- BAC TSR-2
name = TSR-2
type = Tactical Strike / Reconnaissance
British Aircraft Corporation
caption = TSR-2 XR220 in
first flight = 27 September 1964
status = Project cancelled
primary user =
more users =
number built = 3
unit cost =
developed from =
variants with their own articles =
The British Aircraft Corporation Tactical Strike/Reconnaissance 2 (TSR-2) was an ill-fated
Cold War strike aircraftdeveloped by the British Aircraft Corporation(BAC) for the Royal Air Force(RAF) in the early 1960s. The TSR-2 was designed to penetrate a well-defended forward battle area at low altitudes and very high speeds, and then attack high-value targets in the rear with close-in bomb runs and precision drops. The TSR-2 included a number of advanced features that made it the highest performing aircraft in this role, yet the programme was controversially cancelled in favour of the General Dynamics F-111, a procurement that itself was later cancelled.
Prior to the TSR-2 effort, the British Royal Air Force had deployed the
English Electric Canberrabomber, capable of flying at high altitudes and relatively high speeds. Like the de Havilland Mosquitobefore it, the Canberra carried no defensive weapons and relied on its high performance to allow it to avoid defenses. Fighters could approach the speeds of the Canberra, but doing so while climbing to its altitude was by no means a trivial task. Nevertheless, as the performance of the Soviet interceptors grew, the Canberra grew increasingly vulnerable. English Electric had been studying higher performance designs, otherwise similar to the Canberra, since even before the Canberra entered service.
The introduction of the radar-guided
surface-to-air missile(SAM) significantly upset this balance. SAMs attacked in a straight line from below, and had speed and altitude performance much greater than any contemporary aircraft. The Canberra, and other high-altitude aircraft like the Avro Vulcanor B-52 Stratofortress, were extremely vulnerable to these weapons. The solution was to fly lower. Since radaroperates in line-of-sight, an aircraft flying at 200 ft (60 m) only becomes visible at about 25 miles (40 km) distance. An aircraft traveling just under Mach 1, say Mach 0.85 or 650 mph (1046 km/h), will cover this distance in a little over two minutes, giving the SAM site very little time to prepare for an attack. This also assumes a perfectly smooth Earth; trees, hills, valleys and any other obstructions reduce this range even more, making an attack extremely difficult.
The Canberra was designed for high-altitude flight and could not be easily flown at lower altitudes. In particular its large wings would result in high loads due to turbulence. Additionally, navigation at low altitudes is a demanding task, one that the 1940s era electronics of the Canberra was simply not up to. Low-level strike fighters, or "interdictors" as they became known, grew into a new class of their own through the late 1950s. They generally featured high
wing loadingto reduce the effects of turbulence, some form of high performance navigational radar to allow them to fly very low at high speeds, and large fuel loads to offset the higher fuel use at low altitudes. Indeed, the first aircraft to fall victim to the famous S-75 Dvina( NATOCode SA-2 Guideline) SAM was a Taiwanese RB-57, a high-altitude reconnaissance version of the Canberra, shot down in 1959.
Aware of these issues, the
Ministry of Supplystarted work with English Electric in 1956, attempting to define a new interdictor. Originally the designs concentrated on a smaller aircraft more similar to a fighter, and there was some discussion of developing the P.1B project (soon to become the English Electric Lightning) in this direction as the P.18, while adaptations of the earlier developments of the Canberra were gathered under the P.17 designation. These early studies eventually settled on an aircraft with a 2,000 nm (3,700 km) ferry range, Mach 1.5 speed "at altitude", and VTOLor STOLperformance. The latter requirement was a side-effect of common battle plans from the 1950s, which suggested that nuclear strikes in the opening stages of war would damage most runways and airbases, meaning that aircraft would need to take off from improvised sites, or even fields. As the project continued, the requirements continued to grow. A crew of two was required, one operating the advanced navigational and attack equipment, and bombload was six 1,000 lb (450 kg) bombs. This basically eliminated the P.18 design as a suitable approach, and further work concentrated solely on the delta-wing P.17A.
