The Gloster Meteor NF Mk.12 was the second development of the Meteor night fighter, this time based around the American APS-21 radar (AI Mk.21 in RAF service). This new radar had twice the range of the AI Mk.10, and was able to detect larger bombers at 20 miles and fighters at 15 miles.
The new radar required another 17 inch extension to be made to the Meteor. The engines were upgraded to the Derwent 9, adding another 200lb of thrust. The first prototype, WD670, underwent tests at Boscombe Down in June-July 1952, which revealed a dangerous tendency for fin stalling at altitude. This was fixed by adding fillets above and below the tail “acorn” bullet, increasing the surface area of the fin. The first production aircraft took to the air on 21 April 1953. The first RAF unit to receive the type was No.238 Operational Conversion Unit, followed by No.85 Squadron in early 1954. A total of seven RAF squadrons used the NF Mk.12, but it was phased out by the end of 1959.
Engine: Two Rolls-Royce Derwent 9 engines
Thrust: 3,800lb/ 16.9kN each
Gross Weight: 17,223lb
Armament: Four 20mm cannon in wings