Talk:Hawker Siddeley Nimrod

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4 December 2006 14 FINE MEN DIED IN THE NIMROD CRASH BUT STILL THE WHOLE FLEET'S A SHAMBLES Officer's fear over RAF jets dogged by safety blunders Exclusive by Mark Mcgivern THREE months on from the crash that killed 14 servicemen in Afghanistan, the RAF's ageing Nimrod fleet has been branded "a shambles"by a senior officer.

The whistleblower said: "It's just a matter of time before one of the aircraft falls on to a populated area.

"Every flight has major problems, without exception.

"There are instruments held on with tape, holes in the aircraft and fuel leaks. All are commonplace.

"There are also problems with fires and fumes and radar going down.

"The Nimrod fleet is a shambles. NOW READ ON Royzee 08:07, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

I have moved BAe Nimrod to BAE Nimrod. Mainly due to the fact that following the first flight of the MRA4 on August 26 less and less BAe built Nimrods will be flying as more and more BAE MRA4s enter service. Mark 19:13, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)

What is the reason behind the distinctive engine-in-wing design? --Hooperbloob 01:17, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

It's aerodynamically superior to a podded engine. When the first jet engines came out they were less powerful than today and so aerodynamic efficiency was more important at that time. Also, (although not so relevant to the Comet/Nimrod), having the engines in the wing root makes the wing 'look' thinner at high subsonic Mach numbers. This allows the wing to be made thicker at the root, simplifying construction, whilst still allowing it to be used at high Critical Mach numbers.
This same type of installation was also used on the V bombers, the Vickers Valiant, Avro Vulcan and Handley Page Victor. Ian Dunster 13:22, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for filling me in. Do you think this deserves to be included in the main article itself or does it warrant the creation of some thing new like Jet engine placement that could tie all those other aircraft together?
That's OK. I think it's probably worth an article of its own giving the reasons for the various types of installation. Podded engines are almost universal today on (relatively) low performance and civil jet aircraft, whilst 'enclosed' installations are still used where highest performance is required. A new article could state the various advantages/disadvantages of the different installations and the historical reasons behind them. Ian Dunster 10:22, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
Downside is that you must protect each engine from the closely adjacent engine (see Tomcat layout). Compare Comet (Nimrod origin) to contemporary the Boeing 707. Throughout their history several of the aforementioned aircraft have been lost (some with fatalities) due to engine fires. Some even before they left the ground. There is also some aerodynamic technology which we did not have unlike Boeing. If an engine fails on a 707 or B47 fails then you might get back OK. Conversely, the close-in arrangement of the Nimrod allows engine shutdown with little loss of controllability - can't do that on some other planes as well.

Another point is the thermal management problems they had with the AEW version - had to use fuel to cool the electronics which cut the range.

The RAF should have a special aircraft like ASTOR flying over Afghanistan etc. The Nimrod is a maritime patrol aircraft needed to patrol around the UK. Maybe an RPV would be even better. If you have that you can remotely monitor through on-board video, ECM etc. if a problem develops then no lives are at risk. It all seems to be another classic example of our brave airmen needlessly being put in harms way. They deserve better more appropriate equipment and more of it. You cannot put a price on human lives let alone what a waste of skills. It is reminiscent of other RAF tragedies when that Chinook crashed. Royzee 22:58, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Crashed RAF Nimrod identified Nimrod XV230 was one of six equipped with an L-3 Wescam MX-15 electro-optical turret in 2003. A further urgent operational requirement, known as Project Broadsword, was implemented in early 2006 and introduced the capability to transmit real-time video imagery from the MX-15 to ground stations and commanders.The official said the aircraft was on a reconnaissance mission at the time but that it could also serve as a communications relay platform. Jane's Information Group