The requirements were eventually made official in March 1957 with GOR (General Operational Requirement) 339. This specification was exceptionally ambitious for the technology of the day, requiring a
supersonicall-weather aircraft that could deliver nuclear weapons over a long range, operate at high level at Mach 2+ or low level at Mach 1.2, with a short takeoff ability from rough and ready airstrips.
Specifically the requirement included:
*deliver tactical nuclear weapons at low level in all weathers.
*photo-reconnaissance at medium and low levels day and night
*deliver tactical nuclear weapons day and night at medium altitudes blind bombing if necessary
*deliver conventional bombs and rockets
Low level was stated to be under 1,000 ft (300 m) with an expected attack speed at sea-level of Mach 0.95. The operational range was to be 1,000 nautical miles (1,850 km) operating off runways of no more than 3,000 ft (900 m).Buttler 2005]
As this specification was being studied by various manufacturers, the first of the political storms that were to dog the project reared its head, when Defence Minister
Duncan Sandysstated in the 1957 Defence White Paperthat the era of manned combat was at an end and ballistic missiles were the weapons of the future. Within a decade, this philosophy became thoroughly discredited, but at the time, and in the climate of the Cold Warand " mutual deterrence", it doubtless appeared to make some sense, especially as it seemed missiles would offer significant cost savings over manned aircraft. Debate over the need for GOR 339 in light of the White Paper continued for some time, but it was eventually allowed to continue as one of the projects that was "too far along" to cancel.
Along with this was the uncertainty caused by the House of Commons Select Committee on Estimates' report of the year prior. This report suggested that contracts should only be accepted from teams consisting of more than one company, in order to force the companies to merge. Although the large number of companies in the UK at the time was a problem, the Committee's solution to the problem led to various problems when teams that had never even spoken before were forced to work together for no reason other than to have a chance of winning work.
Another political matter that did not help was the mutual distrust between the various services. At the time that GOR 339 was being defined, the
Royal Navywas in the midst of their NA.39 project, which would eventually become the Blackburn Buccaneer. The Buc was also a low-altitude high-speed attack aircraft, but designed for over-water as opposed to over-land use. The savings involved in both forces using a common aircraft would be considerable, and Blackburn offered the RAF a supersonic version of the NA.39 to fit the GOR 339 requirements. However, the RAF rebuffed the proposal, stating that anything under Mach 2 performance was unsatisfactory, and S/VTOL performance was mandatory. As one RAF official put it, "If we show the slightest interest in NA.39 we might not get the GOR.339 aircraft." [ [http://www.faqs.org/docs/air/avtsr2.html The BAC TSR.2] ]
Work on GOR 339 continued, with a deadline for submissions on 31 January 1958. A large number of proposals were entered; EE's P.17A along with designs from
Avro, Hawkerand Vickers-Armstrong(through their Supermarinedivision). Short Brothersalso sent in the P.17D, a flying platform that was to be used in concert with the P.17A, lifting it into the air so that the P.17 did not have to have VTOL performance on its own. The Air Ministry eventually selected the EE P.17A and the Supermarine 571 for further development. The Ministry was particularly impressed with the Vickers submission, which included not only the aircraft design, but a "total systems concept" which outlined all the support facilities and logistics needed to support the aircraft in the field.
GOR 339 was revealed to the public in December 1958 in a statement to the House of Commons. Under pressure by the recommendations of the Committee on Estimates, the Air Ministry examined ways that the various project proposals could be combined, and in January 1959 the Minister of Supply announced that the TSR-2 would be built by
Vickers-Armstrongworking with English Electric; the initials coming from "Tactical Strike and Reconnaissance 2".
On 1 January 1959 the project was given an official go-ahead under the new designation OR (Operational Requirement) 343. OR 343 was more specific and built upon work from the various submissions to GOR 339 specifically stating that the low level operations would be at 200 ft or less, and that Mach 2 should be attained at altitude.
