Refighting the Falklands War (2012): The Air War

The Eurofighter Typhoon is capable of supercru...

Image via Wikipedia

Now, in the past I have been among the RAF’s fiercest critics. I am most definitely not anti-air, as I think history has shown that handled properly it can win you wars. But what I am not a fan of is the RAF’s culture when it comes to inter-service rivalries, being something of a self-preservation society. The RAF’s top brass will think nothing of destroying land or sea defence capabilities, if it can salvage something for itself. A ‘junior service’ complex, you might say. And as we have seen with Libya, the RAF’s PR Department is the most active participant in any war. Great if you have wings, but not if you are interested in ‘UK Defence’ overall.

But the RAF provides the most potent element of the Falklands Garrison’s tripwire. Like Malta during the Second World War, the fate of the Falkland Islands in any future conflict is likely to depend on a handful of aircraft – the four Eurofighter Typhoons based at RAF Mount Pleasant. Of course, I am not privy to defence planning, but I would expect that with such a small flight and obviously a limited number of airframes, we would be doing well to have two of them in the air at any one time.

The redeeming factor, however, is the manner in which Argentine air assets have  stood still since 1982. Their Air Force and Navy are flying virtually exactly the same aircraft, even to the point of not having replaced their significant losses during the 1982 war. If the Mirages et al struggled against the Sea Harrier, I really wouldn’t fancy their chances againt the Typhoons. The Typhoons, flown by pilots who in all likelihood have recent battle experience (albeit of ground attack), would probably account for a fair few Argentine aircraft. Their job would be to prevent the Argentines landing on the Islands, or at the very least to severely delay them in doing so. The Argentines would probably be looking to land by air, given their lack of amphibious vessels. In order to do so they would need to overwhelm the air defences at Mount Pleasant, and capture the runways intact in order to fly in troops. One would hope – and expect – that RAF Mount Pleasant would have under the runway demolition charges in the event of a capitulation.

The only offensive aircraft that the Task Force could expect to face are:

  • 21 Mirages of various, eldery types (including Israeli copies)
  • 24 Pucaras (ancient, turbo-prop aircraft)
  • 11 Super Etendards (operational status dubious)
  • 36 or 16 Fightinghawks (update of the old Skyhawk, number uncertain)

Compare those numbers to the 70+ aircraft that the Argentines lost in 1982 (total of all types). Then consider how many of them are actually serviceable, how many pilots they actually have, how experienced they are, and what weapons the Argentines actually have available for use. Suddenly it doesn’t seem like such a bad picture after all.

With the air bridge from the UK to Mount Pleasant via Ascension, reinforcements could be flown in relatively quickly – one guesses that that is the idea with building an air base on the Islands. It saves on basing large forces there permanently, but enables you to fly in reinforcements quickly. These could include extra Typhoons and Tornados for Air Defence – nominally the RAF has 83 Typhoons and 136 Tornados. There would be a requirement for Globemasters, Tristars and Hercules to set up an air bridge, along with tankers for air-to-air refuelling. A ‘wishlist’ for reinforcing the Falklands at short notice by air would probably look something like this – infantry (battalion size initially), air defence (Fighters and Rapier), transport helicopters and Apaches. Whether we have enough long range transport aircraft to effect such an airbridge, I cannot know.

If the islands were lost, then Ascension Island would into play as a vital air hub. Unlike in 1982, the RAF posseses Sentry E3-D. They have a range of around 4,000 nautical miles, so whilst they might not reach the Falklands, they could cover a large part of the South Atlantic. With the demise of Nimrod maritime reconnaisance is a bit of a gap, although the Raytheon Sentinel has a range of some 5,800 miles. Hence early warning and control might be greatly enhanced upon 1982. This should have a knock-on effect for air defence, target acquisition and command and control, in the absence of carrier-borne air cover.

With the demise of not only the Sea Harrier but also the Harrier GR’s, any task force would be fighting without its own fixed wing, carrier based aviation. The Sea Harriers were credited with playing a large part in winning the war in 1982. It is frequently assumed that we could not even contemplate another war without carrier-based air cover. Some suggest that the Type 45 Destroyers with their advanced radar and missile systems could effectively provide this cover, but the proof of this pudding is only really in the eating. Who knows how naval exercises have been playing out?

