Exocet missile in the Falklands war

Hari Sud

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I am sure there is an Argentinian version of the above events.

The Brits were lucky in that war, some of the ordnance dropped by the Argentinian Super Etrands hit the British ships but did not explode. The ordnance was 2nd World war vintage and had not been tested. One of the ship hit by these dud bombs was British Aircraft Carrier. Imagine, if this 500 pounder had exploded, Great Britain would not be as great. The Aircraft Carrier would be rendered useless or sunk. British government would have been left with no choice but to recall its forces back home.

It is said by eminent personalities through out the history that luck favours the powerful. In this war, Brtis were the more powerful and all the NATO nations provided help to Britain to win this war, hence they won. Unlucky for the Argentinians, they lost, and lost it in a big way in which a big battleship was lost, the Falkland island was permanently handed over to a colonial power and a lot of Argentinian prestige joined the dust.
 

Peter

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I am sure there is an Argentinian version of the above events.

The Brits were lucky in that war, some of the ordnance dropped by the Argentinian Super Etrands hit the British ships but did not explode. The ordnance was 2nd World war vintage and had not been tested. One of the ship hit by these dud bombs was British Aircraft Carrier. Imagine, if this 500 pounder had exploded, Great Britain would not be as great. The Aircraft Carrier would be rendered useless or sunk. British government would have been left with no choice but to recall its forces back home.

It is said by eminent personalities through out the history that luck favours the powerful. In this war, Brtis were the more powerful and all the NATO nations provided help to Britain to win this war, hence they won. Unlucky for the Argentinians, they lost, and lost it in a big way in which a big battleship was lost, the Falkland island was permanently handed over to a colonial power and a lot of Argentinian prestige joined the dust.

Sir,

Great Britain is called Great because it comprises the greater part of the British Isles. It has nothing to do with its military achievements. When Scotland and England formed an union the country came to be known as Great Britain.
 
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I am sure there is an Argentinian version of the above events.

The Brits were lucky in that war, some of the ordnance dropped by the Argentinian Super Etrands hit the British ships but did not explode. The ordnance was 2nd World war vintage and had not been tested. One of the ship hit by these dud bombs was British Aircraft Carrier. Imagine, if this 500 pounder had exploded, Great Britain would not be as great. The Aircraft Carrier would be rendered useless or sunk. British government would have been left with no choice but to recall its forces back home.

It is said by eminent personalities through out the history that luck favours the powerful. In this war, Brtis were the more powerful and all the NATO nations provided help to Britain to win this war, hence they won. Unlucky for the Argentinians, they lost, and lost it in a big way in which a big battleship was lost, the Falkland island was permanently handed over to a colonial power and a lot of Argentinian prestige joined the dust.
The British had a really tough time in the Falklands it took all their diplomatic and military efforts to save face. In the end Gurkhas had to be sent in to bring the war to a quick end.
 

Syd

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Sir,

Great Britain is called Great because it comprises the greater part of the British Isles. It has nothing to do with its military achievements. When Scotland and England formed an union the country came to be known as Great Britain.
You are quite correct that "Great Britain" refers to the island that comprises Scotland, England and Wales. This term has been used since Roman times to differentiate it from Little Britain. You may well ask, where is this place; it is in fact, the Brittany peninsula in France.

In Roman times both France (including Brittany) and Great Britain were populated by Celtic tribes. The Romans managed to conquer the tribes occupying what became England and Wales and even Ireland but never managed to subdue the Scottish Celts. After the Germanic invasions many of the English Celts were pushed into the western extremities of the island which is why the Welsh and Cornish are Celtic and giving rise to the old joke the Welsh are Britons who can swim (across the River Severn).
 

