Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Small Arms Warships & Submarines Military Ranks Military Pay Scale (2024) Special Forces

Nord 5000 Harpon

Lightweight Interceptor Prototype Aircraft

France | 1953

"The Nord 5000 Harpon was a light-class, jet-and-rocket-powered interceptor proposed for the French Air Force in the early-1950s."

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Nord 5000 Harpon Lightweight Interceptor Prototype Aircraft.
2 x Gabizo afterburning turbojet engines developing 3,375lb of thrust each with 1 x SEPR-66 auxiliary rocket booster engine providing 1,690lb of additional thrust.
1,535 mph
2,470 kph | 1,334 kts
Max Speed
82,021 ft
25,000 m | 16 miles
Service Ceiling
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Nord 5000 Harpon Lightweight Interceptor Prototype Aircraft.
42.2 ft
12.87 m
O/A Length
23.3 ft
(7.09 m)
O/A Width
12,346 lb
(5,600 kg)
Empty Weight
13,669 lb
(6,200 kg)
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Nord 5000 Harpon Lightweight Interceptor Prototype Aircraft .
1 x Nord 5103 (AA-20) series air-to-air missile.
Notable series variants as part of the Nord 5000 Harpon family line.
5000 "Harpon" - Base Project Designation.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 02/20/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

With the end of World War 2 (1939-1945), French aero-industry began the painful process of rebuilding to which many initiatives ultimately emerged. By the time of the 1950s, the Soviet Union was the primary enemy of the West and its force of nuclear-capable bombers was of high concern. This led to projects undertaken in Europe and elsewhere centered on the prospect of high-speed, high-flying interceptors intended to meet these threats head-on and at-range by direction of radar and attacking with missiles. Nord Aviation eventually attempted to deliver such an aircraft to the French Air Force - the Armee de l'Air - through its Nord 5000 "Harpon" proposal.

The Harpon was the evolution of several earlier attempts by the company to produce a lightweight interceptor. As early as 1953, the company undertook design studies on a canard-centric form featuring a rocket-only propulsion scheme - the "Nord Intercepteur Leger" or "NIL". While this design was eventually rejected by French authorities, the company followed up with a Rolls-Royce "Nene" turbojet-powered version but this, too, was passed on by the service for various design and operating reasons. Through additional testing of rocket-powered subscale models from the period of mid-1954 to early-1955, the company persevered to deliver a more acceptable interceptor form, resulting in the "NIL-6", also known as the "Nord 5000".

The new aircraft held a sleek design featuring a tubular fuselage form void of any major obstructions for excellent aerodynamic efficiency at high-speeds. The nose was extremely pointed for this same reason and all wing surfaces were finished with extensive sweepback of the leading edges (60-degree sweepback). The aircraft was given a "canard" configuration, smaller triangular wings mounted ahead of the cranked-delta mainplanes, and the mainplanes were set well-aft (at the tail section) in the overall arrangement for balance. The tail was dominated by a single, large-area triangular vertical fin. The cockpit was seated aft of the nose cone but ahead of midships with only light framing used at the canopy. However, views to the rear were obstructed by a section of raised dorsal spine.

The mainplanes were of particular note for their tips were designed to rotate to aid in maneuvering of this vehicle at high-speed. Similarly, the canards were also being designed as all-moving surfaces to help with agility.

Propulsion would stem from a "combination" arrangement involving 2 x Turbomeca "Gabizo" afterburning turbojet engines of 3,375lb thrust each at the tail and 1 x SEPR-66 auxiliary rocket booster fired through two combustion exhaust chutes under the tail. Engineers estimated the aircraft could have a straight-line speed approaching Mach 2.0 and reach altitudes beyond 80,000 feet.

As an interceptor, and going along with the aircraft's estimated inherent speed and altitude capabilities, the product would carry a single Nord 5103 series air-to-air missile under the fuselage to meet the Soviet bomber threat in short order.

However, despite its promising aspects, the Harpon was simply too great a financial and developmental risk for the French Air Force to fund development of. As such, the rocket-assisted interceptor proposal fell by the wayside and ultimately into military aviation history concerning the Cold War as more modest solutions were ultimately sought and had.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Nord 5000 Harpon. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 0 Units

Contractor(s): Nord Aviation - France
National flag of France

[ France (cancelled) ]
1 / 1
Image of the Nord 5000 Harpon
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.

Going Further...
The Nord 5000 Harpon Lightweight Interceptor Prototype Aircraft appears in the following collections:
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Scale Military Ranks of the World U.S. Department of Defense Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols Breakdown U.S. 5-Star Generals List WWII Weapons by Country World War Next

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing military medals and ribbons. Special Interest: RailRoad Junction, the locomotive encyclopedia.

©2024 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2024 (21yrs)