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Jet fighters in Naval forces in the 1980s

Some of the most important combat aircraft of the 1980 were born from collaborations and multinational programs, mainly in Europe. Two examples are the most prestigious Jaguar Sepecat which is Anglo-French and the MRCA Tornado which is Anglo-German-Italian. The Jaguar project was born in 1965, thanks to an agreement between the British and French governments for the joint execution of a light training and assault jet fighter. A company was formed for the development of the project, Sepecat, and an international consortium between Rolls-Royce and Turbomeca was created to develop the engine. The new aircraft proved much more powerful and efficient than expected, with high performance enabled by the engines. The first prototype was French (delivered 8 September 1968) and the first production aircraft, a Jaguar E- rolled out on 2 November 1971. Deliveries began the following year. At the end of 1979, orders totaled 426 units in several versions.

The Tornado, a jet fighter with variable geometry wings, was done through the Panavia company which was incorporated on 26 March 1969 following an agreement between Germany, Britain and Italy. The definition phase of the project was very long and difficult because of the different requirements of the three partners, and it eventually led to the creation of two versions: the 100 jet fighter for surveillance, and the 200 two-seat attack jet fighter. This last one was ultimately chosen for the joint production. The first prototype (German) came out August 14, 1974, followed on October 30 by the second (UK). The Italian first aircraft (fifth prototype) was released on 5 December 1975.

In naval aviation, the United States built in the early 70s a great interceptor, one of the best of its kind ever built, the Grumman F-14 Tomcat. Also characterized primarily by variable geometry wing, this powerful fighter was developed at the end of a long and complex development, and the final prototype F-14A was released on 24 May 1971. Production began shortly afterwards, and the first copies of the series reached squadrons of the U.S. Navy in June 1972. In 1979, the Navy had ordered 350 copies in total (almost all delivered), in addition to 80 aircrafts ordered by Iran. In 1974, the Navy proposed the creation of a new hunter jet fighter to be developed in 1982 to replace almost all F-4 Phantom. Thus was born the McDonnell-Douglas F-18 Hornet combat aircraft.

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