Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet
The Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet is a light attack jet and advanced trainer aircraft co-manufactured by Dassault Aviation of France and Dornier Flugzeugwerke of Germany. It was developed specifically to perform the trainer and light attack missions, as well as to perform these duties more ideally than the first generation of jet trainers that preceded it. Following a competition, a design submitted by a team comprising Breguet Aviation, Dassault Aviation, and Dornier Flugzeugwerke, initially designated as the TA501, was selected and subsequently produced as the Alpha Jet.
Both the French Air Force and German Air Force procured the Alpha Jet in large numbers, the former principally as a trainer aircraft and the latter choosing to use it as a light attack platform. As a result of post-Cold War military cutbacks, Germany elected to retire its own fleet of Alpha Jets in the 1990s and has re-sold many of these aircraft to both military and civilian operators. The Alpha Jet has been adopted by a number of air forces across the world and has also seen active combat use by some of these operators.
Variants[edit | edit source]
- Alpha Jet A: Attack version originally used by Germany.
- Alpha Jet E: Trainer version originally used by France and Belgium.
- Alpha Jet 2: Development of the Alpha Jet E optimized for ground attack. This version was originally named the Alpha Jet NGAE (Nouvelle Generation Appui/Ecole or "New Generation Attack/Training"),
- Alpha Jet MS1: Close support-capable version assembled in Egypt.
- Alpha Jet MS2: Improved version with new avionics, an uprated engine, Magic Air-to-Air missiles, and a Lancier glass cockpit.
- Alpha Jet ATS (Advanced Training System): A version fitted with multi-functional controls and a glass cockpit that will train pilots in the use of navigation and attack systems of the latest and future generation fighter aircraft. This version was also called the Alpha Jet 3 or Lancier.
Users[edit | edit source]
- Belgian Air Component
- Cameroon Air Force
- Discovery Air Defence Services
- Egyptian Air Force
- Armée de l'Air
- Ivory Coast
- Ivory Coast Air Force
- Royal Moroccan Air Force
- Nigerian Air Force
- Portuguese Air Force
- Qatar Emiri Air Force
- Royal Thai Air Force
- Togolese Air Force
- United Kingdom