As Great Britain's first twin-engined, delta-winged interceptor, the Gloster Javelin served with Britain's Royal Air Force in the late 1950s and most of the 1960s. Its distinctive T-tail made it easy to spot, and its piercing sound made it even easier to hear. A 1947 Air Ministry requirement for a high-performance night fighter resulted in orders for prototypes of two competing designs, the Gloster GA.5 and the de Havilland DH.110. The Gloster design proved simpler and cheaper to build and thus received approval. The aircraft first flew on 26 November 1951. By 1956, the plane had advanced to the FAW.7 variant, which finally met the specifications of the original Air Ministry requirement, and became the definitive version of the aircraft. A grand total of 427 Javelins were produced, with the final variant, the FAW.9, being the most numerous. By 1964, just four squadrons were using the aircraft, it being eclipsed by the march of time and technology.
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