Avro Vulcan

     Notes: The Vulcan is – well, a huge bomber.  It is in the class of the American B-52 Stratofortress and the B-47 Stratojet.  Vulcans began research in 1952, with first deliveries beginning in 1956.  The Vulcan at first filled the British air leg of its Nuclear Triad; later, most were converted to tankers. The Vulcan is a delta-winged tailless design with an absolutely huge wing; this design was chosen to allow the original Vulcans to fly high over Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, and otherwise have long legs.  Of the V-Bombers, the Vulcan was the technically most advanced.  The Vulcans are now retired, except for three (one B.1 and two B.2s), which are kept in flying condition for appearances in air shows. Many pilots feel that the Vulcan handles astonishing well for its size; Avro test pilot Roland Falk even underlined this by putting a prototype Vulcan into a slow barrel roll while overflying officials and test personnel. Reportedly, Falk was so low that he smashed all the skylight windows in the Avro assembly building (he was admonished sternly to avoid this kind of dangerous maneuver in the future).  However, the Vulcan did receive its Certificate of Airworthiness less than a month afterwards, and Falk did another low-level barrel roll at the 1955 Farnborough Air Show.

     It is interesting that in the early 1980s, Argentina approached Britain with an offer to buy a number of Vulcans, which were at that point retired from the RAF.  Britain was suspicious of the Argentine offer, with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the MoD noting that the Vulcans could be very useful to the Argentines in an invasion of the Falklands.  And notably, Argentina invaded the Falklands three months later. It is there that the Vulcans were employed in their only combat action.

     The Australians also considered the Vulcan B.1A as an interim bomber until they could start receiving the TSR.2s, which at the time were still delayed and not yet cancelled.  The Australians again considered the Vulcan on an interim basis until their version of the F-111C was ready.

     It is also notable, that Vulcans took part in the 1960, 1961, and 1962 Operation Skyshield, exercises, where they simulated Russian bomber attacks against New York, Chicago and Washington.  The results of Operation Skyshield exercises were classified until 1997, and it was then found that the Vulcans had easily slipped through American and Canadian air defenses and delivered their simulated payloads to their targets without a problem.  This apparently also happened during the 1974 Giant Voice exercise, against supposedly greatly tightened and improved American and Canadian air defenses.

     As their airframes aged, starting in the mid-1980s the tactical nuclear weapon delivery roles were given to the Tornado and Jaguar aircraft. Strategic nuclear delivery was given to Britain’s boomers. The remaining Vulcans became museum pieces (except for the three examples kept in flying condition – see the B.2 below.  Many ended up in US, Australian, and Canadian bombing ranges; some were apparently farmed out to special ops units to practice seizing enemy aircraft.  A few others were kept for as long as a decade (in one case) to conduct various flight tests of engines and avionics.  The Vulcan Restoration Trust raises money to keep more Vulcans in museum condition, and is responsible for the Vulcans still flying.

 

Vulcan B.1

     The B.1, when first tested, required a large wing design; the original wing was more of a swept/delta wing.  This proved to make the B.1 unstable, and the wings were enlarged to a full delta design with a curve in the mid-wing.  The original B.1s were fitted with Rolls Royce Olympus 101 engines, four engines in total, with a power rating of 11,000 pounds of thrust each.  15 of these were so equipped, after which a few were re-engined to Olympus 102 engines, with 12,000 pounds of thrust each, this was done due to fluttering on the wingtips with the Olympus 101 engines. The B.1A was fitted with 13,500 pounds thrust Olympus 104s each; it also required smaller inlets.  (These were the engines that were supposed to power the cancelled TSR.2.) B.1s had a bulged fairing at the rear of the fuselage; this carried a tail-warning radar with a 45-degree angle of sweep to either side of the midline, along with the aircraft’s ECM/ECCM suite and the IR flares.  The electronics required for the use of the Skybolt SRAM, though the actual capability to carry and fire Skybolts was not installed until the advent of the B.2.  In addition, part of the avionics for the later Olympus 200 engines were installed into the wings, though again those engines were not installed until the B.2s made their appearance.

     The designers would have preferred to stack the engines on either side on top of each other, but the wing was so thin that this proved impossible.

     Despite modifications to the tail, wings, and engines, the Vulcan B.1 still tended to pitch upwards at high speed.  An auto-mach trimmer feature was added to help tame this effect; nonetheless, the B.1 still tended to pitch up a bit and the control stick actually had to be continually corrected forward by the pilots. Before the auto-mach trimmer was installed, the Vulcan had a tendency to pitch up into a stall, then enter an uncontrollable dive at high speed that only the skill of the test pilots manage to avoid a crash. (The Vulcan had a fighter-type control stick instead of the control yoke more common on large aircraft.)  Vulcans were painted anti-flash white to help with the flare from nuclear explosions, and the cockpit windows had thick panels to slide over the windows to prevent blinding the crew from the same; on a run up to a target, the Vulcans flew on instruments, and using bombing radar. (Bombing radar could also used to drop conventional weapons, but a computerized bombsight was the normal procedure for this eventuality. In any case, the only instance of combat conventional bombing was during Operation Black Buck during the Falklands War.

      The B.1’s primary weapons load was either conventional 450-kilogram bombs or nuclear free-fall bombs.  Due to the size of the nuclear bombs of the time, the load of nuclear bombs which could be carried was much smaller than its conventional bomb load. (By the time smaller nuclear bombs were available, the Vulcan was out of the nuclear-bomb-delivery business.).  The weapon system operator, behind and below the pilot, was able to conduct visual or radar bombing. The pilot and co-pilot were also able to conduct radar bombing (at degraded accuracy), and fire any missiles carried by the Vulcan. Beside him was the air electronics operator, controlling and tweaking the ECM/ECCM suite, as well having auxiliary radar screens and able to deploy things like chaff, flares, and even decoys on the rare occasions when they were carried. In between them and behind was the nav plotter (navigator). The Vulcan carried its fuel in 12 bag-type tanks; their capacities were spilt into four equal sections, each feeding one of the engines. If one bag was holed, no more than 10% of the fuel load of that bag would be lost.  Cross-feed was possible between bag groups, in case an engine went out or for some reason was sucking more fuel than normal.

     The original specification for the Vulcan called for a jettisonable crew capsule, which have ejected the entire flight deck in an emergency.  Avro, however, was never able to make this work, and the capsule was replaced by conventional ejection seats. The B.1s (and later Vulcans) had ejection seats for the pilot and copilot, but the other three crewmen had fall-away hatches and simply fell out of the bottom of the aircraft.  If passengers were carried, they had to manually get out of their seats and drop out of one of the hatchways vacated by the rest of the crew.

     Due to its shape, the Vulcan has a measure of “accidental stealth,” even though in this era things like RCS and stealth were not even thought of when designing a warplane.

     At 90% power or greater, the Vulcan would emit a howling noise, caused by the arrangement of the air intakes.  Though not tactically important, it was one of the things that made the Vulcan popular at air shows.

     The original B.1s were painted in all over glass antiflash white and with colored RAF roundels. Some were also left with a natural metal finish, with a black radome and colored RAF roundels. With the adoption of the low-level penetrator role (primarily applicable to the B.2, as the B.1s were never strengthened for low-level penetration), Later B.2s were painted dark sea gray with dark green stripes, and a gray bottom.  This was later changed to a wrap-around camouflage finish which was more effective in the low-level penetration role.

     The B.1 had a rather short refueling probe, mounted in the nose.  This probe position made is difficult for the pilot of the Vulcan to conduct aerial refueling (One level more of difficulty when trying aerial refueling in a B.1). The B.2s had a longer refueling probe that ran alongside the cockpit and extended beyond the cockpit. This allowed the pilot to aim the refueling probe easier.

 

Vulcan B.2

     The Vulcan B.2 began with a re-engining in 1960; early in the B.1s development, the Olympus 6 was actually the first engines installed in the B.1.  These had high thrust, which would have enabled the B.1 to carry more ordnance; but introduced a wingtip flutter, which would have required a further redesign of the wings.  The first B.2 had Olympus 200 engines, which were improved Olympus 6s. The Olympus 200, like the Olympus 6, had 16,000 pounds thrust each.  These were quickly replaced with Olympus 201s, which allowed the B.2 to carry a heavier fuel load and ordnance load.  Later, the Olympus 201s were upgraded to 202s, which had the same thrust, but increased reliability by including a rapid air starter and a redesigned oil separator breathing system. The B.2 also featured a larger wing, an improved electrical system, improved ECM/ECCM, and a tail-warning radar with a 60-degree sweep to either side.  The B.2 retained the later versions of the B.1’s narrower air inlets, though the actual intake was deepened.  The B.2s could accommodate one or two additional fuel tanks in its bomb bay, something that became useful in later tanker variants of the B.2. Radar updates included general updates to range, discrimination, and miniaturization of components, as well as the addition for TFR, should the B.2 be used for low-level “skiing.”  In the late 1970s, the B.2 was also updated with the ability to carry smart bombs in the weapons bay (though smart missiles still had to be carried on the hardpoints).