Roland55

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ITB or Berreta Firing installation (installation de tiro berreta)
This was an improvised system made from the launcher of ARA Segui an argentine destroyer, to fire from the ground, Argentine navy personnel went through a lot of work to get the launcher operational, 2 missiles were fired the first one failed to track while the second one hit HMS Glamorgan on its side leaving it out of action for the reminder of the conflict.
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Roland55

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During the morning of May 4th, a lone P-2V5 Neptune took off from the Rio Grande air base, its mission was to clear and control a path for a C-130 Hercules to cross the altantic sea and deliver supplies and troops to the forces that days prior captured the Falklands/Malvinas Islands. Due to the old age of the Neptune its sensors and radar usually malfunction during flight, thing that requiere the crew to service it in flight (thing that happened during this mission). Suddenly the radar picked up an anomaly, a British Type 42 was detected, immediately after transmitting the information the C-130 flight was canceled and the alarm sounded for the Argentine Naval Aviation Command (COAN), a plan to strike the ship fell into the hands of the brand new Dassault Super Etendard, aircraft that had arrived almost a year before the conflict.

The armament that was going to be used was the AM-39 Exocet, an ASM that the french had supplied in low quantities to the Argentine navy. When the conflict started, pressure was put on the french government by britain to cease activities that helped the argentine military effort, this meant most french technicians departed the country, leaving the argentines to finish the job preparing and calibrating the missiles for their use, thing that they accomplished by themselves.

A pair of SUE took off from Rio Grande Air Base, each carried a missile on their wings and a fuel tank on the other, both aircraft flew under radar and radio silence towards the position informed by the Neptune, both refueled of a KC-130, after that they continued towards their objective.

The British naval fleet was on "warning yellow", without any indication of the presence of enemy attackers. In order to avoid radar detection the SUEs lowered their altitude to 75ft (25m) at 130Nm from their objective. At 50Nm from the objetive both aircraft pop up and activate their radars in order to detect the British ships, thing that they failed to do, thus going back to 75ft.

A sailor (electronic warfare operator) inside HMS Glasgow screamed AGAVE BEARING 238. CONFIDENCE LEVEL CERTAIN!!.(Agave was the radar used by the SUEs) both etendards had been detected while they popped up and had their radars on. A minute later "action stations" were called inside HMS Glasgow, AWO informed to the fleet: FLASH; AGAVE 245; CONDOR 245 (Condor was the nickname given to the Agave), HMS Sheffield only received a fraction of the message (being CONDOR 225 or CONDOR, but it wasn't taken seriously).

At 30Nm of the fleet, both SUEs popped up again, HMS Glasgow detected them and informed. HMS Invincible gave a ROGER OUT and transmitted via LINK-10, message only received by HMS Coventry, HMS Invencible and HMS Sheffield. A minute later HMS Glasgow detected both contacts on their surface radar Type 992 and informed TWO LOW BOGIES, SW 25NM, AIRCRAFT HEADING 070-080. Both contacts were coming at 450Kts and in a clear aproximación to the fleet. Moments later Operators inside Glasgow detected both contacts rising, a desperate order to launch CHAFF D was given, the operator inside Glasgow was desperate, calling for the fleet to take action but he count convince the operators inside Invincible to put themselves in AAW WARNING RED. Another warning was given, but HMS Invincible again just gave a ROGER OUT, HMS Sheffield designated the aerial objetives to its Fire director preparing to intercept.

The SUEs advanced towards the fleet, in a moment both pilots launched their Exocet missiles, this dropping certain meters and then starting their rocket motors, followed by the aircraft inverting their route and heading back to the continent.
Glasgow informed: FLASH, ZIPPO ONE. BRUISERS, INCOMING BEARING 238-12. HMS Invincible continued believing that the contacts weren't a threat. The operator under such desperation screamed through, NEGATIVE, THE FORCE IS UNDER ATTACK!.
In that precise moment the crew of HMS Glasgow saw how a missile came towards HMS Sheffield, the crew inside Sheffield just detected the Lock-on of the missile, 2 sailors outside the ship saw how the missile came towards their direction, one of them managed to scream trough the intercom. MISSILE ATTACK: HIT THE DECK.
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Sheffield felt an enormous force hitting its side, the crew felt an explosion and then alarms. The other missile shortly missed the ship and impacted on the sea. Its worth noting that its debated whether the missile exploded or not, but one thing that happened was that the missile still had plenty of fuel inside, since it was launched from a really close range). The crew that found themselves near the explosion lost their lives immediately, a large column of black smoke came out the hole produced by the hit. With all the near compartments close by evacuated, 3 groups were formed to fight the fire but without proper communication they operated in a very uncoordinated manner, the internal extinguishers failed to operate, since the PVC pipes melted under the extreme heat, with help of HMS Arrow and other ships they tried to fight the fire but after Sheffield lost all power, and the fire advanced towards the ships magazines, the captain decided to abandon the ship.

