HMS EAGLE in the Falklands

Ramontxo

Donor
But of course you would need a secondary power plant for the steam catapults. And they themselves were substantial enough and such secondary power plant would probably be quite big.
 
Or you just go with a doubled up COSAG plant derived from the Type 82 Bristol, which should provide plenty of power for flight operations. 112,000 ship from the Olympus TM3B and another 60,000shp from the Y.160 steam plant.
 
A VSTOL aircraft has several advantages, nor the minor of them being it allows RAF fighters to cross deploy to the carriers with a minimum of training and so making a single aircraft for both the RAF and the FAA possible (a naval aircraft serving in the RAF should by itself be able to do it its pilot will not)
I agree with that point with reservations. Firstly V/STOL aircraft can, as far as I am aware, not start with maximum capacity regarding weapon- and fuel load. I am not sure if it is worth it. Secondly it seems to preclude aircraft such as Gannet, Hawkeye and Greyhound. While I grant that the british have made good use of helicopters for ASW and AEW, I would like to know how they compare in their effectiveness to Gannet and Hawkeye. Logistics I believe that the Chinook is superioor to the Greyhound in carrying capacity, but the Greyhound is superior in range. The question here seems to be one of priorities.
A possible solution seems to be putting a ramp in place of a bow catapult while retaining one or two waist catapults, depending on the ship's size - I am unsure of the feasibility of this.
 
I agree with that point with reservations. Firstly V/STOL aircraft can, as far as I am aware, not start with maximum capacity regarding weapon- and fuel load. I am not sure if it is worth it. Secondly it seems to preclude aircraft such as Gannet, Hawkeye and Greyhound. While I grant that the british have made good use of helicopters for ASW and AEW, I would like to know how they compare in their effectiveness to Gannet and Hawkeye. Logistics I believe that the Chinook is superioor to the Greyhound in carrying capacity, but the Greyhound is superior in range. The question here seems to be one of priorities.
A possible solution seems to be putting a ramp in place of a bow catapult while retaining one or two waist catapults, depending on the ship's size - I am unsure of the feasibility of this.
Honestly, if you have cats and traps, operating VSTOL aircraft is kinda pointless. They don't have the range or payload of a conventional carrier aircraft. If your carrier has the equipment to use them, why not buy the better plane?
 
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I agree with that point with reservations. Firstly V/STOL aircraft can, as far as I am aware, not start with maximum capacity regarding weapon- and fuel load. I am not sure if it is worth it. Secondly it seems to preclude aircraft such as Gannet, Hawkeye and Greyhound. While I grant that the british have made good use of helicopters for ASW and AEW, I would like to know how they compare in their effectiveness to Gannet and Hawkeye. Logistics I believe that the Chinook is superioor to the Greyhound in carrying capacity, but the Greyhound is superior in range. The question here seems to be one of priorities.
A possible solution seems to be putting a ramp in place of a bow catapult while retaining one or two waist catapults, depending on the ship's size - I am unsure of the feasibility of this.
There is no comparison between the capabilities of the E-2 and a rotary wing AEW platform. It's like comparing a high performance sports car with a Yugo.
 
Honestly, if you have cats and traps, operating VSTOL aircraft is kinda pointless. They don't have the range or payload of a conventional carrier aircraft. If your carrier has the equipment to use them, why not but the better plane?
You could end up with both. In this scenario, when the budget axe starts falling in the late 1980s and early 1990s, I could see the RN getting to have on CATOBAR carrier while keeping one of the Invincible class carriers as well. Harriers are retained so the RN can call itself a two carrier navy. The other two Invincible class carriers are sold, one to Australia and one to India.
 
You could end up with both. In this scenario, when the budget axe starts falling in the late 1980s and early 1990s, I could see the RN getting to have on CATOBAR carrier while keeping one of the Invincible class carriers as well. Harriers are retained so the RN can call itself a two carrier navy. The other two Invincible class carriers are sold, one to Australia and one to India.
Yeah, if they're keeping an Invincible, definitely.
 
