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Falklands 40

Old 24th May 2022, 22:09
  #101 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by sandiego89 View Post
Mog, Ex-fast jets, all, fascinating stuff thank you.

A question about fuel management and sortie duration on the Harrier and Sea Harrier. Mog, what would have been your longest duration mission down South? 1.2 hours perhaps? What would be your loiter speed be on a CAP at 8,000 feet? I recognize the situation dictates the CAP altitude, but would fuel burn on a CAP at 8,000 feet be significantly more than say at 25K feet? Regarding the tragic G.B. hit the water incident, I have heard some rumor that it could have been a detonating dumb bomb (free wheeling bomb fuse). While we will likely never know the exact circumstances, has there been additional thought on that?

Ex fast jets- similar question, how much time could a GR.3 spend aloft? What was your longest GR.3 sortie during the conflict? (minus the rear numbing long ferry flights), Shortest?
Average CAP sortie was c1hr 20mins with several being 1hr 30. Cruise fuel flow was c100lbs/min at low level and half that at 20k. Fuel flow at endurance speed was somewhat less. Full grongly was about double that with a fuel load of 6600 lbs. Haven’t ever heard of a bomb fusing on the aeroplane and I don’t think that this was considered as a cause. The premature fusing of a KFF with would be highly improbable due to the requirement for the arming vane safety pin to be removed by the lanyard attached to pylon, which was clinched tightly to the pylon.

One problem we had with the VT(radar) fuses was “laddering” where subsequent bombs fused on the one ahead. A bit arse-clenching but fun for the rest of the formation to watch! Don’t think it ever happened on Corporate. That still required the arming lanyard to be pulled and the arming vane to operate for the required number of revolutions before the fuse armed.

Most probable cause of GB’s demise was judged to be disorientation. Ramp launch into a dark night, especially if the HUD dumped, could be pretty disorientating. Also, turning the nav lights off after launch (often done for a night mission) required you to look down under your left elbow to find the switch. This could be quite hazardous, especially if you were in a low level turn at the time! I was supposed to be flying that mission but take-off was delayed until after dark on the orders of the captain, so I was not qualified to go.

Mog


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Old 24th May 2022, 22:38
  #102 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Mogwi View Post
Average CAP sortie was c1hr 20mins with several being 1hr 30. Cruise fuel flow was c100lbs/min at low level and half that at 20k. Fuel flow at endurance speed was somewhat less. Full grongly was about double that with a fuel load of 6600 lbs. Haven’t ever heard of a bomb fusing on the aeroplane and I don’t think that this was considered as a cause. The premature fusing of a KFF with would be highly improbable due to the requirement for the arming vane safety pin to be removed by the lanyard attached to pylon, which was clinched tightly to the pylon.

One problem we had with the VT(radar) fuses was “laddering” where subsequent bombs fused on the one ahead. A bit arse-clenching but fun for the rest of the formation to watch! Don’t think it ever happened on Corporate. That still required the arming lanyard to be pulled and the arming vane to operate for the required number of revolutions before the fuse armed.

Most probable cause of GB’s demise was judged to be disorientation. Ramp launch into a dark night, especially if the HUD dumped, could be pretty disorientating. Also, turning the nav lights off after launch (often done for a night mission) required you to look down under your left elbow to find the switch. This could be quite hazardous, especially if you were in a low level turn at the time! I was supposed to be flying that mission but take-off was delayed until after dark on the orders of the captain, so I was not qualified to go.

Mog
Morts has his own option on what happened to GB's jet on that night, covered in a talk he did to the Royal Aeronautical Society at RNAS Yeovilton just before lockdown.

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Old 25th May 2022, 12:57
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Originally Posted by wiggy View Post
MPN11

FWIW there was at least one similar incident to the one Fortissimo described back end of 82/early 83 (I think one of those involved used to post here)...I'm also trying to remember if a rapid weather change was a factor in the incident in Autumn 82 where an F-4 stab had bruising, or perhaps more correctly a cutting encounter, with the cable.

