Jordanian service were acquired from both Britain and Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 in the war's aftermath.

The Lebanese Air Force
Lebanese Air Force
The Lebanese Air Force is the aerial warfare branch of the Lebanese Armed Forces. The seal of the air force is constituted of a Roundel with two wings and a Lebanese Cedar tree, surrounded by two laurel leaves on a blue background.-History:...

 operated Hawker Hunters from 1958. A Lebanese Hunter shot down an Israeli jet over Kfirmishki in the early 1960s; its pilot was captured by the Lebanese Armed Forces
Lebanese Armed Forces
The Lebanese Armed Forces or Forces Armées Libanaises in French, also known as the Lebanese Army according to its official Website The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) (Arabic: القوات المسلحة اللبنانية | Al-Quwwāt al-Musallaḥa al-Lubnāniyya) or Forces Armées Libanaises in French, also known as the...

. One Hunter was shot down on the first day of the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

 by the Israeli Air Force
Israeli Air Force
The Israeli Air Force is the air force of the State of Israel and the aerial arm of the Israel Defense Forces. It was founded on May 28, 1948, shortly after the Israeli Declaration of Independence...

. They were used infrequently during the Lebanese Civil War
Lebanese Civil War
The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

, and eventually fell out of usage and went into storage during the 1980s.

In August 2007, the Lebanese Armed Forces planned to put its Hunters back into service following the 2007 Lebanon conflict
2007 Lebanon conflict
The 2007 Lebanon conflict began when fighting broke out between Fatah al-Islam, an Islamist militant organization, and the Lebanese Armed Forces on May 20, 2007 in Nahr al-Bared, an UNRWA Palestinian refugee camp near Tripoli. It was the most severe internal fighting since Lebanon's 1975–90 civil...

, to deal with Fatah al-Islam
Fatah al-Islam
Fatah al-Islam, is a radical Sunni Islamist group that formed in November 2006 in a Palestinian refugee camp, located in Lebanon. It has been described as a militant jihadist movement that draws inspiration from al-Qaeda...

 militants in the Nahr el-Bared camp north of Tripoli. However, the programme was delayed by lack of spare parts for the aircraft, notably cartridges for the Martin-Baker ejection seats. On 12 November 2008, the Lebanese Air Force returned the Hunter into service, 50 years after its original introduction. There have been recent military exercises conducted with Hunters, such as those that took place on 12 July 2010.

South America


Chile undertook the acquisition of Hunters from Britain in the 1960s for use in the Chilean Air Force
Chilean Air Force
The Chilean Air Force is the air force of Chile, a branch of the Chilean military.-History:The first step towards the current FACh was taken by Teniente Coronel Pedro Pablo Dartnell, when he founded the Servicio de Aviación Militar de Chile on December 20, 1910, being trained as a pilot in France...

. Two years after delivery was completed in 1971, the Hunters were used by military officers in the 1973 Chilean coup d'état to overthrow the socialist president of Chile, Salvador Allende
Salvador Allende
Salvador Allende Gossens was a Chilean physician and politician who is generally considered the first democratically elected Marxist to become president of a country in Latin America....

, on 11 September 1973. Coup leaders had ordered the Hunters to relocate to Talcahuano on 10 September. The following morning, they engaged in bombing missions against the presidential palace, Allende's house in Santiago
Santiago, Chile
Santiago , also known as Santiago de Chile, is the capital and largest city of Chile, and the center of its largest conurbation . It is located in the country's central valley, at an elevation of above mean sea level...

, and several radio stations loyal to the government.

The purchase of Hunters by Chile may have been a factor in the decision by the Peruvian Air Force
Peruvian Air Force
The Peruvian Air Force is the branch of the Peruvian Armed Forces tasked with defending the nation and its interests through the use of air power...

 to acquire Hunters of their own. Britain was keen to sell to Peru as the decision to sell Hunters to Chile became a controversial political issue for the British government following the Coup, and the sale would uphold Britain's concept of regional 'balancing'.

Sweden


In the early 1950s, the Swedish Air Force
Swedish Air Force
The Swedish Air Force is the air force branch of the Swedish Armed Forces.-History:The Swedish Air Force was created on July 1, 1926 when the aircraft units of the Army and Navy were merged. Because of the escalating international tension during the 1930s the Air Force was reorganized and expanded...

 saw the need for an interceptor that could reach enemy bombers at a higher altitude than the J 29 Tunnan that formed the backbone of the fighter force. A contract for 120 Hawker Hunters Mk 50s (equivalent to the Mk 4) was therefore signed on 29 June 1954 and the first aircraft was delivered on 26 August 1955. The model was designated J 34 and was assigned to the F 8 and F 18 wings that defended Stockholm
Stockholm
Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 851,155 in the municipality , 1.37 million in the urban area , and around 2.1 million in the metropolitan area...

