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JP233

Old 5th Apr 2021, 07:41
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JP233

Wondering what runway was used for the JP233 trial?

Presumably West Freugh / Luce Bay?




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Old 5th Apr 2021, 07:59
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Think that the JP233 was trialed on the roads around my county, and they still havenít repaired them!😟
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Old 5th Apr 2021, 09:12
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The first JP233 test flight was flown over the range at West Freugh, U.K., on February 23, 1982, using a British Aerospace flight trials Tornado (ZA354/BS07). Trials continued throughout 1983 with the release of the munitions, initially from height, and then at lower levels, including against a prepared surface to confirm its concrete-busting performance.”
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Old 5th Apr 2021, 09:21
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Not knowing too much about the 233, Iím presuming the parachute was to retard itís horizontal trajectory so it would remain ďover the areaĒ and to give it a more vertical impact.

One would have thought a few more inches of penetration given by an unretarded vertical may have been beneficial against the concrete...

out of curiosity - (havenít looked) - are there any publicly available BDAs from its use?
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Old 5th Apr 2021, 09:50
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Whilst the weapon worked as advertised....operationally it was a complete flop.
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Old 5th Apr 2021, 09:52
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Jp233
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Old 5th Apr 2021, 14:09
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Originally Posted by RHINO View Post
Whilst the weapon worked as advertised....operationally it was a complete flop.
If it worked "as advertised", in what way was it a "complete flop"?
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Old 5th Apr 2021, 14:53
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Originally Posted by alfaman View Post
If it worked "as advertised", in what way was it a "complete flop"?
Perhaps the need to fly directly over a heavily defended target meant its utility was limited.
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Old 5th Apr 2021, 15:17
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The first live drop from an RAF aircraft, flown by an RAF crew, was out of Duke Field (a satellite of Eglin AFB) FL in the Spring of 1986. Mike Rondot did a painting of the event.
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Old 5th Apr 2021, 16:56
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My memory from an OEU presentation at Laarbruch in 1986 is that no full operational drops were trialled in that the dispensers were always retained at the end of each drop. This was due concerns about safe separation of the empty dispensers at operational speeds and heights. Thus they were jettisoned at 250 kts in 25 wing on a second pass. Therefore the first full operational trial was carried out on the first night of Desert Storm.

No aircraft were lost dropping JP233 so to call it useless or tactically ineffective is just plainly incorrect. One aircraft was lost post-target but this was mostly likely a CFIT event. There were occurrences of nav computer reversions to a degraded (Doppler SAHR) mode at the end of a JP233 run which had an immediate effect on the accuracy and latency of the HUD symbology. Thus bunting down by night in reaction to the ballooning effect of losing over 5 tonnes of mass from the aircraft over a few seconds was particularly risky.

In terms of weapons effects, I think they were reduced somewhat by the soft sand beneath the Iraqi runways as the heave effect of the secondary warhead relied upon a good dense subsoil to direct the blast.

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Old 5th Apr 2021, 17:04
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Main problem, IIRC, was that they were designed to deny single runway WP runways in Eastern Europe, whilst Iraqi airfields were/are enormous with up to nine main runways and taxiways suitable for aircraft operations. Meaning denying a MOS was almost impossible - and every airfield would have had to be revisited almost daily to keep the suppressed.
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Old 5th Apr 2021, 18:39
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A more profitable target was, I believe, the HAS access tracks. Stop them leaving their HAS then pick them off one by one.

We visited Huntings in 1974 when on the WEC and asked about a standoff capability. They paled as they thought it might be cancelled.
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Old 5th Apr 2021, 19:45
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Pontius Navigator

Interesting. The original JP233 programme was a joint effort between the UK and the USA, to arm Tornado GR1 and USAF F-111's various. As originally specced it WAS powered, to be a stand off weapon. When that was changed to free fall the US pulled out.
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Old 6th Apr 2021, 06:42
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Originally Posted by pr00ne View Post
Pontius Navigator

Interesting. The original JP233 programme was a joint effort between the UK and the USA, to arm Tornado GR1 and USAF F-111's various. As originally specced it WAS powered, to be a stand off weapon. When that was changed to free fall the US pulled out.
Then the USAF bought the French Durandal runway cratering bomb - Heyford F-111E's used them in Desert Storm
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Old 6th Apr 2021, 06:47
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Originally Posted by Willard Whyte View Post
Perhaps the need to fly directly over a heavily defended target meant its utility was limited.
It always seemed easy to defeat - Tethered balloons trailing cables ready to partly set free on Air Attack Red - have one of these at the end of every straight bit of concrete
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Old 6th Apr 2021, 11:16
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Originally Posted by typerated View Post
It always seemed easy to defeat - Tethered balloons trailing cables ready to partly set free on Air Attack Red - have one of these at the end of every straight bit of concrete
Very good point, but most of the operational drops were flown across the runways/taxiways/HAS access.

Not sure I'd want to take-off from or land at an airfield with a lighter than air blimp at either end of the runway mind you.
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Old 6th Apr 2021, 14:24
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Most trial/surveillance drops were against the Hard Target at West Freugh, which, supposedly, was laid to WP spec. Only SG357 munitions were dropped and the dispenser retained on the ac. AFAIK no HB876 mines were dropped at West Freugh, the range not being suitable for such munitions; trials and surveillance of the 876 were conducted on Eglin ranges.
The SG357 was very effective on the target, creating a camouflet and heave around the edge. Clearance of ux SG357s either complete or ux secondaries was a long and complicated job, involving an RC Hymac in 3 roles - concrete breaking, excavating and 'grabbing'; two RC EOD wheelbarrows and an RC sawbench.
In late '91 I was involved in a UN visit to Iraqi airbase H2, I was not able to get to the runways to see any results of JP233 - that was not my brief, but the airfield was rendered unusable by bombing: HAS doors blown off their hinges and the 'contents' a plie of molten metal, even the gym took a hit. There were ux cluster bomblets still laying in the gutters. One thing that struck me was the preparedness, not that it did much good, air raid shelters were plentiful and well stocked with food and medical supplies, in stark contrast to those in the UK and RAFG.
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Old 13th Apr 2021, 13:56
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JP233

TOEU did live drop trials at Eglin AFB in '86 and '88 if I recall correctly.
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Old 13th Apr 2021, 14:03
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JP233 & Desert Storm

JP233 was specifically requested by the US for DS. Origianally allied forces wre deployed directly opposite Kuwait to deter Iraqi forces from pressing into Saudi. However, for the ground offensive Gen Shwarzkopf was redploying the Army to the W to enter Iraq and carry out the hook to cut off the Iraqi forces in Kuwait. But he needed to do the redeployment quickly and in secret and to achieve that he needed to keep the Iraqi AF on the ground, and you don't do that by bombing HAS's one by one. So Tornado+JP233 was specifically requested and carried out the job as tasked - Iraqi sortie rates fell by c70% after first night and stayed that way.
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Old 13th Apr 2021, 14:10
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Originally Posted by typerated View Post
Then the USAF bought the French Durandal runway cratering bomb - Heyford F-111E's used them in Desert Storm
This guy said they they were asked to do Durandal but declined!

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