The Orao is
a twin-engine, turbojet, high-wing aircraft intended for performing tactical assault
missions within the zone of the front and also in the enemy rear. It is manufactured in
single-seater (J-22) and two-seater (NJ-22) versions and as a single-seater (IJ-22) and
two-seater (INJ-22) reconnaissance plane, though the latter's engine does not have
afterburning. The wing is trapezoidal, swept-back, low thickness ratio with pronounced
strakes (hybrid wings). The propulsion system consists of two single-shaft Rolls-Royce
turbojet engines in the Viper family. The engines are located side by side, in the rear
section of the fuselage.
the Yugoslav aircraft industry's success in the 1970's with the G-2 Galeb [Sea Gull] and
J-1 Jastreb [Hawk] airplanes, attention turned to designing a more up-to-date combat
aircraft to replace the F-84 Thunderjet in supporting the fleet of Jastreb light assault
planes. Romania, intending
called for a transonic twin-engine plane, intended for support of units at the front and
for assault operations, that would be simple to operate and easy to maintain. A secondary
role was envisaged as a fighter-interceptor in combating
planes, and fighter-bombers. The series 600 Viper engines of Rolls-Royce were chosen for
the power plant. to replace older models of the MiG-17, soon joined the new effort in
1970. The joint program was given the name YUROM (YUgoslavia-ROMania).
The prototypes took off
for the first time, one in Yugoslavia and the other in Romania, on 31 October 1974. The
Yugoslav aircraft was christened the Orao, while in Romania the plane was given the
designation IAR-93. In series production the plane was designated the J-22, with NJ-22 for
the two-seater version.
For self-defense of the
aircraft the arsenal of weapons has been bolstered with short-range air-to-air missiles
with infrared homing, which are installed on two new armament lines on the wingtips, each
with a carrying capacity of 100 kg. The assortment of weapons has also been broadened with
laser, antiradar, and antiship missiles and short-range air-to-air projectiles. Armament
includes two twin-barrel GS-23L 23-mm cannon with 200 rounds each. The maximum
weapon-carrying capacity is 2,800 kg.