There is no comparison between the capabilities of the E-2 and a rotary wing AEW platform. It's like comparing a high performance sports car with a Yugo.
An RAF E3 crewman on the Army Rumour Service website I used to post on disagreed - there were some areas (not all) where the Sea King was considered better than E-2 apparently. I'm no expert but I reckon someone who'd done 20 odd years flying AEW missions probably is...
 
An RAF E3 crewman on the Army Rumour Service website I used to post on disagreed - there were some areas (not all) where the Sea King was considered better than E-2 apparently. I'm no expert but I reckon someone who'd done 20 odd years flying AEW missions probably is...
Maybe the discussion is on diferent points? The Sea King AEW, at the time it was launched, might have had more modern systems than the contemporary E-2. Otoh, there's no denying the E-2 has superior range, speed and room for more operators.
 
Maybe the discussion is on diferent points? The Sea King AEW, at the time it was launched, might have had more modern systems than the contemporary E-2. Otoh, there's no denying the E-2 has superior range, speed and room for more operators.
Just another question of priorities, then?
 
Maybe the discussion is on diferent points? The Sea King AEW, at the time it was launched, might have had more modern systems than the contemporary E-2. Otoh, there's no denying the E-2 has superior range, speed and room for more operators.
This was a couple of years ago and went up to ops over Afghanistan. As I say, he didn't claim the Sea King was "better" than E2, just that it had some advantages. It also has/had disadvantages, as you point out.
 
Just another question of priorities, then?
Possibly. Then again, we can't really compare a heli-based system with an aircraft one. The RN only went for the Sea King because it was stuck with VTOL carriers. I'm sure they'd prefer an E-2, or upgrade Gannet... range, speed and cargo capacity makes the aircraft the clear winner.
 
Possibly. Then again, we can't really compare a heli-based system with an aircraft one. The RN only went for the Sea King because it was stuck with VTOL carriers. I'm sure they'd prefer an E-2, or upgrade Gannet... range, speed and cargo capacity makes the aircraft the clear winner.
It’s also the size of the radar it can employ and the altitude it operates at.
 
Pebble Island
Pebble Island, 23rd May, 0306

Looking through his scope at the now still body the sniper was confident that he already had or was in the process of passing on into the next world. Using a hand signal, he signalled to a member of the assault team that it was safe to proceed.
A total of six sentries had been identified spread around the airfield. The sentries were working alone spread out a good distance away from each other. Easily to far to communicate with each other and unlikely to be in a position to support each other if they noticed something was wrong. Watching them the British generally got the impression that these likely conscript soldiers were simply going through the motions of their duties as opposed to actually watching for any sort of threat.
Some might say that this lack of attention to their duties had sealed their fate but considering who they were up against it would have made little difference anyway.
Knowing that there was to be what had been described to them as a “heavy airstrike” on Goose Green to the SE the sniper team had waited until the bombs had actually started to impact and used this to cover the sound of the shot from their L42A1 rifle.
Of six sentries identified two had been dealt with in this way while two more had been dealt with at closer range. One to a silenced weapon and one to an SBS trooper with a Commando fighting knife. The final two were on the far side of the airstrip and were judged to be far enough away not to warrant the effort.

With four sentries taken care of the entire 180-degree eastern arc of the airstrip was completely unprotected. Slowly and silently more than 40 SAS and SBS troopers rose up from the ground having approached crawling across the open grassland on their bellies and slowly began to make their way onto the airstrip. Passing the very spread out aircraft (Having been subjected to air attacks the Argentines had dispersed the remaining aircraft over a much larger area) the special forces men noted the Argentine Navy markings. While is conflict had created a previously unimaginable level of cooperation between the different services of the Argentine military (with the exception of a few air force Pucara’s) this hadn’t quite gone as far as the Airforce and Naval Air Arm sharing the same airfield.
The air attacks had left a number of large craters on the airstrip which had been identified by the SF men as a potential hazard. This was because any of them would make an ideal fighting position and as they made their way towards their primary objective the British carefully checked every crater with the expectation that as well as his aircraft the Argentine commander may have also dispersed some of his men who would likely be sleeping in these craters using them for cover.
It later transpired that while he had considered this the airstrip commander had prioritised the comfort of his men and allowed them to remain in the slightly warmer shelters on the western part of the facility.