. The J 34 was armed with four 30 mm (1.18 in) cannons and two Sidewinder
AIM-9 Sidewinder
The AIM-9 Sidewinder is a heat-seeking, short-range, air-to-air missile carried mostly by fighter aircraft and recently, certain gunship helicopters. The missile entered service with United States Air Force in the early 1950s, and variants and upgrades remain in active service with many air forces...

s. The Swedish Air Force's aerobatic team Acro Hunters used five J 34s during the late 1950s. The J 34s were gradually replaced by supersonic J 35 Draken and re-assigned to less prominent air wings, F 9 in Gothenburg and F 10 in Ängelholm, during the 1960s.

A project to improve the performance of the J 34 resulted in several Hunters being fitted with a Swedish-designed afterburner in 1958. While this significantly increased the engine's thrust, there was little improvement in performance, so the project was shelved, and the last J 34s were retired in 1969.

Military




Civil


Airborne Tactical Advantage Company
  • Based in Newport News, VA, ATAC operates Mk.58 Hunters for tactical air training.


Apache Aviation
  • Operates from Istres in southern France. Three examples (2× single-seater and 1× two-seater) contracted by French Navy.


Delta Jets
  • Operated between 1995 to 2010 from Kemble Airport near Cirencester
    Cirencester
    Cirencester is a market town in east Gloucestershire, England, 93 miles west northwest of London. Cirencester lies on the River Churn, a tributary of the River Thames, and is the largest town in the Cotswold District. It is the home of the Royal Agricultural College, the oldest agricultural...

    , England
    England
    England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

     with three operational Hunters. The company went into liquidation in 2010


Dutch Hawker Hunter Foundation.
  • Operates a Hunter T.8C two-seat in classic RNLAF paint and a single-seat Hunter F.6A with the original Dutch colours and markings. The Hunter T.8C and the F.6A are based at Leeuwarden Air Base
    Leeuwarden Air Base
    Leeuwarden Air Base is a military airbase used by the Royal Netherlands Air Force - Dutch: Koninklijke Luchtmacht , . The airbase is one of the two F-16 Fighting Falcon bases of the RNLAF...

     in the Netherlands.


Embraer
  • Operates an ex-Chilean Air Force Hunter T.72 as a flight test chase plane.


Hawker Hunter Aviation.
  • Based at RAF Scampton
    RAF Scampton
    Royal Air Force Station Scampton is a Royal Air Force station situated north of Lincoln in England, near the village of Scampton, on the site of an old First World War landing field.-First World War:...

    , it operates a fleet of 12 Mk 58 and three two-seaters (T.7 and T.8), as well as other aircraft to provide "high speed Aerial Threat Simulation, Mission Support Training and Trials Support Services".


Hunter Flying Ltd.
  • Based at Exeter International Airport
    Exeter International Airport
    Exeter International Airport is an airport located at Clyst Honiton in the District of East Devon close to the city of Exeter and within the county of Devon, South West England....

     in England
    England
    England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

    , Hunter Flying Ltd maintain over 15 privately owned examples of the Hunter.


Lortie Aviation Inc.
  • This company, (formerly Northern Lights Combat Air Support) based in Quebec City
    Quebec City
    Quebec , also Québec, Quebec City or Québec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and is located within the Capitale-Nationale region. It is the second most populous city in Quebec after Montreal, which is about to the southwest...

    , Canada
    Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

    , owns and operates 12 Hunters (mainly ex-Swiss F.58 variants) for military co-operation duties such as FAC training, radar calibration, radar target facilities and missile simulation.


Thunder City
  • Seven Hunters are based at Thunder City
    Thunder City
    Thunder City is an aircraft operating and maintenance company based at the Cape Town International Airport in Cape Town, South Africa. It owns the largest civilian-owned collection of former military jet aircraft in the world...

     at Cape Town International Airport
    Cape Town International Airport
    Cape Town International Airport is the primary airport serving the city of Cape Town, and is the second busiest airport in South Africa and third busiest in Africa. Located approximately from the city centre, the airport was opened in 1954 to replace Cape Town's previous airport in the suburb of...

     in South Africa
    South Africa
    The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

    .

Specifications (Hunter F.6)


See also


External links