The captain of Sheffield arrived later at HMS Hermes, where admiral Woodward told him: "I suspect someone's been bloody careless". The crippled ship stayed on fire during 6 days, after the fire went off, a crew was sent to recover anything important and then the ship was taken out of the exclusion zone, where it sunk.
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The attack on the fleet, with its result being the sinking of HMS Sheffield, impressed some and preoccupied others. The ship sunk, a modern Type 42 Destroyer, could do little when it came to saving itself after the hit, that lead to the later re-desing of the Class and a whole change in damage systems around the world, up to the point where the american Alreigh Burke class ships design has been influenced by the experiences suffered by Sheffield in 1982. On the other side, this action by the COAN with inspired multiple countries to adapt the same operation technics and use them for their air forces (Later to be seen in the Iran-irak war with the Iraqi SUEs). And probably a more impressive note, this was the first surface ship sunk by an Air launched ASM, and the first ship lost by the RN since WW2!.
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Hari Sud

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the above description and a reminder of a sea battle 40 back is a good reminder.
That was a first rate show by the Argentinians. Not only the Sheffield hit, three other ships were also hit during the same war. Two were damaged beyond repair at see. The third one, the bomb did not explode. It was not Exocet missile bomb.
 

Roland55

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the above description and a reminder of a sea battle 40 back is a good reminder.
That was a first rate show by the Argentinians. Not only the Sheffield hit, three other ships were also hit during the same war. Two were damaged beyond repair at see. The third one, the bomb did not explode. It was not Exocet missile bomb.
There were more than 3 ships damaged by bombs, if my memory doesn't fail me, HMS Plymouth, Glasgow, Broadsword, Brillant, Glamorgan and a few others were damaged, while HMS Ardent, Coventry and a few RFA ships were sunk.
 

Marliii

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But british still kept both of their aircraft carriers up right with only 42 harriers against an enemy who had nearly 122 serviceable aircraft
 

asianobserve

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“We decided to take eight aircraft but had only six pilots,” Gedge recalls. “We did a troll of the RAF. We needed people who’d actually flown a Harrier but also had single-seat fighter experience.…The RAF identified two. We phoned them on Friday in Germany, in a bar” and gave them the good news: “They were going to war with the Royal Navy.”
:truestory:

 

Roland55

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But british still kept both of their aircraft carriers up right with only 42 harriers against an enemy who had nearly 122 serviceable aircraft
Numbers dont tell much when the major actions were taken by a small number of aircraft (most attacks were done by 4 or 8 aircraft) + the fact that not all the aircraft could stay much time over the islands, the Mirages had a fairly limited range, while the A-4 Skyhawks were the ones that could refuel and deliver the most attacks. Although the number of harriers was considerable, they were unable to neglect argentine attacks on the fleet, mainly due to false attacks by decoy flights and other aircraft entering the combat zone close to them making them abort their missions.
 

asianobserve

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Numbers dont tell much when the major actions were taken by a small number of aircraft (most attacks were done by 4 or 8 aircraft) + the fact that not all the aircraft could stay much time over the islands, the Mirages had a fairly limited range, while the A-4 Skyhawks were the ones that could refuel and deliver the most attacks. Although the number of harriers was considerable, they were unable to neglect argentine attacks on the fleet, mainly due to false attacks by decoy flights and other aircraft entering the combat zone close to them making them abort their missions.

