Blackburn Buccaneer S.2: Banana Jet

The Buccaneer was a British naval jet strike aircraft, developed by the Blackburn company in the late 1950’s as a replacement for the Supermarine Scimitar. Soon,  pilots in War Thunder will have the chance to take control of a variant of the well-known Buccaneer as it arrives in player hangars with the release of the next major update!

Briefly: A Cold War British twin-engine naval strike aircraft, possessing good flight characteristics and a sizable payload.

Buccaneer S.2, jet fighter, Great Britain, rank V.

Pros

  • Powerful engines
  • Large payload
  • Air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles
  • Extremely low take-off and landing speeds, as well as a low stall speed

Cons

  • No afterburner
  • Lack of installed guns
History

In the early days of the Cold War, the Soviet construction program of the new Sverdlov-class cruisers caused the British military a great deal of concern. Believing the Sverdlovs would pose a similar threat as the German ‘pocket battleships’ in the previous war, the Admiralty decided to counter this issue not by building new ships of their own, but developing a new strike aircraft instead.

After issuing a set of requirements for a new jet-powered attack aircraft with nuclear strike capabilities, the Admiralty chose Blackburn’s design as the winner of the competition in 1955. A few years later, in 1958, the first prototype of the Blackburn Buccaneer undertook its maiden flight.

The first production version of the Buccaneer, the S.1, entered service with the FAA in the early 1960’s. However, the Buccaneer’s early service career was plagued with issues relating to its underpowered and unreliable turbojet engines. Therefore, Blackburn almost immediately began working on an improved variant by the time the problems became apparent. Outfitting the aircraft with much more powerful and economical turbofan engines, Blackburn introduced the Buccaneer S.2 in the mid ‘60’s, with the first aircraft joining the ranks of the FAA in March 1965.

However, after the British fleet carriers began being decommissioned in the late 1970’s as part of a foreign policy agenda change, the Buccaneer S.2’s were also being phased out of active service along with them. The roughly 80 produced Buccaneer S.2’s largely participated in exercises and training missions under FAA service, but saw more extensive use with the RAF, after being retired by the Navy.

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In War Thunder, the Buccaneer S.2 is set to arrive in player hangars as part of the next major update and expands the roster of famous British military jet aircraft in our game by another entry. Apart from being a worthy addition to any British pilot’s collection, the Buccaneer has a lot more to offer than pleasing aesthetics as we intend to show you in today’s devblog; so strap yourselves in!

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One of the most characteristic features of the Buccaneer are its two large air intakes leading into the equally sizable engine nacelles at the wing roots. The latter house a pair of powerful Rolls-Royce Spey Mk.101 turbofan engines, capable of generating an impressive 11,255 lbf (49 kN) of thrust. As a result, the Buccaneer S.2 can reach a top speed of 580 knots (1,074 km/h) at sea level. While this rightfully may seem like a rather modest top speed when compared to some of the jets added to the game in recent updates, it’s worth noting that the purpose of the Buccaneer’s engines are not to achieve record-breaking speeds, but to allow the aircraft to carry an impressive payload!

Fun Fact: During the early days of the Buccaneer’s development, the project was dubbed BNA and BANA for secrecy, later leading to the aircraft being jokingly nicknamed ‘Banana Jet’.

Speaking of the Buccaneer S.2’s payload, the aircraft possesses provisions to take up to 12,000 lbs worth of ordnance into battle via its internal bomb bay and underwing hardpoints. Pilots can subsequently choose how to allot the available payload by equipping the aircraft with a wide selection of unguided bombs, rockets as well as missiles in order to successfully perform any strike task at hand. For air combat, the Buccaneer S.2 also carries a pair of early Sidewinder missiles as well as RWR and mounted flare pods to counter incoming IR-guided weapons. However, the Buccaneer S.2 doesn’t possess any conventional gun armament, making the aircraft entirely reliant on its suspended weaponry.

The long-awaited Blackburn Buccaneer S.2 is finally arriving to War Thunder as part of the next major update and will further expand the British high-tier strike aircraft roster. In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned to the news as we continue revealing what the last update of the year will bring to War Thunder. Until then, clear skies pilots!


The War Thunder Team

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