|This page is about the premium British jet fighter Hunter FGA.9. For other versions, see Hunter (Family).
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The Hunter FGA.9 was a special modification of the Hunter F.6, with the biggest difference being a slight upgrade to the controls that allow the aircraft to react better in dives and ground attack profiles. The FGA.9 was used extensively by the RAF, with a few then passed on to the Rhodesian Air Force for ground attack purposes during the British intervention in 1979-1980, shortly before the Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) was formed the following year.
Introduced in Update 1.93 "Shark Attack" as a premium pack, the Hunter FGA.9 is one of the better Hunters in-game, having an upgraded engine and access to the AIM-9E, it is only bested by the Swiss Hunter F.58. The FGA.9 shines in energy fights as long as the player keeps their situational awareness at a maximum, as some missiles at that tier (such as the AIM-9L and R-60M) will prove lethal due to the FGA.9's lack of countermeasures. The FGA.9 also does particularly well at close-air support and ground-striking thanks to its generous loadouts offering large 1,000 lb bombs and various kinds of rockets.
The Hunter FGA.9 was removed from the store after the 9th Anniversary Sale. It was made available briefly to purchase with Golden Eagles during the 2022 and the 2023 "Zimbabwe Independence Day" mini-events.
Although without an afterburner, this aircraft will out-accelerate almost all aircraft at its battle rating. The ▀MiG-15 bis and MiG-17AS will out-accelerate you on the runway. The aircraft has one of the best acceleration rates for a non-afterburning jet in the game, beaten by the Harrier models, Etendard IVM and then the Yak-38/38M. It also has a good top end speed for its battle rating. Be warned the aircraft is a brick (especially at lower speeds) so most aircraft will out-turn you. Turning is advised only against larger aircraft like F-4 Phantoms.
| Max Speed
(km/h at 0 m - sea level)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run
|Max Static G
|Optimal velocities (km/h)
|Wing loading (full fuel)
|Rolls-Royce Avon Mk.207
|Mass with fuel (no weapons load)
| Max Takeoff
|Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (100%)
| 5,229 kgf
Survivability and armour
The FGA.9 is quite survivable with a robust airframe due to it being primarily intended for ground attacking or close air support. It may take a few hits from enemy cannon fire and still survive, and also stay flying with critical components (wing, engine, etc.) damaged long enough to return to base. However, don't expect the FGA.9 to soak up 30 mm DEFA or other ADEN armed aircraft. Head-on attacks are recommended, albeit from further away than other aircraft (about 2.5/2km away and pull off) due to closure rates and the aircraft being a brick so you have to pull off earlier than normal. Do not commit fully to a head-on attack, as your ADEN cannon muzzle velocity is slower than most other guns. Do not head-on aircraft that carry .50 cal MGs like F-86s, as they will ruin you before your shots even get anywhere near their aircraft. The placement of the cannons also makes head-on attacks tricky.
The only armour on the aircraft are a 64 mm bullet proof glass in front of the pilot, with a 12.7 mm steel plate behind the pilot.
Modifications and economy
The Hunter FGA.9 is armed with:
- 4 x 30 mm ADEN cannons, nose-mounted (150 rpg = 600 total)
The Hunter FGA.9 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
|500 lb H.E. M.C. Mk.II bombs
|1,000 lb M.C. Mk.I bombs
|AP Mk II rockets
|SNEB type 23 rockets
|AIM-9E Sidewinder missiles
|* Ordnance on hardpoints 2/11 cannot be equipped in conjunction with ordnance on adjacent hardpoints
|Default weapon presets
Usage in battles
Side rush and burst climb, then enter the main cluster of aircraft in the middle (ideally with a height advantage). Your AIM-9Es (if you choose to bring them into battle) will quickly dispatch any enemies at a low energy state (hopefully distracted by fighting someone else). Use your superior speed in the cluster and launch your ordnance then zoom back up (the Boom & Zoom strategy). When you have expended your missiles, use your 30 mm ADENs as they are VERY destructive and typically only one shell is enough to critically damage or destroy any aircraft they come in contact with.