Anyhow apologies for getting ahead of those genuine fortieth anniversary tales, maybe we can return to the post war stuff when it's appropriate in a few months and in the meantime hopefully the likes of Mogwi will be back with the genuine war stories.
(FWIW I was present for the incident alluded to above; happy to recall at the appropriate time in recognition of the plea above.)
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Old 25th May 2022, 15:21
  #104 (permalink)  
 
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Mog - what's a KFF?
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Old 25th May 2022, 15:49
  #105 (permalink)  
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1000 lb free-fall (slick) as opposed to a KRT (high-drag retarded). Used with either a tail fuse (impact/delay) or a VT (radar) nose fuse for air burst. Tail fuse could be set between a few milliseconds (for penetration before bang) or up to several hours to excite the recipients and give them sleepless nights. The VT fuse was usually set for 50’ and produced a very satisfactory frag pattern against which a tin helmet was not proof!

VT fuses were usually backed up by a tail fuse to cover the rad-alt failure case.

Mog
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Old 25th May 2022, 17:27
  #106 (permalink)  
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The 25th started early with an attack on the missile trap north of the sound (Coventry and Broadsword). Luckily Coventry detected it early and splashed an A4 at long range with Sea Dart, disrupting the attack. On my way back from the early morning CAP, I saw a Pucara flying neat circles over Stanley Harbour and decided that it would be good for morale to splash it within sight of the town.

I left my #2 high to watch for missiles and dived steeply, with the nozzles in the braking stop to try to get a boresight lock, whilst keeping the speed low. On the first try, I couldn't get a lock and pulled out above 15k, as we knew that the Roland was good to 14K. On the second attempt, I got a good lock but he was heading straight for the cathedral and I thought that it might be counter-productive to make that a flaming datum. On the third attempt I got a bit of target fixation and stopped scanning the height. My #2 called a missile launch and I realised to my horror that I was descending rapidly through 14k with cock-all airspeed and now had 2 Rolands tracking my backside. I slammed to full power, selected 20 nozzle and 8 units ADD and prayed! As the nose came up through 12k, I selected the nozzles aft, tripped the limiters and selected water injection and stood on my tail with black smoke pouring out of the donk.

I must admit I felt a bit bloody silly, sitting there as the missiles homed onto me in slow motion, watching the altimeter climb oh so slowly. As I passed 14500, I was hugely relieved to see both missiles fall away from veeery close to me and resolved not to try that again!

By lunchtime, we still had not seen any sign of another major attack and were starting to hope that we were in the clear but around 1400, a flight of A4s attacked the missile trap at very low level from the northern coast. The CAP had been sent away to the east to investigate another contact and was told to stay clear. Coventry tried to engage with 4.5" and Sea Dart but in doing so, got upthreat of Broadsword, resulting in the T22 taking a bouncing bomb through the flight deck, whilst Coventry took 3 bombs straight into her, causing her to sink within 30 minutes.

Shortly after that, Hermes got ESM warning of an Exocet attack and turned downwind, firing chaff. This deflected the missiles but they locked onto Atlantic Conveyor and both struck home causing huge fires and the destruction of 4 x Wessex, 2 x Chinooks and a Lynx as well as a massive amount of ammunition and material. The Argentines had got their spectacular.

No 1(F) were also busy during the day attacking Stanley airfield, which was now a very heavily defended target and a number of the GR3s suffered small arms damage. Perhaps Ex-FJ would like to comment on those raids?

MOG


Coventry shortly after the attack.

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Old 25th May 2022, 18:06
  #107 (permalink)  
 
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Gosh........!!

Is it the 25th already.....??

We had done a few things with our 6 GR3's following the 21st landings - and we had already lost one to a missile attack on Day 1, rather than flying accidents/incidents which seemed to be causing problems for the SHARS.

Most of our airframes by then also had holes in them from small arms fire or shrapnel.

On the 25th, I flew 3 sorties, each throwing 3x1000lb bombs onto the airfield. I know of at least another 6x1000lb bombs that went there on my three sorties - possibly others - so at least 15x1000lb bombs that I know of that day.

No holes in the runway - but probably made life a little uncomfortable for the intruding temporary residents in the area. Might even have convinced the Argentinians not to place any valuable assets there.

