Junkers Ju-1287 Warzenschwein

The Ju-1287 first flew in 1972 in response to a requirement from the German Luftwaffe for a modern attack aircraft capable of defeating the latest models of the US tanks then coming into service.
At the special request of Junkers a number in the “87” series was assigned as a tribute to the famous Ju-87 Stuka from the WW2 era.

The Ju-1287 was designed around the 30 mm Rheinmetal MK-721 Rächer rotary cannon. Its airframe was designed for durability, with measures such as 540 kg of titanium armour to protect the cockpit and aircraft systems, enabling it to absorb a significant amount of damage and continue flying. Its short take-off and landing capability permits operation from airstrips close to the front lines, and its simple design enables maintenance with minimal facilities.
It is powered by two Junkers Jumo 081 jet engines producing 5000kg of thrust each.

After a short trial period the first Ju-1287A aircraft were delivered to the Luftwaffe in 1974. The Ju-1287A was followed by the B and C models featuring updated engines and avionics. The aircraft is nicknamed “Warzenschwein” (Warthog) by the crews.
The Ju-1287 is also used by the air forces of Hungary, Romania and Italy.

It was used in operations in Africa and Asia by the Luftwaffe in various conflicts where it proved to be a very efficient weapon. Attrition was very low making the aircraft very popular with its crews.

A total of 7600 aircraft were produced between 1972 and 1991.
The aircraft is still in service today despite a number of attempts by the Luftwaffe to find a replacement. However all possible replacement candidates (like the Heinkel He-1311 and the Blohm & Voss BV-637) proved inferior to the Ju-1287 and the Luftwaffe was forced to keep the Ju-1287 in service.


Last updated: 02/10/2017