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Royal Navy F-35B compared with anything

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Royal Navy F-35B compared with anything

Old 13th Oct 2018, 11:49
  #41 (permalink)  
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If you can VL then thereís always somewhere on the deck you can put it down, so no requirement to be able to hold off, go to the tanker, etc if someone ahead screws up.

Assuming the deck deck doesnít disappear as you slot...
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Old 13th Oct 2018, 19:47
  #42 (permalink)  
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Not fuel but somewhere well north, trying to find TG. The Norwegian Sea was empty that day. Only one radar contact in vicinity of ZZ but task group nix. Got to ZZ where there was one picket, cowboy? Who informed us on a low powered UHF that the TG was 95 miles west.

Another time our. UKADR mission was to set up a barrier to intercept two Bear D inbound to a TH in the SWAPPS. As we were mon-exercise they would not tell us where the fleet was. RED knew, Orange probably knew, Blue knew, but no one would tell Purple.
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Old 14th Oct 2018, 00:38
  #43 (permalink)  
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Sub Lieutenant Ian Wilson and the Alraigo incident



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Old 14th Oct 2018, 06:03
  #44 (permalink)  
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PN, If my memory serves, the Distance/Bearing indicator maxed out at 99.9nm, so even if one was (much) further away, one thought it was only 100nm! I believe that was the case with Suds.
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Old 14th Oct 2018, 06:35
  #45 (permalink)  
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War story posts et al have been moved to this thread, so go for the lampswinging but take out the whinges on moderation; OK?

Any suggestion on a new thread title will also be considered
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Old 14th Oct 2018, 09:34
  #46 (permalink)  
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On the topic of ship drivers:

Before the South Atlantic War, we were detached to Lossie to support a JMC. Sitting in a Phantom at cockpit readiness around dawn in winter wasn't much fun, but eventually we received the scramble message and a pair of us set of for CAP. Yet again the ship drivers had invented another complicated way of switching to their frequency... After tanking from a Victor, we set off for the CAP, only for Roger Waitout, that well known fishead wireless operator, to send us off to engage a bogey...

Which turned out to be the Victor from which we'd just refuelled!

Nothing else turned up, so eventually we were sent home. Usual JMC cluster...

My nav and I had to stay behind for the debrief, but OC 8 kindly flew us down to Leuchars in a Shacklebomber, then MT took us to Turnhouse. The debrief was...interesting! Some ops controller asked the SHAR team why they hadn't submitted some form or other - presumably the Navy's version of an ADMISREP. "If we knew what one of those was, we'd gladly send you one", they replied! The the E-3 team from Geilenkirchen said that any more blue-on-blues and they'd leave the area, fly to the nearest E-3 capable aerodrome, then fly back. Leaving the ships without any AEW for the time they were away. The Navy promised to do better - then when asked what the main operational threat was in the North Sea, the Dutch AF replied "Your f****** Navy!"...

The trip back from Turnhouse was fun - courtesy of YukAir in a Fokker Friendship to Norwich. First the wheels wouldn't come up until the pneumatic pressure had topped up, then we couldn't get into Leeds/Bradford, so diverted to East Midlands. The cabin crew looked rather happy at around 22:00, so we asked why. "We've just reached our guaranteed minimum overtime point", one stewardess replied. "Well, that sounds like 2 G&Ts please", I said - and bless her, she readily agreed!

Next time I did a JMC was after the South Atlantic War - this time in rather more comfort in the VC10K. I assumed that Roger Waitout and his gang would have been a bit better by then, but no. On working out from the rain forest of signals we'd been given where, when and on which frequency they wanted, off we went to the SW Apps for the fun and games to begin..

My Captain (the late 'Bear') summed up our frustration quite admirably "That's the 3rd time you've flown us into French airspace and they're getting rather cross. Do it once more and we'll RTB - buck up or we push off!".

Universal JMC debrief:

1. Only 1% of tasking signals have any relevance.
2. They've invented yet another way of frequency assignment - have they never heard of Fighter Studs (later 'TAD's?).
3. The ship drivers are never where they said they'd be.
4. The PIM is a work of fiction.
5. There are never any targets.
6. They always want us to launch at some 0-dark-00 hour.
7. It was no better than last time!
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Old 14th Oct 2018, 13:04
  #47 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Mogwi View Post
Aye, I remember the HUD film at the debrief of the 1st May raid on Stanley showing our rad-alts flicking between 5 and 15ft on the run-in over the dunes. Just seemed safer down there somehow. The climb to 150ft to drop the clusters was a bit scary because you could then see all the other flak!

Mogwi -
Thanks for comment #12, that is the photo. Caption competition: "Say cheese!" or "Wakey, wakey!" or "drop your "blank" and grab your socks". You could replace 'socks' with 'Blowpipe' but that sounds even worse. That photo gives an inkling of just how close to death, of one sort or another, Harrier pilots were. Split seconds. Blowpipe SAM could be anywhere anytime.