Returned to HMS HERMES, also known as the RIRB, after Sortie 3 just after ATLANTIC CONVEYOR had been hit by one or two Exocets, and was on fire. Very bad loss for a number of reasons, but probably took the Exocets aimed at and intended for HERMES because ATLCON was nearby without any close in defence support.

Found the HERMES deck "cluttered' (RN description, not ours) with the presence of Chinook BN which had been airborne when ATLANTIC CONVEYOR was hit, and HERMES was the only deck which could take it. The crew were a little disheartened, because they were told that if it was not off the deck in the morning, it would be thrown overboard. We all had no doubt that the threat would be fulfilled, so we offered our ideas to the crew how to get into San Carlos without being shot down. They left in the morning, and managed to get there safely, and if there is one military capability which managed to achieve a significant effect on the outcome of the conflict, then BN and its crews - aircrew and ground crew - is certainly worthy of mention.

Other than that , the 25th was just another day.
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Old 25th May 2022, 22:48
  #108 (permalink)  
 
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Old 25th May 2022, 23:36
  #109 (permalink)  
 
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GR3 INS and LRMTS.

I certainly have a question for Ex-Fast-Jets on the GR3 nav kit. I do remember reading some of the comments in another book, but cannot remember if it was any use, no use at all or indifferent? Did you ever use the LRMTS at all?

Last edited by Cat Techie; 26th May 2022 at 09:07.
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Old 26th May 2022, 00:52
  #110 (permalink)  
 
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I knew she had lost her bows, looks like the front half of the ship was blown off when the Ammo on board cooked off!!!
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Old 26th May 2022, 07:12
  #111 (permalink)  
 
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Lt. Col.Ian Crooke passed away in Johannesburg during the night of 17/18 May.
" Crookie" might possibly be remembered by some on this forum as the SAS Major who was going to take a lead role in Op." Mikado" ( to take out the Super Etendards on the ground at Rio Grande. using SAS soldiers) .
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Old 26th May 2022, 13:15
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Originally Posted by ex-fast-jets View Post
Is it the 25th already.....??

......On the 25th, I flew 3 sorties, each throwing 3x1000lb bombs onto the airfield. I know of at least another 6x1000lb bombs that went there on my three sorties - possibly others - so at least 15x1000lb bombs that I know of that day......
What was the delivery profile/tactic for those deliveries ex-fast-jets? Above Roland/AAA altitude?
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Old 26th May 2022, 15:43
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Firstly, we didn't have a working INAS. There was a system called FINRAE (Ferranti Inertial Navigation Rapid Alignment Equipment). The INAS could not be aligned on a moving deck - FINRAE was supposed to help resolve this, but it didn't. The best we could get was close to useable heading info, which was better than the only alternative on-board device, the E2B which was close to useless. The sun was not a lot of help initially, because in the Southern Hemisphere, everything is the wrong way around until you get used to it.

So we had no inertially derived weapon aiming solutions, and had to do everything reversionary using manual fixed depressions.

I was involved in three different delivery profiles on the 25th..........

The first was two GR3s on the wings of a SHAR. It used its radar using an offset to pull up into a toss manoeuvre, out of range of AAA and/or SAMs. When its computed aimed bombs came off its wings, we manually released ours to match. Second was a level delivery from 20,000', which was above the AAA/SAM threats using manual depressions and a map to offer the best release point. The third was a manual toss profile - all alone - based on the best QWI derived guesses.

With hindsight, it would have been wise to have a monitor overhead above 20,000' in the safe zone above the airfield to spot fall of shot. But there wasn't one. Tasking on HERMES didn't even use foresight, and was very ad hoc and a bit "what shall we do today?" which wasn't really the best way to make effective use of the limited assets and weapons available.

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Old 26th May 2022, 16:06
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Originally Posted by ex-fast-jets View Post
Firstly, we didn't have a working INAS. There was a system called FINRAE (Ferranti Inertial Navigation Rapid Alignment Equipment). The INAS could not be aligned on a moving deck - FINRAE was supposed to help resolve this, but it didn't. The best we could get was close to useable heading info, which was better than the only alternative on-board device, the E2B which was close to useless. The sun was not a lot of help initially, because in the Southern Hemisphere, everything is the wrong way around until you get used to it.

