Britain's first purpose built all-weather fighter was the Gloster Javelin, an aircraft which was born out of the same requirement which led to the de Sea Vixen, the RAF preferring Gloster's design for land-based operations with the RN eventually adopting its rival. The Javelin was one of the first British aircraft to feature a delta wing and compensated its performance with a T-tail and a conventional trailing edge flaps. Equipped with AI radar for both day and night operations, the Javelin was also capable of carrying Firestreak air-to-air missiles; later versions carried US radar and had Sapphire engines capable of limited afterburning capabilities. In the course of its service life which lasted for over a decade, the Javelin was never used in combat nor were they adopted by any foreign operators. They were eventually replaced by the English Electric Lightning with the legacy of being the last aircraft built by Gloster.
First flight of the prototype GA.5 took place on 26 November, 1951 with the first FAW.1 delivered in 1954 due to various aerodynamic difficulties. Multiple variants ensued, beginning with the FAW.2 with US APQ-43 radar, the FAW.4 with a powered all-flying tailplane, the FAW.5 with increased fuel, and the FAW.6 which incorporated some of the previous improvements. Subsequent versions featured missile capability and underwing drop tanks, these included the FAW.7 with more powerful engines and the ultimate FAW.8 with US radar and afterburning engines (FAW.7s which were upgraded to these standards were known as the FAW.9). Finally, a trainer version was designated T.3.
|Design||Javelin FAW.1||Javelin FAW.8|
|Length||17.15 m||17.15 m|
|Height||4.877 m||4.877 m|
|Wing Span||15.85 m||15.85 m|
|Empty||10,886 kg||12,610 kg|
|Maximum||16,642 kg||19,282 kg|
|Wing Loading||193.2 kg/m²||223.9 kg/m²|
|Speed||Mach 1.0||Mach 1.0|
|Ceiling||16,002 m||16,093 m|
|Engine||2 x Sapphire ASSa.6|
|2 x Sapphire ASSa.7R|
|Radar||AI Mk. 17||AN/APQ-43|
|Guns||4 x 30-mmADEN Mk. 4||2 x 30-mmADEN Mk. 4|