Was an electrical fire to blame for the tragedy in Afghanistan? The cause The likeliest cause of the crash of the £100m Nimrod was an electrical fire at the rear of the fuselage which may have damaged essential flight control cables, according to military sources. The fuselage is packed with computer screens, wires, and consoles connected to sensors, ranging from high-resolution cameras to detectors which can pick out movement under the sea or over land by tracking disturbances in the earth's magnetic field. Witnesses who saw the aircraft come down reported seeing flames near the tail, where key control cables are located. If the MR2 had been struck by a heat-seeking missile, damage would have been in the area of the four engines, mounted on the wings close to the fuselage. The Nimrod contingent, which is regularly replaced from the two operational squadrons at RAF Kinloss, is in constant demand for surveillance missions, but not considered to be overstretched. The aircraft are not listed as part of the UK forces based in either Helmand province or at neighbouring Kandahar air base. They usually operate from bases in friendly Middle Eastern countries within easy striking distance. The MR2's 3800-mile range and air-to-air refuelling capability mean it can operate from virtually anywhere in the region as long there are allied air tankers on call. Much of the air support for coalition troops on the ground comes from as far away as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, with US B1 bombers flying from the United States to deliver precision strikes. Both the UK and US military try to avoid basing large, vulnerable aircraft at either Kabul or Kandahar because of the risk of insurgent rocket or mortar attacks and the relatively poor runways and infrastructure. An RAF Harrier was damaged in a rocket bombardment at Kandahar last year. While sources say the small fleets of Chinook transport and Apache attack helicopters supporting British troops in the south of the country are running short of spare parts because of the heat and dust and sand damage, the Nimrods are under no similar pressures. A source said: "At a standard operating height of between 30,000 and 42,000ft, the MR2s are not affected by either heat or ground conditions. "They fly back to bases out of the war zone where they have adequate engineering and ground crew back-up. With a 10-hour loiter-time and air-to-air refuelling, they are effectively independent of coalition facilities below them unless there is an emergency. "Their safety record is second-to-none. Despite the age of the original design, the ships used over Afghanistan have been virtually rebuilt over the years in a series of major upgrades." Coalition aircraft regularly fly from Al Udeid, a military airfield in Qatar with a 15,000ft runway. Most of the coalition's tanker fleet for refuelling aircraft operating over Afghanistan is based there. British troops heading into or out of Iraq use the base as a stop-off point. The RAF normally has three of its MR2s in the region. There are also "friendly" airfields with adequate support facilities in Oman and Kuwait. A Kinloss-based Nimrod was sent to Cyprus recently to help co-ordinate the evacuation of 3500 British civilians from Lebanon and keep an eye on potential threats to their safety. Meanwhile, RAF personnel have complained about television speculation over the type of aircraft lost . Angry officers say reports claiming that the lost aircraft was either a Chinook helicopter or a Hercules transport plane caused unnecessary anguish for the families of all crews serving on those types in Afghanistan. One officer told The Herald yesterday: "A number of serving officers and other ranks have already lodged complaints with the BBC and others over their irresponsible early coverage. Even when details emerged, at least one television channel showed pictures of the wrong aircraft type. It's sloppy journalism at best and irresponsible at worst. "Every spouse, parent, and sibling of any aircrew in Afghanistan was left in dread until the news eventually broke."

Good Overview of MR4 on DID: Nimrod Was Actually a Good Hunter: Upgrading Britain's Fleet (updated)

Also on Battlespace Magazine:

Ontario Crash: Other crashes: Ironic that had the latest crash happened over water where the MR2 should be operating maybe the crew would have stood a chance as the one where they put her down in the Moray Firth was a 'survivable'.

Heat caused jet crash, says former engineer[edit] Nov 23 2006

Darren Devine, Western Mail

AN AIRCRAFT which crashed in Afghanistan with the loss of 14 servicemen was ageing and ill-equipped for its mission, according to the engineer who undertook its safety test.

The disaster was the RAF's biggest loss of life since a Hercules was shot down in Iraq two years ago. Among those killed was Welshman Flight Lieutenant Allan Squires, 39, who was originally from Flintshire.