If caught out in a low speed scenario against aircraft such as the Shenyang F-5, MiG-17 / AS and MiG-19PT / S, your primary advantage will be to utilize your superior roll rate and the high inaccuracy level of their 23 mm NR-23 and 37 mm N-37D autocannons to force them into a rolling scissors manoeuvre, at which point you can only hope that they will overshoot, giving you a chance to get back in the game. If possible, only engage these aircraft when you have a significant energy advantage and above all do not vertically turn against them.
If up-tiered into fighting top-rank fighter jets, planes such as the MiG-21SMT / MF, F-4E/EJ/FGR Phantoms will ruin the Hunter FGA.9 due to good turn rate (in the MiG's case) and very high speeds - they are problematic as the Hunter FGA.9 has a non-afterburning engine, so they will out-accelerate you easily, while the R-60M/AIM-9J/AIM-7/R550 Magic missiles will easily out-pull the Hunter every time if they acquire a strong lock and send you back to the hangar. The only way to get a shot against the higher BR jets is to dive on them while they are distracted or fighting someone else and launch a missile at them.
The Hunter FGA.9 is equipped with an AN/APG-30 rangefinding radar, located in the nose of the aircraft. It will automatically detect other planes within the scanning area and display the range to the closest target. It is linked with a gyro gunsight and can help with aiming at close range.
|AN/APG-30 - Rangefinding radar
Pros and cons
- AIM-9Es are very good with a longer burning motor (longer range and better energy retention, 10G manoeuvrability and up to (around) 4 km range from the rear)
- 30 mm ADEN cannons are devastating to aircraft and ground targets with a good ammo pool and high fire rate
- Very good energy retention
- High speed manoeuvrability is bad due to locking up from about 1,000 km/h onwards
- Low level pilot can pass out instantly from pulling 3G from about 700 km/h, requires upgrades in G-Tolerance and Stamina to perform well
- If you spray with your cannons, 600 rounds will disappear quite quickly, so fire in controlled bursts.
Towards the end of the 1950s, the Royal Air Force was faced with the increasing obsolescence of the de Havilland Venom FB.4 in the ground attack role. At the time, the Venom was still in use as a Close Air Support aircraft both in South East Asia and the Middle East; especially in the Aden Emergency it was intensely used, and as a result, a replacement was urgently required. In 1958 the Royal Air Force started the Venom Replacement Evaluation Trials (VRET), selecting the Royal Air Force bases of RAF Khormaksar (Aden) with its long paved runway, and RAF Riyan (Quaiti State, Eastern Aden Protectorate) with its unhardened airstrip as trials bases.
For the VRET, three types were selected: the Hunting Jet Provost T.3; the Folland Gnat F.1; and last but not least, the Hawker Hunter F.6. Before the trials began, the Folland Gnat was considered the forerunner, while the Hawker Hunter was initially not even considered for the trials, as the type was thought to be uneconomical for use in the Middle East, however, this decision was overturned after intense lobbying by Hawker. Early on during the trials, it became clear that the Hunting Jet Provost was not able to fulfil any of the requirements set by the trials, and while the type would go on to be developed into the successful BAC Strikemaster, it was eliminated from the contest. The trials had become a straight contest between the Hunter and the Gnat.
Early on, the Folland appeared to be a clear favourite: above 40,000 ft it was more manoeuvrable than the Hunter, and its diminutive size made it a difficult target to spot and aim at. Additionally, it required only a minimum of external equipment to operate it from unprepared airstrips. However, the diminutive size of the Gnat also worked in its disadvantage: its relative short landing gear gave the aircraft unpleasant characteristics on unpaved airstrips, and its relatively low-set exhaust damaged the runway surface. However, the main problem for the Gnat was that it was unable to meet range requirements. Fully loaded for combat it had a range of 188 nm, which fell short of the 250 nm requirement set up in the VRET; with external tanks, its maximum ferry range was 673 nm, which was insufficient to ferry it between the Royal Air Force's main Middle East Air Force bases. At the end of the trials, the Hunter came out as the winner on all points except agility above 40,000 ft.
