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When did Hawk stop being used as fighter in Cold War?

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When did Hawk stop being used as fighter in Cold War?

Old 20th Apr 2022, 16:58
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When did Hawk stop being used as fighter in Cold War?

Hi Folks

I understand that the Hawk T1a was equipped to carry missiles and gun pod to work with the Tornado force in the Cold War. Does anyone happen to know when this practise stopped - am assuming that it wasn't of value past 1991?
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Old 20th Apr 2022, 17:59
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Originally Posted by Jimlad1 View Post
Hi Folks

I understand that the Hawk T1a was equipped to carry missiles and gun pod to work with the Tornado force in the Cold War. Does anyone happen to know when this practise stopped - am assuming that it wasn't of value past 1991?
Wiki says 1983-86
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Old 20th Apr 2022, 18:39
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Ohh god - the dreaded Mixed Fighter Force (MFF). Everyone hated it. The F3 either accelerated and left them behind or had to slow down for them. They weren’t any use BVR and the F3s didn’t want to go the merge.

Only real use, as with the Hunters, was point CAP at the airfields. So they were given to ATC and spent their time on deckchairs on the ORP at RS2 to scramble for cover airfield attacks,
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Old 20th Apr 2022, 18:55
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Ohh god - the dreaded Mixed Fighter Force (MFF). Everyone hated it. The F3 either accelerated and left them behind or had to slow down for them. They werenít any use BVR and the F3s didnít want to go the merge.

Only real use, as with the Hunters, was point CAP at the airfields. So they were given to ATC and spent their time on deckchairs on the ORP at RS2 to scramble for cover airfield attacks,
Last time I saw them do that was at Wattisham during an exercise in mid 1991. The aircraft came from the TWU's at Brawdy and Chivenor. Brawdy shut in 1992 and the Flying Training System for Advanced Flying Training and TWU was switched to a system known as Mirror Image that had both phases done at Valley and Chivenor until 1994 when everything was consolidated to Valley. UK MSAM coverage totally died at the start of July 1991 and the USAF Funded Rapier Squadrons disbanded around 1994. AIM-9 equipped Hawks were used for A to A training when I left Ty Croes in July 1995.
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Old 20th Apr 2022, 21:06
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I think I was on the last exercise before the (lack-of) capability was formally withdrawn. Log book not to hand but circa 1993 would not be far off and again, from a failing memory, I think we deployed from Chivenor to Leuchars as part of their TacEval. Initially we operated from a HAS site, eventually getting the aircraft tele-brief plug clean enough to work, before dispersing to a civilian airfield. At no time were we part of an F3 package, just worked / got-in-the-way independently, often very far over a cold North Sea.
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Old 20th Apr 2022, 21:22
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Thanks all, very helpful!
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Old 20th Apr 2022, 21:22
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It always seemed a poor idea.
Perfect for a Mallet Blow and the Hawks could CAP Croquet Lighthouse and have 90% of the muds coming past in sight.
Hard to Imagine the Soviets getting that close to the UK though?

If the Hawk was to be a light fighter surely would have been better going to Germany and running CAPs on the North Germany plain. Much more likely to bump into Soviet Tactical Aviation. (although perhaps not after what we see in Ukraine)

But I think the Hawk would have been much better in wartime being used for Emergency CAS – as Harrier Replacements/ Additions in Germany. Much the same as the Germans used the Alpha Jet. Although perhaps not a popular plan with any crews!
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Old 20th Apr 2022, 21:43
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Anyone remember the Nimrod/Canberra LOPRO profile?

That was a good one way wartime role for 100 Sqn…
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Old 20th Apr 2022, 21:50
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I recall Mixed Fighter Farce during an exercise at Wattisham in the early '80s. Dispersed to the ORP, whilst waiting for something to happen, we were treated to the sight of a MFF Hawk landing with the bang seat pole poking out of the rear canopy... Later we heard that it was because a fighter controller on a jolly had managed to eject himself.

