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MiGMasher

Aussie Vigilantes?

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Interesting tidbit of info I found in the National Archives of Australia, stating that back in the early 1960's the RAAF might have chosen 30 modified North American RA-5C Vigilantes equiped to drop ordnance from centerline/fuselage hardpoints. The Vigilante was considered back then to be the best aircraft that currently (back then) existed to replace the Canberra bombers, especially when compared to the F-4C/RF-4C and the Mirage IVA.

 

The F-4C/RF-4C was dropped from consideration at the time because...

 

*It had no Terrain Following radar

*The Radar was optimised for Air-To-Air combat

*Its combat radius of 627 miles(?) was too short and...

*...required the purchase of KC-130 Hercules Tankers (because the KC-135 was already deemed to be unsuited for Australian service), which would have required additional aircraft for fighter cover.

*...which meant the C variant had to be reconfigured with IFR probe

*No ECM, which meant external carriage, which degraded performance

*Modifications of the airplane to allow it to meet RAAF requirements would have been too expensive and would not have payed off in the long run anyway.

 

The Mirage IVA was dropped because...

 

*Poor range and weapon load

*Modifications will still not come close to RAAF requirements

*Lack of acceptable reconnaisance capability

*Doubts about ECM capability.

 

Senior RAAF personel deployed to NAS Oceana and MCAS Cherry Point, and NAS Sanford, to evaluate the F-4 and RA-5C. They were very impressed with the latter aircraft.

 

However, as history shows, they did not rush in to buy the Vigilante, preferring instead to wait for the TFX/F-111, which was still on the drawing board at the time. The TSR2 was already determined to be inferior to the F-111, particularly in the areas of range, take-off and landing performance, weapons carriage, reconnaisance capability and cost.

 

Ah...what would have been, eh?

 

a5_large.jpg

 

a5a-2.jpg

u140473.jpg

 

She is a beauty, isn't she?

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Inever heard of them considering the Viggie. Knowing them, it probably would still be gracing the skies :)

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*looks at title* Yeah I wish! But they wanted the RA-5 over A-5. What if the RAN bought them as well for the HMS Melbourne?

Edited by JA 37 Viggen

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Hehe yeah knowing us it probably will still be flying today! HMAS Melbourne would be too small to launch and recover these big birds. Melbourne was half the size of the Essex class. I'll try to find the link to the article again. It was a very interesting read.

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viggie on the Melbourne?! (shudder.....)

 

it was the most impressive bird in my opinion launched from the carrier. Watching from the island when one of those turned up was one of the most awesome sights and SOUNDS on deck!

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viggie on the Melbourne?! (shudder.....)

 

it was the most impressive bird in my opinion launched from the carrier. Watching from the island when one of those turned up was one of the most awesome sights and SOUNDS on deck!

 

I was wondering...how did it work back in the old days before the tomcats had TARPS?: Did a carrier air wing have either the RF-8 or RA-5C detachment or both?

Edited by MiGMasher

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I was wondering...how did it work back in the old days before the tomcats had TARPS?: Did a carrier air wing have either the RF-8 or RA-5C detachment or both?

 

either - or, not both. The RA-5C's deployed as a full squadron (of 4), not a detachment. We also carried RF-4s on the Midway after the F-8's went away because the RA-5C and the F-14 could not be operated from that class of ship.

 

The picture above with the AG fin flash by the way was CVW-7 which I was in at the time in VAW-117.

Edited by Typhoid

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either - or, not both. The RA-5C's deployed as a full squadron (of 4), not a detachment. We also carried RF-4s on the Midway after the F-8's went away because the RA-5C and the F-14 could not be operated from that class of ship.

 

The picture above with the AG fin flash by the way was CVW-7 which I was in at the time in VAW-117.

 

Thanks Typhoid for the info! In your opinion, which one of these was the best recon platform?

 

BTW I hope I'm not being a pest or anything but if you can provide more info on the following it will be greatly appreciated:

 

The following tail codes I've seen in various pics:

- AH

- NM

- AP

- NS

 

What air wings are these? I'm 50 per cent sure that NM is CVW-19 but when you read some tomcat sqn histories such as the ones for VF-191 and VF-194 successive authors have stated it to be CVW-10. Which one is the right one?

 

Also, are you familiar with "Hey Rube"?

 

Thanx:)

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Thanks Typhoid for the info! In your opinion, which one of these was the best recon platform?

 

BTW I hope I'm not being a pest or anything but if you can provide more info on the following it will be greatly appreciated:

 

The following tail codes I've seen in various pics:

- AH

- NM

- AP

- NS

 

What air wings are these? I'm 50 per cent sure that NM is CVW-19 but when you read some tomcat sqn histories such as the ones for VF-191 and VF-194 successive authors have stated it to be CVW-10. Which one is the right one?

 

Also, are you familiar with "Hey Rube"?

