The last operational Jaguar squadron (Number 6 Sqn) was disbanded on the 31st April 2007 but this didn’t marked the end of the road for the Jaguar. A number have been kept in taxi condition and are used by the Defence College of Aeronautical Engineering at both DCAE Cosford and DCAE Cranwell.
DCAE Cranwell uses the Jaguar as part of the specialist Aerosystems (AS) training course for RAF Engineering Officers to prepare them for their first posting to an operational squadron. The 30 week course delivers technical training on aerodynamics, airframes, engines, avionics, electrics, materials, electro-optics and weapons bridging the gap between the officer’s engineering degree and the skills needed to support the equipment used by the RAF.
In weeks 24, 25 and 26 an assessment exercise is held to allow the officers to draw on all elements of their training. The exercise involves supporting and managing a fleet of five Jaguars (three single seat GR1 / GR1As and two twin seat T2 / T2As). Officers play all roles on the squadron to give them experience of all aspects of the work that is carried out on an active squadron. A Jaguar will be prepared by the officers before it taxis out onto the taxiway and on to a dispersal where it will hold until returning once again simulating a sortie.
The Jaguars operated at DCAE Cranwell
All the airframes have been repainted in black from their camo or grey operational schemes but XX965 sports yellow decals and the ‘Saint’ logo on the tail. The ‘Saint’ logo is the adopted logo of 16(R) Sqn due to their formation at Saint Omer. 16(R) Sqn are a former Jaguar squadron and are also based at Cranwell now training pilots in Elementary Flying Training (EFT) on the Grob Tutor.
Jaguar XX965 is armed by the officers with rocket pods on each wing and a laser guided bomb on the centre line is heads out for a sortie before returning once again. Whilst the officers work on XX965 they are assessed by the instructors.
Many thanks to Kate for hosting me.