I read about those Stanley low run in's; its a good job you didn't sneeze! Unusual way to cut the grass, to say the least; but it kept you alive (just); sadly, others not so lucky. I can imagine how 'hot' the flak was; bearing your backside at 150ft must have felt like being a big yellow plastic duck in a fairground shooting gallery. Hobson's choice with absolutely no margin for error. Precision like threading a needle at 600mph.

Hopefully with modern stand-off weapons, such heroic headlong charges into the jaws of death will be minimised in the future.

I can never hear enough about what it was like down there; thanks for giving a glimpse here.

I think it really important for all those that have been 'there', wherever 'there' is, to share their experiences in written form, to benefit those not lucky enough to hear them in person and to preserve them for future generations to understand, at least a little, of what it was like. Priceless.

Last edited by Wingless Walrus; 14th Oct 2018 at 13:17.
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Old 14th Oct 2018, 13:34
  #48 (permalink)  
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Interesting that the PI decided that the 2 Weapons were a Blowpipe and a SA-7 in such close proximity - Iím assuming the Argentine troops did actually use both?

An SA-7 ended up in the Air Warfare building at Yeovilton - I think from the South Atlantic.
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Old 14th Oct 2018, 14:53
  #49 (permalink)  
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Can We Learn Something From The Defunct A-7F "Strikefighter?"

Hmm $10 million to rebuild to A7F superSLUF

The A-7F concept would take the well-known A-7 Corsair II platform and bring its design almost full circle by lengthening the standard A-7 fuselage by four feet, in order to accommodate the powerful Pratt & Whitney F100-220 turbofan – the same engine in the F-15 – in the place of the A-7's older TF-41 turbofan. This would bring the A-7′s thrust up from 14,500lbs to 26,000lbs and would feature an afterburner, a component missing on the A-7′s family tree since the F-8 Crusader.

This new arrangement would allow the A-7F to reach speeds well above Mach one, and would effectively turn America's no-nonsense bomb-truck into an affordable high-speed deep striker. Along with these developments, the SLUF would probably lose its humble and disparaging nickname, as the A-7F was anything but slow.

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Old 14th Oct 2018, 16:47
  #50 (permalink)  
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I take it Mog was there way down south in GR3. Huh?

If so, need more about the ultra-low runs. We colonists gave up when it became apparent that the Pk of the Earth was higher than the Pk of the SA-2 or aimed flak if you were way below 200 or 300 feet. And then ten years later the IAF encountered the SA-6. My Israeli studs in the only group they ever sent to Hill for Viper training were all Yom Kippur vets except for the young guy ( late became astronaut and bit bullet in Columbi, but was a player for the Iraq nuke attack). They related how lethal that doppler-guided missile was, but USAF still had the 200 foot floor for 99% of the time .

So a few years later I led a two-ship at Red Flag and sure enuf, a pesky SA-6 popped up and tracked us down at 200 feet. GASP! Only way we beat it was getting small hills between us and the radar unit, plus "beaming it" as the IAF told us. The debrief film showed us being tracked, but before a launch we would fly behind a hill and it broke lock. We were soon outta range, as at 540 knots you can build distance in short order, heh heh. 'course the Thuds and 'vaarks came in at 600 knots, and then went out "fast", !

Later, and our sister counties just 30 to 50 miles east are in dire straits after the visit from Michael. Damned storm wiper out the cottage my bride and I rented a hundred years ago when I went thru VooDoo training at Tyndall. Was a neat place about 100 yards from the shoreline.

Gums sends...

Last edited by gums; 14th Oct 2018 at 17:58. Reason: typos
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Old 14th Oct 2018, 17:06
  #51 (permalink)  
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I take it Mog was there way down south in GR3. Huh?


Still the classic Harrier mind. Fast and Small.

A7[F] vs 35B as a bomb truck though..
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Old 14th Oct 2018, 19:07
  #52 (permalink)  
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the SLUF would probably lose its humble and disparaging nickname, as the A-7F was anything but slow.
I was always taught it stood for Sort Little Ugly F****** as opposed to the B-52 being the Big Ugly F*******. Nothing speed related.

How did the A-7 compare to the A-5 as far as the crews were concerned? Accepting the vastly different roles.
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Old 14th Oct 2018, 20:38
  #53 (permalink)  
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Sluf was single seat, single engine. It and the A-6 Intruder replaced the A-1 and A-4 for the USN, allowing the F-4 types to be CAP/Sweep and a lot less pig iron missions. The Sluf replaced the A-1, A-37,F-100 and F-105 in USAF. F-4's still carried iron as they had so many of them and only 72 Slufs at Korat. We also had F-111 'vaarks at Tahkli for Linebacker in 1972. They flew mainly at night.

A-5's became RA-5 recce birds within a few short years and had a crew of two. Never dropped a bomb, best I can tell. It was very fast, and apparently a great recce platform. Never ran into anyone that flew the beast.

Both the Intruder and Sluf were subsonic designs, although the Sluf could get above the mach in a dive without ripping the wings off, and FCF pilots would occasionally "boom" Myrtle Beach. I personally exceeded the redline on that Hanoi mission with the aimpoint depiction. Forgot to pull off power enuf and noticed very slow pitch rate on dive recovery, then saw airspeed. That was my first mission with the 2,000 pounders on parent racks, and was a very clean load re: drag. Normally, we did not reduce power very much in a dive because of the drag or if we were dropping manually and needed to hit angle, speed and altitude.

