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Torpedflygplan 3 (Swedish Air Force What-If)

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Torpedflygplan 3 ("Gråsälen")

Svenska Marinen / Flygvapnet


When the carrier HMS Gustav II Adolf was purchased and began her service in the Swedish Fleet, she had come equipped with ten TBM Avenger Aircraft that the former crew simply had been told to leave on board. At first, it was expected that these would serve as the strike aircraft of the Carrier, but it turned out many was in a utter state of disrepair and none ever came to fly off the deck. Instead, they went into storage, only to be rediscovered again in the late nineties to the everlasting joy of many aircraft museums around the world.


Discussions ran wild about what the Carrier should be equipped with. Her fighter screen of J 24F Wildcats was used to train carrier pilots, so maybe something similar? Others mocked the idea, claiming a larger aircraft was needed to deliver a sufficient payload for the Carriers task. The Swedish Navy however chose to go ahead and order 30 A-1 Skyraiders. This deal was very uncontroversial, as it suited the carrier fine and could provide the task needed of her.


In late 1947, the first delivery was made of 10 aircraft, and with them on board, the HMS Gustav II Adolf sailed into Stockholm for a visit by the King. During this visit, a little girl said that the Skyraiders looked like Grey Seals on a Cliff by the sea. This was quoted by a newspaper, and even before the vessel had left port, Seals had begun to appear on the Aircraft in many shapes and forms. A official design for the aircraft was chosen a month later and painted upon all the Aircraft.




When the HMS Gustav II Adolf was retired in 1956, few saw a reason to keep the Torpedflygplan 3 in service. Four was kept for testing of the new Robot 4, and it was found that with an extra electronics package attached to the wing, the "Grey Seals" was a suitable aircraft to launch the missile. In 1957, the Coastal Defence officially proposed keeping the aircraft, fitted with missiles in their budget, but operated by the Air Force. The Idea was generally well liked and in 1959, all 30 T 3s had been modified to the new standards and officially flown by pilots from F 2 Hägernäs.


Their new doctrine was hit and fade near the Swedish Coast. They would appear, fire and disappear, operating from small makeshift airstrips or patrol the Swedish waters. In 1963, they made headline news all over the world when they had fired upon a Soviet Submarine in Swedish Waters. With severe damage to the conn tower, the Submarine was unable to dive and was displayed to all the world.


In 1968, however it was decided that the timespan of the Aircraft had come to an end. Soviet Countermeasures and anti-aircraft had developed to such a level that the Skyraider was no longer deemed able to survive in combat. The remaining aircraft was put into storage and sold to private collectors and companies in the early 80s.



Edited by JonathanRL
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