This objective of this operation was to capture and hold this tiny airfield. It was a rework of a previous plan for a raid on the airfield which had been shelved when it was deemed unnecessary. Most of the heavily SF men currently creeping across the airfield had been expecting to take part in the previously planned raid had been rather disappointed when it was put on hold indefinitely. Most of those men had been retasked to other things yet had ultimately found their way back here. The SF contingent was made up of men pulled from all over the place highlighting the short notice nature of the operation. 24 of them including a Naval Gunfire Support specialist from 148 Commando Observation Battery were the men who just two days previously had assaulted and overwhelmed the Argentine force at Fanning Head in a spectacular fire fight. Once the Marines and Paras had successfully landed ashore and secured a beachead they had relived the SBS men and taken charge of the surviving Argentines who now found themselves prisoners of the British. The SBS men had been helicoptered to HMS HERMES which due to the facilities onboard and the ready availability of helicopters had been judged as an ideal launching point for whatever tasking came along next. The helicopters carrying the men had left just in time to avoid being caught up in the heavy air raids that had come next but were delayed by being diverted eastwards away from the action. Once it was safe to do so the pilot had turned back towards HERMES but had also ordered the side door opened and for the SF men in the back to scan the sea for life rafts, flares or anything of that nature.
Joining the Fanning head force on HERMES was a six man team that had been conducting reconnaissance on one of the landing beaches and were now being flown out to HERMES to be rested after their mission. Having spent more than two weeks living outdoors it would have been fair to say that these six men had a certain look and smell about them that was noticeable even within HERMES’s carnivorous hangar. Before being allowed below deck they had been washed using high pressure fire fighting hoses and shaved in the manner that one would shear a sheep as opposed to cutting a mans hair.
Despite having only been out of the field for a little over a day all 30 of these men had been more than eager when the orders had come through to assault Pebble Island.
They were joined by a contingent from D Squadron SAS who had been kept on standby as an SF reserve in case of any emergent tasks that required their particular skillset such as this. These men comprised the first wave to be landed under the cover of darkness on the eastern peart of Pebble Island. The pair of night vision equipped Sea King HC.4’s had been guided to the landing site by a small team of SAS men also from D Squadron. These men had been infiltrated onto the island more than two weeks ago for the purpose of reconnoitring the airfield for the then planned raid. When this had been postponed indefinitely the men had remained here as no viable opportunity to extract them had yet emerged and also the real time intelligence that they had been providing on Argentine activity was extremely valuable. Especially during the planning of this particular operation.
Two members of the reconnaissance team briefed the commanders and proceeded to lead them towards the airfield six kilometres away using routes that they had had plenty of time to so carefully scout. Once there they would link up with another two members of the team who were keeping an eye on the Argentines in case the entire garrison collectively decided to wake up and go for a midnight stroll.

The final two SAS men stayed behind at the landing/insertion point waiting for the men who would provide the next wave. While the men coming in aboard the next two Sea King’s didn’t have a reputation for subtlety required for the first part of this operation, they certainly an ideal choice for their role of providing a bit of extra muscle and firepower in case things went south and turned into a firefight. Aboard the helicopters came two platoon’s worth of 3 PARA.