The Brits only had 28 Harriers in Falklands. 5 were lost in combat.
 

Roland55

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39 Years ago...

The 25th of May is a festive day in Argentina, it marks the anniversary of the May revolution, traditionally people have hot chocolate and churros for Breakfast to celebrate, that morning of '82 Cpt. Barraza and Lt. Curilovic woke up early, they wandered towards the hangars to see their aircraft, Super Etendards number 3-A-203 & 3-A-204. Unknown to them, the FAS (Air Force South/Fuerza aérea sur) was preparing a massive attack on the British forces.

The pilots waited, while formations TORO, VULCANO, MARTE, ZEUS took off from neighboring bases, their objective was to attack naval and ground targets, VULCANO and ZEUS were the ones that attacked HMS Broadsword and HMS Coventry (the last being sunk in the attack), while the others attacked land objectives.
Later that day intelligence informed on the position of the British fleet, this raised the alarm and gave a "green light" to the Super Etendards, Barraza and Curilovic prepared their aircraft and took off, their aircraft carried the deadly AM-39 Exocet already proven a few days earlier on HMS Sheffield.
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The aircraft refueled with a KC-130 (Codename: BERLIN), they later flew at low altitude trying to avoid being detected by British radars and in radio silence. Atlantic Conveyor was sailing next to HMS Hermes, as helicopter resupplied Hermes and other the frigates that were next to them, Captain Ian North (Conveyor's captain, a WW2 Veteran) chatted and shared a few beers with various helicopter pilots when the Etendards closed their distance.

The Etendards were detected at 30 miles of the ships by HMS Exeter, they had been detected when they "popped up" for the AGAVE radar to detect the ships, Exeter would head up north to try detect again the attackers. A while later, they popped up again, this time being detected by HMS Ambuscade. With the flagship (HMS Hermes) alerted ships popped chaff, as they tried to confuse the argentine radars. Seconds later Barraza and Curilovic got a lock and fired their missiles.

The aircraft changed their course as the missiles headed straight for HMS Hermes, none of the "goalkeepers" managed to get a lock on the missiles to shot them down. With the missiles detected, the order was given to put Hermes at max speed and also get Conveyor "in front" of it, the massive cargo ship lacked the radar and equipment to know what was going on, so Cpt North was receiving order from Hermes without knowing was was about to happen.

As Hermes turned and made its cross section smaller, Conveyor made it bigger while it followed Hermes commands, Captain North looked confused as the ships around launched chaff and headed in all directions. As the Exocets radars updated both locked onto Conveyor, the big ship sat in between the Exocet and Hermes, as officers ordered the crew to "try to look for the missiles" (to see if they had continued going for Hermes) but they weren't sighted.

Moments later the missiles revealed themselves to the sight of almost every ship of the fleet as they slammed into Conveyor's hull, the massive force of both missiles exploding inside the cargo ship shook its structure and set off fuel, ammo, supplies that were being transported to the islands, the ship was caught on a massive fire, the crew efforts to save the ship were futile, so the order to abandon the ship was given, some could save themselves as they were evacuated in helicopter while others jumped at the cold atlantic sea, and were later rescued by other ships and helicopters.
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The ship continued in flames as ammo exploded inside it and multiple helicopters burned on its deck, as a result, 12 of its crew lost their lives (including its captain). The consequences of this attack were a massive blow to the Task Force, having lost 6 Wessex, 3 chinooks and a Lynx helicopter, they now relied on a single Chinook and most of its spares and supplies for the forces in the ground were lost. An example of this were the spares and tools for the Rapier AA batteries, that led to most of them failing when engaging aircraft at Bluff cove (that resulted in the loss of 2 ships and 1 being almost mortally damaged). Although the price payed for the loss of Conveyor was high, it was minimal when compared to what could had happen if those missiles were to hit Hermes.

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Barraza and Curilovic getting off their SUEs that attacked that day​
 

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