In the mid 1950's the RN identified a requirement for a low-level high-speed nuclear strike aircraft capable of attacking the Soviet fleet. The contract for these aircraft was won in 1955 by Blackburn (later Hawker Siddeley) with their B.109 design. The B.109 was developed into the NA.39 which was the prototype for the Buccaneer. A boundary-layer control system allowed exceptional low-level agility, ideal for the delivery of weapons against enemy warships. The main problems with the S1 were its underpowered Gyron Junior engines, requiring an extremely long take-off run when not being used with a catapult, and the lack of an inertial navigation system.
The first prototype flew on 30th April 1958 and entered service in 1961, partially replacing the Supermarine Scimitar. The last S1 was delivered in December 1963. Towards the end of the 1960's the S1 was gradually replaced with the S2.
A total of 20 NA.39 and 30 S1 were built.
Country of origin: U.K.
Type: Attack plane
Span: 13.41 m (44ft)
Length: 19.33 m (63ft 5in)
Height: 4.95 m (16ft 3 in)
Wing Area: 47.83 sq.m (514.7 sq.ft)
Empty weight: 13608 kg (30,000 lb)
Powerplant: two De Havilland Gyron Junior turbojets - 3220 kg (7,100 lb) thrust each.
Maximum speed: N/A
Ceiling: 40,000 ft (9144 m)
Armament: Internal bomb bay for 4 1000lb or 500lb bombs or 1 nuclear bomb ; 4 underwing pylons for AGMs, AAMs and 500lb or 1000lb bombs