The Ministry of Defence is conducting an investigation into the cause of the crash in September 2006.

Flight Lieutenant Jimmy Jones, then a flight trials engineer, was the first to test the Nimrod XV230 after it was brought into service in 1969. He said yesterday the plane was designed to fly over the North Atlantic to track Soviet submarines and was never tested in the kind of extreme heat it faced in recent conflicts.

RAF crew quit over ‘unsafe’ Nimrods[edit]

The Sunday Times - November 19, 2006 

A preliminary board of inquiry report into the September crash said the Nimrod was ripped apart by a series of explosions after a fuel pipe fractured during or after mid-air refuelling.

Another crash was narrowly averted this month when a second Nimrod suffered a similar fuel pipe fracture — “on operations in the Middle East” — as the aircraft was refuelled in mid-air, defence sources said.

It is understood RAF crews were worried about the decision to allow the Nimrods to resume flying three days after the Afghan crash. A number of servicemen resigned after the crash and before the latest incident.


[This raises the query as to why the all aircraft were not grounded pending identifying the cause. Military necessity one suspects. It has curious parallels with the early Comet crashes. IMO.]

Royzee 08:03, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Hawker Siddley vs. BAE[edit]

This aircraft has spent more time as a BAe product than it did as a Hawker Siddley product, and is still being sold/supported as such. I suggest we rename it appropriately. —Joseph/N328KF (Talk) 22:48, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

I tend to agree. The same thing was done with BAE Hawk.Mumby 23:13, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
I would disagree - The MR1 and MR2 have always been Hawker Siddley products and known as such, the BAe (or should that be BAES) has only been applied to the MRA4 (we dont have the BAe Spitfire ! or Boeing DC-3 !!). MilborneOne 21:51, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree with MilborneOne about the name change; it just wouldn't make any sense.Jak474 (talk) 22:34, 19 August 2017 (UTC)

Please replace Hawker Siddeley with "BAE Systems" in the title for this entry, or just call it the "Nimrod Aircraft" and put the detail in the text. HS was absorbed in BAES many years ago and to perpetrate non-existant company names in Wiki titles for current products, just looks as if the entry is out of date. BTW, I first flew the BAES Nimrod (as it now is) in 1970 ...

Ian Strachan Ian Strachan 22:38, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Sorry dont agree with you - please note the comments in the paragraph a few lines above this Hawker Siddley vs. BAE. Also note that the company has only been BAES since 1999. MilborneOne 12:07, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
True, but it ceased to be HS around 1977 and became BAe. This is a tricky one, I can see both arguments. While we don't have the BAe Spitfire or Boeing DC-3 as you say, we do refer to the Boeing F/A-18 (originally McD) and the Lockheed Martin F-16 (originally General Dynamics). Take the F/A-18 Hornet article as an example: Why not remove the manufacturer from the title and just have Nimrod (aircraft) and the first line can be "The BAES (formerly Hawker Siddeley) Nimrod ....". If you check out the pages in the category 'Jet aircraft' you can see that a good chunk of them (mostly US F* designations) don't carry the manufacturer in the title. Might be worth thinking about. Mumby 14:34, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

When the nimrod were built between 1968 and 1972 and they were built by Hawker Siddeley, the other aircraft mentioned above have the later company name because they were still in production with the new company, which is why the Hawker Siddeley Hawk is listed as the BAE Hawk. The use of Nimrod (aircraft) would be unusual and not follow the aircraft naming conventions. Non use of the manufacturer in us military aircraft is covered by the convention. Note that both BAe Nimrod and BAE Systems Nimrod redirect to here. MilborneOne 18:55, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Ahhh, I was looking for something like aircraft naming conventions but didn't find it. I guess that clears it up.Mumby 19:21, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Added notes on MR4 Stingray trials. 07:17, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Canada Crash Reference[edit]

Nimrod Aircraft Crash (Canada)

Mr. Foulkes: To ask the Secretary of State for State for Defence if the air display manoeuvres carried out by the Nimrod aircraft which crashed in Canada in September 1995 had been (a) reviewed and (b) authorised by (i) the station commander of RAF Kinloss and (ii) the Nimrod standards evaluation personnel. [16828]

Mr. Soames: The Nimrod display sequence had been reviewed and authorised by both the station commander at RAF Kinloss and air officer commanding No. 18 group.

