WI: SHAR's used 'buddy refueling' in Falklands War?

Iirc AIM9 had a very good hit rate In that war but even so only 2 weapons per aircraft means that a pair can only engage a max of 4 targets likely a single wave or part of a single wave with limited options to take follow on shots of the first fails and then return to the carrier.

The whole purpose of the CAP was not primarily to knock Argentine planes out of the sky. It was to disrupt Argentine attacks so that the unloading could proceed more or less unhindered. Knocking down Argentine planes was a bonus easing the task next time. But the principle objective was to get the Green and Red berets and their equipment ashore. Once that had been achieved, it's game over, and all that remains are the details.
 
The whole purpose of the CAP was not primarily to knock Argentine planes out of the sky. It was to disrupt Argentine attacks so that the unloading could proceed more or less unhindered. Knocking down Argentine planes was a bonus easing the task next time. But the principle objective was to get the Green and Red berets and their equipment ashore. Once that had been achieved, it's game over, and all that remains are the details.
Completely agree and the small number of aircraft could never hope to achieve anything more than a limited period of air superiority (made 'more' possible by intel warning of inbound raids)

While the Harrier was the little plane that could, exceeding even its creators wildest expectations it is always going to be a fighter plane compromised by its S/VTOL requirement and anything that improves its ability to perform this CAP mission would only improve the situation at the beach head - my point being that increased missile loadout would have been a better improvement than the OPs idea of introducing buddy tanking - and given that twin Launchers for the Sidewinders were rapidly introduced to Sea Harrier just after the war its an obvious observation on my part.

Buddy tanking as far as I am aware was never introduced.
 
Perhaps, but the issue isn't the inherent suitability of the plane and equipment, it's the time and resources it would take to trial the setup. For example it took more than 10 weeks to identify the need and develop the solutions for combat persistence in the shape of twin sidewinder rails and bigger drop tanks. Shorter timeframes were required to fit Laser Guided Bombs, Shrikes and Blue Eric ECM pods to GR3s, but these still only appeared in the last week of the war. The Wild Weasel Black Buck missions are similar, taking almost 2 months to get Shrikes operational on Vulcans.

I think it would likely take as long or longer than any of those projects to sort out the buddy capability, although perhaps the process could be shortcut by using GR3s which were already cleared for the big ferry drop tanks. However this means the first time a buddy mission could occur was about 21 May.
Yes good points.

Edit to add: Thinking about this a bit more.. If there was a desire to be able to occasionally refuel SHAR's during the Falklands conflict, maybe converting existing long range transport aircraft (or perhaps even repurpose some BA 747's) into tankers might have been a better use of time and resources than trying to provide SHAR's with a buddy refueling capability. Basically increase the number of available tankers so the RAF could occasionally fly refueling missions to the Falkland's (along with all the missions they flew historically), plus extra tankers would likely have been helpful for Black Buck missions and other tasks.
 
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Thinking about this a bit more.. If there was a desire to be able to occasionally refuel SHAR's during the Falklands conflict, maybe converting existing long range transport aircraft (or perhaps even repurpose some BA 747's) into tankers might have been a better use of time and resources than trying to provide SHAR's with a buddy refueling capability.

Given that the Argentine invasion was April 1, and the fighting was done and dusted by June 14 ...

Given that prior to April 1, there was no perceived need for refuelling SHARs ...

Given the time it would take to convert existing long-range transport aircraft to have refuelling capability ...
 
Yes good points.

Edit to add: Thinking about this a bit more.. If there was a desire to be able to occasionally refuel SHAR's during the Falklands conflict, maybe converting existing long range transport aircraft (or perhaps even repurpose some BA 747's) into tankers might have been a better use of time and resources than trying to provide SHAR's with a buddy refueling capability. Basically increase the number of available tankers so the RAF could occasionally fly refueling missions to the Falkland's (along with all the missions they flew historically), plus extra tankers would likely have been helpful for Black Buck missions and other tasks.

The RAF was in the prolonged process of acquiring VC10s from 1977 to convert into tankers, but the first didn't fly until 1982 and 101 sqn wasn't stood up until May 1984. Eventually 14 VC10s were converted to 3 point tankers and 13 converted to 2 point tanker/transports.

In my Britwank TL the RAF gets VC10 tankers by 1972, but then again in that TL the VC10 is built in almost triple OTL numbers and the Sea Harrier doesn't see the light of day.
 
Given that the Argentine invasion was April 1, and the fighting was done and dusted by June 14 ...

Given that prior to April 1, there was no perceived need for refuelling SHARs ...

Given the time it would take to convert existing long-range transport aircraft to have refuelling capability ...

Yes that makes sense.
 
The RAF was in the prolonged process of acquiring VC10s from 1977 to convert into tankers, but the first didn't fly until 1982 and 101 sqn wasn't stood up until May 1984. Eventually 14 VC10s were converted to 3 point tankers and 13 converted to 2 point tanker/transports.

In my Britwank TL the RAF gets VC10 tankers by 1972, but then again in that TL the VC10 is built in almost triple OTL numbers and the Sea Harrier doesn't see the light of day.

Yep it seems the UK / RAF were already on a path to get more tankers.
 
Yep it seems the UK / RAF were already on a path to get more tankers.

Soooo slowly. They bought their first batch of VC10s in about 1978 and another batch in 1981, surely this should have been early enough to get some in action by April 1982. VC10 tankers could have transformed the Black Buck missions by virtue of their much grater fuel offload capacity.
 
Soooo slowly. They bought their first batch of VC10s in about 1978 and another batch in 1981, surely this should have been early enough to get some in action by April 1982. VC10 tankers could have transformed the Black Buck missions by virtue of their much grater fuel offload capacity.

And don't forget the 9 ex BA & Pan AmTristars.

Is there any way that these could've been purchased earlier?
 
And don't forget the 9 ex BA & Pan AmTristars.

Is there any way that these could've been purchased earlier?

Those are a bit strange, they don't have any wing HDUs, only a big and small HDU in the fuselage. This means they aren't really suited to tanking a strike package or whatever, they appear to be ferry flight tankers for transports and small numbers of fighters doing ling haul ferry flights. In that case the requirement probably didn't exist before the Falklands became a commitment.
 
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