The envisioned "standard mission" for the TSR-2 was to carry a 2,000 lb (900 kg) weapon internally for a combat radius of 1,000
nautical miles(nm) (1,850 km). Of that mission 100 nm (185 km) was to be flown at higher altitudes at Mach 1.7 and the 200 nm (370 km) into and out of the target area was to be flown as low as 200 feet (60 m) at Mach 0.95. The rest of the mission was to be flown at Mach 0.92. If the entire mission were to be flown at the low 200-ft altitude, the mission radius was reduced to 700 nm (1,300 km). Heavier weapons loads could be carried with further reductions in range.
Extensions to the TSR-2's range were planned to be made by fitting external tanks — one 450-
Imperial gallon(2,000 L) tank under each wing or one 1,000 Imperial gallon (4,500 L) tank carried centrally below the fuselage. If no internal weapons were carried, a further 570 Imperial gallons (2,600 L) could be carried in a tank in the weapons bay.
It was also planned to be able to equip the TSR-2 with a reconnaissance pack in the weapons bay which, coupled to the aircraft's capable sideways looking radar (SLAR), would have turned the aircraft into a formidable "recon" asset not unlike the contemporary North American RA-5C of the
United States Navy.
English Electric, manufacturer of the Canberra, and Vickers-Armstrongshad been judged to have made the best submissions for GOR 339. The two companies combined their ideas for the specification and put forward their joint design with a view to an aircraft flying by 1963. No order was forthcoming, and by the time the Ministry had made a decision the various companies had been amalgamated as the British Aircraft Corporationin 1960. EE had put forward a delta winged design and Vickers a swept wing on a long fuselage. The EE wing, born of their greater supersonic experience, was judged superior to Vickers, while the Vickers fuselage was preferred. In effect, the aircraft would be built 50/50: Vickers the front half, EE the back.Buttler 2005]
The design was a large aircraft, to be powered by two Bristol-Siddeley Olympus afterburning
turbojets, with a large shoulder-mounted slab-wing with down-turned tips, an all-moving swept tailplaneand a large all-moving fin. The engines were a variant of those used in the Avro Vulcan, and would later be developed further for Concorde. It is often stated, incorrectly, that the leading designer of the TSR-2 was Vickers' Barnes Wallis, the legendary aeronautical engineer famous for his Wellington bomber design and contribution to the Dambustersraids. Wallis was not involved in the TSR-2, but his son, who also worked for Vickers, was involved with it to a small extent. In fact Wallis was quite critical of the TSR-2, and stated that a " swing-wing" design (a concept that he championed, having done much work on it) would be more appropriate.
The design featured
blown flapsacross the entire trailing edge of the wing to achieve the short takeoff and landing requirement, something that later designs would achieve with the technically more complex swing-wing approach. Roll control was by differential movement of the tailplanes, i.e., tailerons. The aircraft featured some extremely sophisticated avionicsfor navigation and mission delivery — far ahead of anything else available at the time — which would also prove to be one of the reasons for the spiralling costs of the project. Some features, such as ground-following terrain radar, FLIRcameras, side-looking airborne radar and the sophisticated autopilot, only became commonplace on military aircraft later.
wing loadingwas high for its time, enabling the aircraft to fly at very high speed and low level with great stability without being constantly upset by thermals and other ground-related weather phenomena. This in turn made the innovative ground-following radar and autopilot system feasible. To improve the ride quality at low levels further, the cockpithad a degree of "float" to help damp out turbulence and reduce crew fatigue.
There were considerable problems with realizing the design. Some contributing manufacturers were employed directly by the Ministry rather than through BAC, and the Ministry itself took on design tasks, with the usual long deliberations and meetings typical of
civil servants. [http://www.thunder-and-lightnings.co.uk/tsr2/history.html Thunder and Lightnings TSR-2 History] ]
Despite the increasing costs (which were inevitable, given the low original estimates), two
prototypeaircraft were completed. Test pilot Roland Beamontmade the first flight on 27 September 1964. In the course of testing, the TSR-2 was found to meet easily the demanding GOR 339 performance specification. Aerodynamically the aircraft was trouble-free, but there were continual problems with the engines and the undercarriage. Indeed, the engines delivered for the first aircraft did not fit, leading to delays for the first flight which meant that the TSR-2 missed the opportunity to be displayed to the public at that year's Farnborough Airshow.