     Later B.2s were equipped with Olympus 301 engines which could develop 30,000 pounds thrust each, but in normal practice were derated to 18,500 pounds thrust to conserve fuel and wear on the engines.  These engines were uprated back to 30,000 pounds thrust for Operation Black Buck, the Vulcan strikes on the Falklands.  (See Below.) The B.2 (and the K.2) were equipped with an early fly-by- wire system; the electronics did not have the full control as on modern fly-by-wire aircraft, but the Vulcan was difficult to control if the electronic system went out.

     In the early 1970s, the B.2s got a general airframe strengthening to make them strong enough for long low-altitude flights, as they were to be used in the low-level penetration role.  The Vulcans did do their low-level work successfully, but because of the size and design of the Vulcan, speed was severely hampered at low altitude.  At typical altitudes where the aircraft’s TFR would be used, speed was often reduced to as little as 560 kilometers per hour.  Fighters in exercises often found them easy pickings; however a new paint scheme that Vulcans started to deploy proved quite effective at low level.  After this, the Vulcan Pilots got very adept at slipping past fighter screens.

     The B.2 was from the beginning designed to carry two American-made Skybolt nuclear-tipped standoff missiles; they were also still able to carry conventional or free-fall nuclear bombs in its bomb bay. The Skybolts were too big to fit in the Vulcan’s bomb bay, and they were carried on two hardpoints under the air inlets. Unfortunately, late in development, the Skybolt was cancelled by the US DoD, and the British had to scramble to find a replacement.  British designers worked overtime and produced the Blue Steel, a weapon which actually lighter and carried a higher-yield 1.1-megaton warhead. (Conventional-warhead Blue Steels were not produced and in fact never designed.) These hardpoints became important during Operation Black Buck.

 

Vulcan B.3

     The B.3 was a projected enhanced version of the B.2, upon which development would have been started in 1960.  The wing would have been massively larger, and six hardpoints would have been available for use with Blue Steel missiles or other missiles with conventional or nuclear warheads. Fuel capacity would be increased, including bag-type tanks in a dorsal spine and larger wing tanks.  The landing gear would have been strengthened to support the increased weight.  The engines would have been Olympus 23s with a power rating of 23,500 pounds thrust each.  The fuselage would have been 3.28 meters longer, allowing a larger crew compartment to be installed, including a reclining seat for a relief pilot, an additional weapons system/defensive systems operator, and a folding passenger seat if needed.  The Vulcan B.3’s job would have been that of a patrol/armed reconnaissance aircraft, particular for maritime patrols; it would range the battlefield or ocean at medium altitude (above most of the light or medium land or shipborne SAMs of the time). The B.3 would also have benefitted from the rapid increase in electronic advancements, included better ECM/ECCM, IRCM, additional packet flares and chaff, and a larger corridor chaff pod. The larger wings would have allowed for additional fuel in the wings. The larger wings would have also allowed for six missiles on wing hardpoints, and though they were initially designed for Blue Steel nuclear missiles, they could also carry two ALCM or four SRAMs on each hardpoint or a variety of conventional PGM or ARM (depending on the size of the weapon, up to six munitions could be carried on each hardpoint). The B.3 never got out of the development stage before it was cancelled.

     Vulcan B.3s would have a modified fighter radar and could also carry AAM on its hardpoints, up to three per hardpoint (at this time in history, the AAMs would be Sidewinders, Sparrows, Red Tops, Skyflashes, or other NATO missiles of similar function and time frame).

     An interesting variant of the B.3 would have carried three Gnat fighters on modified hardpoints under the wings and fuselage.  They modified hardpoints were not designed to allow the Gnats to return to the Vulcan, and they would have refueled from tankers and returned to base or the battle area after completing their initial nuclear-delivery mission.  (This version is not statted here.) Another interesting variant would have had the B.3 with hardpoints filled with ARMs and essentially acting as a large, long-ranged Wild Weasel.

 

Vulcan K.2

     The K.2 was a tanker based on a converted B.2, also known as a B(K).2 or B.K2 or B.2(K).  Though there a couple of conversions which were done before the Falklands War, the War and the decision to use Vulcan B.2s suddenly emphasized the need for tankers, both to support the bombers for Operation Black Buck and aircraft at home. More conversions were than done at warp speed, and eventually six such conversions were done.  (As it was, however, Victor tankers were used for the Black Buck missions.) The Vulcans were fitted with three drum-type tanks in the bomb bay containing 15005 liters each, and a Mk 17 HDU (Hose Drum Unit) in the tail, in the space where part of the ECM/ECCM was installed.  The tail warning radar also had to be deleted.  The K.2 had large white rectangles on the bottom of the fuselage, with narrow red stripes on the white ones along the center of the fuselage, to better allow refueling aircraft to line up with K.2; in addition, the tail cone had three bright lights on each side of the HDU. The K.2’s HDU was capable or transferring fuel at the rate of 1900 or 4000 liters per minutes, depending upon the capabilities or needs of the receiving aircraft.

     The K.2 did not enjoy a long service life with the RAF, as the Vulcan was being retired due to airframe age and the HDUs used were essentially what Avro had laying around and were no longer manufactured. Not even parts were being manufactured and when an HDU needed a part to replace something broken, the unit machine shop had to make a new one.  There was a push to replace the ad hoc HDUs with new Mk 17 HDUs, but these were allocated to the VC-10 tanker program and none were allocated for Vulcan use. As the number of VC-10 tankers increased, tankers based on the Vulcan (and the other V-Bombers) were no longer needed.  The K.2.used the same Olympus 301 engines as the B.2, but they were derated to 18,500 pounds thrust.

     The K.2s were the last Vulcans to fly operationally, and this squadron was retired in March 1984.

 

Vulcan B.2 (MRR)

     Nine Vulcan B.2s were converted for Maritime Radar Reconnaissance (MRR). (These were also known as the SR.2, for Strategic Reconnaissance, as they were often used in this role.) Some electronics that were not needed, were removed or replaced by other equipment, while other equipment was added in. The MRR was equipped with a sonobuoy dropper and more powerful radar set; in particular, the bombing radar was improved, as it faced down.  A separate look-down radar set was installed, as well as SLAR and an steerable IR sensor under the nose.  A MAD boom was fitted internally in the tailcone. They were also fitted with additional navigation gear and avionics appropriate to their role. The engines were the same as those on the B.2, though they were derated to 18,500 pounds thrust to conserve fuel and allow longer missions, Hardpoints were typically used for antishipping missiles (the MRR had four hardpoints under the intakes), Under each wing near the outside were mounted air sampling units, used for the MRR’s secondary role as an air sampling aircraft.  The MRR normally operated at high altitude, but would occasionally go to low altitude for closer inspection of shipping. The MRR had small sampling pods under each wing, both to detect and measure exhaust from ships and their supporting aircraft and to detect and sample nuclear explosions if necessary.

 

Operation Black Buck

     Operation Black Buck was the operational name given to the Vulcan operations during the Falklands War.  (I have seen in one source the Vulcans modified for Black Buck being designated “B.2 BB,” but I doubt this is an official designation as it appears only in this one source.) The Vulcans staged from Ascension Island, as this island had the closet runway and base to the Falklands that could handle the Vulcans and their supporting tankers.  Ascension was still 6900 kilometers from Britain and 6100 kilometers from the Falklands.  Black Buck was basically what would later be called by President George W Bush as a “shock and awe” campaign; there were actually no strategic or tactical targets in the Falklands or on South Georgia Island would make Vulcan bombardment necessary, and though Brazil gave permission for the Vulcans to stage out of the airport at Rio de Janeiro, Margaret Thatcher didn’t want to take the chance of widening the conflict to a general South American War.  The Wideawake base on Ascension Island was actually a USAF base; the fact that the British aircraft were staging from an American base was not acknowledged until it appeared in the press several months later.

