I don’t particularly like the Jaguar cars and don’t see the point to begin now. But it seems that I have a few more pictures with them.
This photo came from The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust. The Jaguar is 1970 E-Type S3 2+2 coupé with a V12 engine (nope, it still hadn’t achieved a 150 mph). The Series 3 was launched on 29 March 1971 and was a heavier and bigger car than Series 1. WHP 205J was one of the earliest E-type V12 cars, the tenth right-hand drive 2+2 coupé by its chassis number, and the Regency Red car was originally part of Jaguar’s press fleet. During that time it was used to race with the Jaguar fighter jet aircraft which resulted in the great action shot which is seen above.
SEPECAT Jaguar was far more interesting machine. It was developed and produced by a SEPECAT (Société Européenne de Production de l’avion Ecole de Combat et d’Appui Tactique) – French and British joint venture between Breguet Aviation (later part of a Avions Marcel Dassault-Breguet Aviation) and British Aircraft Corporation (later British Aerospace) in the late 1960s and became operational in 1973-1974.
At first conceived as a light trainer jet with ground attack capabilities a Jaguar became a more versatile close air support, recon and tactical strike aircraft with an ability to fly at supersonic speed. British were so delighted with the Jaguar so they replaced F-4 Phantoms II in their attack squadrons with a new airplane.
Jaguars have had sturdy airframe and landing gear so they had been able to land on a rough airfields, autobahn or any other unprepared flat terrain. It was also a highly reliable aircraft.
The last but not least Jaguar was able to carry a tactical nuclear weapons to strike Soviet forces on the edge of their offensive and providing a clear path for strategic forces to deliver their payload in all-European war.
Though with all their advantages Jaguars had had their problems – and that was an avionics. Particularly – navigation and targetting systems. These systems were upgraded over the time, but during the Gulf War most of the Jaguars were not being able to carry advanced laser-guided munition.
British mostly used their Jaguars in an old style – striking targets with cannons, high-explosive and cluster bombs (there were not so many aircrafts with an upgraded TIALD pods). Maneuver, shot-n-run tactics and short time over targets were the main contributors for British successful employment of the Jaguar force.
French used the laser-guided munitions with the Jaguars more widely but with an attached recon plane to provide a guiding data.
Though RAF tried to replace most of the Jaguars with multi-role Panavia Tornado fighter the former showed its advantages in being a pure strike aircraft – lighter, with a better maneuvering characteristics and more sturdy and reliable. So the process of wholesale transition was postponed.
SEPECAT Jaguars served for three decades, fighting in various conflicts – Gulf War, Bosnia, French small colonial actions and were retired in 2005 and 2007 in France and Great Britain respectively. Though Indian Air Force continue to flew them (their Jaguars are relatively younger than French and British).
So, there’s two Jaguars and it’s not hard to imagine which one of them have my preference.
It is hard to tell a precise date and place of the picture, but I’d bet on 1976 to 1980.