Initial flight tests were all performed with the undercarriage down and engine power strictly limited. Only on the tenth test flight was the landing gear successfully retracted, but vibration problems on landing persisted. The aircraft's nosegear vibrated at the resonance frequency of the eyeball, causing the pilot and navigator to suffer double vision during
taxiing. The problem was dealt with by adding damping into the already extremely complex landing gear. The second prototype (XR220) incorporated additional dampers in the main gear legs (fixed dampers having been flight tested on XR219).
The first supersonic test flight (Flight 14) was achieved on the transfer from the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment at Boscombe Down to BAC Warton. Surprisingly, the aircraft achieved Mach 1 on dry power only (
supercruise). Following this, test pilot Beamont lit one of the afterburners only (because of problems with the other engine's afterburner fuel pump), with the result that the aircraft accelerated away from the chase Lightning, despite the latter engaging full afterburner on both engines.A speed of Mach 1.2 was reached on that occasion.
Over a period of six months many test flights were conducted. None of the complex electronics were fitted to the first prototype, so these flights were all concerned with the basic flying qualities of the aircraft which, according to the test pilot involved, were outstanding.
The United States had developed the swing-wing
General Dynamics F-111project as a follow-on to the F-105 Thunderchief, a fast low-level bomber designed in the 1950s with an internal bay for a nuclear weapon. As a cost-saving measure over developing a duplicate aircraft, the RAF considered the F-111 as an alternative. In response to suggestions of cancellation BAC employees held a protest march, and the new Labour government, which came to power in 1964, issued strong denials. But in the budget speech of 6 April 1965, the cancellation in favour of the F-111 was announced. A week later the Chancellor defended the decision in a debate in the House of Commons, saying that the F-111 would prove cheaper.
The TSR-2 tooling and partially completed aircraft were scrapped. Two finished but unflown aircraft eventually survived, though with substantial internal damage inflicted: XR220 at the
RAF Museum, Cosford near Wolverhampton, and XR222 at the Imperial War Museum Duxford. A number of unfinished airframes were hastily scrapped, with very few parts retained intact. Along with two unfinished frames ("XR221" and "XR223"), the only airframe ever to fly, "XR219", was taken to Shoeburynessand used as a target to test the vulnerability of a modern airframe and systems to gunfire. The haste with which the project was scrapped has been the source of much argument and bitterness since.
To replace the TSR-2 the Ministry decided on two aircraft; one would be the
swing-wingAmerican General Dynamics F-111K for the strike reconnaissance role with a longer-term replacement being a joint Anglo-French project for a variable geometry strike aircraft, dubbed AFVG.Buttler 2005] However, the F-111K itself suffered enormous cost escalation, far exceeding that of the TSR-2 projection, and many technical problems before its successful deployment in combat. Coupled with a poorer than projected performance and the devaluation of the pound, the order for 50 F-111Ks for the RAF was cancelled and instead they took on the F-4 Phantom IIand the Blackburn Buccaneer, some of which were transferred from the Royal Navy.
These were the very same aircraft that the RAF had apparently derided in order to get the TSR-2 go-ahead, but the Buccaneer proved capable and was still in service into the early 1990s. The TSR-2 nonetheless remains a lingering "what if?" of British aviation, like the
CF-105 Arrowinterceptor in Canada. The Phantom and Buccaneer were eventually replaced by the variable-geometry Panavia Tornado, a much smaller design than either the F-111 or the TSR-2. Experience in the design and development of the avionics, particularly the terrain-following capabilities, were used on the later Tornado programme. The Soviet Union also developed swing-wing fighters and strike bombers in the late 1960s and 1970s. The Royal Australian Air Force adopted the F-111, and continues to fly them.