24 Feb 1997 : Column: 115

It should be noted that the accident was caused by the pilot, who made an error of judgment in modifying one of the manoeuvres after the display sequence had been authorised, and this led the aircraft to stall at a height and attitude from which recovery was impossible. Nimrod standards evaluation personnel have no responsibility for either reviewing or authorising display flying.

Maybe this can be added to the table? 16:37, 16 August 2007 (UTC)


I have tried adding some data to the weights etc but these have not appeared in the actual view... please can someone have a look and activate them? I got these from a book with the unlikely title "The World's Greatest Stealth & Reconnaissance Aircraft" one of those fine cheap reprint WHSmith books - the articles in it are I think from Warplane or some such weekly encyclopedia magazine, the one with the great multipage artwork.

BTW I have some other info from various printed sources I could write up for inclusion. Maybe someone who started this entry would like to paste it in with the format they prefer rather than me doing it and messing it up?

I was thinking of for instance the operational use, more on the characteristics such as the radome on the fin, the use of dinghies etc. None yet in museums, too useful as hangar queens, even the AEW ones. Simulators. The Falklands AIM9G cluster bombs IFR etc. Tapestry patrols. World's biggest car wash. Paint schemes. Airshow routines... memorable use of flares fired from the top hatch as a farewell. Amazing plane.

Strictly speaking the Shackelton was also jet powered - the one they have at Duxford has mixed powerplant, outboard motors nicked from the Provost I think, well the same type anyway.

Cheers Roy 18:51, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Your additions to the spec dont work because it is a fixed template - you just cant add lines to it refer to Template:Aircraft specifications. MilborneOne 19:01, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
There is no reason why you can not add information to the article - as long as it meets the requirements of wikipedia - particularly it has to be verifiable and notable.MilborneOne 19:04, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Just a comment on the Shackleton - the jet engines (Armstrong Siddeley Viper) were only used for Jet Assisted Take Off (JATO) on the Mark 3 aircraft - so not really jet powered. MilborneOne 19:11, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

OK thanks. Will have a bash. Then maybe you can edit it. I am unsure of Wikipedia as I don't want to tread on anyone's toes. It is just a feeling that I have but maybe some people think of entries as theirs and do not want others joining in. Kind of opposite to the Wp ethos but what do I know? 16:14, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Nobody owns any article and anybody can add or edit an article as long as it meets requirement of notability and is verifiable. Do not worry if you make a mess as there will be many authors watching this article and if the edit was done in good faith (that is not vandalism or adding childish or stupid remarks) then others will help to tidy or correct your edits. It would be useful if you got yourself a user name as the majority of edits by unregistered users tend to be vandalism and other editors may be a bit harsher or at least be suspicous of your motives. If you can contribute have a go. MilborneOne 20:26, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

MoD rejected fire safety plan for doomed Nimrod[edit]

Michael Smith The Sunday Times, September 2, 2007 THE manufacturers of the RAF's Nimrod aircraft recommended a fire detection and suppression system be fitted to its bomb bay two years before one of the planes exploded over Afghanistan, killing all 14 on board. 06:47, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Is this page maintained by the UK MOD or by objective observers? I added news about the grounding of the MR2 and MR1 fleet yesterday, following the Defense Minister's announcement, and see that the additions have all been removed. is this not a significant event? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Anments (talkcontribs) 14:55, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Please see Reliable sources, Verifiability, and WP:POV. These are POLICIES, not suggestions. - BillCJ (talk) 16:31, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
Difficult to ground MR1s as none exist in service! MilborneOne (talk) 19:47, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

