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Big RAF Deployment To The Gulf

Fri Feb 07, 2003 3:17 am

Announced today by Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon, it's much larger than many thought (like the ground force deployment), with similar numbers to 1991, 100 fixed wing and 27 helicopters, in addition to the choppers on HMS Ark Royal and HMS Ocean.
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RE: Big RAF Deployment To The Gulf

Sat Feb 08, 2003 10:23 pm

One thing to be said about Blair, if he believes military action is the right thing to do, he doesn't mess about with token contributions, does he?

Anyone remember his idea of committing 50,000 ground troops to invade Yugoslavia?
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
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RE: Big RAF Deployment To The Gulf

Sun Feb 09, 2003 4:46 am

Indeed, but although this deployment is the same size as 1991, the RAF fast jet fleet is half the size from the early 90's.
But with the incoming Eurofighters and later in the decade, the F-35B, there will be a slight upward curve in strength, the new carriers will also mean a real expansion of the somewhat token Fleet Air Arm jet fleet as well.
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RE: Big RAF Deployment To The Gulf

Mon Feb 17, 2003 9:52 am

Since the end of the Cold War, the RAF Tornado F.3, really a specialized Soviet bomber destroyer for UK air defence, have been somewhat lacking a role.

However, some have been fitted with ALARM anti radar missiles, (which are routinely carried by Tornado GR.4s)
However, the F3 mod includes equipment to enhance the SEAD role, such as emitter locator equipment, similar to the Lufwaffe Tornado ECRs (which carry HARM missiles), and the USAF F-16CJ.

The project was offered to Saudi Arabia for it's F3's, not taken up, restarted for Kosovo in 1999, then ditched again.

Apparently there was a pic posted on PPRune of a RAF F3 carrying ALARMS, it is not there now, though the thread is with a link, in the military section, ('Tornado F3, The Secret Wild Weasel?')

ALARM entered service in 1990, and was very successful in the Gulf and Kosovo, one advantage is that it can be fired upwards, where it slowly floats down on a parachute, this counters a common tactic with SAM crews, who switch off their radars when the enemy appear, to prevent the HARM's from homing on them, with ALARM, the aircraft go away, the radar is back on, and the missile floating downs picks it up, ditches the chute, fires it's rocket, and hits the target, this was found to work in the Gulf and Kosovo.

So the F3s will be a much more useful asset this time, which would explain their deployment when there are plenty of better air superiority fighters out there, and Iraq's air force is very denuded.

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