Dassault-Breguet Super Etendard.
As the name suggests the Super Etendard is based on an old aircraft of the 1950s which was remodelled over 2 decades. The original Etendard was a light ground attack aircraft which flew for the first time in 1956, by 1973 when a new aircraft for the French navy was required it faced stiff competition in the form of a marine version of the SEPECAT Jaguar and Douglas A-4 Skyhawk but political considerations made sure that the Dassault aircraft was chosen. By the time the design was finalised it was 90% different from its forebear. Standard weaponry includes 2x30mm Cannon and for anti ship strike the famous Exocet missile which made it so potent during the Falklands war, other typical loads include four LR 150 rocket launchers, or four 400lb conventional bombs, one option in French service was a 150 kiloton stand off nuclear weapon. The first Super Etentards were delivered to the French navy in 1978.During the 1982 Falklands War the Super Etendard became world famous as the most destructive of the Argentine airforces combat aircraft destroying a British warship (HMS Sheffield) and a British merchant ship(Atlantic Conveyor) which was part of the task force. Iraq although lacking any aircraft carriers also used the aircraft successfully in combat during the tanker war in the Persian Gulf when on the 27th March 1984 they attacked and damaged a Greek tanker .By the end of 1984 they had been used in 51 tanker attacks although damage to the tankers was limited as crude oil cushioned the warhead strike and is very difficult to ignite.
Max Speed; 733 mph(1180km/h) Weapon Load: 2100kg. Combat Radius; 520miles (850km)
How to cite this article:
Dugdale-Pointon, TDP. (10 February 2001), Dassault-Breguet Super Etendard, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_super_etendard.html