GAF Jindivik

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The GAF Jindivik is a target drone produced by the Australian Government Aircraft Factory (GAF). The name is from an Aboriginal Australian word meaning the hunted one.Two manned prototypes, were built as GAF Pikas (Project C) as a proof of concept to test the aerodynamics, engine and radio control systems, serialled A92-1/2, ‘B-1/2’. The unmanned variant was initially designated the Project B and received serials in the A93 series. Pika is an Aboriginal Australian word meaning flier.

Design and development
The Jindivik came into existence as the result of a bilateral agreement between Australia and the UK; the UK would develop guided missiles, Australia the test facilities – the latter leading to the Woomera range. As a result of the talks, Australia gained the contract for developing an unmanned target aircraft to Ministry of Supply specification E.7/48.

The specification called for an aircraft capable of a 15 minute sortie at 40,000 ft (12 200 m). Development began in 1948, with the first flight of the Pika in 1950 and the first flight of the Jindivik Mk.1 in August 1952

From 1952 to 1986, a total of 502 aircraft were produced. Examples for use in the United Kingdom were shipped by surface and assembled and tested by Fairey Aviation at Hayes, Middlesex and Manchester Airport. In 1997, the production line was re-opened to build another 15 for Britain.

The Jindivik has been used by the Royal Australian Air Force, the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Australian Navy, and the Royal Air Force. Most UK tests were conducted by the Royal Aircraft Establishment at their Llanbedr establishment and fired over the nearby Aberporth Airport test range in west Wales.

The Pika had side air intakes necessitated because of the cockpit and small wheel landing gear operated from a pneumatic reservoir The Jindivik followed the same form but replaced the undercarriage with a single skid and a dorsal air intake through the area taken up by the Pika’s cockpit.

A Jindivik 102B after assembly by Fairey Aviation at Manchester for use on the UK test range at Aberporth.

The Jindivik Mk.1 was powered by an Armstrong Siddeley Adder (ASA.1) turbojet which had been developed as a disposable engine for the project. Only 14 Mk.1s were ever made. The Mk.2 was powered by an 1,640 lbf Armstrong Siddeley Viper engine. The Viper was also intended for a short lifespan – about 10 hours, but a “long life” version was also produced for conventional aircraft.

The control systems were from Elliott Brothers, GEC and McMichael, among others, with help from the Royal Aircraft Establishment Control was through the autopilot biased by radio commands from the ground, rather than direct flight by a ground controller. Eighteen commands could be issued by radio to the autopilot with 6 further commands for operation of other onboard equipment.

Launching was from a self-steering trolley. At 110 knots, the drone applies full flaps, elevators up and releases the trolley. Landing is at 150-125 knots. Two controllers (azimuth and elevation) align the drone on the runway. It then touches down on its skid; banking causes wingtip “shoes” to touch the runway so controlling its path down the runway as it slows.

Jindivik 2 was used by the Swedish Air Force.

Jindivik was used in the development of the British Bristol Bloodhound, English Electric Thunderbird, Seaslug surface to air missiles and the Fairey Firestreak air to air missile.

Royal Australian Air Force
Fleet Air Arm (RAN)

Swedish Air Force

United Kingdom
Royal Air Force

United States
United States Navy – 42 Mk 303B


  • Jindivik 1 – Initial aircraft powered by Armstrong Siddeley Adder, 14 built.
  • Jindivik 2 –
  • Jindivik Mk 102 – Jindivik 2 modified by Fairey Aviation for use in United Kingdom.
  • Jindivik 2A – development model with Armstrong Siddeley Viper 8 (1,750 lbf) new intake and wider wings, three built.
  • Jindivik 2B – production model of 2A, 76 built.
  • Jindivik Mk 102B – as for Mk 102 based on 2B airframe
  • Jindivik 3A – Viper 11 with new equipment for higher altitude
  • Jindivik 3B – as 3A but Viper 8 engine
  • Mk 103B for the United Kingdom
  • Mk 203B for the Royal Australian Navy
  • Mk 303B for the United States Navy
  • Total Number built 517

    Powerplant: 1 × Armstrong Siddeley Viper Mk 201 turbojet, 2,500 lbf (11.1 kN)

    Max. Takeoff Weight
    Max Speed

    AustraliaGAF (now Boeing Australia)Melbourne,Victoria