So we had no inertially derived weapon aiming solutions, and had to do everything reversionary using manual fixed depressions.

I was involved in three different delivery profiles on the 25th..........

The first was two GR3s on the wings of a SHAR. It used its radar using an offset to pull up into a toss manoeuvre, out of range of AAA and/or SAMs. When its computed aimed bombs came off its wings, we manually released ours to match. Second was a level delivery from 20,000', which was above the AAA/SAM threats using manual depressions and a map to offer the best release point. The third was a manual toss profile - all alone - based on the best QWI derived guesses.

With hindsight, it would have been wise to have a monitor overhead above 20,000' in the safe zone above the airfield to spot fall of shot. But there wasn't one. Tasking on HERMES didn't even use foresight, and was very ad hoc and a bit "what shall we do today?" which wasn't really the best way to make effective use of the limited assets and weapons available.
Thanks for that EFJ. Assume you did have revisionary HUD flight info at least? Assume the [email protected] was as good as useless without a nav kit that had an idea where it was? Heard others talk about how a map and stopwatch was more useful than a E2B.

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Old 27th May 2022, 10:40
  #115 (permalink)  
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By the evening of the 25th, we had 5,500 troops ashore and the air raids had become more sporadic. The carrier group was now standing nearly 200 miles to the ENE of the is;lands, in order to keep away from the Exocet threat. This meant that we had very little time available for CAP given transit times of around 40 minutes.

On the 26th, the ground forces broke out of the beachhead and 2 Para headed south to take Goose Green. This was meant to be a 12-hour night attack but became a very hard-fought, bloody battle lasting 36 hours. 1(F) flew numerous sorties in support of the Paras in low cloudbase and poor visibility and on one of these, they lost another aircraft to AAA. The pilot ejected very low and fast and managed to hide in an abandoned farmhouse for several nights before being picked up by a Gazelle.

On the 28th, a flight of 3 x GR£s attacked the 35mm Oerlikon at Goose Green that was holding up the advance and silenced it with well-placed CBUs and rockets. Ex FJ will be able to give details of that but it broke the stalemate and allowed 2 Para to convince the Argentine garrison that they should surrender the following morning.

All I managed to do was to observe the fire-fight from high level, as I transited to CAP over West Falkland.

Mog
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Old 28th May 2022, 13:29
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The 28th was Goose Green Day. We had attacked the airfield with 4 GR3s on the 22nd, and had heavy AAA fired against us, but fortunately - or amazingly - all 4 got through without being hit. It was very distracting and just a little frightening. On (I think) the 27th, we had lost a GR3 to AAA at Goose Green. The pilot ejected and survived, but they had added that GR3 to the SHAR they had dropped earlier, killing the pilot. So we didn't like Goose Green.

I was sitting in the cockpit on deck waiting for a task for quite a long time. The only entertainment was HMS BROADSWORD, which was acting as our goalkeeper with its Sea Wolf missile system. Sailing very close abeam midship, it was a fine piece of seamanship to watch. The sea was quite rough, and we were taking water over the bow on HERMES. BROADSWORD was at times pretending to be a submarine as it plowed through some of the very large waves.

No task had come in, the weather was atrocious, and the light was going, so we were stood down and had just got into the space we were using as a briefing area when an Immediate task came in to support 2 Para who were close in to the settlement at Goose Green, but were being held back by AAA guns which were located to the East of the settlement and were being used in a direct fire mode against them. I had about 30 seconds to plot the target position and draw a quick line on the map which kept me clear of the high ground, and with an attack direction which avoided the settlement. Two of us went back onto the deck to our aircraft which were loaded with CBUs, and picked up a third GR3 armed with two pods of 2" rockets. We launched, did the usual high level transit to the Islands, and as we got close to Goose Green, the cloud was breaking up, so we could see the ground to let down. Also, having gone some 200 miles west from the carrier, the light was a little better, so down we went. The FAC gave us the same position for our target and cleared us through. The run in was over where 2 Para had been fighting, and it was exactly as you might imagine a battlefield to look - lots of smoke and a few fires. I ran in very low and dropped my CBUs where I had been told, and as I flew over, I spotted a gun just under my starboard wing. I called the aircraft behind me to drop/fire a little to the right of my fall of shot, which they just had time to do. We then went back to HERMES.

