Hawker Hunter Mark 71

The Hawker Hunter Mark 71 was the designation given to a number of aircraft sold to Chile before the coup that brought General Pinochet to power in 1973. Chile purchased twenty eight F.G.A.Mark 71s and six F.R.Mark 71As. The F.G.A.Mark 71s were ordered in three batches. The first, of fifteen aircraft, was delivered between September 1966 and June 1968, the second, for nine aircraft, between December 1970 and September 1971 and the third, for four aircraft, between September 1973 and January 1974. Seven T.Mark 72 two-seat trainers were also purchased.

During the coup that overthrew President Allende some of the Hawker Hunters were used to make rocket attacks on the Presidential Palace. By 1974 it was clear that the Pinochet government was committing atrocities and murdering its opponents. Britain imposed an embargo on military spares, and the number of serviceable Hunters began to decline.

The relationship thawed dramatically after the Falklands War, in which Chile provided covert but valuable support to the British. In return a squadron of twelve ex-RAF Hunter F.G.A.Mark 9s were given to Chile, where they were stripped for spare parts.

In 1983 the Chilean Hunters were upgraded (the Aquila programme). This saw them get updated cockpits, a radar warning receiver and a chaff/ flare dispenser. The updated Hunters remained in service until 1995.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (30 April 2010), Hawker Hunter Mark 71 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_hawker_hunter_71.html

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