A government study into the feasibility of resurrecting the TSR-2 project was carried out during the early 1980s when
Margaret Thatcherwas Prime Minister.Fact|date=February 2008 There was, briefly, some speculation that TSR-2 might yet see the light of day in an updated form.Fact|date=February 2008 But after the study concluded that it would be far too expensive (the previous destruction requiring a complete start from scratch), and that the technology was no longer cutting edge, the TSR-2 was cancelled forever.
With the recent release in mid-2008 of declassified files concerning
WE.177at the National Archives, London, the real reason for the cancellation of the TSR-2 becomes more apparent.
Royal Air Force's (RAF)'s planning for war in Europe called for air-carried tactical nuclear weapons in the 50 kiloton(kt), 100 kt - 300 kt yield range, to deal with targets beyond the forward edge of the battlefield assigned to the RAF by NATO. Planning for suitable weapons for TSR-2 was on the basis of a successor to Red Beard, an 'Improved Kiloton Bomb' to a specification known as Operational Requirement1177 (OR.1177). [Public Record Office, London. AIR 2/17322-e31a-P01] Red Beard had been included at the beginning, but it was quickly realised that it was unlikely to survive the high-speed environment envisaged for the TSR-2, its carcass (casing) was unsuited to supersonicexternal carriage and the yield at 15 kt was inadequate for the targets assigned to the RAF by NATO’s SACEUR, and it was quickly discarded from TSR-2 weapon planning, which specified the above 50 kiloton (kt), 100 kt - 300 kt yields in a laydown bomb weighing up to 1,000 lbs, a length of up to 144 in, and a diameter up to 18 in, considerably larger and of greater yield than any of the WE.177 variants ultimately deployed. [Public Record Office, London. AIR 2/17322 to AIR 2/17330]
Royal Navy(RN) also required a replacement for Red Beard, principally to arm the Buccaneer aircraft, and offered a joint requirement, or specification, although the nuclear yields required by the Navy were considerably lower than those required by the RAF. The naval requirements were for weapons in the 1/2 kt, 2 kt and 10 kt range - although the Navy later dropped the 2 kt requirement. These Navy figures were remarkably similar to those that would be subsequently met by the WE.177A nuclear weapon. However, the RAF did not want these lower yields for TSR-2 considering them insufficient for the assigned targets. [Public Record Office, London. AIR 2/17322 to AIR 2/17330]
At this time the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment (AWRE) at
Aldermastonwas inundated with work, having, in order of priority, the strategic bomb Red Snow, the anglicisedUS W-44 warhead Tony, the anglicised US W-54 Wee Gwen for a British Davy Crockett, and the anglicised W47warhead for the UK Skybolt programme, as well as the OR.1176 warhead for OR.1177, to complete. As a result, work on the TSR-2's tactical nuclear weapon was delayed. Then in June 1962 Prime Minister Harold Macmillancame under pressure from the Conservative Party and Cabinetover the cancellation of Skybolt. The cancellation of Skybolt was a great blow, and the Macmillan Government almost collapsed. The government was also divided over the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons, Macmillan's view being that any use of such weapons would inevitably escalate into an all-out global nuclear war. As a result, in July 1962, Macmillan issued a directive that British tactical nuclear weapons yields were not to exceed 10 kt, and OR.1177 was cancelled. Four days later the crisis within the Cabinet became public when Macmillan sacked seven Cabinet Ministers, including his Minister of Defence, in what became known as the 'Night of the Long Knives'.
Macmillan was deeply affected by his experiences of
World War I, in which he was wounded four times, and was a combatant in the trenches at the Battle of the Somme. It was said that these personal experiences of war led to a view that the use of tactical nuclear weapons would be likely to lead to escalation, and all-out global nuclear war. As if to confirm Macmillan's views, soon after these events the Cuban Missile Crisisoccurred. [Public Record Office, London. AIR 2/17322 to AIR 2/17330]
TSR-2 was beset with numerous problems stemming from poor
project managementand cost overruns, and at this point in July 1962 it also became a very expensive aircraft project without a suitable weapon. Macmillan’s directive limiting nuclear yield of tactical nuclear weapons to 10 kt mortally damaged the whole raison d'êtreof TSR-2.
