The BAC Jet Provost is a British jet trainer aircraft that was in use with the Royal Air Force (RAF) from 1955 to 1993.
It was originally developed by Hunting Percival from the earlier piston engine-powered Percival Provost basic trainer, and later produced by the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC).
In addition to the multiple RAF orders, the Jet Provost, sometimes with light armament, was exported to many air forces worldwide.
The design was also further developed into a more heavily armed ground attack variant under the name BAC Strikemaster.
The Jet Provost proved to be a capable trainer, being used in the ab initio Basic Trainer role from the outset.
After successful acceptance trials of the T1 during late 1955 at No. 2 Flying Training School at RAF Hullavington, the RAF formally accepted the type in 1957.
The first production version was the T3, powered by the Viper 102, and this entered service with No. 2 FTS, located at RAF Syerston, during June 1959, when deliveries commenced from the Hunting Aircraft factory at Luton airport.
The twin-seated side by side variant was also used at RAF Brawdy in Wales to train Forward Air Controllers.
The later T4 was fitted with the more powerful Viper A.S.V. 11 of 2,500 lbs static thrust and first flew on 15 July 1960.
It quickly entered service with the units listed above.
The T5 variant was fitted with the Viper 201 and cockpit pressurisation.
These developments encouraged the RAF to utilise the Jet Provost in a number of different roles besides basic training.
With a top speed of 440 mph, excellent manoeuvrability, mechanical reliability and low operating costs, the Jet Provost was utilized as an aerobatic aircraft, air warfare and tactical weapons training as well as advanced training.
The first T5 made its maiden flight on 28 February 1967 and deliveries from BAC’s Warton factory commenced on 3 September 1969.
The Jet Provost was withdrawn from RAF service during the early 1990s, having been replaced by the newer turboprop-powered Short Tucano.