Old BBC documentary about the defence of the Falklands task group - technical aspects

Yokel

LE
I am looking at the original BOI report:

Conclusions:

14. If all the right reactions had been taken, very quickly indeed, and in particular Chaff D had been fired on receipt of the CONDOR racket from GLASGOW, it might just have been possible to frustrate this determined and very professional SUPER E/EXOCET attack.

15. In any such circumstances the provision of longer warning, as from AEW, must enhance the chances of successful defence.


My bold.
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
They also had the benefit of lessons being learnt very quickly down South,

Lessons being quickly learned? You mean like JJ clearing lower decks after Invincible cleared the Solent and reading everyone the 'we're going to war' sermon, and pressing it home by ordering all superfluous and flammable luxuries over the side? It was a state of mind, most people went south with it


Errrrr...????

I think that Exeter had a better radar than the Batch 1,

And Avenger didn't have any AAW radar, but she had a very aggressive CO and PWO who were tight on procedures and light on the trigger - and hissed and spat at anything that came near her.
 
In 2006 the Israelis almost lost a Saar 5 to a Hizbollah launched Chinese C802, for having turned off their radar off the Lebanese coast.

It would have been interesting to see if their sophisticated radar, 64 Barak missiles or Phalanx would have brought the missile down. it being launched from minimum range

Kishkushim خربطات קישקושים: INS Hanit

NewVisionSite: HEZBOLLAH REVEALS DETAILS OF 2006 ATTACK ON ISRAEL'S INS  HANIT CORVETTE (VIDEOS)
 
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Helm

MIA
Moderator
Book Reviewer
Lessons being quickly learned? You mean like JJ clearing lower decks after Invincible cleared the Solent and reading everyone the 'we're going to war' sermon, and pressing it home by ordering all superfluous and flammable luxuries over the side? It was a state of mind, most people went south with it




And Avenger didn't have any AAW radar, but she had a very aggressive CO and PWO who were tight on procedures and light on the trigger - and hissed and spat at anything that came near her.
If only you had been Captain eh? I can see it now.
Skillfully avoiding the Exocets and bombs you lead a cutting out expedition, seizing the Argentinan carrier and two frigates, With one frigate you block the docks ala St Nazaire, with the other you dismount all the guns, lead your jolly jack tours across the land and bombard Buenos Aires forcing Galtieri to surrender. All this before tea time.
 

lert

LE
If only you had been Captain eh? I can see it now.
Skillfully avoiding the Exocets and bombs you lead a cutting out expedition, seizing the Argentinan carrier and two frigates, With one frigate you block the docks ala St Nazaire, with the other you dismount all the guns, lead your jolly jack tours across the land and bombard Buenos Aires forcing Galtieri to surrender. All this before tea time.
Well, I mean, he would. But who'd have 'manned' the photocopier at Whale Island?

One of the lessons learned from the Falklands that was sadly never acted upon, was that all HM Ships at sea must have an uninterrupted comms link to PhotEx/Meerkatz/SOI.

Just in case something needs Googling.
 

Yokel

LE
Lessons being quickly learned? You mean like JJ clearing lower decks after Invincible cleared the Solent and reading everyone the 'we're going to war' sermon, and pressing it home by ordering all superfluous and flammable luxuries over the side? It was a state of mind, most people went south with it




And Avenger didn't have any AAW radar, but she had a very aggressive CO and PWO who were tight on procedures and light on the trigger - and hissed and spat at anything that came near her.

Was that not Hermes that moved everyone above the waterline?

Anyway - looking at the CTG lessons, on this page (Phase 3 Part 1 of the supplementary documents)

Within two days of the attack, CTG (Woodward) signalled the task group with urgent lessons and conclusions. They were also sent to the Board of Inquiry in the UK, who sent commented upon them.

CTG Lessons Learnt

LESSON FIVE. "The SEA HARRIER does not have a satisfactory look down capability."

Comment. The need for AEW against the low flier became very obvious to the Board.


By the way, I was right about the radar. The Batch 1s had 965, the Batch 2s had 1022, which was later retrofitted to our surviving batch 1s.
 