The RAF was dismayed. They had been assigned targets for which a 10 kt yield was insufficient, and the Service began to seek ways to minimise the damage to TSR-2 while pressing for the 10 kt ruling to be overturned. A new version of the OR.1177 specification was produced accepting the lower yield, while making provision in the design for it to be capable of adaptation later for a higher yield, i.e., future proofing. Meanwhile, the RAF explored ways of compensating for the lower yields available by including in the specifications for both the bomb and TSR2, provision for releasing the smaller weapons in salvoes, dropping sticks of four WE.177As at 1,000
yardintervals. This led to the requirement that the TSR-2 must be able to carry four WE.177As, two internally and two on external underwing stores pylons - the width of the TSR-2 bomb baydetermining the width of WE.177, the bomb’s width and fin span being constrained by the need to fit two WE.177 bombs side-by-side in the aircraft's bomb bay. This change caused considerable anguish, TSR-2's design already being well on the way to completion, necessitating additional work on dishing the inside of the bomb doors to provide clearance for the bomb's tail fins [http://groups.msn.com/TSR-2ResearchGroup/bactsr2weaponsampsystems.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=831] . [Public Record Office, London. AIR 2/17322 to AIR 2/17330]
At this point the RAF's attempts at mitigating the damage done by Macmillan's edict was becoming futile. The original TSR2 mission armed with two high-yield tactical weapons and pylon-mounted fuel tanks permitted two targets to be attacked on one sortie. After Macmillan’s intervention, the four low-yield weapons carried were 20% heavier, and the fuel load less. Whatever the RAF did it was becoming obvious that TSR-2 was a very expensive aircraft project without a suitable weapon, and
HM Treasurysoon realised this.
Soon afterwards there was a General Election and a new incoming Labour Government took power, cancelling the TSR-2 in favour of ‘cheaper’
General Dynamics F-111s. However cancellation had already been considered during Macmillan's tenure, and Labour were merely implementing policy that was inevitable following Macmillan’s decision to limit tactical nuclear weapon yield.
The RAF accepted the F-111 offered, but there was still no high-yield tactical nuclear weapon with which to arm it. It could not fulfil the role assigned to it in a European war, and costs of the F-111 also escalated, and so this purchase was also cancelled. The RAF later got McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom IIs with US dual-key nuclear weapons, but continued their attempts to get Macmillan's 10 kt limit lifted. The Labour Government had been elected on a 'No new nuclear weapons' policy but they were willing to allow the 'stop-gap' WE.177B to continue in development until the Royal Navy's Polaris system was deployed, the cancellation of which would have been too costly due to the extent of development and investment that had already been committed. The contracts for Polaris had been signed by the previous government and could not easily be reversed. Ironically, had TSR2 not been cancelled, those WE.177B weapons were scheduled to be ‘handed-down to TSR2’ when the V-bombers were retired, and those weapons were of almost double the yield of the original OR.1177 specification. [Public Record Office, London. AIR 2/17322 to AIR 2/17330]
The RAF had to wait for its own high yield nuclear weapon. AWRE workload eased after completion of the Polaris warheads and work was able to resume on WE.177A, a 10 kt weapon to the revised OR.1177, deliveries to the RAF beginning in late 1971 for deployment on Buccaneers of RAF Germany, a year after WE.177A deliveries to the Royal Navy. The RAF was still pressing for high-yield tactical weapons, particularly for Buccaneer aircraft stationed in RAF Germany, and approval was eventually gained in 1970, and by 1975 the RAF had WE.177C, at almost 200 kt, a weapon very similar to that which they had planned for the TSR-2 in 1959. [Public Record Office, London. AIR 2/17322 to AIR 2/17330]
*"XR220" (X-02) is on display at the
RAF Museum Cosford, England.