 

Thanx:)

 

I don't recognize those fin flashes, but this site has some info;

 

http://gonavy.jp/AirWingsf.html

 

I think the RA-5C as an airframe was probably the best because of its high sustained speed. It could leave anything in the dirt. But the avionics and recon equipment were not anywhere near what what is available now.

 

but in my estimation the best recon platform was a KH and a number......

 

:wink:

 

"Hey Rube" - sounds like a call for something - don't recall that one off the top.

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I don't recognize those fin flashes, but this site has some info;

 

http://gonavy.jp/AirWingsf.html

 

I think the RA-5C as an airframe was probably the best because of its high sustained speed. It could leave anything in the dirt. But the avionics and recon equipment were not anywhere near what what is available now.

 

but in my estimation the best recon platform was a KH and a number......

 

:wink:

 

"Hey Rube" - sounds like a call for something - don't recall that one off the top.

Hehe gotta love the KH's...reminds me of that cool song "Eye In The Sky" by the Alan Parsons Project.

 

That website is awesome, thanks!!! Found heaps of info and many pics there of USN squadrons and air wings that I never knew existed.

 

It's puzzling though that CVW-13 and CVW-10 had the same fin flashes (AK) and when the latter went over to the Pacific it borrowed CVW-19's "NM". The Navy must have run out of two letter fin flashes hehe, which makes me wonder why didn't they just reactivate CVW-10 and CVW-19 proper.

 

Found some pics that show some of the units I never knew about, like VA-93, VA-153 and VA-215. Never knew USS Oriskany operated A-7's alongside the F-8's!!! Also, never knew VA-155 originally flew A-7's, and found one of those really hard to find pics of A-6C's with the TRIM. Awesome, Awesome, Awesome!!! :good:

 

437.jpg

472.jpg

441.jpg

442.jpg

454.jpg

455.jpg

155662-ng512-19700928.jpg

403.jpg

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In the early 80s we were with CAG 14 with the NK tail code flying off the Coral Maru. Later CAG 5 off the Midway wearing NM. I know squadrons change CAGs (airwings), ships and tailcodes. I don't think CAGs change tail codes. Will the weps on the A5B pass for the Australian A5? :ph34r: V/R, CL

 

 

Edited by charlielima

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Two choices on the weapons fit::

 

1) Leave as USN, no problems

2) Adjust for Oz use (WP), also no problems -- all the needed bits for RAAF and RAN are already in the weapons pak

 

Wrench

kevin stein

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I would think that, had the Viggies gone into service with the RAAF they would have had a similar camo scheme to the Canberra Bombers they were to replace. All speculation of course...

 

As to the arnament, well, the government publication did not contain specifics other than having hardpoints located under the fuselage, with the wing pylons holding the external fuel tanks. Could mean that the recon package, the canoe fairing, was detachable for the Oz version of the RA-5C, who knows...

 

Here's the link guys...

 

Canberra replacement: Evaluations and proposals

 

Canberra%20Photo.jpg

86679001100500781125.jpg

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I know squadrons change CAGs (airwings), ships and tailcodes. I don't think CAGs change tail codes.

 

CVW's don't usually change tailcodes - unless they switch coasts - but they will cross deck to different ships. So the Fin Flash will generally be consistent with the air wing, but will NOT be consistent with a ship. We actually have one less airwing than ship since one carrier is usually in SLEP or rework or something. When it comes out, another goes in and the airwings all cross deck.

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CVW's don't usually change tailcodes - unless they switch coasts...

 

So that could explain why CVW-10 borrowed the defunct CVW-19's Fin Flash, and why CVW-13 borrowed the transfered CVW-10's previous Fin Flash.

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So that could explain why CVW-10 borrowed the defunct CVW-19's Fin Flash, and why CVW-13 borrowed the transfered CVW-10's previous Fin Flash.

 

yup. precisely.

 

And yes - SLEP stands for Service Life Extension Program which was run on all the older carriers. About a two year megabillion effort that adds another 15 years of use to the ship. Sorry, should have spelled that out.

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Older carriers? Are you implying they no longer have to? I thought every carrier went through one of those every few years, regardless of their age. Kind of like an oil change on your car.

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Older carriers? Are you implying they no longer have to? I thought every carrier went through one of those every few years, regardless of their age. Kind of like an oil change on your car.

 

No you're thinking of a refit, that's like an oil change. A SLEP would be more like taking the car apart, replacing the engine and the electronics and maybe welding some new parts on.

Edited by SkippyBing

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No you're thinking of a refit, that's like an oil change. A SLEP would me more like taking the car apart, replacing the engine and the electronics and maybe welding some new parts on.

 

 

yup.

 

the newer carriers just haven't aged that far - yet. They will all go through that in turn and we will continue to rotate the airwings to the available decks, and the squadrons between the wings.

Edited by Typhoid

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