Conceived of as a carrierborne attacker, the Hawker P.1108 was a proposed warplane of the early-Cold War period (1947-1991) intended to fulfill British Royal Navy (RN) requirement "M.148T" drawn up in March of 1954.The requirement called for an advanced, jet-powered, twin-seat type that could operate from the decks of existing fleet carriers and carry a broad range of air-launched / air-dropped ordnance including nuclear missiles - primarily to counter the threat posed by the new Sverdlov-class heavy cruiser warships being brought into service by the Soviet Navy. In essence, the new aircraft would be a "ship-killer", called to search for, track, and ultimately engage these threats at range.
Against this backdrop, Hawker went to work and quickly drew up its plans. To satisfy the jet engine requirement for the needed performance, the P.1108 was to carry a collection of 4 x Rolls-Royce RB.115 series turbojets, the compact units installed as pairs within semi-embedded housings positioned towards the trailing edges of each wing mainplane. At this time, the turbojets remained in-development.
The crew of two, sitting under a lightly-framed canopy - were to be seated side-by-side in the wide cockpit to better share the workload and improve communication. The cockpit was positioned aft of a radar-housing nose. The fuselage tapered towards the empennage and was capped by a conventional tailplane arrangement involving a single vertical fin with mid-mounted horizontal planes. The mid-mounted wing mainplanes were given sweepback along their leading edges , less so at the trailing lines, and their tips were rounded off. For ground-running, a conventional undercarriage would be used.
Because of its navy-minded design, where space aboard aircraft carriers was at a premium, the P.1108 was completed with a wing-folding feature where the mainplanes were hinged to fold upwards outboard of the engine installations. In addition to this was the nosecone which was also hinged to fold over the port side of the forward fuselage. Rounding out the qualities of this over-water aircraft was an arrestor hook under the tail.
For the armament requirement, a bomb bay was offered under the fuselage in which the planned long-range "Green Cheese" guided nuclear missile - to succeed the "Red Angel" short-ranged unguided types - could be semi-recessed. The missile was a development of the Fairey Aviation concern and was intended as a 3,800lb anti-ship solution - the weapon devised specifically to deal with the growing Sverdlov-class threat. However, due to ballooning costs, the Green Cheese was not completed as work was cancelled in 1956 - the "Green Flash" program succeeding it (also eventually abandoned). Nuclear drop bombs, the aforementioned Red Angel missile, conventional 1,000lb drop bombs, and air-to-surface rockets (at underwing hardpoints) would also be supported.
In lieu of air-dropped and air-launched ordnance in the bomb bay, the aircraft was also drawn up with the capability to fit a "gun pack" at its belly - adding a strafing ability against ground targets. The gun pack consisted of 4 x 30mm ADEN automatic cannons.
As it stood, the proposed P.1108 was not advanced beyond its paper form - the same fate shared by other contenders attempting to interest the Royal Navy in their unique designs.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Ground Attack (Bombing, Strafing)
Ability to conduct aerial bombing of ground targets by way of (but not limited to) guns, bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like.
✓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.
Equipped to search, track, and engage enemy surface elements through visual acquisition, radar support, and onboard weaponry.
✓Maritime / Navy
Land-based or shipborne capability for operating over-water in various maritime-related roles while supported by allied naval surface elements.
✓Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
✓X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.
58.1 ft (17.70 m)
40.0 ft (12.20 m)
13,669 lb (6,200 kg)
27,558 lb (12,500 kg)
+13,889 lb (+6,300 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Hawker P.1108 production variant)
4 x Rolls-Royce RB.115 turbojet engines of unknown thrust output.
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