AIM-9 Sidewinder[edit]

Just out of curiosity... why is AIM-9 Sidewinder stated as one of its primary armament? Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't it that during the Falklands War the only time that a sidewinder was ever mounted on a NIMROD? I remember reading from "Flight international" that the AAM was mounted on NIMROD to take out Argentinean Air Force's Boeing 707 flying as maritime surveillance aircraft, should it ever encounter them but that was a one-off event, right? --Dave1185 (talk) 13:31, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

I took this photo at Flambards museum in Cornwall - it looks like the article you mention. Just thought I would show it here for interest
File:Nimrod sidewinders.JPG
Nimrod MR1 XV230 with Martel missiles fitted.
  • Thanks a lot! I've misplaced my copy of that edition when I moved house (bleah!), so there was no books for me to counter check this, and please correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't it stated that AIM-9 was never intended for use (other than the Martel ASM) unless the RAF NIMROD were to chance upon the Argentine 707 MPA (during the Falklands War)? BTW, those 2 missile are Martel ASM, not Sidewinders AAM. Come to think of it, the Martel ASM was not even added as the primary armament in the specifications section! --Dave1185 (talk) 23:58, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for that, Im no expert but when I saw the Nimrod poster of XV 230, I did have a double take for more than one reason.--Talskiddy (talk) 15:59, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
On a solemn note, did you know that NIMROD XV 230 (it was the first NIMROD to enter RAF service) was lost over Afghanistan with all hands a few years ago? --Dave1185 (talk) 16:17, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, well aware. (that was my second reason for double take). I have several edits on XV230 article.--Talskiddy (talk) 16:18, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Well, I just hope that MoD would wake up their bloody idea and get proper funding for the RAF boys flying them. Poor souls, amen and RIP! Anyway, I got the flight global's website link for HS Nimrod and will be adding it to the article shortly, and it's well preserved copy of that photo you took that they have scanned and saved! Cheers! --Dave1185 (talk) 16:25, 27 July 2009 (UTC)


Ref to WE.177 NDB in MR2 Specifications section removed and replaced with ref to the US B57 supplied from NATO stocks by the US Navy under Project N. RAF staff planners had originally planned to equip Nimrod with a British weapon. However, shortages came about when these 79 weapons were diverted to other aircraft during the rapid build-up in the 1970s. Nimrods continued to use the US weapons stored for them at RAF St Mawgan, Cornwall, and Sigonella NAS, Sicily, under USMC guard. These US weapons could only be used within the NATO area and were not available to Nimrods operating on detachment to the Far East or elsewhere. It was that restriction on use that prompted RAF planners to assign British-owned WE.177 weapons to Nimrod. Alas, that never happened because of shortages elsewhere. See one source here [1] George.Hutchinson (talk) 01:18, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Variant article for MRA4[edit]

While the MRA4 is a techncally rebuild, and the article is not that long, might it be helpful to split it of to its own page? The history of the MRA4 is already the longest section, and it's not even in service yet. The current article also has 2 specs sheets, so this would alleviate that. BAE Systems Nimrod MRA4 would be a possible title. - BilCat (talk) 12:17, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

Dont have a problem with a separate article Bill, officially they are new aircraft, which is why they have new serial numbers. The original MR2s were scrapped and donated "major parts" to the build of the MRA4. If you see images of the MR2s that were stripped down for conversion not a lot of it other than the main fuselage structure was re-used. MilborneOne (talk) 18:59, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Just to note, not all MR2s were scrapped. Some of the MR2s have been donated to air museums. The remaining R1 at RAF Waddington was also a MR2 conversion and is still in service Talskiddy (talk) 07:56, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, true I presumed from the context it would be understood I was talking about the donor aircraft, perhaps I should have said Some of the MR2s rather than The original MR2s. MilborneOne (talk) 11:36, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't think we need to try too hard to convince ourselves the MRA4 is a different type to justify a separate article - for instance there are separate articles for the Panavia Tornado and Panavia Tornado ADV, and for the AV-8B Harrier II and BAE Harrier II. I think balance and article length are the main criteria for splitting. Letdorf (talk) 12:56, 13 July 2010 (UTC).