One significant improvement on 1982, is the ability to operate Army Air Corps Apaches from onboard ships. I identified how useful this might be in my 2009 series, and their usefulness was shown in the recent Libya conflict. A handful of Apaches on something like HMS Ocean would be incredibly useful, for providing firepower support to ground troops, shooting up bunkers, troop concentrations and the like. I’m not sure how much the concept has been explored, but they could also have an anti-surface role, as US helicopters did during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980’s.

Any task force could expect to face less aircraft than it did in 1982, and certainly nothing which would give it any headaches. With the ratio of force that the Argentine Air Force has to offer, one cannot help but think that just one aircraft carrier with a strike wing of Harriers would do the job nicely.

ADDENDUM

A Twitter follower has rightly pointed out that the Argentine Air Force also possesses a number of A-4AR Fightinghawks, a update of the A-4 Skyhawk using avionics from the F-16 Fighting Falcon. 36 were delivered, but various sources state that only 16 are currently active. Any more information on these numbers would be useful.

About these ads

45 Comments

Filed under defence, Falklands War, Royal Air Force, Uncategorized

45 responses to “Refighting the Falklands War (2012): The Air War

  1. x

    T45 carrying ASaC SeaKings, T23 with Sea Wolf, and liberal scattering of CIWS around the large surface units would probably be enough for air defence. A bit reactive than proactive maybe.

    CAS AAC Apache yes but they don’t have rotor breaks so there is potential for failure there in the windy South Atlantic. But as I said early T45 with a modern smart gun system would be a real boon.

    If they could get down there quick enough another 12 Typhoon would probably stop the Argentines in their tracks. Saying that Typhoon isn’t cleared for Storm Shadow yet (900 or so supposedly in stores or to be bought by the MoD) and isn’t cleared for any anti-ship weaponry (a bit fundamental in a maritime operation.) I think I am right in saying the batch 1 Typhoons are better off for dropping ordnance than the later ones. The big question is whether the South American mainland is a target or not…..

  2. James Daly

    As much as it pains me, from a purists point of view, I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that we could do a task force without carrier air cover – just. Of course, ‘could’ and ‘just’ aren’t ideal militarily.

    Hopefully Typhoon will be cleared for more weapons soon as it matures in service.

    I’ve been trying to find out more about the Radar stations on the Falklands, but obviously information is very patchy.

    If I was the Argentine Air commander, I would probably be looking at – how to takeccc Mount Pleasant intact, neutralising the Typhoons and taking out the radar stations – and not necessarily in that order. Their only option, I think, would be to try to overwhelm the defences, but with their paucity of aircraft and the distance, I just don’t think they could do it, nor would they want to. It might take them the islands, but it would emasculate their air forces in the event of a task force coming to retake them.

  3. x

    There a couple of wide ranging new threads over at Think Defence on the Falklands ranging from the very knowledgeable (somebody who has done staff work on FI defence no less) to the more bonkers end from the likes of yours truly posting for giggles.

    My concern is that MPA is very open. Though I am told the garrison (if 1000 plus technicians in light blue and green suits) regularly undertakes defence exercises to my untutored eye there is nothing to prevent movement of infantry. I argued for berms, razor wire, and pill boxes to give the maintainers and cooks a better chance. And to provide relief for the single company group. But if you had got a battalion a shore would you bother to go and find the enemy? I wouldn’t especially if MPA was brought into gun range; why troll 30miles into the interior? I tried to argue over at TD that the centre of gravity is Stanley not MPA. That holding the civilian population as a token is the key. My time studying IR suggests that the world’s politicians and diplomats only sea populations not militaries.