The dive toss computer was extremely accurate, and only the A-1 and A-37 compared. Actual BDA from FAC's gave us 15 meter CEP, as well as for the A-37. So you can see why the grunts liked us for troops in contact events. Our CEP was documented in Corona Harvest reports and also referenced in the A-37 book, "Dragonfly". On one mission we had in Laos to hit a artillery tube, the Raven FAC was giving corrections using bomb crater widths!! ( Mk-82 slicks) The second and subsequent pass accuracy with the Sluf was eye-watering. And then the Viper came along a few years later.

The Sluf and Intruder both had "legs" and did not require all the tankers that the Double Ugly needed. So we carried 10 x Mk-82 from Korat Thailand to places near Saigon, and then dropped in singles!! 350 nm +/-, and we could hold for 10 or 15 milutes. The Hanoi mission was a tad over 400 nm, but one pass, haul ass.

Man, those were the days, and I relish my time in three planes of the era.

Gums sends...

Last edited by gums; 14th Oct 2018 at 20:46. Reason: typo/hurricane closeby
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Old 15th Oct 2018, 09:32
  #54 (permalink)  
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Man, those were the days, and I relish my time in three planes of the era.
Bet it gets better with each surviving year too ☺
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Old 15th Oct 2018, 12:39
  #55 (permalink)  
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Regarding Harriers down low, I was very pleased to witness this two days ago:

Last edited by Vzlet; 15th Oct 2018 at 18:39. Reason: (Deleted second picture link.)
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Old 15th Oct 2018, 14:11
  #56 (permalink)  
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Gums -
The A-7 sounds like it had no tricky habits; the F-35 thanks to all its technology is meant to be one of the easiest fighters to fly. Even in the hover over ship it looks rock-steady, not the slightest twitch.

The SLUF seems to have been one of the most versatile and effective aircraft made but lived in the shadow of the supersonic fighters (as Harrier did). As well as a highly effective bomber, it served on land and sea and I heard the A-7 was highly capable in air-air close-in scenario. I read USN A-7 pilots were highly skilled in dogfights and 'roughed' up the 'double-uglies' who initially relied upon their missiles to do the dogfighting for them (being fair to them it was the policy taught early on, based on overzealous claims from makers of the wonder weapons).

How did you find learning to fly the A-7? Any tricky behaviour? Did you get good air-air training? Do you think they could have fitted a bigger radar on it to enhance air-air ops? Was there anything that could have been done to make it better?

Interesting technical info on A-7:
"The Vought A-7 Attack Fighter"

A-7 at sea:
"Vought A-7 Corsair II - "Short Little Ugly [email protected]#?$r""

Visceral clips of fastjets at a few feet off the ground; the initial clip gives a good idea of what Mogwi was doing on 1st May 1982, whilst being shot at and trying to hit the target; a clip about 7:30 shows a 'Double Ugly with its left wing tip almost in the troughs of the waves (and its a calm sea!):
"Fighter Jets Low Flyover Most Shocking Moments - Part 2"

Last edited by Wingless Walrus; 15th Oct 2018 at 14:46.
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Old 15th Oct 2018, 15:13
  #57 (permalink)  
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Reading all this stuff and watching the vidoes reinforces my perception that the RN was right to bin me from flying training at an early stage back in the 60s. I am 100% not wired this way, and have an inevitably grudging respect for those who are. However, becoming a sh1t-hot, can-do, Mil ATCO was a reasonable substitute ... especially when the chips were down for you guys up there.

Anyone up for a mutual respect group hug? Naah ... what pilot would hug an ATCO in public, unless it was female?
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Old 15th Oct 2018, 15:32
  #58 (permalink)  
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If we're into thread drift ..

One of the early comments on this thread mentioned using a 'show of force' to persuade people not to do anything silly.. It wasn't an attack or close support aircraft but I distinctly remember seeing the camera footage when the Buccs went in over Beirut (84?) and were flying around the various masts and aerials in the city. IIRC, the message being sent was 'received and understood'.

Back to the F-35 though, or any other aircraft you care to name .. you can surely have all the countermeasures you like onboard but they count for nothing when in the sights of someone armed with nothing more than a manually aimed and fired rifle or machine gun. In the Falklands, didn't a Para bring down an A-4 with a GMPG? Even if he admitted he was aiming for the first one but ended up bringing down the no.2. And even if it was a four ship, rather than two, that's a 25% attrition rate .. which isn't great when you've only a handful of aircraft to start with.
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Old 15th Oct 2018, 16:06
  #59 (permalink)  
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Cargo has it right.

We lost more Thuds and F-4 to ack than SA-2 missiles. My only serious damage in the A-37 and resulting "crash landing" was AK-47 rounds that ruptured my fuel lines and started an engine fire.

Gums sends...
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Old 15th Oct 2018, 16:27
  #60 (permalink)  
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Gums, did you have a fire extinguisher?
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