If it were at all possible to give the attractive SEPECAT Jaguar even better looks than it already possessed, the two seat training variant of the aircraft is regarded by many enthusiasts as being one of the most aesthetically pleasing post war jets to see service with the Royal Air Force. Although the tandem student/instructor configuration of training Jaguars appeared to make this variant significantly longer than the more numerous single seat big cats, the aircraft was actually only 2ft 3.5 inches greater in length, even though their appearance was that of a much more slender and elegant aeroplane. SEPECAT Jaguar T.4 XX838 was built in 1975 to T.2A (trainer) standard and subsequently became one of only eleven airframes to receive further upgrade to the final T.4 training variant of the aircraft, remaining with the RAF until the Jaguar was finally withdrawn from service in late 2006. For this RAF 100 series release, she is presented wearing the colours of RAF No.16 (Reserve) Squadron, which acted as the Operational Conversion Unit for future Jaguar pilots, following its reformation at RAF Lossiemouth in 1991. With its heritage as one of the oldest Royal Air Force Squadrons, the units badge features two crossed keys, one gold and one black, which can be traced back to the formation of the unit at Saint-Omer in 1915 and the Squadron’s proud army cooperation role. Providing vital aerial reconnaissance of enemy positions over the Western Front during the Great war, the two keys represent the Squadron’s effectiveness at unlocking the enemy’s secrets by day or by night, providing military planners with the very latest aerial battlefield information, at a time when the aeroplane was fast becoming an essential tool of war.
Although the Jaguar was originally envisaged as a supersonic jet trainer for the RAF, replacing their ageing Gnat and Hunter training fleets, the attractive cost sharing potential of an Anglo-French collaborative development programme would s