Hawker Hunter F.R. Mark 10

The Hawker Hunter F.R.Mark 10 was a photo-reconnaissance version of the Hunter developed in 1956-58 and that replaced the PR versions of the Gloster Meteor and Supermarine Swift.

Hawkers carried out the first experiments with reconnaissance cameras using a F.Mark 4. After the success of these trials the Ministry of Supply issued them with a requirement (FR.164D) for a photo-reconnaissance version of the F.Mark 6. The prototype (XF429) made its maiden flight on 7 November 1958 with Hugh Merewether at the controls. It carried three oblique cameras in the nose - one forward and two side mounted - and had the range finding radar and gun camera removed (although the four 30mm cannon were retained).

Hawkers received a contract to convert 33 aircraft to the F.R.Mark 10 standard for the RAF, completing the work in 1960-61. A significant number of reconnaissance Hunters were also sold on the export market.  

The only two squadrons to be fully equipped with the Hunter F.R.10 were Nos.2 and 4 Squadrons, which received their aircraft in 1960, replacing the Supermarine Swift FR.5. The two squadrons formed the Tactical Reconnaissance Wing of the 2nd Tactical Air Force in Germany, and operated the F.R.10 throughout the 1960s. No.4 Squadron was first to move away, returning to the UK in 1970 to convert to the Harrier, while No.2 Squadron converted to the Phantom FGR.2, which could carry sophisticated reconnaissance packs, in February 1971.

The F.R.10 also served with No.8 Squadron at Aden, and with No.1417 Flight, taking part in the fighting in Aden in the early 1960s.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (1 May 2010), Hawker Hunter F.R. Mark 10 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_hawker_hunter_10.html

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