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Harrier in Op CORPORATE

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Harrier in Op CORPORATE

Old 19th Apr 2016, 18:25
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Harrier in Op CORPORATE

All
Link to BBC World Service episode of Witness about Harrier in Falklands campaign.
BBC World Service - Witness, The Harrier in the Falklands War
BBC World Service - Witness, The Harrier in the Falklands War

Haven't listened to it yet (so hope it's not our favourite FAA guy)
Enjoy
Batco
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Old 19th Apr 2016, 21:51
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It is our favourite SHAR pilot...

In 1982, a British naval task force sailed to the south Atlantic to retake the Falkland Islands. To provide crucial air cover, the British fleet relied on an unusual and underrated aircraft, the Harrier, We hear from piilot [sic] and author, David Morgan DSC, who flew the Harrier during the conflict.
Oh. You didn't mean him, did you...?
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Old 20th Apr 2016, 11:39
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As it's Dave, I'll give it a listen. Thanks for posting this.
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Old 23rd Apr 2016, 16:57
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Wow! I never realised that UK deployed Harriers in the S Atlantic........

there must be a knowledgeable pilot who can fill us on on all the details....


(ducks rapidly)
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Old 24th Apr 2016, 08:19
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Without wishing to start WW3, and with the caveat that I'm not fishing for defamatory remarks.

When I read "that" book about harriers in the South Atlantic, I thought the navy came out pretty badly, and the RAF weren't involved until afterwards other than the Vulcan. I thought if factual, it's an interesting if somewhat worrying read. Should I be put right ?

There always seems to be a bit of bad feeling towards the author. Is it possible to say why on an open forum, or is it one of those things that's not really definable in this media.

Just interested.
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Old 24th Apr 2016, 08:21
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Because he has a pathological hatred of the RAF that seems to ignore any logic and he is a massive egotist?
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Old 24th Apr 2016, 09:59
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KGH,
You could also read Jerry Pook's book Harrier Ground Attack Falklands. That should give you an idea of how the RAF went to work there, and how the Navy senior command didn't seem to understand how to use air power.
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Old 24th Apr 2016, 11:44
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kghjfg - There are a couple of issues (one of which being that every PPRuNe thread where he gets mentioned swiftly deteriorates...)

The important thing is to disentangle Cdr Ward the SHAR pilot from Cdr Ward the historian (I use that word in its loosest sense) of air power.

The evidence suggests that the former was a highly capable operator who led his squadron well and whose record during CORPORATE was outstanding.


The evidence also suggests that the latter went from having a bee in his bonnet about the RAF to becoming almost obsessed about the 'light blue' and seeking to do the service down at every possible opportunity. The problem is that many of his comments have subsequently been shown to be misjudged (e.g. regarding the rationale for Op BLACK BUCK - the ultimate irony being that the Chief of the Air Staff argued that the runway should be attacked by Sea Harriers, not the Vulcan...) or just plain wrong (pretty much most of his now-deleted article on the Gulf War on the egregious first incarnation of the Phoenix Think Tank website and a not insignificant chunk of his commentary on other matters - e.g. Nimrod ops during CORPORATE - it's difficult to square his comment regarding them patrolling only around ASI when you're sitting in the National Archives holding the report of the Nimrod crew who got rather close to the mainland in your hand...).

Sadly, his writings seem to have adopted an approach where inconvenient truths are ignored and complex issues simplified if this enables a critique to be made of the RAF. His piece on the PTT about GRANBY included a number of perceived slurs against men killed in action, which was probably the point at which most Ppruners began to take a highly jaundiced view of the man.

Nowadays, I believe that the RN considers him a vexatious correspondent; I know that senior RN officers sigh every time it appears he's made a submission to the select committee, and a brief search of PPRuNe will see that the man is often played rather than the ball. Given the size of the balls he publishes, a clean tackle can be made without having to have a pop at him, although some argue that there is a case that his personality can't be disassociated from his writings.

Personally, I reckon that history will ultimately remember him for what he did with the Sea Harrier with his writings being relegated to nothing more than a footnote (in time, military historians not yet born will mutter to their students that Cdr Ward did go on to write some odd things in his retirement, but then so did many other retired senior officers [Walter Walker, anyone...?] and then move swiftly on).
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Old 24th Apr 2016, 11:54
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He needs to find something else to do
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Old 25th Apr 2016, 14:00
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It might be of interest to know how many RAF pilots flew the Sea Harrier during Corporate.
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Old 25th Apr 2016, 14:47
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And Peter Squire's DFC write up (London Gazette supplement dated 8 Oct 82) gives some flavour of RAF Harrier involvement - but don't tell Sharky! ........