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Yokel

LE
In 2006 the Israelis almost lost a Saar 5 to a Hizbollah launched Chinese C802, for having turned off their radar off the Lebanese coast.

It would have been interesting to see if their sophisticated radar, 64 Barak missiles or Phalanx would have brought the missile down. it being launched from minimum range

Kishkushim خربطات קישקושים: INS Hanit

No system works well if you turn it off.

If only you had been Captain eh? I can see it now.
Skillfully avoiding the Exocets and bombs you lead a cutting out expedition, seizing the Argentinan carrier and two frigates, With one frigate you block the docks ala St Nazaire, with the other you dismount all the guns, lead your jolly jack tours across the land and bombard Buenos Aires forcing Galtieri to surrender. All this before tea time.
St Nazaire and then an attack on Buenos Aires? Is his knowledge of Geography was woeful as his grasp of history or technology.

Well, I mean, he would. But who'd have 'manned' the photocopier at Whale Island?

One of the lessons learned from the Falklands that was sadly never acted upon, was that all HM Ships at sea must have an uninterrupted comms link to PhotEx/Meerkatz/SOI.

Just in case something needs Googling.

Very confusing - a quick Google search often shows he is talking testicles.

Only a moron would say the Falklands proves a task group can fight off sustained air attacks with specialist anti ship weapons without AEW and fighter aircraft.
 
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CTG Lessons Learnt

LESSON FIVE. "The SEA HARRIER does not have a satisfactory look down capability."
Very much a "No Shit, Sherlock" comment from RN. The original specification for Blue Fox in the FRS.1 was driven by cost limitations; and was well-known to be a cheap-and-cheerful set designed to look up at passing BEAR, MAY, or FORGER against a clear blue sky, and get the SHAR into position for a Sidewinder / guns shoot (because those were its only weapon options).

Of course, what they wanted for the Mid-Life Update and FA.2 (after "Lessons Learned") was something that could look down, and that could use the full capability of the AMRAAM missile. Which meant a bigger, heavier radar; hence the cute pointy nose of the FRS.1 turned into the uglier bolted-on radome of the FA.2...

...and from the early 90s, the RN had something that they found very satisfactory (on entry to service, Blue Vixen outperformed most of the USAF and USN in-service fighter radars).
 

Yokel

LE
Very much a "No Shit, Sherlock" comment from RN. The original specification for Blue Fox in the FRS.1 was driven by cost limitations; and was well-known to be a cheap-and-cheerful set designed to look up at passing BEAR, MAY, or FORGER against a clear blue sky, and get the SHAR into position for a Sidewinder / guns shoot (because those were its only weapon options).

Of course, what they wanted for the Mid-Life Update and FA.2 (after "Lessons Learned") was something that could look down, and that could use the full capability of the AMRAAM missile. Which meant a bigger, heavier radar; hence the cute pointy nose of the FRS.1 turned into the uglier bolted-on radome of the FA.2...

...and from the early 90s, the RN had something that they found very satisfactory (on entry to service, Blue Vixen outperformed most of the USAF and USN in-service fighter radars).

I thought that Sea Harrier FA2 looked good! Handsome is as handsome does.

I think that the anti BEAR/MAY/FORGER scenario you describe is the reason that the Navy had no AEW - the politicians said no as the Sea Jet had a radar and in the NATO theatre...

I think the big issue was that there had exercises in the years before the conflict that involved defending a task group against a low flying enemy. According to Sandy Woodward in One Hundred Days, later in the conflict someone proposed the tactic of vectoring the aircraft on CAP down the bearing of the Agave detections. Guided by ships' radar detections, they could have deterred the Super Eterndards from popping up to search with radar and to fire the Exocet. If this had been tried in exercises and existed as a tactic on 04 May 1982.
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
Very confusing - a quick Google search often shows he is talking testicles.

Only a moron would say the Falklands proves a task group can fight off sustained air attacks with specialist anti ship weapons without AEW and fighter aircraft.