3 PARA had been acting as the landing forces strategic reserve and so rather than wading ashore onto the beaches alongside their comrades in 2 PARA and their rivals in the Royal Marines they had remained aboard HMS HERMES ready to be helicoptered anywhere they were needed. With the landings taking place unopposed this need had never materialised and 3 PARA had found their expected deployment time pushed back again and again as the helicopters of the landing force were used for higher priority tasks and their expected landing zone changed again and again. Finally, Lt Col Pike having been told that HERMES was diverting away from San Carlos had had enough and told his men to stand down for now. Only after he had done this had he been told that HERMES was to support some sort of special forces op and he was to provide a contingent of his men in support of this. While like many of his men he was disappointed that he wouldn’t be going himself, he was pleased that his men had been given this opportunity to show what they were capable of and had carefully handpicked the men that were to go.
One helicopter carried an infantry platoon that would skirt around the southern edge of the airfield and provide a blocking force between the airfield and Pebble Island Settlement. It was judged that if the were any Argentine forces on the island not on the airfield then they would most likely be located at or near this tiny hamlet. The Para’s would prevent any potential reinforcements from reaching the airfield while also cutting off a potential line of retreat.
The second helicopter carried a platoon sized force drawn from the Support (heavy weapons) company who would provide extra firepower to the assault force if needed.
If the Argentines turned out to be dug in and determined opponents the British had an ace up their sleeve. HMS BRISTOL and HMS EXETER which had done sterling work in helping to defend the landing force in San Carlos from air attack and fended off one of the dreaded Exocet’s at the same time had been transiting NE in company with HMS BRILLIANT to rejoin the carrier group. Being in roughly the right area anyway they had been directed to be ready to provide naval gunfire support with their 4.5-inch guns if it became necessary.

Having slipped in amongst the aircraft and various pieces of airfield equipment the SF men were now in positions that gave them a clear field of fire towards the dug in shelters on the western part of the airfield. This in itself had presented something of an unusual problem. The original plan for a raid had envisioned them inserting by helicopter in exactly the manner they had just done. Infiltrating the airfield again just like they had done and then harking back to the SAS raids in North Africa against German airfields during the second world war shooting anything that moved, blowing up anything that didn’t and then hopefully before the enemy was able to get organised withdrawing and heading home for tea and medals. That plan had only required that the Argentines be kept suppressed in their positions whereas now they would have to somehow be defeated in battle. To be honest the SF commander ad expected that contact would most likely be initiated as a result of their approach being spotted during their approach. Especially considering that some of them would most likely have been awoken by the sound of the Vulcan strike to the SE. This would have had the advantage of likely drawing some of the Argentines out into the open as they left their shelters for whatever pre-prepared fighting positions they had. Yet somehow surprise had been achieved so successfully that the Argentines were not even aware of it. Even though he hadn’t expected to get this far the commanders plan essentially called for a show of force followed by an attempt to persuade the defenders to surrender and if this didn’t work methodically exterminating them until they did.

With everyone in place and the targets identified 12 GPMG’s opened fire on the Argentine shelters providing an extremely dramatic wakeup call for the defenders. It later emerged that some of the Argentines had indeed been woken up by the sound of the bombs hitting Goose Green but had either assumed it was thunder or hadn’t really cared enough to go and investigate as presumably the sentries would alert them if something was amiss.
While the members of the naval members of the garrison unused to gunfire struggled to work out what was happening (with one paying with his life after he stuck his head over the parapet of his dug out to see what was happening) the marines who were there to provide defence and security for the airstrip slowly began to return fire.
Seeing the Argentines beginning to return fire the British decided to up the ante and called down a volley of 81mm mortars from the Para’s heavy weapons contingent. It was at that point that that Murphy’s law came into effect. One of the mortars landed very near the shelter that was being used by the Argentine officers. The commander of the Argentine marine contingent Ricardo Marega was struck by a piece of shrapnel that passed right through his head killing him instantly. Furthermore, the naval commander of the airfield itself was struck by metal splinters leaving him a barely alive lump of flesh on the ground.
At this point the British stopped firing and the same loud speaker that had been used unsuccessfully at Fanning Head was again used by a Spanish speaking SBS trooper who relayed a message demanding the garrisons surrender.
Having been pinned in their shelters and largely unable to return fire the Argentines awaited instructions from their officers. Instructions which could never have come now. It was then that taking advantage of the pause in the firing and underestimating their enemy’s strength a section of marines made a fatal mistake.
Four men suddenly stuck their rifles up over the parapet ad opened fire into the darkness to provide cover while the rest of their section attempted to exit the shelter and get to grips with the attacking British. They had reasoned that while they were pinned down in the shelter the British had the initiative and that they were at a serious disadvantage and effectively stuck waiting for the British mortars to find their mark. By exiting their shelter and moving to other positions they reasoned that they could more effectively bring the British under fire and even the odds somewhat. Unfortunately, the men who had exited the shelter had been spotted immediately and cut down by automatic fire.
The British commander while slightly too far away to have seen exactly what had happened saw that the Argentines were the first to open fire, quickly joined by the other Argentine positions and that his men were clearly returning fire in self defence. Annoyed that his request for a surrender had been answered with gunfire he decided that it was time to call in the big guns and instructed Captain Chris Brown RA of 148 Commando Observation Battery to radio HMS BRISTOL.