     The long ranges made the Vulcan bombers completely dependent on the 23 Victor K.2 tankers available to the RAF (the Vulcan K.2 not being modified from the B.2 at that point).  Nine tankers were required to get one Vulcan to the Falklands, plus one alternate Vulcan, which would also carry our an alternate bombing mission if it did not need to take over for a defective Vulcan.  Each tanker would refuel the Vulcans once, then turn back to Ascension Island.  Next, another Victor would refuel the Vulcans and then be refueled by another Victor, and then go back to Ascension Island.  And this would continue until the Victors used all their refueling fuel and had turned back to Ascension Island.  If a Vulcan had to turn back, this aircraft would still have to refueled so it could make it back to Ascension Island.  As the tankers arrived back at Ascension Island, they were refueled and their fuel tanks for refueling were replenished, and then they immediately took off to support the Vulcans as they returned from the Falklands.  For the flight from the UK to Acension, unknown to the world until about two years after the Falklands War, the Vulcans and Victor tankers were actually refueled by American KC-135s staging out of the Canary Islands, and using British call-signs.

     As stated above, the Vulcans’ Olympus 301 engines, normally derated to 18,500 pounds thrust, were restored to 30,000 pounds thrust, allowing the Vulcan to carry a greater fuel load (drum-type tanks took up part of the bomb bay), and still carry a respectable load of 450-kilogram bombs, and keep up a decent speed on the run in to their targets. The Vulcans carried a reduced bomb load of 21 bombs for these missions.

     Before the actual bombing runs, a Victor reconnaissance variant took a run over South Georgia Island and the Falklands, both in support of Operation Black Buck and on behalf of an SAS group which to recapture South Georgia Island. (Operation Paraquet is an interesting story in itself.)  This Victor recon variant itself took a large amount of tanker support.  A dangerous daylight photoreconnaissance run at high speed was also undertaken by a pair of Sea Harriers prior to the Black Buck strikes.  Another such run was undertaken after each Vulcan strike.  These Sea Harrier runs caused controversy in the Task Force as the Vulcan strikes were to conduct strikes that the Sea Harriers couldn’t do much damage to or would be highly dangerous to the Sea Harriers.

     The Vulcans’ initial jobs, Black Buck 1-3, was to crater the runway at Port Stanley, which was being used by Argentine aircraft.  It was also expected that parked aircraft near the runway and support facilities and antiaircraft guns and missiles near the runway might also be damaged or put out of commission. To minimize the utility of those AAA guns and SAMs, the Vulcans would bomb at night, preferably in bad weather, from low level (about 150-300 meters).

     The Black Buck Vulcans were modified by the addition of a Carousel INS navigation system, additional ECM/IRCM pods carried on improvised underwing pylons, advanced IFF, and additional flare dischargers. In addition, the Black Buck 4-6 aircraft had modifications to its hardpoints, and additional avionics at the WSOs and pilot’s position to allow the Vulcans to use the Shrike ARMs.

     Black Buck 4,5, and 6 had two Vulcans carrying Shrike ARMs on the under-air-intake pylons.  At the time, the British standard ARM was the Martel, which was long known to be inaccurate and inadequate for the Black Buck missions, which was to destroy the radar, SAM sites, and radar-directed AAA, which were still a problem at Port Stanley.  The US gave the Shrikes, plus some spares, to the British “under the table”, and this was not revealed until one of the Black Buck 6 bombers had a fuel-feed problem and got permission to divert their landing to Rio de Janeiro.  The crew and aircraft were held for nine days, during which the fuel feed problem was fixed, but also Brazilian technicians gave the Vulcan a good examination – especially the one Shrike missile the Vulcan landed with, which was not expended in the strike on Port Stanley.

     Black Buck 7’s job was essentially in support of ground forces; the Vulcans bombed any remaining intact aircraft as well as the Argentine garrison.

     Twilight 2000 Notes: Vulcans, including at least three B.1s, served in the RAF during the Twilight War.  They were used mostly for conventional bombing, but did on occasion deliver tactical nuclear weapons, and were known for using what became known as the “one-two-melt” – the delivery of two tactical nukes to one target with less than a second between dropping them (usually the bombs were slowed by small parachutes to allow the Vulcans to gain distance from the nuclear explosions).

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

B.1 (Olympus 101 Engines)

$135,537,599

JP-A

32.55 tons

77.11 tons

5+2

48

Radar (300 km), Weather Radar (500 km), Bombing Radar (200 km), Tail Radar (100 km)

Shielded

B.1 (Olympus 102 Engines)

$145,536,128

JP-A

35.39 tons

77.11 tons

5+2

48

Radar (300 km), Weather Radar (500 km), Bombing Radar (200 km), Tail Radar (100 km)

Shielded

B.1A

$145,860,400

JP-A

37.26 tons

77.27 tons

5+2

48

Radar (300 km), Weather Radar (500 km), Bombing Radar (200 km), Tail Radar (100 km)

Shielded

B.2 (Early)

$191,301,330

JP-4

40.28 tons

78.22 tons

5+2

50

Radar (400 km), Weather Radar (600 km), Bombing Radar (300 km), Tail Radar (150 km)

Shielded

B.2 (Mid)

$196,609,035

JP-4

40.48 tons

77.79 tons

5+2

52

Radar (400 km), Weather Radar (600 km), Bombing Radar (300 km), Tail Radar (150 km)

Shielded

B.2 (Late)

$232,950,071

JP-4

41.19 tons

79.73 tons

5+1

54

Radar (400 km), Weather Radar (600 km), Bombing Radar (300 km), Tail Radar (150 km), TFR (40 km)

Shielded

B.2 (Black Buck)

$239,202,479

JP-4

51.83 tons

80.8 tons

5

56

Radar (400 km), Weather Radar (600 km), Bombing Radar (300 km), Tail Radar (150 km), TFR (40 km)

Shielded

B.3

$410,614,936

JP-4

46.03 tons

81.77 tons

5+1

58

Radar (400 km), Weather Radar (600 km), Bombing Radar (300 km), Tail Radar (150 km), TFR (40 km), SLAR (150 km), VAS (40 km)

Shielded

K.2

$233,285,450

JP-4

390 kg

82.39 tons

5+1

58

Radar (400 km), Weather Radar (600 km)

Shielded

B.2 (MRR)

$255,919,221

JP-4

1.2 tons

80.53 tons

5+1

58

Radar (400 km), Weather Radar (600 km), Tail Radar (150 km), SLAR (150 km), IRST (40 km), VAS (50 km)

Shielded

 

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Mnvr/Acc Agl/Turn

Fuel Cap*

Fuel Cons

Ceiling

Armor

B.1 (Olympus 101 Engines)

1492

414 (94)

NA  18  4/3  40/30

42200

2727

17000

FF8  CF7  RF6  T5  W6

B.1 (Olympus 102 Engines)

1625

451 (87)

NA  20  4/3  40/30

42200

4066

17000

FF8  CF7  RF6  T5  W6

B.1A

1820

506 (87)

NA  22  4/3  40/30

42200

4574

17000

FF8  CF7  RF6  T5  W6

B.2 (Early)

2126

591 (87)

NA  27  4/3  40/30

44500

5421

     18830

FF8  CF7  RF6  T5  W6

B.2 (Mid)

2138

594 (87)

NA  27  4/3  40/30

44500

5421

18830

FF8  CF7  RF6  T5  W6

B.2 (Late)

2601

722 (87)

NA  33  4/3  40/30

44500

6777

18830

FF8  CF7  RF6  T5  W6

B.2 (Black Buck)

3835

1065 (87)

NA  49  4/3  40/30

54500

10166

18830

FF8  CF7  RF6  T5  W6

B.3

2975

827 (82)

NA  38  4/3  40/30

54570

7964

18900

FF8  CF7  RF6  T5  W7

K.2

2331

648 (87)

NA  30  4/3  40/30

44500 + 45015

6269

18830

FF8  CF7  RF6  T5  W6

B.2 (MRR)

2575

715 (77)

NA  33  4/3  40/30

44500

6777

18830

FF8  CF7  RF6  T5  W6

 

Vehicle

Combat Equipment

Minimum Landing/Takeoff Zone

RF

Armament

Ammo

B.1

IFF, RWR, Secure Radios (One 700 km, Two 300 km, One AM), Navigation Bombing Computer, Transponder, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, LORAN, Radar Beam Riding, Radio Beacon Detection, ILS, ECM 2, ECCM 2, LABS, Flare and Chaff Dispensers (60 Flares, 60 Chaff), Stealth 1

1900/1500m Hardened Runway

+1

Internal Weapons Bay, 2 Semi-Recessed Hardpoints

Normal Load 21x450 kg Gravity Bombs or two Blue Danube Nuclear Bombs or two Mk 5 Nuclear Bombs or four Red Beard Nuclear Bombs, two Blue Steel Nuclear SRAM Missiles on Hardpoints; Other Loadouts Possible