Distinguished Flying Cross
Wing Commander Peter Ted SQUIRE AFC 608512, Royal Air
Force.
Six GR3 Harriers from 1(F) Squadron embarked in HMS
HERMES on 18th May 1982, and a further four replacement aircraft
were flown direct from Ascension Island to HMS HERMES'
deck 3,500 miles away. During the re-invasion phase of the Falklands
operations, 1 (F) Squadron flew from the ship in a wide variety
of bombing, PR and rocket attacks on targets ashore in the Falkland
Islands in support of ground forces, usually at low level
against defended targets. Wing Commander Squire led his Squadron
with great courage from the front flying 24 attack sorties.
He flew many daring missions, but of particular note was an attack
at low level with rockets on targets at Port Stanley Airfield in
the face of heavy anti-aircraft fire when both he and his wing
man returned damaged. Also a bombing attack on an HQ position
when, on approach, a bullet passed through his cockpit which
temporarily distracted him, but he quickly found an alternative
target and bombed that instead. During overshoot Wing Commander
Squire's aircraft suffered engine failure and was damaged
during crash landing at the forward operating base ashore on 9th
June 1982, but he continued flying after his return to the ship
with unabated zeal. Wing Commander Squire has shown outstanding
valour and steadiness under enemy fire, and has led by brave
example.
I imagine these days it would be a DSO, but we were unused then to operational decorations......
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Old 25th Apr 2016, 15:18
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I have read the Sea Harrier/Harrier Falklands books by Ward, Morgan and Pook, and I can say I enjoyed them all quite a bit and have re-read all of them over the years (not something I do with many books). Ward's came out well before the others. If you ignore much of the last chapter with all the commentary/politics, I still find it a good read. I salute all who served.
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Old 25th Apr 2016, 20:31
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And Peter Squire's DFC write up (London Gazette supplement dated 8 Oct 82) gives some flavour of RAF Harrier involvement - but don't tell Sharky! ........
In fact, the only bit of the RAF that Sharky had any time (or praise) for was the Harrier Force.

It might be of interest to know how many RAF pilots flew the Sea Harrier during Corporate.
During the actual fighting 7 in total, broken down as follows

800 NAS - 1.
801 NAS - 1. (Was the Sqn QWI).
899 NAS - 3 (2 to 800 NAS, 1 to 801 NAS). First two confirmed A/A SHAR kills were made by two of these pilots. The third was Dave Morgan (Top scorer).
809 NAS - 2 (both to 800 NAS).
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Old 25th Apr 2016, 22:54
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Thanks to Archimedes for taking the time to reply with such an informative post. Thanks for the other responses and book recommendations too.

I post a little on another forum, and I don't think anyone there would have given a proper response, the tone of a forum comes from the tone of it's members, so, thankyou.

Last edited by kghjfg; 26th Apr 2016 at 05:05.
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Old 26th Apr 2016, 04:31
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A fascinating conflict with much bravery from all concerned.


Out of curiosity did RAF Harriers in this conflict carry sidewinders and did they score any air to air kills ?
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Old 26th Apr 2016, 14:29
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Stilton: Out of curiosity did RAF Harriers in this conflict carry sidewinders and did they score any air to air kills ? 25th Apr 2016 20:54

Stilton, if I recall correctly the RAF GR.3 Harriers did carry sidewinders, but not often, during the conflict. The GR.3's were envisioned to provide air-to-ground coverage and to also augment/replace the Sea Harriers in the air-to-air role as Sea Harrier losses were predicted to be high. For much of the conflict they were allowed to concentrate on the air-to-ground mission and normally flew with cannon on the belly strakes, fuel tanks on the inner wing pylons and air to ground ordinance (several bomb types and rockets) on the outer wing stations. There were no air to air kills by the GR.3's, but a few helo's were destroyed on the ground by GR.3's.


Post conflict the GR.3's did stand as air-to-air strip alert (with Sidewinders) before the runway at Stanley could be extended for use by the Phantoms.
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Old 26th Apr 2016, 15:47
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Out of curiosity did RAF Harriers in this conflict carry sidewinders and did they score any air to air kills ?
In the mid-70s I spent some time in a Harrier desk job. At the time, there were several attempts to get the 'winder fitted to the GR3 for self-defence in the European theatre, but the answer from MoD was always " No, it's not necessary": translation "Not our idea and anyway there is no money". Come 1982, the fit was organised and done in about 3 weeks.
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Old 26th Apr 2016, 16:02
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Originally Posted by sandiego89 View Post
Stilton, if I recall correctly the RAF GR.3 Harriers did carry sidewinders, but not often, during the conflict. The GR.3's were envisioned to provide air-to-ground coverage and to also augment/replace the Sea Harriers in the air-to-air role as Sea Harrier losses were predicted to be high. For much of the conflict they were allowed to concentrate on the air-to-ground mission and normally flew with cannon on the belly strakes, fuel tanks on the inner wing pylons and air to ground ordinance (several bomb types and rockets) on the outer wing stations. There were no air to air kills by the GR.3's, but a few helo's were destroyed on the ground by GR.3's.


Post conflict the GR.3's did stand as air-to-air strip alert (with Sidewinders) before the runway at Stanley could be extended for use by the Phantoms.
In actual fact, the No 1(f) Sqn GR3s did not carry sidewinders at all during the conflict, although they were fitted with a rudimentary system to allow them a "boresight" launch capability. The jettison system was also a "lash-up" and was directly responsible for serious injuries to two Sappers when a pair of missiles were jettisoned (by firing) as a GR3 got airborne at Stanley, after the conflict.

Post conflict, No 1(f) flew with AIM9Ls from Stanley, occasionally led by SHARs detached ashore.
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Old 26th Apr 2016, 16:15
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Time for me to read your excellent book again, Mog!
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Old 26th Apr 2016, 16:47
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GR3 A - A

Just a quick question from a lurker guys -

Although the GR-3 was obviously a ground attack aircraft how did it compare to the Sea Harrier in the A-A role?

To expand if we'd lost a few SHARs and they had to fill the hole left was there much difference dogfighting wise - Avionics excepted.
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