he British Aircraft Corporation TSR-2 was a cancelled Cold War strike and aerial reconnaissance aircraft developed by the British Aircraft Corperation (BAC) for the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The TSR-2 was designed to penetrate a well-defended forward battle area at low altitudes and very high speeds, and then attack high-value tagets in the rear with nuclear or conventional weapons. Another intended combat role was to provide high-altitude, high-speed stand-off, side-looking, radar and photo imagery and signals intelligence, reconnaissance. Some of the most advanced aviation technology of the period was incorporated in order to make it the highest-performing aircraft in the world in its projected missions. Only one airframe flew and test flights and weight rise during design indicated that the aircraft would be unable to meet its original stringent design specifications. The design specifications had been reduced as the results of flight testing.
The TSR-2 was the victim of ever-rising costs and inter-service squabbling over Britain's future defence needs, which led to the controversial decision to scrap the programme in 1965. With the election of a new government, the TSR-2 was cancelled due to rising costs, in favour of purchasing an adapted version of the General Dynimics F-111, a decision that itself was later rescinded as costs and development times increased. The replacements included the Blackburn Buccaneer and McDonnell Douglas f-4 Phantom II, both of which had previously been considered and rejected early in the TSR-2 procurement process. Eventually, the smaller swing-wing Panavia Tornado was developed and adopted by a European consortium to fulfil broadly similar requirements to the TSR-2.
BAC TSR-2 XR220 RAF Museum Cosford Shropshire