British air services in the Falklands War

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800 NAS Sea Harrier FRS1 in low-visibility paint scheme.

This is a list of the units, aircraft and casualties of the British air services in the Falklands War. The numbers in bold are the number of aircraft used in the war, the numbers in brackets are the number of lost aircraft. For a list of air forces from Argentina, see Argentine air forces in the Falklands War.

Units[edit]

Army Air Corps[edit]

Royal Marines[edit]

Fleet Air Arm[edit]

HMS Cardiff's Lynx helicopter 1982.
Squadron Aircraft[1] Number Lost Notes
737 NAS Wessex HAS.3 2 1 HMS Antrim & HMS Glamorgan
800 NAS Sea Harrier FRS.1 12 2 HMS Hermes. RAF personnel attached.[2]
801 NAS Sea Harrier FRS.1 8 4 HMS Invincible. RAF personnel attached.[3]
809 NAS Sea Harrier FRS.1 8 HMS Hermes & Invincible
815 NAS Lynx HAS.2 and HAS.3 14 3 Type 42 destroyers, Type 21 and Type 22 frigates
820 NAS Sea King HAS.5 9 HMS Invincible
824 NAS Sea King HAS.2 5 RFA Fort Rosalie & Olmeda
825 NAS Sea King HAS.2 10 Atlantic Causeway & RMS Queen Elizabeth 2
826 NAS Sea King HAS.5 9 2 HMS Hermes
829 NAS (Wasp HAS.1) 9 (HMS Endurance, HMS Bristol, Leander class & Type 12 frigates)
845 NAS Wessex HU.5 15 2 RFA Tidespring, Tidepool, Fort Austin & Port San Carlos
846 NAS Sea King HC.4 15 3 HMS Hermes, Fearless class, SS Canberra, Elk & Norland
847 NAS Wessex HU.5 24 Atlantic Causeway, RFA Engadine & Port San Carlos
848 NAS Wessex HU.5 15 6 (HMS Endurance, RFA Olna, Atlantic Conveyor & Astronomer)

Royal Air Force[edit]

All four engined heavies operated from Wideawake Airfield, Ascension Island, but flew in the war zone.

Armament[edit]

Air Campaign[edit]

Sea Harrier FRS.1 1,435 sorties,[8] 20 (+3) kills, 6 lost.
Harrier GR.3 126 sorties, 4 lost.
Vulcan B.2 5 sorties: 1, 3 May and 12 June; 21x1,000 lbs bombs - 31 May and 3 June; 4[9] xAGM-45 Shrike.
Victor K.2 375 sorties; 14 sorties per Vulcan raid, 12 sorties per extended Nimrod patrol, 6 sorties per Hercules long-range drop, 6 sorties per Harrier GR.3 staging (4), 3 radar reconnaissance sorties to South Georgia.
Nimrod MR.2 111 sorties: maritime patrols, coordinate air refueling, SAR links.
Hercules C.1 50+ airdrop sorties at Falklands Island, 600+ airbridge sorties UK-Ascension Island

Casualties and aircraft losses[edit]

  • Flying accidents in the war zone
    • 2 Westland Wessex HU.5 (crashed on in bad weather on Fortune Glacier 22 April)[12]
    • 2 Westland Sea King HC.4[11] (1 lost operational accident 23 April)[12]
    • 4 Sea Harrier FRS.1 (two 801 Sqn CAP collided over the task force on 6 May - one 800 Sqn crashed during takeoff from Hermes on 24 May - one 801 Sqn slid off deck in bad weather on 29 May)[12]
    • 2 Westland Sea King HAS.5 (ditched on 12 May & 17 May)[12]
    • 1 Harrier GR.3 RAF (landing accident on 8 June)[12]
    • 1 Scout AH.1 Royal Marines (crash landed after main rotor gearbox failure over MacPhee Pond, 8 June. Recovered but wrtitten off.)[12]
  • Lost on board a ship
    • 3 Westland Lynx HAS.2 (aboard Ardent on 21 May and aboard Coventry and Atlantic Conveyor on 25 May)[12]
    • 3 Chinook HC.1 RAF[14]
    • 6 Westland Wessex HU.5[14]
    • 1 Westland Wessex HAS.3 (when Glamorgan hit by shore-launched Exocet on 12 June)[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nott, John "The Falklands Campaign" United States Naval Institute Proceedings May 1983 p.122
  2. ^ "Sea Harrier Pilot Wins DSC". Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  3. ^ e.g. Flight Lieutenant Ian Mortimer
  4. ^ http://www.britains-smallwars.com/Falklands/aircraft.html#canberra
  5. ^ "RAF - Page not found". Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "F-16 Armament - AIM-9 Sidewinder". Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  7. ^ Battle for the Falklands (3): Air Forces - Google Books. books.google.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-10-02. 
  8. ^ Falklands Air War
  9. ^ "armed with four Shrikes for another attack against the Falklands." page 67 in Peter R. March: The Vulcan Story, 2006, Sutton Publishing/'Vulcan to the Sky' trust, ISBN 0-7509-4399-8
  10. ^ a b c 1982 British Army Gazelle friendly fire incident: Gazelle shot down by friendly Sea Dart missile from HMS Cardiff on 6 June. All four onboard killed, two from 656 Squadron, Army Air Corps and two from 205 Signal Squadron, Royal Corps of Signals
  11. ^ a b c d [1] Probable bird strike to transport helicopter operating between Intrepid and Hermes on 20 May
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Ethell, Jeffrey and Price, Alfred Air War South Atlantic Macmillan Publishing Company (1983) pp.248-251 ISBN 0-02-536300-X
  13. ^ [2] (2 Gazelles shot down by Argentine army forces small arms leaving San Carlos area on 21 May)
  14. ^ a b 25 May aboard Atlantic Conveyor

External links[edit]