The TSR-2 began with a specification for the replacement of the venerable Canberra jet bomber.
The new aircraft was required to perform the roles of Tactical Strike and Reconnaissance in home service and abroad, and was also expected to evade hostile missile defences. Not only was this versatile design expected to be devastatingly accurate in acquiring its targets, it also needed to operate at both high altitudes and “below the radar”.
A development contract for nine production aircraft was awarded to Vickers Armstrong and English Electric in 1960. The design incorporated advanced navigational attack and radar systems to ensure that the new aircraft could fulfill its challenging missions.
Two TSR-2s had been completed and a third almost ready for flight when the programme was cancelled by the British Government on 6 April, 1965.