Updating counter strike source
The British Aircraft Corporation TSR-2 was a cancelled Cold War strike and reconnaissance aircraft developed by the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) for the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
The TSR-2 was designed to penetrate a well-defended forward battle area at low altitudes and very high speeds, and then attack high-value targets in the rear with nuclear or conventional weapons.
Just as importantly, the design's long, straight wing gave it the lift needed to operate at very high altitudes, placing it above the range where even jet powered fighters were able to operate.
The Canberra could simply fly over its enemy with relative impunity, a quality that made it naturally suited to aerial reconnaissance missions, spawning a number of spin-off versions of the aircraft with even larger wings for even greater altitude performance and improved range.
The replacements included the Blackburn Buccaneer and Mc Donnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, both of which had previously been considered and rejected early in the TSR-2 procurement process.
Eventually, the smaller swing-wing Panavia Tornado was developed and adopted by a European consortium to fulfil broadly similar requirements to the TSR-2.
The Mosquito had been designed with the express intent of lightening the aircraft in order to improve its speed as much as possible, a process that led to the removal of all defensive armament, improving performance to the point where it was unnecessary anyway.
This high-speed approach was extremely successful, and a jet-powered version would be even more difficult to intercept.
Many proposals were entered; English Electric teamed up with Short Brothers and submitted its P.17A along with the Shorts' P.17D, a vertical-lift platform that would give the P.17 a VTOL capability; designs were also received from Avro, Blackburn (the NA.39), de Havilland, Fairey, Hawker and Vickers-Armstrongs.The bombload was to be four 1,000 lb (450 kg) bombs.This requirement was exceptionally ambitious for the technology of the day, requiring a supersonic all-weather aircraft that could deliver nuclear weapons over a long range, operate at high level at Mach 2 or low level at Mach 1.2, with STOL or possible VTOL performance.This high-speed, high-altitude approach was effective until the late 1950s, when the Soviet Union began to introduce its first surface-to-air missiles (SAMs).SAMs had speed and altitude performance much greater than any contemporary aircraft.
These early studies eventually settled on an aircraft with a 2,000 nmi (3,700 km) ferry range, Mach 1.5 speed "at altitude" and 600 nmi (1,100 km) low-level range.