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Breguet Br.1050 Alizé (Tradewind)

The Breguet Br.1050 Alizé is a three-seat carrier-borne anti-submarine hunter-killer. The French Navy started its naval attack plane program in 1947, and the following year Breguet received an order for two prototypes. On August 3rd 1951, the Br-960 Vultur took-off from Toulouse-Blagnac. Despitey successful tests, the Vultur never went beyond the prototype phase, in part because of the lack of aircraft carrier to operate it. But the Vultur had a very satisfactory airframe, which was adapted for ASW and over-the-horizon airborne warning missions in the Epaulard (the initial name for the Alizé).

The Dassault-Breguet Alize is a cantilever low-wing monoplane powered by a Rolls-Royce Dart R.Da.22 turboprop engine providing a top speed of 460 kmh and an endurance of seven hours forty minutes flying time. The Alize was powered with a Rolls-Royce Dart turboprop with 1,565 kW (2,100 SHP), driving a four-bladed propeller. The Dassault-Breguet Alize carries up to 1500 kg of disposable stores in a lower fuselage weapons bay and on eight hard points, one under each inner wing panel and three under each outer wing panel, with a CSF radar system with a retractable antenna dome in the belly. The internal weapons bay could accommodate a homing torpedo or depth charges, and underwing stores pylons could carry bombs, depth charges, rockets, or missiles. Typical underwing stores included 68 mm unguided rocket pods or AS-12 wire-guided antiship missiles. The fuselage was fairly large and accommodated a lot of gear and a crew of three, including pilot, radar operator, and sensor operator. The pilot was seated in front on the right, the radar operator in front on the left, and the sensor operator sat sideways behind them.

The Alize provided over 40 years of service with the French navy (Aeronavale) and over 20 years with the Indian Navy. Designed and developed in the postwar period the Alize was a compatriot of the British Fairey "Gannet". Both aircraft introduced a number of ingenious features, and served both in the ASW and airborne early warning (AEW) roles.

The first prototype flew on 6 October 1956 and was followed by five pre-production aircraft. Orders for 75 production Alizes were placed by the French Navy and the first was officially delivered on 20 May 1959. Sixty-five were in service by May 1961. A further contract for Alizes was received subsequently from the Indian Navy and 12 were delivered, plus two ex-French aircraft. Two French Navy squadrons operated Alizes on board the carriers Foch and Clemenceau.



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