B.1A

IFF, RWR, Secure Radios (One 700 km, Two 300 km, One AM), Navigation Bombing Computer, Transponder, Inertial Navigation, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, LORAN-C, Radar Beam Riding, Radio Beacon Detection, ILS, ECM 2, ECCM 2, LABS, Flare and Chaff Dispensers (70 Flares, 70 Chaff), Stealth 1

1900/1500m Hardened Runway

+2

Internal Weapons Bay, 2 Semi-Recessed Hardpoints

Normal Load 21x450 kg Gravity Bombs or two Blue Danube Nuclear Bombs or two Mk 5 Nuclear Bombs or four Red Beard Nuclear Bombs, two Blue Steel Nuclear SRAM Missiles on Hardpoints; Other Loadouts Possible

B.2 (Early)

IFF, RWR, Secure Radios (One 700 km, Two 300 km, One AM), Navigation Bombing Computer, Transponder, Inertial Navigation, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, LORAN, Radar Beam Riding, Radio Beacon Detection, ILS, ECM 2, ECCM 2, Flare and Chaff Dispensers (70 Flares, 70 Chaff), Stealth 1

1900/1500m Hardened Runway

+2

Internal Weapons Bay, 2 Semi-Recessed Hardpoints

Normal Load 32x450 kg Gravity Bombs or four Red Beard Nuclear Bombs, or one Yellow Sun Thermonuclear Bombs or six x WE.177B Retarded Nuclear Bombs, two Blue Steel Nuclear SRAM Missiles on Hardpoints; Other Loadouts Possible

B.2 (Mid)

IFF, RWR, Secure Radios (One 1000 km, One 700 km, Two 300 km, One AM), Navigation Bombing Computer, Transponder, Inertial Navigation, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, LORAN, Radar Beam Riding, Radio Beacon Detection, ILS, ECM 3, ECCM 3, Flare and Chaff Dispensers (80 Flares, 80 Chaff), Stealth 1, Laser Designator (20 km)

1900/1500m Hardened Runway

+2

Internal Weapons Bay, 2 Semi-Recessed Hardpoints

Normal Load 32x450 kg Gravity Bombs or LGBs, or four Red Beard Nuclear Bombs, or one Yellow Sun 2 Thermonuclear Bombs or six x WE.177B Retarded Nuclear Bombs, two Blue Steel Nuclear SRAM Missiles or PGM on Hardpoints; Other Loadouts Possible

B.2 (Late)

IFF, RWR, Secure Radios (One 1000 km, One 700 km, Two 300 km, One AM), Navigation Bombing Computer, Transponder, Inertial Navigation, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, LORAN, Radar Beam Riding, Radio Beacon Detection, ILS, ECM 3, ECCM 3, IRCM 1, Flare and Chaff Dispensers (80 Flares, 80 Chaff), Corridor Chaff Pod (100), Stealth 1, Laser Designator (30 km)

1900/1500m Hardened Runway

+3

Internal Weapons Bay, 2 Semi-Recessed Hardpoints

Normal Load 32x450 kg Gravity Bombs or LGBs, or four Red Beard Nuclear Bombs, or one Yellow Sun 2 Thermonuclear Bombs or six x WE.177B Retarded Nuclear Bombs, two Blue Steel Nuclear SRAM Missiles or PGM on Hardpoints; Other Loadouts Possible

B.2 (Black Buck)

Advanced IFF, RWR, RDF, Radar Direction Finder, Secure Radios (One 1000 km, One 700 km, Two 300 km, One AM), Navigation Bombing Computer, Transponder, Inertial Navigation, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, LORAN, Radar Beam Riding, Radio Beacon Detection, ILS, ECM 3, ECCM 3, IRCM 2, Flare and Chaff Dispensers (90 Flares, 90 Chaff), Corridor Chaff Pod (250), Stealth 1, Laser Designator (35 km)

1900/1500m Hardened Runway

+3

Internal Weapons Bay, 2 Semi-Recessed Hardpoints

21x450 kg Gravity Bombs (LGBs Possible, But Not Carried During Black Buck), 4x Shrike ARMs on Double Mounts on two Hardpoints (Only Used On Black Buck 4, 5, and 6 Missions).  Other Loadouts Possible (But Not Used); Nuclear Weapons carry Possible (Again, Not Used During Black Buck); 10,000-Liter Fuel Tank carried in Bomb Bay

B.3

Advanced IFF, RWR, RDF, Radar Direction Finder, Secure Radios (One 1000 km, One 700 km, Two 300 km, One AM), Digital Computerized Bombsight, Transponder, Inertial Navigation, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, LORAN, TACAN, Radar Beam Riding, Radio Beacon Detection, ILS, ECM 3, ECCM 4, IRCM 2, Flare and Chaff Dispensers (100 Flares, 100 Chaff), Corridor Chaff Pod (250), Chaff Rockets (4) Stealth 1, Laser Designator (40 km), Multitarget (4)

1900/1500m Hardened Runway

+3

Internal Weapons Bay, 6 Heavy Hardpoints Under Wings

Normal Load 32x450 kg Gravity Bombs or LGBs, or four Red Beard Nuclear Bombs, or six x WE.177B Retarded Nuclear Bombs, Blue Steel, Nuclear SRAM Missiles or ALCM or PGM or AAM on Hardpoints; Other Loadouts Possible

K.2

IFF, RWR, Secure Radios (One 1000 km, One 700 km, Two 300 km, One AM), Transponder, Inertial Navigation, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, LORAN, Radar Beam Riding, Radio Beacon Detection, ILS, ECM 1, ECCM 1, Flare and Chaff Dispensers (60 Flares, 60 Chaff), Stealth 1

1900/1500m Hardened Runway

Nil

3x15005-Liter Fuel Tanks in Internal Weapons Bay

3x15005-Liter Drum Fuel Tanks. HDU Mk 17 Unit

B.2 (MRR)

Advanced IFF, RWR, Secure Radios (One 1000 km, One 700 km, Two 300 km, One AM), Transponder, Inertial Navigation, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, LORAN-C, Radar Beam Riding, Radio Beacon Detection, RDF, Radar Direction Finder, ILS, ECM 2, ECCM 2, IRCM 1, MAD Array, Sonobuoys (50), F.95 Film Day/Night Camera, Flare and Chaff Dispensers (80 Flares, 80 Chaff), Laser Designator (40 km) Stealth 1

1900/1500m Hardened Runway

+3

Internal Weapons Bay, 4 Hardpoints, 2 Atmospheric Sensing Pods

Normal Load 21x450 kg Gravity Bombs or LGBs, Nuclear Weapons Carry Possible, SRAM or PGM on Hardpoints; Other Loadouts Possible

*Vulcan Bombers could carry up to three 10,000-liter drums of extra fuel in their bomb bays, and still carry a reduced load of bombs.  (The Black Buck loadout included one of these drums.)  The K.2, of course, cannot carry these drums, as their bomb bays are filled with much larger drums for refueling other aircraft.  The B.2 MRR typically carried a full complement of three of these drums.

 

English Electric Canberra

     Notes: The initial requirement for what became the Canberra was issued in 1944 for an aircraft to replace bomber versions of the Mosquito.  The Air Ministry called for a medium bomber which had an ability to bomb from high altitude with a good level of accuracy.  The RAF received the first Canberra in 1951. The RAF, at the Canberra’s peak, had 900 Canberras; Australia also used 49 Canberras, and 403 modified forms designated B-57 Canberra were used by the US (and built by Martin in the US); other users include the Royal New Zealand Air Force and Indian Air Force. Later users of the Canberra include Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Ethiopia, France, Pakistan, Rhodesia (current fate unknown), South Africa, Sweden, West Germany, Venezuela, and Peru.  The Canberra has sometimes been described as appearing to look like a scaled-up Gloster Meteor.

     English Electric deemed that the needed performance could be attained without the use of swept wings or tail.  The basic design presented to the Air Ministry, had numerous problems and several redesigns had to be carried out before the Air Ministry would accept the Canberra.  In addition, the Air Ministry seemed to have a great deal of difficulty deciding what featured they wanted in the future Canberra, also leading to several redesigns and tweaks.  Some of these were the use of uprated Avon RA 3 engines instead of the lower-rated Nene engines; the Canberra’s distinctive wingtip teardrop-shaped extra fuel tanks were added.  Early fight testing revealed instances of buffeting in the rudder and elevator; after these were corrected, pilots remarked that the Canberra handled more like a fighter than a bomber.

     The Martin B-57 Canberra will be covered in US Bombers.