A rather less than sympathetic comment came from a 'senior' F-4 mate - "A fighter controller? Best place for the beggars is the North Sea - with or without a dinghy!"
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Old 20th Apr 2022, 21:55
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Originally Posted by Just This Once... View Post
I think I was on the last exercise before the (lack-of) capability was formally withdrawn. Log book not to hand but circa 1993 would not be far off and again, from a failing memory, I think we deployed from Chivenor to Leuchars as part of their TacEval. Initially we operated from a HAS site, eventually getting the aircraft tele-brief plug clean enough to work, before dispersing to a civilian airfield. At no time were we part of an F3 package, just worked / got-in-the-way independently, often very far over a cold North Sea.
Sounds about right, OR for a replacement for Bloodhound Mk 2 was quietly dropped in the same year.
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Old 20th Apr 2022, 21:57
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I do indeed recall 'LOPRO' exercises with disposable Canberras in my Vulcan days. But to brighten up the excrutiating boredom of MRR, we also did the odd 'SELPRO' event - one on occasion blundering across a number of HM's war canoes being shadowed by some Russian ships! RWR audio was quite impressive - as were the instructions from the maritime controller inviting us to....Foxtrot Oscar!!
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Old 20th Apr 2022, 22:13
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Originally Posted by BEagle View Post
I recall MFF during an exercise at Wattisham in the early '80s. Dispersed to the ORP, whilst waiting for something to happen, we were treated to the sight of a MFF Hawk landing with the bang seat pole poking out of the rear canopy... Later we heard that it was because a fighter controller on a jolly had managed to eject himself.

A rather less than sympathetic comment came from a 'senior' F-4 mate - "A fighter controller? Best place for the beggars is the North Sea - with or without a dinghy!"
Rumour has it he had actually paid attention when learning the dingy drills. First heard the story when back seat rides at Valley were offered to the guys at the Radar site at Ty Croes in 92/93. When I made a comment that an ACM sortie would be cool, the SOpsO replied, Not going to happen, they don't allow them anymore after said Fighter Controller banged out. It was actually the second Pax bang out from a Hawk that safely landed in the space of a week. The first one was a Circus linely who banged out of a Red after the aircraft suffered a low level wire strike.
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Old 21st Apr 2022, 01:41
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Originally Posted by MAINJAFAD View Post
Rumour has it he had actually paid attention when learning the dingy drills. First heard the story when back seat rides at Valley were offered to the guys at the Radar site at Ty Croes in 92/93. When I made a comment that an ACM sortie would be cool, the SOpsO replied, Not going to happen, they don't allow them anymore after said Fighter Controller banged out. It was actually the second Pax bang out from a Hawk that safely landed in the space of a week. The first one was a Circus linely who banged out of a Red after the aircraft suffered a low level wire strike.

I have to ask...does one get a tie in such circumstances?
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Old 21st Apr 2022, 05:50
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Crikey - that'd leave the driver with a bit of a headache - I assume it'd set off the det cord...?
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Old 21st Apr 2022, 06:34
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Nickname of Wedge (simplest form of tool known to man). Swore blind he never touched the handle.

MB spent millions dredging for the seat to prove otherwise but it was never found.
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Old 21st Apr 2022, 06:35
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Originally Posted by tartare View Post
Crikey - that'd leave the driver with a bit of a headache - I assume it'd set off the det cord...?
His ears might be ringing from the rear MDC going off but his MDC and canopy would be intact. The front and rear MDCs are separate and triggered on ejection by the seat movement.
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Old 21st Apr 2022, 08:22
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I seem to remember using Hawks for LoPro, late 70's. Nothing about it in logbook.
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Old 21st Apr 2022, 08:51
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Are you sure those were LOPROs? Or perhaps KELTEX simulated ASM attacks on HM's grey war canoes, which previously used Gnats from Valley?
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Old 21st Apr 2022, 09:00
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Originally Posted by BEagle View Post
I recall Mixed Fighter Farce during an exercise at Wattisham in the early '80s. Dispersed to the ORP, whilst waiting for something to happen, we were treated to the sight of a MFF Hawk landing with the bang seat pole poking out of the rear canopy... Later we heard that it was because a fighter controller on a jolly had managed to eject himself.
Why was he fiddling about beween his legs; oh of course, fighter controller..
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Old 21st Apr 2022, 10:28
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25 years as an FC - never lost a controller…
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