    If I were Argentine I would charter a couple of ferries. Fill them with ardent nationalists and drive them on to Stanley’s water front. Let them disperse through Stanley and push their way into the home of the Islanders. A 20kt ferry would be over the horizon before anybody would know what was happening. Let a few lightly armed SF in to trip up anybody coming from MPA; nothing major just one of those clouds of war incidents. And of course have a TV crew their to show the Nationalists liberating their islands. Now I can here you thinking that would get messy. And yes it would. But as I keep saying the Argentines don’t need to win a war just create an incident that results in the British being forced to the table and forced to compromise on the oil, sorry I mean fishing licences, sorry I mean islands. (And the UK’s claims to Antarctica.) Somebody of TD suggests an emergency landing by a 747 (or other big airliner) on to MPA. All you would need is a charge on the nose wheel to disable the plane to stop it being moved off the runway. Again fill it with nationalists. Bob or Roberto is your uncle.

  4. Pingback: Refighting the Falklands War (2012): Land Forces « Daly History Blog

  5. Pingback: Refighting the Falklands War (2012): The Reckoning « Daly History Blog

  6. You really need to be selective when selecting a reliable download
    site. After all, I’m never planning to attempt to create fish
    hamburger to competing Red Robin. I understood individuals may say something similar about dogs.

  7. However The problem is, “are you going to get the best deal”?
    IPhone and Locating purchase might be challenging. Evidently, the iPhone
    producer isn’t content with their success within the patent dispute with rival Samsung.

  8. That is the moment you will know that this app is for
    you. You don’t require to jailbreak your Apple iphone to use this software.
    An additional effective program for iPhonw unlocking is Redsn0w.

  9. You know how handy this unit in fact is, if you’ve an ipad.
    This AppleCare may be moved by the dog owner for the consumer by informing Apple comparable.
    Run the Character jailbreak program.

  10. It’s a straightforward one-click install to add it to
    your Facebook wall. With Facebook maybe this is not needed
    because itis just texting. The hash draw won’t show up in the Facebook update, incidentally!

  11. Everyone loves what you guys are usually up too. Such
    clever work and reporting! Keep up the terrific works guys I’ve included you guys to our
    blogroll.

  12. You also have the choice of blocking nameless numbers or these already existing in your get in touch with checklist.
    The optical generate is a SuperMulti DVD burner and Blu-Ray player
    combo. Uninstall whatsapp from your Android
    telephone.

  13. Just what exactly applications am I missing that’ll warrant be jailbreaking my iPhone or iPad?
    The jailbreak approach permits even further adjustment.

    The Fooducate is free and available on iPad, iPhone and
    Android.

  14. Not exactly, but we’ve all chatted with someone whose been annoying like that.
    I adore these days’s technological advances, but
    these sensual infant boomer memories are great ones.

    Don’t do this if you can’t follow directions.

  15. You can use all your backed up information from Computer.
    I don’t mind losing these who are not on WeChat.
    The truth is that there is never one solution that works
    for each Pc.

  16. Scroll down the number until you’ve came across Windows Protection Messenger and choose it.
    Starting is easy and anybody can do it at no cost.
    The moment I might I bought a backup of Windows 7.

  17. After looking at a few of the articles on your
    web site, I seriously appreciate your way of blogging.
    I saved it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Please visit my website too and tell me how
    you feel.

  18. Yes! Finally someeone writes about injectable steroids for
    Baseball.

  19. GroupMe also gives you the freedom to create a shared choice of picking up tabs at a restaurant.
    It can says that the form looks similar to the Apple iphone five and HTC.
    Our number seven on the list is Color Note.

  20. Aceste opțiuni într-adevăr face discutarea bucurie murdar și pur și simplu
    . TentativaRevista Shop Classic pentru excelent film &
    TV memorabilia și postere . Iată ce am : am scăpat de săpun în duș și a început să
    utilizeze QV Wash …

  21. Can your tremendous-expensive iphone do that? As you do it, you then have to wait around for a
    couple of seconds for the notification message to appear. It is also equipped with a electronic compass and assisted GPS.

  22. Search through all of the offers and choose the types you want on your product.

  23. Remarkable ideas. Basic research has shown that it is efficient
    towards appetite suppression body fat burning and increased vitality metabolism.
    Fish Oil is usually loaded with essential vitamins, fibers, minerals and different healthy
    nutrients and vitamins the entire body requires.