 

RAF Canberras

     The first production version, the Canberra B.2, had 132 orders from the Air Ministry, in bomber, reconnaissance, and training variants.  As the advanced H2S Mk9 bombing radar meant for the B.2 was not ready for production when the B.2 was built, the B.2. had a glazed nose for a bombardier using an advanced version of the US Norden bombsight.  When the Korean War broke out, the demand for B.2s increased, with 196 more produced by English Electric, 75 by Avro and Handley Page, and 60 by Shorts.  The numbers of B.2s produced was greater than any other Canberra variant.  Many of these were stationed in Europe (largely Germany), though many were also sent to the far east, based in Japan.

     The B.2 used Rolls-Royce Avon RA 3 engines, one on each wing, developing 6500 pounds of thrust each. Each engine further drove a 6kW generator to power electrical avionics, as the engines did not provide enough power to electronics. At the rear were the two main fuel tanks; a further flexible-bag lace-supported fuel call was mounted in the forward fuselage, it’s flexible shape allowing it to fit around the bomb bay and avionics. The B.2 had ejection seats for the pilot and navigator, but the bombardier up front in the glazed nose had to release a hatchway under him, allowing him to fall free from the aircraft, along with his seat, which then separated normally.  The two bomb bays could carry a total of 4.5 tons, and in the B.2, this was limited to free-fall bombs. Underwing pylons could carry an additional 900 kilograms.  Due to the limits of its range, and its inability to carry the nuclear bombs of the time, the B.2 Canberra was generally relegated to the role of tactical comber. The PR.3 photo-reconnaissance version of the B.2 was modified by the addition of a 36-centimeter fuselage plug, forward of the wing and behind of the cockpit, to house seven types of cameras.  In addition, an additional fuel tank was mounted in the bomb bay to allow prolonged dash speeds. The PR.3 can carry stores on wing hardpoints, normally for ECM pods, though it is capable of armed reconnaissance. The Canberra T.4 trainer version of the B.2 differed primarily in being equipped with dual controls and duplication of flight instruments on both side of the cockpit, rather than having all of the navigation equipment.

     The B.5 served as the prototype for the B.6, which differed primarily in having a solid nose along with the addition H2S Mk9 radar bombing equipment.; the bombardier remained at his station in the nose.  The B.6 moved the main fuel tanks to the wings.  A slight, 0.3-meter fuselage stretch, mainly in the forward bomb bay, gave the B.6 the ability to carry the more modern weapons available in its day (about 1953), along with the ability to carry one of smaller nuclear weapons also available at the time.  The engines were replaced by Rolls-Royce Avon RA 7 engines, which had a thrust of 7490 pounds each.  Some 106 were built for the RAF by English Electric, and Shorts and Harland both built 49 for the RAF.  English Electric also built 12 for its first export customers.

     The B.15 was an upgraded B.6, designed for low-level tactical strikes. The avionics were modernized and fittings for two cameras were also carried, though the cameras were rarely carried on operational missions.  The B.15 was also equipped with LABS.  The B.15 could use the AS.30 ASM, carried on wing pylons, though to the size of the AS.30’s fins, only one hardpoint could be used when the Canberra was carrying AS.30s.  The B.16 was a further upgraded B.15, different primarily in having slightly uprated engines, with 7510 pounds thrust; they were also easier to maintain.

     An interdictor version of the B.6, designated the B(I).6, marked the beginning of the transition of the Canberra in the RAF to a more tactical, ground support role.  In the B(I).6, the rear bomb bay was taken up with a pack of four HS-404 20mm autocannons.  The front bomb bay could also be fitted out with a rotary launcher for 36 50mm Matra SNEB unguided rockets, which could be fired singly or in sets of three, six, 10, 20, or the full 36. The B(I).8 is a further modification of the B(I).6, with the forward fuselage redone to replace the side-by-side seating with a tandem arrangement, the canopy was also offset somewhat to the left.  This also allowed the addition of new avionics (and also some which were replaced by more modern, somewhat miniaturized components.  The B(I).6 and B(i).8 were still able to conduct the nuclear strike role using its forward bomb bay.  In both cases, underwing weapons carriage was increased, with the B(I).6 and B(I).8 primarily having underwing pylons for rockets and bombs.  Both had underwing carriage for 1.2 tons of stores.  The B(I).8 operated primarily as a long-range interdictor, ranging far behind enemy lines, due to the larger fuel load it carried. Due to their ground support roles, the B(I).6 and B(I).8 were fitted with the LABS (Low-Altitude Bombing System) to increase accuracy of bombing or rocketing as altitudes of 500 meters or less. The LABS could also be used in conjunction with nuclear weapon delivery. The B(I).6 and B(I).8 also had a secondary role as interceptors, and for this role were equipped with air intercept radar, and could carry radar-homing missiles and heat-seeking missiles on their wing pylons.  The B)I).8 also had the uprated engines of the B.16.

     The B.6(RC), was a very different animal than the B.6.  It was a specialist ELINT and EW version, with an enlarged nose for a more powerful forward-looking radar and a SLAR.  The bomb bays were primarily filled with its ELINT gear, recorders for the ELINT gear, radar and radio direction finders, and large amounts of ECM gear; they also carried two specialist crewmembers to operate the ELINT/EW suite.  The B.6(RC) was part reconnaissance aircraft and part electronic warfare aircraft.  Only four were built and went into operation.

     The PR.7 variant of the B.6 was another photoreconnaissance variant.  The PR.7 had restored its rear fuselage tanks, as well as having the mid-aircraft flexible bag storage and the new wing tanks.  It used the more powerful RA 7 engines of the B (I).8 and antilock brakes. 

     The PR.9 was a greatly-modified version of the PR.7, with the fuselage stretched by 27.72 meters, wingspan was increased by 1.22 meters to improve high-altitude operations, and Rolls-Royce Avon RA 27 engines, which put out 10,030 pounds thrust each. New types of cameras were installed, as well as a primitive form of SAR and look-down radar.

     As late as 1957, Canberras stationed overseas (other than Europe) had not yet been modified to deliver nuclear ordnance.

     The Canberra U.10 (later redesignated D.10) were B.2s converted to maneuvering target drones.  18 conversions were made.  The U.14 (later D.14 were six B.2s converted for the same role for the Royal Navy. These versions will not be otherwise covered here.

     T.17s were B.6(RC)s designed for training ELINT/EW crews.  An additional seat was added for an instructor.  Despite their training role, they are able to function as normal EW/ELINT aircraft, though they have updated components.  Unlike most Canberra trainers, the PR.9s do not have dual controls, the crewmembers being trained were the EW/ELINT crewmen. The T.17 were T.19s converted back into conventional training aircraft.

     Most T.x Canberras are training aircraft, and have dual controls.  They do have functioning weapon bays and have hardpoints typical for Canberras of their time period, to allow the trainees to practice bombing and rocketing.

     Four  B.2s were sold to the US; these were used to develop the Martin B-57 Canberra, and Martin received a license to build further B-57s in the US. However, not all B-57s were built by Martin.

 

RAAF Canberras

     After World War 2, the Royal Australian Air Force initiated Plan D, which called for a massive reorganization of the Air Force, including the replacement of propeller-driven aircraft by jets.  The acquisition of the Canberra was one of the first jets acquired; the first Canberras they got were based on the B.2, (designated B.20) followed soon thereafter by the B.5 (designated the B.50).  All of the Australian Canberras (48 in total) were built under license in Australia at the Government Aircraft Factories (GAF). One of the features the Australians requested was the capability for nuclear delivery, though the Australian Canberras never carried nuclear weapons and the Australians kept no nuclear weapons on their soil. Australian B.20s had additional fuel tanks in their wings, while B.50s retained their two rear fuel tanks.  Australian Canberra B.2s and B.5s had a single BDAR film camera to the rear of their rear weapons bay.

     Australian Canberras saw much combat use, including during the Malaysian Emergency (along with RZNAF and RAF Canberras), and in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War, where they deployed eight Canberras for the ground support role.  While their USAF counterparts were usually armed with a pack of M3 .50-caliber or 20mm autocannons, Australian Canberras were not so equipped and were strictly low-level bombers or rocketing aircraft.  In addition, Australian Canberras have been modified with the addition of an autopilot and enhanced navigation equipment, including allowing the use of radar beam navigation, TACAN, and the ability to home on a friendly radio or radar beam.  They also had updated navigation equipment and bombing equipment, including bombing radar and the H2S Mk9 equipment. Australian Canberras assigned to Vietnam (or for that matter, US B-57s) could not drop napalm canisters from their weapons bays, but could carry them on their hardpoints.