*"XR222" (X-04) is on display at the
Imperial War Museum Duxford, England.
plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=jet
ref= [ [http://www.thunder-and-lightnings.co.uk/tsr2/survivors.html Thunder and Lightnings, Survivors] ]
length main= 89 ft ½ in
length alt= 27.12 m
span main= 37 ft 1¾ in
span alt=11.27 m
height main=23 ft 9 in
height alt=7.24 m
area main= 702.9 ft²
area alt= 65.3 m²
empty weight main=54,750 lb
empty weight alt= 24,834 kg
loaded weight main= 79,573 lb
loaded weight alt= 36,169 kg
useful load main=
useful load alt=
max takeoff weight main= 102,200 lb
max takeoff weight alt= 46,357 kg
Bristol-Siddeley OlympusBOl.22R (Mk. 320)
type of jet= turbojet
number of jets= 2
thrust main= 19,610 lb
thrust alt= 87.23 kN
afterburning thrust main=30,610 lbf
afterburning thrust alt= 136.7 kN
type of prop=
number of props=
max speed main= Mach 2.15
max speed alt=
cruise speed main=
cruise speed alt=
stall speed main=
stall speed alt=
never exceed speed main=
never exceed speed alt=
range main= 1,150
range alt=1,850 km
ceiling main= 54,000 ft
ceiling alt= 16,459 m
climb rate main= 50,000 ft/minFact|date=April 2008
climb rate alt= 16,000 m/min
*Internal weapons bay, 20 ft (6 m) with 1 Red Beard (nuclear) or 6 x 1,000 lb (450 kg) HE bombs. Final designed normal load in nuclear role of 4 x WE.177A nuclear weapons, two side-by-side in weapons bay, two on external underwing stores pylons.
*or 4 x 37 rocket packs or nuclear weaponry on inner pylons only.
Maximum of 20,000 lbs (9,000 kg) of bombs.
*Autonetics Verdan autopilot modified by Elliot Automation
Ferranti(terrain following radar and navigation/attack systems)
EMI(sideways looking radar)
Dassault Mirage IV
General Dynamics F-111
List of bomber aircraft
* Buttler, Tony. "British Secret Projects: Jet Bombers Since 1949". London: Midland Publishing, 2003. ISBN 1-85780-130-X
* Forbat, John. "TSR2: Precision Attack to Tornado". Stroud: Tempus Publishing Ltd., 2006. ISBN 978-0-7524-3919-8
* Thornborough, Anthony. "TSR2". (Aeroguide Special) Suffolk, UK: Ad Hoc Publications, 2005. ISBN 0-946958-46-7
* Winchester, Jim. "TSR.2." "Concept Aircraft: Prototypes, X-Planes and Experimental Aircraft". Kent, UK: Grange Books plc., 2005. ISBN 1-84013-309-2
* [http://www.thunder-and-lightnings.co.uk/tsr2/ Thunder and Lightnings (TSR-2)]
* [http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/british-aircraft-corporation-tsr-2.htm RAF Museum Cosford (TSR-2)]
* [http://www.iwm.org.uk/duxford/brit15.htm Imperial War Museum, Duxford (TSR-2)]
* [http://www.plastikowe.pl/galerie/lotnictwo/british-aircraft-corporation-tsr2 Photo gallery of surviving TSR.2]
* [http://aviation.elettra.co.uk/tsr2/ Illustrated history of the TSR-2 with virtual tour of XR220]
* [http://www.unrealaircraft.com/classics/tsr2.php Unreal Aircraft (TSR-2)]
* [http://www.aemann.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/aircraft/virtraf/tsr2.html Virtual RAF (TSR-2)]
* [http://naa12.naa.gov.au/scripts/imagine.asp?B=1345810&I=1&SE=1 Correspondence between the Australian and British Governments concerning the selection of the F-111 over the TSR-2] [http://naa.gov.au National Archives of Australia]
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