SER­VICE HIS­TORY

THE VUL­CAN PROVED HIGHLY VER­SA­TILE AND SAW AC­TION NEAR THE END OF ITS SER­VICE LIFE

History of War - - AVRO VULCAN -

The Vul­can was de­signed as a long-range medium bomber to de­liver nu­clear pay­loads on tar­gets in the Soviet Union. The ini­tial de­sign called for a very high-al­ti­tude ap­proach, go­ing over en­emy air de­fences. In the early 1960s Soviet high-al­ti­tude de­fences proved more ef­fec­tive than ex­pected, so the supremely ver­sa­tile Vul­can switched to ex­treme low-level op­er­a­tions. In ex­er­cises, in­clud­ing against the highly ad­vanced air de­fences of the con­ti­nen­tal United States, it proved dev­as­tat­ingly ef­fec­tive in both meth­ods.

Vulcans were also fit­ted for con­ven­tional bomb­ing, and their only ac­tive ser­vice would be in this role. In May and June 1982, five ‘Black Buck’ op­er­a­tions each put a sin­gle Vul­can over the Falk­lands, drop­ping bombs or launch­ing an­ti­radar mis­siles. Each sor­tie needed 11 Han­d­ley Page Vic­tor tankers to give the Vulcans the re­quired range.

The fi­nal role of the Vul­can was as the K2 tanker, which left ser­vice in 1984.

The Vul­can’s first live op­er­a­tion, Op­er­a­tion Black Buck 1, in­volved 13 air­craft and 18 air-to-air re­fu­elling ma­noeu­vres in a bril­liantly chore­ographed scheme

Avro Vulcans stand ever-ready at RAF Wit­ter­ing in 1963

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.