     As early as 1954, it was recognized that the Canberra was becoming obsolete. In particular, the Canberra did not have the range for targets in Indonesia, and it was judged that the Canberra would not fare well even against relatively aged aircraft like the MiG-17, Australia evaluated the (cancelled) BAC TSR.2, Dassault Mirage IV, F-4 Phantom II, and A-5 Vigilante, and even looked at the Vulcan and Victor, before settling on a modified version of the F-111C..Despite the procurement of the F-111, the Canberra remained in service until 1982. (Supposedly, if the RAAF had its way, it would have gone with the TSR.2, but the British seemed intent on cancelling the project.)

     The Australians used a small number of PR.7 (designated PR.17s)., The PR.7s saw extensive use in the Malaysian Emergency and over Indonesia, due to its increased range.

 

RZNAF Canberras

     New Zealander Canberras are B(i).8s modified by the addition of an autopilot and enhanced navigation including updated to allow radar beam navigation, TACAN, and the ability to home on a friendly radio or radar beam. 

 

Indian Air Force Canberras

     In 1972, the US sold the Indians a small number of Standard ARMs, later followed by Shrike ARMs.  The sale also included an unknown number of the then-new Paveway I laser-guided bombs, along with laser designators. This undisclosed sale included avionics for use of the missiles and ECM pods; it was not publicly acknowledged until the Indians retired their Canberras in 2007.  The Indians used B(I).5s (modified to B(I).6 standards), which were designated B(I).58s, and they bought 54 of them; six were modified for Wild Weasel duty, but used the same designation, The Wild Weasels were further modified with chaff and flare dispensers In Wild Weasels, the bombardier also functions as the EW officer, and has a downlinked TV viewer to spot the targets.  He also operates the EW gear and the ARMs. The Indians also bought eight PR-57 photo reconnaissance versions, and six T.4 training variants. Indian Air Force Canberras had autopilots and updated navigation gear, as per the RAAF Canberras above.

 

South African Canberras

     South African Canberras were B(I).8s, and were mostly used for armed reconnaissance.. with the gun pack and rocket pack in the weapons bays and rockets on the wing hardpoints., They were also modified with enhanced navigation gear and had an autopilot.  Radios had an encryption/decryption system (essentially a more clumsy system of secure radios).  Essentially, with different makes of avionics, they are the same as RZNAF Canberras.

 

Swedish Canberras

   The Swedish bought two B.2s in 1960, and then had them modified to T.11 trainers.  However, this was a ruse; in Sweden, the two Canberras were re-modified into EW/ELINT versions, similar to the B.6(RC), though with a more advanced ELINT suite.  They were officially designated as would be a training aircraft, with the designation of Tp.52, and referred to as “testing” aircraft. These aircraft were used primarily to eavesdrop on Soviet, Polish, and East German radio and radar emissions.  The modifications were not admitted to for ten years.

 

     Twilight 2000 v1/v2/v2,2s: The Canberra was primarily used in the Twilight War by Britain for reconnaissance, though it was sometimes used for attack, and other countries also used it for bombing.

     Twilight 2013: Few flying examples exist; most of these are employed In research (such as by NASA and the USGS).

     Merc 2000:Some Merc organizations looking for a non-descript bomber or jump aircraft (the paratroopers being carried in the weapons bays) employ Canberras

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

B.2

$7,135,859

JP-A

5.44 tons

20.86 tons

3

41

None

Enclosed

PR.3

$15,285,386

JP-A

900 kg

21.26 tons

3

49

Cameras (7)

Enclosed

B.6

$9,844,437

JP-A

6.06 tons

20.86 tons

3

41

Radar (100 km), Radar Bombing (60 km)

Enclosed

B(I).6

$17,259,665

JP-A

1.2 tons

21.38 tons

3

43

Radar (100 km), Radar Bombing (60 km)

Enclosed

B(I).8

$17,333,201

JP-A

1.2 tons

22.45 tons

3

44

Radar (100 km), Radar Bombing (60 km)

Enclosed

B.15

$11,024,374

JP-A

6.06 tons

20.96 tons

3

42

Radar (120 km), Radar Bombing (70 km)

Enclosed

B.16

$11,024,928

JP-A

6.08 tons

20.96 tons

3

42

Radar (120 km), Radar Bombing (70 km)

Enclosed

B.5(RC)

$20,628,875

JP-A

1.2 tons

24.7 tons

5

51

Radar (150 km), SLAR (150 km)

Enclosed

PR.7

$25,459,710

JP-A

1.2 tons

27.33 tons

3

52

Radar (150 km), SLAR (150 km)

Enclosed

PR.9

$43,026,595

JP-A

1.2 tons

28.7 tons

3

55

Radar (165 km), SLAR (165 km), Passive IR (35 km)

Enclosed

T.17

$31,769,147

JP-A

1.2 tons

24.9 tons

6

56

Radar (165 km), SLAR (165 km), Passive IR (35 km)

Enclosed

B.20

$8,288,111

JP-A

5.44 tons

21.06 tons

3

42

Bombing Radar (60 km)

Enclosed

B.50

$10,351,937

JP-A

6.06 tons

21.06 tons

3

42

Radar (100 km), Radar Bombing (60 km)

Enclosed

B(I).58

$15,589,853

JP-A

6.06 tons

21.08 tons

3

43

Radar (100 km), Radar Bombing (60 km)

Enclosed

B(I).58 (Indian Wild Weasel)

$39,301,130

JP-A

4.86 tons

21.09 tons

3

52

Radar (165 km), SLAR (165 km), Passive IR (35 km)

Enclosed

Tp.52

$42,510,004

JP-A

1.2 tons

25 tons

5

53

Radar (165 km), SLAR (165 km), Passive IR (35 km)

Enclosed

 

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Mnvr/Acc Agl/Turn

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Ceiling

Armor

B.2

1626

455 (87)

NA  19  6/4  60/40

10500

2642

15000

FF6  CF7  RF6  T5  W5

PR.3

1596

447 (87)

NA  19  6/4  60/40

15876

2642

18288

FF8  CF7  RF6  T5  W5

B.6

1869

524 (87)

NA  22  6/4  60/40

11500

3044

15000

FF8  CF7  RF6  T5  W5

B(I).6

1824

511 (87)

NA  22  6/4  60/40

11500

3044

15000

FF8  CF7  RF6  T5  W5

B(I).8

1742

488 (87)

NA  21  6/4  60/40

12570

3050

15000

FF8  CF7  RF6  T5  W5

B.15

1860

517 (87)

NA  22  6/4  60/40

11500

3044

15000

FF8  CF7  RF6  T5  W5

B.16

1864

518 (87)

NA  22  6/4  60/40

11500

3050

15000

FF8  CF7  RF6  T5  W5

B.5(RC)

1580

439 (87)

NA  19  6/4  60/40

11500

3044

15240

FF8  CF7  RF6  T5  W5

PR.7

1437

399 (87)

NA  17  6/4  60/40

18501

3050

15240

FF8  CF7  RF6  T5  W5

PR.9

1865

518 (77)

NA  22  5/4  50/40

19758

3050

17000

FF8  CF7  RF6  T5  W5

T.17

1574

437 (87)

NA  19  6/4  60/40

11500

3050

15240

FF8  CF7  RF6  T5  W5

B.20

1611

448 (87)

NA  19  6/4  60/40

11500

2642

15000

FF8  CF7  RF6  T5  W5

B.50

1852

514 (87)

NA  22  6/4  60/40

11500

3044

15000

FF8  CF7  RF6  T5  W5

B)I).58

1850

514 (87)

NA  22  6/4  60/40

11500

3044

15000

FF8  CF7  RF6  T5  W5

B(I).58 (Indian Wild Weasel)

1849

514 (87)

NA  22  6/4  60/40

11500

3044

15000

FF8  CF7  RF6  T5  W5

1562

434 (87)

NA  19  6/4  60/40

11500

3044

15000

FF8  CF7  RF6  T5  W5

Tp.52

2568

435 (87)

NA  19  6/4  60/40

13500

3044

15500

FF8  CF7  RF6  T5  W5

 

Vehicle

Combat Equipment

Minimum Landing/Takeoff Zone

RF

Armament

Ammo

B.2

IFF, Radios (Two 300 km, One AM), Transponder, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, Advanced Norden Bombsight, LORAN, Radar Beam Riding, Radio Beacon Detection

1020/805m Hardened Runway

+1

2xInternal Weapons Bay, 2 Hardpoints*

PR.3

IFF, RWR, Radios (Two 300 km, One AM), Transponder, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, Cameras (Four Film Cameras, Three IR Cameras), Radio Beacon Detection (100 km), ECM 1

1020/805m Hardened Runway

Nil

2 Hardpoints*******

 

B.6

IFF, RWR, Radios (Two 300 km, One AM), Transponder, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, Radar Bombsight, Cameras (Two Film Cameras), Radio Beacon Detection (100 km), LORAN

1020/805m Hardened Runway

+2

2xInternal Weapons Bay, 4 Hardpoints**

 

B(I).6

IFF, RWR, Secure Radios (Two 300 km, One AM), Transponder, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, Radar Bombsight, Optic Gunsight, LABS, Cameras (Two Film Cameras), Radio Beacon Detection (100 km), LORAN, ECM 1

1020/805m Hardened Runway

+2

2xInternal Weapons Bay (One w/4x20mm Gun Pack, One with 36-round Matra Rocket Pod), 4 Hardpoints***

2880x20mm HS404, 36x50mm Matra Rockets.

