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BAC Strikemaster

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Title: BAC Strikemaster  
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Subject: BAC Jet Provost, Royal Air Force of Oman, Republic of Singapore Air Force, Counter-insurgency, Royal Saudi Air Force Museum
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BAC Strikemaster

BAC 167 Strikemaster
BAC 167 Strikemaster Mk 88 of the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 1975
Role Attack aircraft, trainer aircraft
Manufacturer British Aircraft Corporation
First flight 26 October 1967
Status In service with 5 countries
Primary users Saudi Arabia
Kenya Air Force
Royal New Zealand Air Force
Royal Air Force of Oman
Produced 1967-1984
Number built 146
Developed from BAC Jet Provost

The BAC 167 Strikemaster is a British jet-powered training and light attack aircraft. It was a development of the Hunting Jet Provost trainer, itself a jet engined version of the Percival Provost, which originally flew in 1950 with a radial piston engine.

Design and development

The BAC 167 Strikemaster is essentially an armed version of the Jet Provost T Mk 5; the Strikemaster was modified with an uprated engine, wing hardpoints, a strengthened airframe, new communication and navigation gear, uprated ejection seats, a revised fuel system, and shortened landing gear. First flown in 1967, the aircraft was marketed as a light attack or counter-insurgency aircraft, but most large-scale purchasers were air forces wanting an advanced trainer although Ecuador, Oman and Yemen have used their aircraft in combat. A total of 146 were built.

Operational history

The Strikemaster was capable of operating from rough air strips, with dual ejection seats suitable even for low-altitude escape, and it was therefore widely used by third-world nations. Operations by the type was restricted by most military users after the Royal New Zealand Air Force found fatigue cracking in the wings of its aircraft. Many aircraft retired by the Botswana, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and Singapore have found their way into museums and private collections.

The Strikemaster was deployed by the Royal Air Force of Oman on several occasions during the Dhofar Rebellion, including a notable appearance providing Close Air Support during the Battle of Mirbat. Three Strikemasters were shot down over the course of the war, including one lost to an SA-7 missile. In popular culture, the Battle of Mirbat was the basis for the plot of the 2011 film Killer Elite (film).

The Ecuadorian Air Force deployed the Strikemaster during the brief 1995 Cenepa War, flying ground sorties against Peruvian positions. An Ecuadorian Strikemaster crashed during a training mission in the Northern Border area, near Colombia, on 25 March 2009. Both pilots ejected; one later died of injuries received during the rescue attempt.[1]

In 2009 a new UK-based aerobatic-display team named "Team Viper" after the Viper engine used in the Strikemaster began displaying at air shows with a fleet of Strikemasters. They fly formation aerobatics including high speed opposition manoeuvres and some solo work. "Team Viper" operated five Hawker Hunter aircraft from 2011, until they disbanded in 2012.[2]

Photographed 14 years after it was retired, this BAC Strikemaster still wears the colours of No. 14 Squadron RNZAF.
The four BAC Strikemasters of the UK aerobatics display team Team Viper at Cotswold Airport, Gloucestershire, England
One of Botswana's Strikemasters
RNZAF Strikemasters in 1984


  • Strikemaster Mk 80 : Export version for Saudi Arabia, 25 aircraft.
  • Strikemaster Mk 80A: 20 aircraft were sold to Saudi Arabia as part of a follow-up order.
  • Strikemaster Mk 81 : Export version for South Yemen, four aircraft.
  • Strikemaster Mk 82 : Export version for Oman, 12 aircraft.
  • Strikemaster Mk 82A: 12 aircraft were sold to Oman as part of a follow-up order.
  • Strikemaster Mk 83 : Export version for Kuwait, 12 aircraft.
  • Strikemaster Mk 84 : Export version for Singapore, 16 aircraft.
  • Strikemaster Mk 87 : Export version for Kenya, six aircraft.
  • Strikemaster Mk 88 : Export version for New Zealand, 16 aircraft.
  • Strikemaster Mk 89 : Export version for Ecuador, 22 aircraft.
  • Strikemaster Mk 89A: A number of aircraft were sold to Ecuador as part of a follow-up order.
  • Strikemaster Mk 90 : Export version for Sudan. The last Strikemaster was delivered to Sudan in 1984.


  • Strikemaster 80: 136
  • Strikemaster 90: 10


 New Zealand
 Saudi Arabia
 South Yemen
 United States
  • Blue Air Training LLC operates five Mk 88 and Mk 80 Strikemasters in support of US Defense contracts.

Specifications (Strikemaster Mk 88)

BAC Strikemaster, Shoreham Airshow 2014

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1976–77[3]

General characteristics
  • Crew: two (pilot,copilot)
  • Length: 33 ft 8½ in (10.27 m)
  • Wingspan: 36 ft 10 in (11.23 m)
  • Height: 10 ft 11½ in (3.34 m)
  • Wing area: 213.7 ft² (19.85 m²)
  • Airfoil: NACA 23015 (modified) at root, NACA 4412 (modified) at tip
  • Empty weight: 6,195 lb (2,810 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 9,303 lb (4,219 kg) (pilot training)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 11,500 lb (5,215 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Rolls-Royce Viper Mk.535 turbojet, 3,140 lbf (15.2 kN)


  • Guns:7.62 mm NATO machine guns with 550 rounds each
  • Hardpoints: 4 (2 per wing) with a capacity of 3,000 lb (1,364 kg) and provisions to carry combinations of:
    • Other: bombs, machine gun pods, air-to-ground rocket pods, fuel drop tanks, and napalm tanks.

See also

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists


  1. ^ "Ejected Pilot Survives Crash, Dies During Rescue Accident.", 26 March 2009. Retrieved: 26 April 2012.
  2. ^ "Viper Display Team." Viper Display Team and Hunter Flying, 9 July 2009. Retrieved: 9 July 2009.
  3. ^ Taylor 1976, pp. 172–173.
  • Taylor, John W.R. "Hunting Jet Provost and BAC 167." Combat Aircraft of the World from 1909 to the present. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1969. ISBN 0-425-03633-2.
  • Taylor, John W. R. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1976–77. London: Jane's Yearbooks, 1976. ISBN 0-354-00538-3.

External links

  • RNZAF Museum Strikemaster page
  • ABC Australia News
  • BAC 167 Strikemaster
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