Up until the mid-1960s the former nation of Yugoslavia fielded the American-made T-33 "Shooting Star" in the advanced jet trainer role. Its successor became n indigenous product known as the G-2 "Galeb" ("Seagull") designed, developed and produced by SOKO. Manufacture of the product spanned from 1965 to 1983 to which 248 examples were completed. The only other major operator of the series became Libya which procured 116 for its Air Force.
Design work on the aircraft was headed by VTI (Aeronautical Technical Institute) and tangible work began in 1957. Two prototypes were completed for testing and one of these recorded a first-flight on July 3rd, 1961. Upon achieving type certification, the path was cleared for serial production which began in 1963. This marked the first designed, developed and produced aircraft of Yugoslavian origin.
Yugoslavian experience with the T-33 certainly showed through in the design lines of the G-2. A slim fuselage was selected which sat the crew of two in tandem under separate framed canopies (side-hinged). The cockpit was fitted ahead of midships and aft of a short, rounded nosecone. The wing mainplanes were straight with clipped tips and each wing capped by a wingtip pod. The mainplanes were positioned at midships. The tail unit consisted of a single vertical tail fin and a pair of low-mounted horizontal planes. The undercarriage was of a retractable tricycle design with very short legs, giving the aircraft a very low stance when ground-running.
Structurally, the G-2 showcased a running length of 10.35 meters with a wingspan of 11.62 meters and a height of 3.28 meters. Its empty weight was 5,775lb against a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 9,480lb.
Internally, power was provided by a DMB Viper ASV.11 mk 22-6 turbojet engine outputting 2,500 lb of thrust (this powerplant was a license-built copy of the Rolls-Royce / Bristol Siddeley Viper). Performance specs included a maximum speed of 505 miles per hour, a cruising speed of 455 miles per hour, a range out to 770 miles and a service ceiling up to 40,000 feet. Rate-of-climb was listed at 4,500 feet-per-minute.
Armament was centered around a standard installation of 2 x 12.7mm heavy machine guns in the nose assembly and there were four external hardpoints that supported up to 660lb of total ordnance. Supported weapons included rockets and conventional drop stores for light attack duty or weapons training.
Beyond its similarities to the American T-33, the G-2 also seems to have been influenced by the Italian Aermacchi MB-326 and British BAC "Jet Provost".
In service, the series was led by the initial G-2A production model, the standard two-seat advanced jet trainer that could double as a light attack platform. The export version of this mark became the G-2A-E and this model was shipped off to both Libya and Zambia in different numbers. The G-2S existed as an unarmed trainer.
With the dissolution of Yugoslavia in 1992, the remaining stock of G-2 aircraft fell to the newly-created nations of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.
The G-3 "Galeb-3" was a proposed variant of the G-2A-E powered by a Rolls-Royce / Bristol Siddeley Viper Mk 532 turbojet engine. In addition to the powerplant fit, the aircraft carried wing tip-mounted camera units and an all-modern cockpit. Power was increased to the point that the weapons load-out was now doubled from the original capability and JATO (Jet-Assisted Take-Off) support provided improved short-field operations. However, this model did not proceed beyond the prototype stage - a first-flight being recorded on August 19th, 1970.
The J-1 "Jastreb" ("Hawk") became a single-seat ground attack development of the G-2, given a heftier powerplant, additional hardpoints and reinforced understructure. The RJ-1 became a dedicated reconnaissance variant of the J-1 line.
The G-2 (and the J-1) saw combat service in the Yugoslavian Civil War of the 1990s and, while the G-2 lives on today (2016) in limited service with modern-day Serbia, Libya operated its G-2s as recently as the 2011 Libyan Civil War as government forces attempted to quell unrest in the unstable east. Their usefulness decreased considerably once a NATO-directed No-Fly Zone was instituted. At least five were reported captured by Free Libyan forces during February of 2011.
The G-2 line was superseded by the SOKO G-4 "Super Galeb" which first flew in July of 1978 and was introduced in 1983. Eighty-five of the type were produced from 1984 until 1991. its primary use remains the Serbian Air Force.
Bosnia and Herzegovina; Croatia; Indonesia; Libya; Serbia; Yugoslavia; Zaire; Zambia
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Close-Air Support (CAS)
Developed to operate in close proximity to active ground elements by way of a broad array of air-to-ground ordnance and munitions options.
Developed ability to be used as a dedicated trainer for student pilots (typically under the supervision of an instructor).
34.0 ft (10.35 m)
38.2 ft (11.63 m)
10.8 ft (3.28 m)
5,776 lb (2,620 kg)
9,480 lb (4,300 kg)
+3,704 lb (+1,680 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base SOKO G-2 Galeb (Seagull) production variant)
1 x DMB (Rolls-Royce / Bristol Siddeley) Viper ASV.11 Mk 22-6 turbojet engine developing 2,500lb of thrust.
2 x 12.7mm machine guns fitted to the nose assembly.
Up to 660lb of externally-held ordnance across four total hardpoints.
(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 4
G-2 - Base Series Designation
G-2A - Initial production form; light attack and advanced trainer model.
G-2A-E - Export model of G-2A; delivery to Libya and Zambia.
G-2S - Unarmed advanced trainer platform
G-3 "Galeb-3" - Prototype export model of 1970; Viper Mk 532 turbojet engine installed; modernized cockpit and avionics fit; increased MTOW and weapons support; improved short-field operations; not furthered.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.
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