Atlas Super Cheetah


1st Flight 1986

Length: 15.55 m (51 ft 0 in)

Wingspan: 8.22 m (27 ft 0 in)

Height: 4.5 m (14 ft 9 in)

Wing area: 35 m2 (380 sq ft)

Canard Area: 1.66 m2 (17.9 sq ft)

Airfoil: 3.5%

Empty weight: 6,600 kg (14,551 lb)

Max takeoff weight: 13,700 kg (30,203 lb)

Powerplant: 1 × Snecma Atar 9K50C-11 afterburning turbojet engine, 49.2 kN (11,100 lbf) thrust dry, 70.6 kN (15,900 lbf) with afterburner


Maximum speed: 2,350 km/h (1,460 mph, 1,270 kn) / M2.2 at high altitude

1,390 km/h (860 mph; 750 kn) at sea level

Range: 1,300 km (810 mi, 700 nmi)

Ferry range: 2,600 km (1,600 mi, 1,400 nmi)

Service ceiling: 17,000 m (56,000 ft)

Rate of climb: 233.5 m/s (45,960 ft/min)

Wing loading: 250 kg/m2 (51 lb/sq ft)


Guns: 2× 30 mm (1.18 in) DEFA 552 cannons with 125 rounds per gun

Rockets: 4× Matra rocket pods with 18× SNEB 68 mm rockets each, OR 2× Matra JL-100 drop tank/rocket pack, each with 19× SNEB 68 mm rockets and 250 litres (66 US gal) of fuel

Missiles: 2× Python 3 AAMs, V4 R-Darter (BVR missile), A-Darter, V3S and/or Matra R530 missiles.

Bombs: 8,800 lb (4,000 kg) of payload on five external hard points, including 250 kg Laser-guided bombs (LGB), GPS-guided bombs, 250 kg ‘booster’ bombs, a variety of unguided ‘iron’ bombs, reconnaissance pods or Drop tanks.




Cheetah C – The Cheetah C was the final development in the Cheetah series and was the only fighter aircraft in service with the SAAF until replaced by the Saab JAS 39 Gripen.

Cheetah D – The Cheetah D was the sole two-seater variant, and was predominantly used as a trainer for pilots converting to the Cheetah C.

Cheetah E – The single-seat Cheetah E was developed as an interim fighter for use in the period before the Cheetah Cs became operational.

Cheetah R – The Cheetah R was a feasibility study into an extension of the Cheetah upgrade program to include a specialist reconnaissance model.

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