B(I).8

IFF, RWR ,Secure Radios (Two 300 km, One AM), Transponder, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, Radar Bombsight, Optic Gunsight, LABS, Cameras (Two Film Cameras), Radio Beacon Detection (100 km), Radar Beam Riding Navigation, LORAN, ECM 1

1020/805m Hardened Runway

+2

2xInternal Weapons Bay (One w/4x20mm Gun Pack, One with 36-round Matra Rocket Pod), 4 Hardpoints***

2880x20mm HS404, 36x50mm Matra Rockets.

B.15

IFF, RWR, Radios (Two 300 km, One AM), Transponder, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, Radar Bombsight, Optic Gunsight, LABS, Cameras (Two Film Cameras), Radio Beacon Detection (100 km), Radar Beam Riding Navigation, LORAN, ECM 1, One Film Camera, One IR Camera

1020/805m Hardened Runway

+2

2 Weapon Bays, 4 Hardpoints****

 

B.16

IFF, RWR, Radios (Two 300 km, One AM), Transponder, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, Radar Bombsight, Optic Gunsight, LABS, Cameras (Two Film Cameras), Radio Beacon Detection (100 km), Radar Beam Riding Navigation, LORAN, ECM 1, One Film Camera, One IR Camera

1020/805m Hardened Runway

+2

2 Weapon Bays, 4 Hardpoints*****

 

B.5(RC)

IFF, RWR, Secure Radios (Two 300 km, One AM), Transponder, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, RDF, Radar Direction Finder, Radio Beacon Detection (100 km), Radar Beam Riding Navigation, LORAN, ECM 2, ELINT 2, Two Film Cameras, Two IR Cameras

1020/805m Hardened Runway

+2

4 Hardpoints*****

 

PR.7

IFF, RWR, Secure Radios (Two 300 km, One AM), Transponder, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, Cameras (Four Film Cameras, Three IR Cameras, One Radar Camera), Radio Beacon Detection Optic Gunsight, (100 km), ECM 2

1020/805m Hardened Runway

+2

4 Hardpoints*******

 

PR.9

IFF, RWR, Secure Radios (Two 300 km, One AM), Transponder, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, Cameras (Four Film Cameras, Two Panoramic Film Cameras, Two Panoramic IR Cameras, Primitive SAR (10 km), Three IR Cameras, Two Radar Cameras), Radio Beacon Detection, Optic Gunsight, (100 km), ECM 2

1020/805m Hardened Runway

+2

4 Hardpoints*******

 

T.17

IFF, RWR, Secure Radios (Two 300 km, One AM), Transponder, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, RDF, Radar Direction Finder, Radio Beacon Detection (100 km), Radar Beam Riding Navigation, LORAN, ECM 2, ELINT 2, Two Film Cameras, Two IR Cameras

1020/805m Hardened Runway

+2

4 Hardpoints*******

 

B.20

IFF, Radios (Two 300 km, One AM), Transponder, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, Radar Bombsight, LORAN, TACAN, Radar Beam Riding, Radio Beacon Detection, Autopilot

1020/805m Hardened Runway

+2

2xInternal Weapons Bay, 2 Hardpoints*

 

B.50

IFF, RWR, Radios (Two 300 km, One AM), Transponder, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, Radar Bombsight, LABS, Cameras (Two Film Cameras), Radio Beacon Detection (100 km), LORAN, TACAN, Autopilot

1020/805m Hardened Runway

+2

2xInternal Weapons Bay, 2 Hardpoints*

 

B(I).58

IFF, RWR, Secure Radios (Two 300 km, One AM), Transponder, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, Radar Bombsight, Optic Gunsight, LABS, Cameras (Two Film Cameras), Radio Beacon Detection (100 km), LORAN, TACAN, ECM 1, Autopilot

1020/805m Hardened Runway

+2

2 Weapon Bays, 4 Hardpoints*****

 

B(I).58 (Indian Wild Weasel)

IFF, RWR, Secure Radios (Two 300 km, One AM), Transponder, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, Radar Bombsight, Optic Gunsight, LABS, Cameras (Two Film Cameras), Radio Beacon Detection (100 km), RDF, Radar Direction Finder, LORAN, TACAN, ECM 2, Flare Chaff (6/10), Laser Rangefinder/Designator, Autopilot

1020/805m Hardened Runway

+3

2 Weapon Bays, 4 Hardpoints*******

2 Standard ARMs or 4 Shrike ARMs

Tp.52

Advanced IFF, RWR, Secure Radios (Three 300 km, One AM), Transponder, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, RDF, Radar Direction Finder, Radio Beacon Detection (100 km), Radar Beam Riding Navigation, LORAN, ECM 2, IRCM 1, ELINT 2, Two Film Cameras, Two IR Cameras, Flares/Chaff (6/6)

1020/805m Hardened Runway

+2

  4 Hardpoints*****

 

*Hardpoints may carry only 900 kilograms; weapons bays may carry then 4.54 tons if the hardpoints are filled.

**Hardpoints may carry 1200 kilograms; weapons bays may then carry 4.86 tons if the hardpoints are filled.

***Hardpoints may carry 1200 kilograms, If the forward weapons bay is not taken up with a rocket launcher, the bay may carry up to 3.03 tons of other ordnance.

****Though the B.15 can carry 1200 kg on its hardpoints; however, if it does so, the Canberra may carry only 4.86 tons in its weapon bays   Though the B.15 has four hardpoints, the fins of the AS.30 are large enough that only two AS.30s may be carried.

*****Though the B.16 can carry 1200 kg on its hardpoints; however, if it does so, the Canberra may carry only 4.88 tons in its weapon bays   Though the B.16 has four hardpoints, the fins of the AS.30 are large enough that only two AS.30s may be carried.

******The B.5(RC) can carry 1200 kg on its hardpoints

*******These aircraft can carry bombs and rockets on their hardpoints, and are capable of conducting armed reconnaissance. However, their hardpoints, when used, are normally taken up with ECM pods or chaff and flare pods.  The PR.3 can carry 900 kg; the PR.7, PR.9, and T.17 may carry 1200 kg.           

********The Indian Wild Weasels can carry ARMs on their hardpoints.  Standard ARMs are too big and heavy to carry more than two on the hardpoints.  Four Shikes, however, may be carried.  ARMs may not be carried in the weapon bays (they normally carried HE bombs to “finish the job.”).  If ARMs are not carried (the Wild Weasel may carry 6.06 tons in its Weapon Bays).

 

Handley Page Victor

     Along with the other V-Bombers, the Victor is heavily-linked with the United Kingdom’s nuclear deterrent; though it did not use ICBMs, it had bombers and (later) boomers.  Prototypes began to be tested in 1952, but almost immediately cracking around the bolt-holes holding the tailplane on was detected, including a crash during a full-speed low-altitude pass, killing the entire crew.  This was remedied by adding a fourth bolt-hole to the tailplane, all of which were also strengthened.  The tailplane also tended to flutter as top and near-top speeds; this was fixed by adding large ballast weights to the tail roots and tailplane roots.  The escape position near the air intakes, which partially led to the loss of crew in the aforementioned crash, was moved away from the air intakes; the rear crewmembers were essentially pulled along a short tunnel, out of the aircraft.  This was not an optimal solution from a crew injury standpoint, but was better than the rear crewmembers being sucked into the air intakes.  The Victor was retired in 1993; by this point, almost all had been converted into tankers.

     The Victor itself had a mostly conventional planform, with a bulged forward fuselage as the wing root forward and a crescent-shaped wing with a graceful curve.  The wing not only provided the best wing shape for subsonic cruise, but enhanced low-level, landing, and takeoff characteristics.  The four turbojets (later turbofans) were mounted close to the fuselage, with two on either side of the fuselage in the wing root.  The tail is a high T-Tail, to clear the turbulence caused by the wing and engines.