    Right now the question will be what really are usually the gains to choosing and making use of Garcinina?
    Let’s carry a closer glance at Fish Oil success stories

  24. You have a very good point of view here.Fish Oil originated from a place
    located throughout India, Asia and Indonesia and
    used present in Ayurvedic medicines. This place appearance is certainly yellow and pumpkin shaped.
    The many common company name for this herb is Gambooge.
    In Asia or throughout other elements of the entire world, this flower is made
    use of to save various meals as nicely as a preparation for unique food delicancy.

  25. Remarkable ideas. Basic research has shown that it is reliable
    on the way to appetite suppression weight using and
    increased power metabolism. Forskolin is certainly loaded with
    necessary vitamins, fibers, minerals and some other
    healthy nutrition the body requires. Nowadays the
    question will be what really are really the rewards to picking and making use of Garcinina?

    Let’s carry a closer look at Forskolin success stories

  26. You have a very good point of view here.Forskolin originated from a flower located throughout India,
    Asia and Indonesia and used found in Ayurvedic medicines.
    This vegetable appearance is yellow and pumpkin shaped.
    The several common brand for this place is definitely Gambooge.
    In Asia or throughout some other sections of the globe, this herb is used to look after various foodstuffs as well as a preparation for particular foodstuff delicancy.

  27. Enjoy reading it. Established off new reports, Garcinia is required throughout the world as a supplement for
    people struggling with some type of fatness. It comes from the natural origin and does not have terrible chemicals, chemicals or poisons that could hurt your system.

    By comprising hydroxycitric acid, this specific might be a excessive fat blocker, which is essential to losing weight.
    Forskolin success stories can help people to curb their own appetites and lower sugar or desserts starving.
    You can forget running towards the kitchen any Fifteen minutes to get yourself a snack
    food. In fact, the authentic Garcinia Cambogiawill balance the amount of a person anxiety hormones.
    This assists to prevent likely emotional binge eating, which is one of several basic
    reasons for weight gain.

  28. You have to write this things more.Generally there are a good amount of people who are
    suffering out of difficulties such as over weight and high body weight in recent years.
    The key reason right behind this scenario is definitely the stressful life and unnatural plan due to which they are not able to
    give proper recognition on their health. Some of them do not have
    possibly time to exercise. To them, the simplest way to stay healthy will be to start taking the
    ideal health supplements. If you are looking forward to get an reliable and tested normal dietary supplement,
    Fish Oil can easily fulfill your requirements to much
    extent. The pure extract of Fish Oil have been used as an successful weight
    loss pill.

  29. Enjoy reading it. Based off new reports, Garcinia is required around the globe as a supplement for everyone battling some kind
    of excess weight. Is by a healthy supply and does not have terrible substances, components or
    poison that will ruin your body. By incorporating hydroxycitric acid,
    this unique works as a unwanted fat blocker, which is important to
    fat loss. Forskolin success stories helps people to curb their own appetites and minimize
    glucose or desserts hankering. No more running towards the kitchen each Quarter-hour to get a munch.
    In fact, the authentic Garcinia Cambogiawill assist
    you to balance the levels of a person stress and anxiety growth
    hormones. This helps to protect yourself from possible over emotional over eating, which happens to be one of the
    origin causes for extra pounds.

  30. What the heck i just read? Testimonials and Research Since the finding that Teeth Whitening Products draw
    out can become utilized to reduction pounds,
    a great deal of study, studies, and personal opinions have
    got been common in the marketplace. The sights
    portrayed by customers, industry commentators, as nicely as study
    companies have got been beneficial and stimulating. Statistics have got demonstrated that
    the draw out from the Teeth Whitening Products
    vegetable is certainly efficient for shedding weight.

  31. You have to write this things more.Presently there are a
    fantastic number of individuals that are suffering by problems like obesity and
    increased fat at this present time. The main reason right behind this scenario is definitely the occupied
    life and irregular routine because of which
    they are unable to spend adequate interest on their health.
    Some of them do not have possibly time for it to work out.
    For them, the best way to continue healthy and fit is to start taking the appropriate supplements.
    If you want to forward to to have successful and tried natural dietary supplement, Forskolin may fulfill your needs to a
    great extent. The absolute extract of Forskolin has long been utilised as an successful slimming
    pill.