To the west of the airfield in Pebble Island Settlement one of the islanders had been awoken by the noise of gunfire. Looking out of his window he saw that the sky to the west was lit up with brightly coloured tracer rounds. It would have been so pretty if it wasn’t so dangerous and he had had to drag his wife away from the window when she had become mesmerised by the sight. All it would take would be a stray round from either side. Running into the next room to ensure his children were safe he saw his farms shearing shed out of the window. Groups of Argentine soldiers had been using the shed for shelter for quite a while now greatly irritating him as it meant that his livestock had to remain outside exposed to the elements. Even arguing with them had proved futile as he didn’t speak Spanish and apart from a translator who had be specially brought over from the airfield none of the Argentines spoke much more than broken English. It was like having squatters on his property only he couldn’t call the police and the squatters had guns.
Now he could see the Argentines jabbering away at each other and pointing in the direction of the firefight in the distance. Grabbing their rifle’s, they had quickly made their way in that direction. A few minutes later the islander had heard the sound of more gunfire this time much closer. Upon hearing this he had instantly dropped to the floor using his body to cover one of his children meaning that he had not actually seen any tracer or anything that might give him anymore of an idea what was going on.
A few minutes after this his wife had screamed when the front door was smashed open and two Argentine soldiers barged in dragging a third blood soaked soldier along the ground behind them by his webbing.
His instinctive fears that the Argentines had come to do his family harm subsided when he was able to get a good look at the Argentines. They were traumatised by whatever had just happened outside. One of them almost broke down when he looked down at his wounded comrade who he had been dragging behind him and discovered that he had passed at some point during the journey from where he had sustained his wounds to the house.
To the family the two surviving Argentine seemed to have lost almost all their will to fight and seemed to be more interested in trying to hide from whatever it was that was outside. Hours later when it was daylight another group came through the front door without being invited. However, these men while much more heavily armed spoke English with a flawless native accent and as well as removing the uninvited houseguests were kind enough to help fix the door.

With the Argentines to the British appearing to have decided that they wanted to make a fight of it the assault force decided to settle the issue through the use of overwhelming force. GPMG’s, M16’s, L1A1 SLR’s and 81mm mortars kept them suppressed and fixed in place while the naval gunfire specialist arranged to have them dug out. First came a 4.5-inch ranging shot from HMS BRISTOL. Pausing for a moment to see if this had given the Argentines pause for thought Captain Brown did not see any noticeable slackening in the fire coming from the Argentine positions and so called out the corrections and requested a five round salvo. The shells were lethally accurate with one impacting directly onto an Argentine shelter obliterating it and the marines that it had contained. Many more landed close enough leave a large portion of the garrison dazed and to disoriented to fight. After this show of force the British again used the loudspeaker to appeal to the Argentines to surrender. This time the language was much more direct and the message essentially went along the lines of “surrender or you will die here and now”.
The majority of the now leaderless Argentine garrison were not trained for combat. They were aircraft technicians, logistics specialists, cooks, radio operators, ect. All the people needed to run an airfield as opposed to fighting men (the marines were now mostly dead). Slowly men began to emerge from the shelters with their hands raised.

For the British this had been a spectacular success. Whilst sustaining no fatalities of their own they had assaulted and captured an enemy airfield, defeated a dug in opponent, taken more than a hundred prisoners, liberated a small number of British subjects from a foreign occupier and effectively recaptured the entire island.

Just as importantly in the strategic sense in conjunction with Operation Black Buck they had ensured that the overall initiative remained in the hands of the British and scored a major propaganda coup.
 
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