The Britten-Norman Defender is a multi-role utility transport aircraft, manufactured by Britten-Norman of the United Kingdom. It is the military version of the Britten-Norman Islander, developed for roles such as utility transport, casualty evacuation, counter-insurgency and light attack, forward air control, patrol and reconnaissance. The term 'Britten-Norman Defender' relates to all militarised variants of the BN-2 product line including the Piston Defender, BN-2T Defender (sometimes known as the Defender 2000), the BN-2T 4R Defender (also known as AEW Defender and highlighted by its large bulbous nose) and the stretched variant BN-2T 4S, designated Defender 4000 (sometimes known as D4K).
|Britten-Norman Defender R.2 of the British Army Air Corps|
|Role||Transport, patrol, reconnaissance|
|National origin||United Kingdom|
|First flight||May 1970|
|Developed from||Britten-Norman Islander|
First flown in May 1970, the Defender was based on the civilian Islander, and has a larger airframe with four underwing hardpoints for pylons to attach 2,500 pounds (1,100 kg) of fuel tanks, bombs, missiles, 7.62-mm (0.3-inch) machine-gun pods, rocket pods, flares, sensors and other stores.
The BN-2B (piston version) and BN-2T (turbine version) are used in military, coastguard, and police operations in several countries.
The BN-2T-4S Defender 4000 is an enhanced version of the BN-2T Defender intended for the aerial surveillance role. Compared to earlier Defenders, it has a stretched fuselage, the enlarged wing from the Trislander, a new nose structure capable of accommodating an EO/IR sensor and radar, and an increased payload. The prototype Defender 4000 first flew in 1995 and entered production from 1997.
In 1996, the Royal Cambodian Air Force deployed its three BN-2 Defenders in support of the dry season offensive against Khmer Rouge insurgents. The Defenders were armed with machine guns and rockets, and even dropped mortar rounds. One Defender was lost during the operation.
In 2003, the British Army bought four Defender 4000 aircraft, known in service as the Defender AL1, fitted with under-wing defensive aids dispensers and an electro-optical turret under the nose. Since then, one other has been converted to Defender AL2 specification and three more Defender AL2s and one Defender T3 trainer have been ordered. They have been employed in the command and communication role with limited use in transporting personnel. The Defender AL1/AL2 aircraft were redesignated Defender R2 in 2019 after the fleet was transferred to the Royal Air Force.
In August 2017, in an attempt to calm a gang war in Copenhagen, the Danish police force used at least one of the Danish National Guard's two Defenders to fly reconnaissance missions over the city.
- Multi-role utility transport aircraft.
- Maritime Defender
- Armed maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft.
- Defender 4000
- Enhanced Defender for the urban surveillance, counter-terrorism and maritime surveillance roles.
- AEW Defender
- Airborne Early Warning aircraft
- Armed Forces of Malta 2 x BN-2T
- Royal Air Force (until 2019, operated by the Army Air Corps)
- Police Service of Northern Ireland
- Channel Islands Air Search
Specifications (Defender 4000)Edit
Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 2003–2004
- Crew: 2 (flight crew)
- Capacity: Up to 16 troops in transport role
- Length: 12.20 m (40 ft 0 in)
- Wingspan: 16.15 m (53 ft 0 in)
- Height: 4.36 m (14 ft 4 in)
- Wing area: 16.15 m2 (173.8 sq ft)
- Aspect ratio: 8.0:1
- Airfoil: NACA 23012
- Empty weight: 2,223 kg (4,900 lb) (empty equipped)
- Max takeoff weight: 3,856 kg (8,500 lb)
- Fuel capacity: 1,131 L (299 US gal; 249 imp gal)
- Powerplant: 2 × Rolls-Royce 250 B17F turboprops, 300 kW (400 shp) each
- Maximum speed: 326 km/h (203 mph, 176 kn) (Max cruise, at 3050 m (10000 ft))
- Cruise speed: 276 km/h (171 mph, 149 kn) (72% power, at 1525 m (5000 ft))
- Stall speed: 87 km/h (54 mph, 47 kn) (flaps down)
- Range: 1,863 km (1,158 mi, 1,006 nmi) (VFR reserves)
- Endurance: 8 hr 30 minutes
- Service ceiling: 7,600 m (25,000 ft) (absolute ceiling)
- Rate of climb: 6.4 m/s (1,250 ft/min)
- Take-off run to 15 m (50 ft): 565 m (1,854 ft)
- Landing run from 15 m (50 ft): 589 m (1,932 ft)
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- "£200k bill for 12th crash PSNI plane". Londonderry Sentinel. 30 May 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
- Jackson 2003, pp. 484–486
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