In keeping with so many other post-war British military aircraft projects, the Supermarine Swift suffered an extended period of development. A competitor to the Hawker Hunter, it was deemed a failure when entering service in its intended role as a front-line fighter. Ultimate success was only to follow some years later when, in its camera-equipped FR.5 version, it equipped two squadrons in the low-level photo-reconnaissance role with the RAF based in Germany.
The genesis of the Swift can be traced back to Supermarine's first jet fighter, the straight-winged Attacker. Powered by the rather bulky Rolls Royce Nene jet engine, it was itself a development of the piston-engined and laminar-winged Spiteful. A total of 146 Attackers, in F.1 and FB.2 versions were supplied to the Royal Navy with a further thirty-six delivered to the newly formed Royal Pakistan Air Force.
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