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Romania - IAR-99

Under the model number IAR- 99, the IAV CRAIOVA firm produced a domestically designed supersonic jet named Soim. Its seats are arranged in a single file. It is used as a training-practicing craft, and also as a tactical fighter. IAR-99 SOIM is an efficient training aircraft for all stages of pilot training having in view the flying of both fighters of the MIG 21 LANCER type and F16 as well as others.

Development of this advanced training and light attack aircraft started in the 70s as the first fully Romanian-made and designed jet. The first prototype performed its maiden flight on 12th December 1985. Three prototypes were built and one of them was used for endurance tests. IAR-99 is a fully metallic aircraft, very simple as far as its construction is concerned, similar to British Hawk. "Hawk".

Due to its high maneuverability it is considered one of the best aircraft of this class. It has a very robust and reliable turbojet engine, Rolls-Royce Viper 632-41, the same with IAR-93 strike aircraft.

IAR-99 is built for the Romanian Air Force with a new avionics similar to MiG-21 Lancer's. It is also provided with a computer, Head-up and Head-down Displays, Inertial Navigation System/GPS, HOTAS, VHF/UHF radio. Data transfer system processes data received via datalink from another aircraft or ground station equipped with a similar system. Information is displayed on a "virtual radar" screen simulated in the cockpit so that the pilot could practise his skills in using the radar without a real device. For its own protection the aircraft is provided with: a warning radar, chaff and flares, and an ECM pod. The ejection seats are Martin Baker Mk-10L "zero-zero" type.

IAR-99 aircraft entered the Romanian Air Force inventory in 1988. Presently there are 15 IAR-99 Standard and 3 IAR-99 Soim in the inventory of the Air Force Application School "Aurel Vlaicu". Romania had planned to purchase 24 aircraft in a stepped acquisition process. First batch of four new aircraft was delivered to Romanian Air Force in 2003. In November 2004, Romanian AF awarded the joint Romanian-Israeli upgrade team a contract for further eight aircraft. In April 2006 the first of the eight additional IAR-99 SOIM was delivered to the Romanian AF.

The IAR-99 SOIM is the single trainer and manufactured by Romanian Aeronautical Industries. The IAR-99 SOIM was designed by the National Institute for Aerospace Research "Elie Carafoli"; it is manufactured by S.C. AVIOANE Craiova and it is in service of the Ministry of National Defense. Other firms which contribubuted to the development of the aircraft included AEROSTAR - Bacau, AEROFINA Bucuresti, TURBOMECANICA Bucuresti, IAR Brasov; and it is up-gradet by the integration of new avionics and weapon management systems with the support of ELBIT SYSTEMS from Israel.

Elbit Systems Ltd. announced November 8, 2004 that in cooperation with the Romanian aircraft manufacturer Avioane Craiova, it was awarded a $43 million contract from the Romanian Defense Ministry to supply eight IAR-99 lead-in trainer aircraft. The project will be executed in cooperation with Romanian industries over a period of three and a half years. As part of the contract, Elbit Systems will supply an advanced avionics package which will contribute to significant savings in pilot training costs. Elbit Systems also supplied ACTS, an Advanced Combat Training System, which will aid pilot training and the transition to upgraded MiG-21 aircraft and other future fighters. This contract follows Elbit Systems' upgrade project of four IAR-99 aircraft which was announced in 2001. The first program had since been completed and the aircraft were currently used by the Romanian Air Force.

The upgrade consists of the installation of advanced navigation and weapon delivery system and associated equipment. Design and production of prototype-demonstrator aircraft took place within three months. First test flight took place on 22 May 1997. The prototype-demonstrator aircraft was exhibited at the Paris Air Show in June 1997 and then the Farnborough Air Show in September 1998. The upgrade is designed for both existing and new-build Romanian Air Force IAR-99 SOIM for use as Lead in Fighter Trainer and Close Air Support (CAS).

New performances obtained by the IAR-99 SOIM up-grading : - weapon higher performance and accurate aiming; carring out of missions in any weather conditions and both night and day; - increase of reliability in the tactical field by IR defense; - crew warning about radar detection and automatic and manual release of reaction (passive and active, radar and thermal); - increase of mission carring and capacity in jamming conditions; - air reconnaissance; non-symmetrical configuration flight.

IAR-99 SOIM meets the interoperability requirements stated by Forces of NATO states members. Aircraft are modified for Eastern and Western designed weapons systems. One ventral two-barrel 23 mm conformal gun pod. Four 250 kg (550 lb) underwing hardpoints and a centreline stores station. Potential weapon loads also include Rafael Python 3 short-range air-to-air missiles. The aircraft also features an Electronic Warfare Self-Protection (EWSP) suite supplied by Elisra Electronic Systems.

Powerplant a jet engine Rolls Royce Viper Mk 632-41M, thrust 17.79 kN.
Length 11,1m;
Height 3,9m;
Wingspan 9,85m.
Empty 3200 kg;
Maximum take-off weight 5600kg.
two-barrel 23-mm caliber gun in a pod GS-23L under the fuselage
1000 kg external stores including: air-to-air missiles (R-3S, R-60M, Python 3), reactive projectiles blocks, classical and smart bombs, auxiliary tanks, laser-illuminating pods or photo equipment carried on 4 external pylons.
Crew 2. Performance
Maximum speed at 10000 m 810km/h (Mach 0,76)
Maximum speed at sea level 870km/h (Mach 0,67)
Ceiling 13000m
Maximum flying range 1100km

IAR 99 IAR 99 IAR 99

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Page last modified: 24-08-2014 18:41:36 ZULU