And yet despite your hysterical flailing, the Royal Navy did just that.
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
vectoring the aircraft on CAP down the bearing of the Agave detections. Guided by ships' radar detections, they could have deterred the Super Eterndards from popping up to search with radar and to fire the Exocet. If this had been tried in exercises and existed as a tactic on 04 May 1982.

or you could fire a Sea Dart down the bearing at the predicted position and ruin an Etendards day when it popped up to do its radar search…. This DID exist as the SOP on the day - but despite a series of paints that clearly showed a developing attack, no one was in Sheffield’s Ops Room to take the shot. See Invincible salvoing Sea Darts down the bearing at a developing attack.


I know you think there should have been a magic time machine to save the Task Force, but small look down shoot down radars and AMRAAM missiles didn’t exist in the 70’s. Sea Harrier was a de facto very short range eyeball guided fighter with a pair of very short range sidewinders.

Whats that? The RN was acutely aware in 1982 of the need to get more missiles in the air and out to much longer ranges - but money! And a Minister who was trying to scrap half the Navy.
And when the magic money tree was shaken after 1982, Sea Dart quickly acquired better software and an auto pilot to double its range and number of missiles in the air.
 

Yokel

LE
And yet despite your hysterical flailing, the Royal Navy did just that.

Did it not have Sea Harrier then? Are you saying that the operation to retake the Falklands could have been attempted without it? Are you saying that Argentine tactics to avoid the Sea Harrier did not exist - or that the American study with concluded that something like 450 attack sorties were abandoned by Argentine aircraft evading Sea Harrier was wrong? Are you saying that no work to improve the tactics for this were improved post conflict, or that organic AEW was not urgently sought?

or you could fire a Sea Dart down the bearing at the predicted position and ruin an Etendards day when it popped up to do its radar search…. This DID exist as the SOP on the day - but despite a series of paints that clearly showed a developing attack, no one was in Sheffield’s Ops Room to take the shot. See Invincible salvoing Sea Darts down the bearing at a developing attack.


I know you think there should have been a magic time machine to save the Task Force, but small look down shoot down radars and AMRAAM missiles didn’t exist in the 70’s. Sea Harrier was a de facto very short range eyeball guided fighter with a pair of very short range sidewinders.

Whats that? The RN was acutely aware in 1982 of the need to get more missiles in the air and out to much longer ranges - but money! And a Minister who was trying to scrap half the Navy.
And when the magic money tree was shaken after 1982, Sea Dart quickly acquired better software and an auto pilot to double its range and number of missiles in the air.

You forget about Blue Fox - I am not sure how many interceptions it played a part on but I am sure it was a few. Totally agree about that you fight how you are, which is why I wonder why you berate those who served in 1982 for not using tactics and techniques that had not been rehearsed.

Next you will be saying @ECMO1 is wrong when she says the main NATO mission of the US carriers was air defence.
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
Did it not have Sea Harrier then? Are you saying that the operation to retake the Falklands could have been attempted without it? Are you saying that Argentine tactics to avoid the Sea Harrier did not exist - or that the American study with concluded that something like 450 attack sorties were abandoned by Argentine aircraft evading Sea Harrier was wrong? Are you saying that no work to improve the tactics for this were improved post conflict, or that organic AEW was not urgently sought?



You forget about Blue Fox - I am not sure how many interceptions it played a part on but I am sure it was a few. Totally agree about that you fight how you are, which is why I wonder why you berate those who served in 1982 for not using tactics and techniques that had not been rehearsed.

Next you will be saying @ECMO1 is wrong when she says the main NATO mission of the US carriers was air defence.

Sea Harrier in 1982 was a small, strictly point defence fighter to knock down the odd BEAR providing OTH reconnaissance over the North Atlantic. It was not an Air superiority fighter, it was fitted with a basic radar and a pair of sidewinders. Just enough to function as a fighter and no one regarded it as a credible fighter against real fighters. The FAA was well aware against a moderately well trained Air Force chucking radar guided missiles at them, life would have been ‘interesting’.

Despite the breathless stories in the press of the day of Viffing Harriers furiously dogfighting Johnnie Gaucho, no they weren’t, they were taking eyeball range mostly stern shots at often fleeing planes that posed no credible threat to them. The BIG problem on the day was the Harriers often ran out of missiles before they ran out of targets. If twin rails had been there on the night, the kill rate would have been much higher.

