While the TFX was also controversial in the United States, its promised performance specifications and per-aircraft cost were superior to that of the TSR Waiting for the TSR-2 or TFX in or seemed to pose great risk, but when considering Hancock's findings in September it wanted to be able to offer a substantial response to the Labor party's criticism of its defence strategy. The Menzies government viewed the British promise to deploy a squadron of V bombers in Australia for interim defense until the TSR-2 was ready as unacceptable for both technical and political reasons.
Calwell's Labor party had on 22 October reiterated its pre-campaign promise that it would replace the Canberras as soon as it formed a government. The government's announcement, and the consequent improvement of its chances against Labor, likely also benefited the United States; the purchase helped rebut American critics of the TFX, and the Kennedy administration preferred Menzies' defence policies to the opposition's.
Department of Defense. Although Australia originally planned to buy the American FA design, RAAF liaison officers requested country-specific changes such as a long-distance radio, Aeronautical Research Laboratories in Melbourne participated in an intake redesign and provided metal fatigue expertise, and an Australian test pilot evaluated the Australian version's longer wings and performance in tropical conditions.
The differences from the FA caused it to be designated the FC in Training began in , with RAAF personnel seeing terrain-following radar and other sophisticated equipment for the first time. Completion of contractual requirements to the satisfaction of Australia also took time, damaging the morale of the hundreds of trained RAAF personnel who had little to do. Navy's orders' cancellations caused further controversy in Australia during The RFC carried a reconnaissance pack with four cameras and an infrared linescanner unit.
They underwent an extensive Avionics Upgrade Program through The short span wings underwent a refurbishment in Australia, which included extending the span, in effect making the wings the same as the FC and FG models. The cockpit formed part of an escape crew capsule. RFCs carried a pallet of sensors and cameras for reconnaissance use. By June , the remaining 23 Phantoms were returned to the U.
Much more sophisticated than the Canberra, capable of air-to-air and air-to-ground attack roles; it had inertial navigation, a gun and radar. The RAAF proposed keeping the F-4 and using it with the F, but the government decided that the cost was too great. From to No. Although it never saw combat, the FC was the fastest, longest range combat aircraft in Southeast Asia. The Department of Defence and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's DFAT preferred option if the government decided to expand Australia's commitment was to deploy at least two RFs, though these aircraft would need to have their electronic warfare equipment upgraded to operate in this war zone.
Due to the small size of the RF force, the loss of any of these aircraft in combat would have inflicted a heavy blow on Australia's reconnaissance capability. The second preference in the advice put to the government was to deploy a squadron of four to eight FCs, though Defence did not support this. In the event, the government decided to not expand the Australian force. Fs from both No. This was a maximum effort for No.
For the latter role two Fs armed with concrete-filled bombs fitted with precision guidance kits were kept available at all times. Each of these sorties were made after gaining approval from the Indonesian government and normally focused on bridges and communications installations. The long delay to the delivery of the aircraft was a significant political issue in the late s and early s. This occurred around the same time that massive delays and cost blowouts to the Sydney Opera House were making headlines, prompting some commentators to dub the F the "Flying Opera House".
The use of an RAAF aircraft to "spy" on its own territory led to the minister responsible, Senator Gareth Evans, earning the nickname "Biggles" after the famous hero pilot of a number of books by Captain W. The health issues with chemical exposure included permanent brain damage to a number of ground crew before conditions were improved. Four aircraft modified to the FC standard were delivered in The government bought 15 FGs to supplement its FCs in and delivered in In Australian military and aviation circles, the F Aardvark was affectionately known as the "Pig", due to its long snout and terrain-following ability.
These accidents took the lives of 10 air crew.
The accidents occurred from to The ship had been sitting in "Snails Bay", off Birchgrove, while the government decided its fate, and it was decided in March it would be scuttled by air attack. One of the reasons given for the Fs' retirement was that they required an average of hours maintenance for every flight hour.
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The RAAF had considered scrapping these aircraft, but concluded that it would be cheaper to bury them. Miles away at Iraqi airbases and airfields, Mirage and MiG air defense fighters sit ready on the tarmac, armed and fueled up for the inevitable scramble order that will pit them against the incoming Coalition strike force. A number of Iraqi fighters are already airborne, lurking around, scanning for targets of opportunity. Your Raven comes standard with a limited load of chaff and flares, designed to confuse radar-guided and heat-seeking missiles.
Denton and Brandini, pilot and EWO electronic warfare officer respectively, were given the vital task of leading in the Coalition attack flight during the opening hours of the Persian Gulf War. Their mission was to protect the flight from Soviet-export surface-to-air missile emplacements, littered across the terrain below, courtesy of your friendly neighborhood Iraqi military.
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He quickly engaged the bogey, giving chase as the Iraqi pilot noticed someone was on his tail and actively trying to mail a missile his way. After twisting and turning, he popped flares and banked away hard, causing the Eagle pilot to lose sight of his quarry for a split second.
It was enough to give the Mirage pilot a bit of distance so that he could retreat from the fight. Within moments, his eyes latched onto the low-flying Raven and he turned his nose towards it, throttling up as he tore through the sky to attempt a missile kill of his own.
Completely unaware of the Iraqi F1EQ coming towards them, Denton and Brandini were taken by surprise when the instrumentation in their cockpit lit up and started blaring. They were being painted. Their training immediately kicked in, and Denton went evasive. Right at that very second, the Mirage let loose one of two R. While Denton focused on twisting the Raven away from its original flight path, Brandon smoothly operated the countermeasures console, popping flares. Undeterred and somewhat annoyed, the Iraqi pilot carried on with his pursuit.
Quickly, once again, he had the unarmed Raven in his HUD.
Denton was forced to put the Raven into another evasive maneuver, slamming him and Brandon back into their seats, while Brandon released another salvo of flares. It worked. The missile was fooled away from the fleeing Raven. During the constant stream of radio chatter, word came over from another F pilot who was rapidly closing in for a long-range missile kill on the Mirage.
Denton came up with a plan on the fly, no pun intended. The deadly mixture of target-fixation and a brief loss of situational awareness, thanks to the darkness outside and the low altitude, proved to be his undoing. The two breathed a sigh of relief. Their actions and superior airmanship earned both the Distinguished Flying Cross, with numerous witnesses attesting to their bravery and skill as they saw it that January morning. The EF Raven remained vital to the aerial component of the Gulf War in that day, and every day beyond that it took to the skies.
US Air Force Ravens were so successful at keeping surface-to-air missiles at bay, that whenever one was on station during the Gulf War, and subsequently, Operation Southern Watch, absolutely no Coalition aircraft were ever engaged and lost due to SAM action.
AF , the Raven credited with the kill. If truth be told some great benefits of having an affordable virtual digital camera are many. If you absolutely must check your equipment in because it is just too much stuff to carry with you, there are a few things you can do to ensure it gets to your destination safe and sound.
Like Like. One of the many great feats that this weapon system could do.
It was an engineering design to build the future AF aircraft, too bad it does not get the recognition it deserves. Like Liked by 1 person.