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British Aerospace Hunter FGA.9C - No.74 (Aggressor) Squadron, RAF Strike Command, 1983

 

In April 1976 the 527th Tactical Fighter Training Aggressor Squadron activated at RAF Alconbury flying the F-5E in the 'aggressor' role training USAF and NATO forces by teaching and demonstrating soviet air tactics under the title of Dissimilar Air Combat Tactics. RAF pilots who encountered the 'aggressors' began to wax lyrical about the experience and soon RAF chiefs had decided to form a similar training squadron and reactivated No.74 squadron in 1977 equipped with Hunter FGA.9's from the recently disbanded Wittering wing. Initially operating from RAF Wittering the squadron moved to RAF Brawdy in 1979 with a semi-permanent detachment based at RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus.

 

In 1979 the incoming Conservative government conducted a review of Britain's defences and this saw the RAF being authorised to form a third Lightning squadron and convert 88 Hawk T.1 trainers to T.1A standard (adding Sidewinder capability) to serve as short-range interceptor aircraft for point defence alongside the radar-equipped Phantom and Tornado F.3 aircraft. In addition, No.74 squadrons Hunters were upgraded to FGA.9C standard adding Sidewinder capability and new inner-wing pylons plus scabbed-on chaff and flare dispensers. The reworked Hunters served in a variety of colour schemes and remained in service until 1991.

 

RAFHUNTERFGA9C04.jpg

 

RAFHUNTERFGA9C05.jpg

 

RAFHUNTERFGA9C06.jpg

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I always felt that the Hunter could have had another pair of hardpoints. This is exactly what I would have done with it too. Love your work as always Spinners!

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