A-37B Dragonfly - One of the best armed Dragonfly for ground attack

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A-37B Dragonfly

History:

In 1974 Chile acquired 34 A-37B Dragonfly aircraft through the “Foreign Military Sales” of the United States and the delivery of these aircraft occurred between 1975 and 1977, being numbered from J-600 to J-633.

Once they arrived in Chile, they went to the north of the country to face a possible war with Peru since both countries were under military governments and tensions were frequent. Chile at that time did not have an armored force capable of facing the more than 250 T-55 tanks of Peru, so Chile planned to use the A-37B in attack, destruction and harassment functions of the Peruvian armored force along with the Hawker Hunter MK.71 and the recent arrivals F-5E/F Tiger II. Finally, tensions decreased after the departure of the Peruvian dictator.

Aviation group N°1 and N°4 in the north of Chile in the face of a possible war with Peru

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Shortly after, new tensions would now come with the neighboring country of Argentina due to the claims that its military junta had over 3 Chilean islands located in the extreme south of the country, so it was decided to reactivate aviation group No. 12 (Tigres australes ), pilots who had previously operated the T-33 and F-80C, so some A-37Bs were destined for the south of the country.

Already in 1978, Argentina declared void the award of Great Britain that confirmed that the 3 islands belonged to Chile, so the option of a war between both countries was very probable. Already in December of that year, the Argentine naval and land units moved to the border with Chile and the Chilean units were already stationed in the south for the start of the war, miraculously through diplomacy and the intervention of Pope John Paul II the claims Argentinas ended and the war did not happen and the conflict ended in 1984.

The variety of weapons that the A-37B could carry during the near wars between Chile and its neighbors, mainly bombs and rockets

The last years of service in Chile

Already in the 1980s, the A-36 Halcón was integrated into the Fach with characteristics somewhat superior to the A-37B, so the total number of Dragonfly was allocated to group No. 12 in the south of Chile. In 1992, the OA-37B arrived in the country, numbered from 635 to 644. It differed from the other model in that it had a longer refueling nozzle than the A-37B and had new switches and a weapons panel in the pilot’s position. . And in 1997 the OA-37B were replaced by the A-36 Halcón. In 1996, the first in-flight refueling was carried out by the Boeing 707, which was modified for that purpose.

The A-37B No. 619 during the first in-flight refueling

In 1999, the possibility of using the Israeli Shafrir II missile from the A-37B was evaluated, making the first flight with this missile by Group Commander Guillermo Castro Guzmán and Squadron Commander Walter Fornet Langerfeldt.

A-37B Dragonfly carrying the Shafrir II missile

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Finally in 2009 all A-37B/OA-37B were retired from service and replaced by the new Chilean F-16s. Some of the planes were sold to the United States and then sent to Colombia. In 2014, Chile delivered to El Salvador 10 A-37Bs that were stored for almost 9 million dollars. Only 4 of these aircraft remained in Chile, of which 1 can be seen in the National Aeronautical Museum of Chile.

A-37B N°629 in the Chilean Aeronautical Museum

Specifications:

  • Crew:
    • 2
  • Armament:
    • Primary: One GAU-2B/A 7.62mm Minigun mounted in the nose.
    • Secondary: Four pylons under each wing can carry a range of weapons including:
      • Bombs: 100 lb, 250 lb, 500 lb, 750 lb, 375 kg, 1000 lb, 2000 lb bombs, CB-250K cluster bombs (250 lbs), Snakeye bombs
      • Rockets: LAU-10 with 4 Zuni rockets, LAU-32/A with 7 FFAAR mighty mouse rockets, LAU-3/A with 19 FFAAR mighty mouse rockets
      • Missiles: Shafrir 2 air-to-air missiles
  • Dimensions:
    • Length: 8.62 m
    • Wingspan: 10.93 m
    • Height: 2.71 m
    • Wing Area: 17.98 m²
    • Weight Empty: 2,843 kg
    • Maximum Takeoff weight: 6,364 kg
  • Performance:
    • Powerplant: Two General Electric J85-17A axial-flow turbojets 2,850 lbs (1,293 kg)
    • Maximum Speed: 778 km/h
    • Cruise Speed: 491 km/h
    • Range: 434 km with 3,000 lb. load
    • Ceiling: 10972 m

Photos:

Armament



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Sources:

2 Likes

+1 for the Chilean subtree which would be a part of the Israeli TT

2 Likes

+1 This would make a Great TT or Premium Event Vehicle for the US Tree

Super tweet my beloved.

The mk 88 isn’t enough for me I need miniguns

When I first saw Chile suggested as a subtree for Israel, I was skeptical. I’d only been aware of the Shermans and Chaffees with the M-60 HVMS gun. Then I went down the rabbit hole and saw that not only is are Chilean vehicles more varied than I had imagined, the ties to Israel are also deeper than I’d imagined.

1 Like