  32. You have to write this things more.Generally there are a
    wonderful number of individuals that suffer out of troubles such as
    weight problems and extreme excess fat nowadays. The reason right behind this scenario could be the occupied
    life and irregular program because of which they are not able to pay proper attention on their health.

    A variety of them do not have actually period to exercise.
    For them, simplest way to stay healthy and fit is to begin taking the right vitamin supplements.
    If you are looking toward get an effective and tested healthy health supplement, Fish Oil may fulfill
    your needs to much extent. The absolute extract of
    Fish Oil has been utilized as an good weight
    loss supplement.

  33. What the heck i just read? Testimonials and Research Since the finding that Teeth Whitening Products get can end up being utilized to reduction fat, a great deal
    of analysis, studies, and personal opinions have got been common in the marketplace.
    The sights indicated by customers, industry commentators, as nicely
    as study companies have got been beneficial and
    stimulating. Statistics possess demonstrated that the
    remove from the Teeth Whitening Products seed is certainly efficient for dropping weight.

  34. You have a very good point of view here.Fish Oil originated from a plant located throughout India, Asia
    and Indonesia and used inside Ayurvedic medicines.
    This plant appearance is usually yellow and pumpkin shaped.
    The several common name for this plant is definitely Gambooge.
    In Asia or throughout additional parts of the world, this seed is used to preserve various foodstuff as very well
    as a preparation for particular foodstuff delicancy.

  35. Did not thought about this until now :). These are usually obviously great enough factors to purchase Toenail Fungus on the web than at the huge superstores, and If
    you need to understand even more about what this incredibly effective antioxidant, fats burning dietary supplement, urge for food suppressant and organic weight reduction item can perform for you move to one
    of the Toenail Fungus suppliers.

  36. Did not thought about this until now :)Forskolin Extract stops the pancreas from breaking down starch into maltose and dextrin. It also prevents the generation of alpha-amylase nutrients
    in the human body. Medical practitioners occasionally
    propose this to their customers who are diabetic patients because the Forskolin stops
    the growth of alpha-glucosidase found in the intestinal tract from transitioning disaccharides and starches into blood sugar.
    Forskolin benefits also reduces glucose and carbohydrates from switching into unwanted
    extra fat by ending the making of citrate lyase.
    Some physicians use Garcinia as a laxative to help
    with costiveness or other health functions such as dieting, stress relief, depressive disorder, changes in mood and as a help to acquiring a
    good night rest.

  37. Did not thought about this until now :)Forskolin Extract suppresses the pancreatic
    from smashing down starch into maltose and dextrin.
    It also ceases the generation of alpha-amylase nutrients in the overall
    body. Health professionals usually advise this to their people who are diabetics because the Forskolin stops the manufacturing
    of alpha-glucosidase located in the colon from switching disaccharides and starches into blood
    sugar. Forskolin benefits also prevents glucose and carbohydrate food from transforming into excess fat
    by preventing the generation of citrate lyase. Some health professionals use Garcinia as a laxative to help with costiveness or
    other health purposes such as fat reduction, a stress reliever, depressive disorders, mood
    swings and as a help to finding a great night rest.

  38. Enjoy reading it. As pointed out previously, Teeth Whitening Products Fruits
    Extracts are usually getting hailed as the greatest breakthrough of all periods by wellness &
    pounds loss specialists. This will be because research have exposed that an natural substance – Hydroxycitric Acidity
    (HCA) – discovered in the fruits extract helps in preserving body excess weight.
    Recent study signifies that this acidity successfully pads
    the manufacturing of fat & glucose in the entire
    body &, at the exact same time, furthermore suppresses craving for
    food pangs. The fruits also creates a feeling of satiety which prevents a individual from over consuming, in truth leads to
    him to sense full earlier, thereby reducing his hunger.

