IAR-99 Soim - Advanced trainer

IAR-99 Soim
IAR-99 Soim

Militarymedia.net - The IAR-99 Soim (Hawk) advanced trainer was developed in Romania to replace the Aero L-29 Delfin and L-39 Albatros jet trainers. Development of the aircraft began in 1975 and entered series production in 1987. Until 1989 17 Soims were delivered to the Romanian Air Force.

The IAR-99 is basically used for training purposes. However it also has a secondary light attack capability. It is also capable of carrying out reconnaissance missions.

The Soim was equipped with a licensed Rolls-Royce Viper Mk.623-41M engine, even though Romania was a Warsaw Pact country.

The IAR-99 has four underwing hardpoints, capable of withstanding 250 kg each and one center hardpoint, which is capable of withstanding 400 kg. The aircraft is armed with a GSh-23 23 mm dual-barrel gun, which is positioned on the center hardpoint. The Soim can carry the R-60, AA-8 Aphid, Python 3 or R-550 Magic II air-to-air missiles. The aircraft has precision strike capability, using IR Opher guided bombs or laser guided bombs. Other weapons include the Mk 82, BEM 250, BE 100, BE 50 free fall bombs and rocket pods. The drop tank can be carried to expand the operational range. A laser target designator or reconnaissance and reconnaissance pod will also be carried.

The IAR-99 is equipped with a radar warning receiver, electronic countermeasures pod, and chaff / flare decoy dispenser.

In 1992 an upgraded variant, the IAR-109 Swift was introduced. This aircraft was designed with Israeli assistance. The IAR-109 Swift is equipped with HOTAS (Hands On Throttle and Stick) controls, a wide-angle head-up display, and a laser ring gyro inertial navigation system. This aircraft has integrated Eastern and Western weapon systems. Its export variant is the IAR-109TF, which also has a secondary light attack capability. However, in 1994 this program was stopped.

In 1996 the IAR-99 Soim upgrade program was revived. The first upgraded aircraft made its maiden flight in 1997. In 1998 the Romanian Government ordered an upgrade to the IAR-99. This upgraded aircraft was designated as IAR-99C. The aircraft has an Israeli avionics package that is compatible with 5th generation combat aircraft systems. The Romanian Air Force can operate a total of 12 upgraded IAR-99C Soims.

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