Chris Keeble who had taken over as CO after H Jones had been killed later said that we - his words - "wellied the target". At last we had finally done what we had been training to do for years - attack a valuable target and help the ground forces complete their battle.
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Old 28th May 2022, 17:26
  #117 (permalink)  
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I think that this was arguably the most effective attack of the war. I spoke to a Para who was pinned down on the slope of Darwin Hill by the 35mm and he said that it was impossible to move and there were bits of arms and legs flying through the air by the time XFJ and the team arrived. The CBUs effectively covered the whole peninsula that the gun was on and the 3” rockets finally obliterated it. The entire area was out of bounds for decades because of bomblet UXBs and when I returned in 2019, I found CBU carcasses on both the north and south shoreline - so well and truly wellied!

Apparently as the GR3s departed you could hear the sound of cheering from the Paras over the noise of the battle. BZ 1(F)!

Mog
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Old 28th May 2022, 20:52
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From Julian Thompson at an RAF Historical Society some years ago, following a presentation by Sir Peter Squire on 1(F)'s work at Goose Green:

In his presentation, [Sir Peter] said that his squadron helped to turn the tide at Goose Green. I can tell him that it did turn the tide. 2PARA were stuck on a forward slope, in daylight, being engaged by 35mm AAA [Anti-Aircraft Artilllery] at 2,000 metres range, something to which they had absolutely no answer. Suddenly, like cavalry to the rescue out of the sky, came three Harriers which promptly took out those guns and turned the tide of the battle. There is a tale behind that too. We had previously been supported by CAS’s squadron on exercise in Norway and we had a very high opinion of what they could do. While we were on our way south, I turned to my primary FAC, who was an RAF Phantom back-seater on a ground tour, and told him that I needed No 1 Sqn. He said that I would never get them. I asked why and he replied that they simply couldn’t get there. Thank God you did Peter, because you really did pull the fat out of the fire for us…


And Chris Keeble:

The devastating violence created by the Harriers who attacked the outskirts of the settlement at last light clinched it. It was at that moment it seemed to me that the will of the defence began to break.
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Old 28th May 2022, 22:51
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Originally Posted by Mogwi View Post
I think that this was arguably the most effective attack of the war. I spoke to a Para who was pinned down on the slope of Darwin Hill by the 35mm and he said that it was impossible to move and there were bits of arms and legs flying through the air by the time XFJ and the team arrived. The CBUs effectively covered the whole peninsula that the gun was on and the 3” rockets finally obliterated it. The entire area was out of bounds for decades because of bomblet UXBs and when I returned in 2019, I found CBU carcasses on both the north and south shoreline - so well and truly wellied!

Apparently as the GR3s departed you could hear the sound of cheering from the Paras over the noise of the battle. BZ 1(F)!

Mog
Aircraft and aircrew used in the role that they trained to do as a snap CAS FEBA sortie, made even more impressive that their nav kit couldn't be set up, but using reversionary tactics. I have read the story from the prospective of another of EFJs formation members whom saw the CBU detonations and mentioned his correction calls. An amazing attack considering the obstacles.

Last edited by Cat Techie; 29th May 2022 at 11:32.
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Old 29th May 2022, 04:32
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As the above go and buy "Goose Green" by Nigel Ely, flagged by Dagenham #58 in this thread, only 99p for Kindle version:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=goose+green+nigel+ely&crid=3PSCCP2RH6TOG&sprefix=Goose+Green%2Caps%2C118&ref=nb_sb_ss_ts-doa-p_1_11 https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=goose+green+nigel+ely&crid=3PSCCP2RH6TOG&sprefix=Goose+Green%2Caps%2C118&ref=nb_sb_ss_ts-doa-p_1_11

I have read many books about the conflict and I would say this is the best depiction of what it was like for those involved in the actual battle
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