And organic AEW? Contrary to the myth, Sea King AEW wasn't some panic programme started AFTER the Falkland War started. It had been long in the works at Yeovilton as a hobby job but it wasn’t a priority as there was no need for it over the Atlantic to detect BEARS lumbering along at 45,000ft. Helicopter AEW wasn’t even a new idea, it had been around since the 50’s, see the Sikorsky HR2S-1W.

now as regards fleet air defence, far more useful would have been persevering with VL Seawolf (worked but abandoned) and LW Seawolf, (radar guided automatic AA light guns abandoned in favour of it, then it abandoned), and VL Sea Dart,(also abandoned)…… but money, the Treasury wouldn’t spend it.
 

Yokel

LE
I am not sure that I mentioned VIFFING - in the basis that it had never been used. The twin missile rails were added to the Sea Jet now longer after the war - yes I have said that I wondered why they had not already been fitted.

Organic AEW? I also thought that it was not needed to detect the Bear, but @Archimedes said that people had said otherwise. I am well aware of the fact that much of the work had already been done when the political authorisation came through on 04 May 82. The reason that the American helicopter AEW system was abandoned in the fifties was because of the technology of the day could not make it work, due to vibration.

Vertical launch Sea Wolf would have been good - but there were only two Sea Wolf armed frigates with the task force. Do you think the assertion made by @Magic_Mushroom that organic AEW would have prevented ship losses was wrong and for what reason?

The task group fought as they were - not just in terms of technology but training and tactics.
 
I am not sure that I mentioned VIFFING - in the basis that it had never been used. The twin missile rails were added to the Sea Jet now longer after the war - yes I have said that I wondered why they had not already been fitted.

Organic AEW? I also thought that it was not needed to detect the Bear, but @Archimedes said that people had said otherwise. I am well aware of the fact that much of the work had already been done when the political authorisation came through on 04 May 82. The reason that the American helicopter AEW system was abandoned in the fifties was because of the technology of the day could not make it work, due to vibration.

Vertical launch Sea Wolf would have been good - but there were only two Sea Wolf armed frigates with the task force. Do you think the assertion made by @Magic_Mushroom that organic AEW would have prevented ship losses was wrong and for what reason?

The task group fought as they were - not just in terms of technology but training and tactics.

I don't recall saying that (but might have), but it'd be within a particular context given the role intended for CVS in WW3 unless I rushed the post somewhat.

The only correlation between Bears and SKW I can find in my history was in fact this nonsense.

Wandering Bears may come with guns​
But without baggers...​
Oh dear! Crumbs!​
(with apologies to Christopher Isherwood)​

Which was not an attempt to offer an accurate reflection of Cold War TTPs or the thinking behind them...
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
Vertical launch Sea Wolf would have been good - but there were only two Sea Wolf armed frigates with the task force. Do you think the assertion made by @Magic_Mushroom that organic AEW would have prevented ship losses was wrong and for what reason?

operating in blue water with open arcs, RN ships were quite capable of beating off attacks by elderly Skyhawks dropping dumb bombs.
AEW would not have fixed the issue that ships operating near land were being significantly handicapped by clutter.

What WAS an issue was the realisation that other than the 2x22’s, the 5x42’s and the 1x82, everything else was just targets and missile magnets - see their very rapid demise after the War. And that’s an issue the old farts who rage ‘in 1982, the RN sent 100 ships to the Falkland’ rather miss.
See also the sudden re-interest in the fitting of rapid firing AA guns and dusting off VL Seawolf.
 
One more observation if I may. It wouldn't have saved the Sheff, but there were apparently ~100 barrage balloons in storage at Abingdon that would have been game changing in San Carlos Water. No one thought to bring them, or if they did decided they were not a part of warfare in 1982.
Does anyone know anything about the deploment of SHORAD at San Carlos? I know of the difficulties with Rapier but reading up on the performance of Blowpipe (Wiki I know) I find that there were 95 launches. When and where were these?

 
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