IAR 95 Spey

The IAR 95 Spey or IAR 95ME was a Romanian 4th-generation, two seater, supersonic multi-role fighter / ground attack aircraft of cropped delta-canard planform. It was designed by INCAS Romania (under leadership of Dumitru Badea) but cancelled before production began in 1988. Romania expected to build 160 to 180 of IAR 95 ME to replace its old Soviet legendary MiG-21s and MiG-23.

Romanian Supersonic project was started in late ’70s under the leadership of enginer Dumitru Badea. The first IAR 95 design required an engine thrust of 54 kN dry and 91 kN with afterburner and aircraft length was 14.75 m. Soon the lack of availability of a suitable powerplant led to the cancellation of the initial IAR-95 project in 1981. Program was restarted in early ’80s, and this time under leadership of Constantin Rosca. Project was redesigned and renamed to IAR 95ME. This design required an engine thrust of 122 kN (27,500 lbf) with afterburner and aircraft length was 16.00 m, 10% longer then first design. In 1988, due to financial reasons the whole programme was definitively cancelled.

The Spey was originally intended to serve as an air superiority aircraft with a secondary ground-attack role. It was an all-Romanian design, not based on any foreign aircraft. The Spey most closely resembled the American F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter or Pakistan JF-17 Thunder, although it was longer than F-16 (16 m vs. 15 m) and had lateral air intakes (similar to MiG-23). It had a single fin, and a single Tumansky R-29-300 engine with power of 122kN (27,500 lbf). The advantages of using only one engine are that both maintenance time and cost are significantly lower than twin-engined fighters. Maximum speed was just under Mach 2 and range was 3,765 km (2,339 mi). It had a thicker fuselage and four hardpoints under the wings. Most of the weapons it would have carried would probably have been either Soviet weapons, or built with Soviet assistance. The aircraft cockpit was covered by a transparent acrylic canopy designed to give the pilot a good all-round field of view.

After cancellation Romania considered a joint program with Yugoslavia, but the latter declined because Yugoslavia was designing its own 4th-generation supersonic fighter jet – the Yu Supersonic or NA Novi Avion (NA New Aeroplane).

The model of  IAR 95ME layout is still kept today in the entry hall of INCAS Romania.

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