Following the trials, conversion work was started to bring the Hunter F.6 up to full ground attack standard, the FGA.9 (for Fighter, Ground Attack). The wing spars were restressed and strengthened, a brake chute was added in a housing above the exhaust for use on unprepared airstrips, the flight controls were adjusted to give a better response at low altitude, and the oxygen supply was increased; as the FGA.9 was primarily intended for use in the Middle East, the aircraft were also given a tropicalised refrigeration and ventilation system. New drop tanks were designed for the inner wing hardpoints, capable of carrying 230 gallons (instead of the 100-gallon drop tanks in use up to then); as they were larger, a cut-out was made in the flaps so they could be extended while carrying the new tanks. Initially, these tanks were fixed and intended for ferry use only, but gradually they were redesigned so they could be jettisonable and used in combat. The first Hunter FGA.9 made its maiden flight on July 3rd 1959. The initial batch was built to 'interim' FGA.9 with an Avon 203 which provided 10,000 lb thrust; the production variant was equipped with an Avon 207 which provided 10,050 lb thrust.
Around the time the Hunter FGA.9 started entering RAF service in 1960, the Hunter F.6 was considered obsolete as a day fighter with the impending service entry of the English Electric Lightning. As a result, many Hunter F.6 airframes were taken back by Hunter for a rebuild to the FGA.9 standard. In all, 144 Hunter F.6s were rebuild to FGA.9 standard. A dedicated reconnaissance variant was also developed out of the FGA.9: the FR.10 had the same capabilities as the FGA.9, except for the adjusted flight controls, its main difference being a set of reconnaissance cameras in a new nose.
In Royal Air Force service, the Hunter FGA.9 was first deployed in Aden in 1960, where it replaced the obsolete Venom; it was used during the Radfan Emergency to attack insurgent forces. During the Borneo Confrontation of 1963-1966, RAF Hunter FGA.9s were used in counter-insurgency operations. The withdrawal from the Royal Air Force from its former protectorates in the late 1960s saw the need for these ground-attack Hunters disappear; the last frontline RAF Hunter FGA.9 unit was disbanded in 1971, however, the type remained in RAF service as an advanced trainer until the 1980s, with trainer variants remaining in RAF service until the early 1990s.
The Hunter FGA.9 variant also became the basis of numerous close air support variants intended for export. This was partly possible due to the disbanding of numerous RAF day fighter units following the 1957 Defence White Paper, and partly due to the early retirement of the Hawker Hunter F.6 in Belgian (1963) and Dutch (1968) service. This released several hundreds of Hunter F.6 airframes which could be rebuilt to FGA standard. Dedicated 'national' variants were built for India (FGA.56), Kuwait (FGA.57), Switzerland (F.58A), Iraq (FGA.59), Lebanon (FGA.70), Chile (FGA.71), Jordan (FGA.73), Singapore (FGA.75), Abu Dhabi (FGA.76), Qatar (FGA.78) and Kenya (FGA.80). Additionally, numerous ex-Royal Air Force FGA.9 airframes were refurbished by Hunter for export.
In foreign service, the Hawker Hunter had a considerably long life. It was relatively easy to maintain type, which could be deployed quickly if needed. In the absence of aerial threats, it was an excellent ground attack aircraft, making it suited for low-intensity conflict and counter-insurgency operations. Many aircraft were locally modified to carry a wide variety of ordnance: some air forces such as those of Switzerland and Singapore modified theirs to carry the AIM-9 Sidewinder; in their ultimate guise, Swiss Air Force Hunters were even capable of firing the AGM-65 Maverick. Most aircraft were withdrawn from frontline service in the 1990s, with Switzerland being the last Western nation to withdraw the type from frontline service in 1994. The Indian Air Force was the last major user of the type, withdrawing the last of its Hunters in 2000; the last nation to withdraw the Hunter from frontline military service was Lebanon, retiring the Hunter in 2014. Even so, a handful of Hunters remain in limited military service: as of 2019, ATAC in the United States, Apache Aviation in France, Hawker Hunter Aviation in the UK and Lortie Aviation in Canada operate a number of civilianised Hawker Hunters under government military contracts to provide high-speed aerial threat simulation, mission support training and trials support services.
- Related development
- Hawker Sea Hawk
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
- other literature.
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