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1/72 HAL Noun (Eagle)

Gallery Article by 63CPE on Jan 9 2017

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The MiG-25 was inducted into IAF service on 17 August 1981 at Bareilly to fulfill the need of a strategic reconnaissance aircraft. On that day No.102 Squadron under the command of Wg Cdr Apram Jeet Singh VrC was formed with five MiG-25Rs and two MiG-25Us. During it's operational life Indian airforce staff was impressed with the performance of the aircraft although the engines had a short service time and were frequently overhauled. For parts and missiles the Indian airforce depended heavily on Russia, although India had it’s own aircraft industry. Indian airforce brass was concerned about this situation and plead for a more independent relation with the Soviets. So why not produce parts and aircraft themselves? Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) earlier proved it was able to design sound aircraft with the Marut interceptor and the Kiran Trainer. HAL also had license built the diminutive Folland Gnat and in 1982 an agreement with Mikoyan Gurevich led to the production of the Swing-wing MiG-27 by HAL.

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In the 1980-ies the consensus under the Indian airforce brass grew the IAF was to become too dependent of Russia and on too big, too expensive to produce and over-complicated modern fighters. In general the IAF Brass wanted to have more small, inexpensive to build and operate interceptors. This led to a request for HAL to design a smaller version of the MiG-25 with the same performance, but less expensive to build and operate.

In the late 1980-ies design and testing was done at the Bangalore plant and by August 1989 the first prototype of the second all Indian designed and build fighter, the HAL Noun, was tested. While the testprogram was successful, the range was rather short as the internal capacity for fuel was very limited. To cope with the lack of range it was a operational standard to fit tanks on the inboard hardpoints. On the other hardpoints the HAL Noun usually carried Soviet made missiles like the K-13 (AA-2 Atoll) and R-60 (AA-8 Aphid). There was no internal gun.

Pictured is the HAL Noun in service with no.16 squadron (Black Cobra’s) based in Gorahkpur AB (Eastern Uttar Pradesh, north India).

Now, it really is an 1/144 Revell MiG-25. Fuselage halves were widened with 1mm sheets glued over both halves (nose was about 3 mm widened, tail was about 1mm widened) and an aftermarket Mirage F1 cockpit fitted into the fuselage. 1/72 Revell Tornado exhaust cans were added as were 1/72 Airfix intakes from the spares box. A Heller Mirage F1 canopy was sanded (slightly lowered) and faired in with styrene sheet. Paint are mixed humbrol and Testors enamels. Decal came from DP Casper set “India-Pakistan war” with black cobra from spares box.

63CPE aka David

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Photos and text © by 63CPE

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