I thought a split was appropriate but I was unsure as to the level of support. So I was relieved to see this discussion had already taken place. I've went ahead with the split to create BAE Systems Nimrod MRA4 & leaving a summary style section in this article. Mark83 (talk) 11:38, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Possible Libya operations[edit]

There seems to be disagreement over the facts and significance of any Nimrod deployment to Libya. Regarding this change, I think R1 deployment to Libya would be notable because (1) it could well become a combat operation rather than business-as-usual strategic recon, and (2) there are claims in reliable sources that the Libyan situation was the reason for delaying R1 retirement.

Also, the DefenseNews article and this BBC one only mention the R1, not the MR2. Simon Brady (talk) 21:29, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

If you have a reliable reference then it would be worth a comment on the delay to the retirement of the R1. Not sure why operating in support of Libya would be any different then the work the R1 has done in previous conflicts like Iraq, Afghanistan, Falklands, and probably many others. 51 Sqn did get a battle honour for the Falkland Islands so certainly not the first hot operation. You dont need to get particularly close to do electronic intelligence gathering. MilborneOne (talk) 21:46, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Enlarged fuselage[edit]

What's the diameter of the Nimrod fuselage VS the Comet? The Nimrod has a distinctive "double bubble" shape, especially visible forward of the wings. Bizzybody (talk) 07:36, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

Not sure of the diameter but the aircraft uses the same fuselage (although with a six foot long section removed) as the comet with the weapons bay pannier added to give the double-bubble shape. MilborneOne (talk) 10:09, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Date error[edit]

Falkands War section: "The use of air-to-air refuelling allowed extremely long reconnaissance missions to be mounted, with a 19 hour 15 minute patrol on 15 May 1991 passing within 60 miles (97 km) of the Argentine coast to confirm that Argentine surface vessels were not at sea." The Falklands War took place from 2 April 1982 – 14 June 1982. 08:16, 6 October 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

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The Daily Express; a good source?[edit]

At the moment we have "The cancellation of the MRA4 marked an abortive end of the Nimrod's era; the functions it provided were largely abandoned leading to a significant UK capability gap." sourced to a story in the Daily Express, a tabloid. Is there a better source for this? If not I say it would have to go, per WP:NPOV and WP:V. --John (talk) 21:05, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

No, it's not a good source. But the way to move forwards is to find a better source before removing the one we do have. The Express is hardly the Daily Mail. Andy Dingley (talk) 21:32, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
It's certainty interesting to have your opinion on the matter, but policy disagrees with you here. If it's important to you that the article continue to express this POV, you would be better to find a decent source for it. --John (talk) 21:39, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
The content should not have been deleted - there won't be a vast difference in reliability between a newspaper like the Express and a broadsheet like the Guardian on a subject like this - both sources will have (differing) biases, and as both sources are National Newspapers reporting on a specialist field, both sources run the risks on not fully understanding what they are reporting. Despite what some editors seem top thing, the Express is not prohibited from use, and information cited to it should not be purged. Also note that the content removed actually was supported by the Guardian source that was left behind, while the text that was left behind, (about drones being used for some of the Nimrod's role) was not supported by the source as it merely said that they MIGHT be used, not that the WERE being used.Nigel Ish (talk) 13:05, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
Well, it's certainly looking a lot less crappy now, so thanks for all your great help in improving the article. --John (talk) 16:12, 21 May 2016 (UTC)

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