  39. You have to write this things more.Teeth Whitening Products diet plan is able to
    help to make you shed pounds in 3 unique strategies, initially it may help to make your liver organ burn off of
    a lot more carbohydrate food and excess fat from the foods that you are consuming and avert from becoming stored as entire body, subsequent it’ll enhance your feeling you’ll prevent emotional eating and lastly it is proceeding to reduce the degree of cortisol within your entire body that are
    accountable for slowing down straight down your fat burning capacity.

  40. What the heck i just read? The initial point is to consult with a
    doctor before using this product. The extract of Fish Oil is obtainable in the
    form of supplements and tablets and asking a physician will supply you a
    transparent know-how about the belief that will it fit
    your preferences or not. This supplement normally meets the
    needs of the persons but exceptions are always there.
    So, you need to just be sure you are definitely not the one who cannot use this product.
    Another important thing is regarding the amount.
    It is advisable to consult your doctor regarding the intake and
    be precise regarding it authentic Fish Oil.
    WOW.Nice read here. The actual step to just how this
    supplement functions is that it is actually a dual action diet product, which
    means that it operates as being an diet enhancing drug as well as a “fat burner”.
    This actually suggests that it oxidizes your
    fat units through the use of anti-oxidants, and that
    leads to very much more strength for you – however , only when you know how to have authentic Fish Oil in the correct manner.A lot of diet goods on the market today were created near reving up your fat burning capacity,
    which is certainly simply not secure for many of us – and this is the reason why more and more are
    deciding to invest in Fish Oil extract instead.

  41. Did not thought about this until now :). These are usually obviously
    great enough factors to purchase Teeth Whitening Products on-line
    than at the huge superstores, and If you wish to find out even more
    about what this incredibly effective antioxidant, fats burning dietary supplement,
    hunger suppressant and organic weight reduction item can perform for you proceed to one of the Teeth Whitening Products merchants.

  42. You have a very good point of view here.Forskolin originated from a plant located throughout India,
    Asia and Indonesia and used inside of Ayurvedic medicines. This plant appearance is usually
    yellow and pumpkin shaped. The just about all common brand for this flower is usually Gambooge.

    In Asia or throughout some other parts of the universe,
    this seed is applied to preserve various foodstuff as well as a preparation for particular foodstuff delicancy.

  43. Remarkable ideas. Research has proven that it is effective
    in direction of appetite suppression body fat getting rid of and increased power metabolism.
    Fish Oil will be loaded with essential vitamins, fibers, minerals and some other
    healthy nutrients and vitamins the body requires.
    Right now the question is what precisely will be the benefits to deciding upon and making use of Garcinina?

    Let’s get a closer glimpse at Fish Oil success stories

  44. You have to write this things more.Teeth Whitening Products diet plan is able to help to make
    you shed fat in 3 unique methods, initially it
    may produce your liver organ burn off of a lot more carbohydrate food and fatty acids from the meals
    that you are consuming and avert from becoming stored as entire body,
    subsequent it’ll enhance your disposition you’ll prevent emotional eating and lastly it is
    planning to reduce the degree of cortisol
    within your entire body that are accountable for decrease lower your fat burning capacity.

  45. What the heck i just read? The initial factor is to check with a doctor previous to making use of this product or service.
    The extract of Forskolin can be found such as supplements and products and
    talking to a physician will provide you a obvious perception of the fact will
    it suit you or not. The product typically satisfies
    the wants of all of the persons but differences will always be there.
    So, you might want to make sure that you are not the main one that are unable to work with
    this item. Another thing is regarding the dosage.
    It is advisable to consult your doctor regarding the consumption and be precise about this authentic
    Forskolin.
    WOW.Nice read here. The genuine factor to precisely how this remedy is effective is
    it can be a dual action diet supplement, and therefore it works as being
    an appetite reducing drug including a “fat burner”.
    This definitely signifies that it oxidizes fat body cells by
    using anti-oxidants, and also leads to more power for your needs – but only when you know how taking authentic Forskolin in the ideal style.A lot of diet products currently available are designed near reving up your fat burning capacity, which is not really risk-free for many individuals
    – and this is the reason why a lot more people are deciding to order Forskolin extract instead.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s