     Though the normal loadout for the Victor was a single or number of nuclear bombs, the Victor could also conduct standard bombing exercises, carrying 35 454-kilogram free-fall bombs, 70 227-kilogram free-fall bombs, or 52 340-kilogram bombs.  It could also carry a number of specialist bombs or PGM in its bomb bay. However, the design strength of the Victor proved inadequate for low-level penetration flights, with cracking appearing in the wings and tail.

     Original 1950 plans for the Victor had the entire nose ejecting as an escape pod in emergencies, but this was discarded before the first prototype was built.

 

Victor B.1

     The original Victor (other than the prototypes) was the B.1, designed to handle the high-altitude, high-subsonic, nuclear-delivery role.  It was powered by four 11,000 pound-thrust Armstrong Siddley ASSa.7 turbojets, and was equipped by a number of ECM and ECCM devices, and weather, long-range, and bombing radars, though no tail-warning radar.  The original Victors also carried an optical analog bomb computing system, basically a greatly-improved Nordon bombsight of World War 2.  The B.1 originally carried the 9.98-ton Blue Danube nuclear bomb as its only weapon, though this was later changed to the two of the smaller, more powerful Yellow Sun, then a set of three Mark 5 450-kilogram nuclear bombs or four smaller Red Beard tactical nuclear bombs. The Victor had a long aerial refueling probe above and between the front windows.

     In 1956, test pilot Johnny Allam dove a Victor B.1 at high speed and accidentally broke the sound barrier at a speed of Mach 1.1.  At the time, it was the largest aircraft to break the sound barrier.

     The B.1A modifications, performed from 1956-1960, added a tail-warning radar, RWR, and additional ECM and ECCM capability. The nose was also lengthened, again to move the ejection position of the rear crewmembers; they were switched to downward ejection.

 

Victor B.2

     The Victor B.2 was designed for a higher night altitude mission, and the engines were swapped out for Sapphire 9 turbofans, developing 14000 pounds thrust each and requiring larger air intakes.

     However, the Sapphire 9 engine was cancelled, so the Phase 2A version was tried with two engine types: the original engines, which were quickly rejected, and Rolls-Royce Conway turbofans developing 17250 pounds thrust each.  This required large intakes later called “elephant ear” intakes.  These led to ram air intakes inside the intake path. These provided additional electrical power to systems.  The ECM/ECCM suite was modernized, as were the chaff and flare dispensing system.  It was this aircraft that became the B.2.

     It should be noted that during testing of the Phase 2A aircraft, the first of the prototypes disintegrated at high altitude.  It was many years later, on other Victors, that longitudinal cracks in the wings were discovered in several Victor B.2s, that were likely the cause of the disintegration of the prototype aircraft.  This cracking would later lead to the early curtailment of the Victor’s bombing mission.

     Twenty-one B.2s were later modified into the B.2R standard.  This entailed of a large-scale modification of the Victors, including the bomb bay, the section of the fuselage ahead of the bomb bay, and on into the rear nose of the aircraft.  The engines were also replaced with Conway RCo.17 turbofans giving 20600 pounds thrust. These modifications were to allow the carriage of the large Blue Steel stand-off nuclear-tipped missile (a conventional version was contemplated, but never built). The warhead for the Blue Steel would be the Green Bamboo boosted fission warhead, or the Granite-series of thermonuclear warheads; however, later, these were replaced by Red Snow warheads, a version of the US W-28.  The Blue Steel itself is a huge missile, 4 meters across its fins, 10.7 meters long, and with a diameter of 1.22 meters, and is similar in concept to the Hound Dog missiles carried for a time by American B-52 aircraft.  It was essentially a rocket aircraft, with a range of 926 kilometers.

     Blue Steel was eventually cancelled, in part due to the dangerous steps necessary to fuel the missile, the complicated process it took to arm the missile, and the difficulty with which arming the B.2R took. (In addition, during testing in the Australian Outback, fueling the missile could be done only in the pre-dawn coolness due to the hypergolic nature of the fuel in hotter weather.)  That, and with the new deployment of the Polaris SLBM with Renown-class submarines, meant that the Blue Steel was no longer necessary from a strategic standpoint. Despite its significant limitations, Blue Steel was used on Victor (and Vulcan) aircraft from 1963-70.

     The Blue Steel was fitted with an advanced (for the time) inertial navigation unit.  The missile’s inertial navigation unit was, in fact, more advanced than that of the B.2R’s unit, and the B.2R could hook into the Blue Steel’s INU during the time that the aircraft was carrying the Blue Steel, allowing a more precise arrival at the release point.

     The B(SR).2 was a strategic reconnaissance version of the Victor; nine were built.  The bomb bay was filled with a radar mapping system and a total of nine cameras photographing as different wavelengths, angles, and resolutions, as well as technicians to monitor this intelligence. One of the day cameras had a range of 600 kilometers. Atop the wing were sniffers to detect radioactive particles from nuclear tests.  The B(SR).2 was also equipped with ELINT and other electronic reconnaissance gear, along with an enhanced ECM/ECCM suite.  In an odd way for things to turn out, the B(SR).2s were replacing Valiants which had been modified for the same role, but had been retired due to metal fatigue; this is strange due to the Victors’ history of surface cracking.

     When the high-altitude nuclear penetration flights no longer made sense for the Victor (or many other large bombers in the world), the Victor was modified for the low-level penetration role and for low-level conventional bombing.  Internal modifications were successful; however, it was discovered during training for this role that the Victors’ very design, along with defects discovered earlier in the Victors’ career, that it was not going to be able to operate as a low-level penetrator or bomber.  The design, particularly the tail and wing roots, tended to develop cracks during low-level high-speed runs, the types that would be necessary is the fulfillment of its role.  Though no aircraft were lost during these tests and training, it was obvious that it was only a matter of time, and the Victors were withdrawn from the low-level penetration and bombing role and never used for such again.

 

The Victor Tankers – the Conclusion of the Victors’ Careers

     The Valant fleet had to be withdrawn early due to metal fatigue; this included those that had been modified as tankers.  This left the RAF with no strategic tanker aircraft.  The B.1s and B.1As were deemed surplus aircraft by this point, so many of them were modified into tankers.  It was somewhat a hurried affair at first, with B.1s and B.1As being converted to the B(K).1A standard being fitted with a hose system under each wing with a drogue attached to the hose, and a reel system attached to sponsons under the wings. Six such aircraft were converted.  These aircraft became operational in August of 1965.  While these aircraft were adequate for short-tern use, they could pass fuel at only a very limited speed, and were not suitable for refueling large aircraft such as the Vulcan (which was still on active bomber duty). It should be noted that the B(K).1A had a reduced volume of space in the bomb bay (most was taken up by a large cylindrical tank for refueling), and the B(K).1A could carry a reduced mount of bombs or PGM in the bomb bay, giving it a secondary role as a bomber.

     The refueling problems were addressed in the next iteration of B.1 and B.1A-based tankers, the K.1 and K.1A.  These versions (though the B.1 base aircraft were no longer brought up to B.1A standard first) had a three-hose system, with another hose under the fuselage near the tail.  The wing refueling points retained the same fuel flow as the B(K).1A, but a high-speed hose and drogue was fitted under the fuselage just ahead of the tail bulge, with three times the fuel flow rate of the wing hoses.

     24 B.2s were also modified into tankers, similar to the K.1 and K.1A, and designated K.2.  Other than uprated specifications, they were similar to the K.1 and K.1A.

     For the Black Buck missions (the Vulcan bombing missions against Port Stanley airport in the Falklands), the K.2s were modified to carry three day/night long range cameras in the former bombardier’s position.  These cameras were upgrades of those carried on the B(SR).2 and had a day/night high-resolution range of 800 kilometers.  While they did some long-range reconnaissance of the Falklands during their refueling work with the Vulcans on the mission, their primary role of the cameras was to reconnoiter South Georgia Island. (They were also to conduct reconnaissance on Argentine airfields and harbors in the hypothetical raids based out of Rio De Janeiro, but it was elected not to conduct these raids to prevent a wider was in South America.)  The K.2s retained the ability for aerial refueling and so relays of tankers could be set up.  The K.2s also received new inertial navigation gear, as their normal navigation equipment was inadequate for navigation over the trackless Atlantic.

     Vickers tankers were often fitted with JATO bottles on the rear sides to decrease the heavy Victor tanker’s takeoff length.  This decreases the takeoff run by 30%.  The JATO bottles are expended shortly after the Victor gets into the air and fall off of their own accord shortly after they are expended.

     The K.2s. were retired in 1993, replaced by Vickers VC-10 tankers.

 

Aircraft

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

Victor B.1

$334,064,700

JP-A

32.95 tons

92.99 tons

5

105

Radar (300 km), Weather Radar (500 km), Bombing Radar (200 km)

Shielded

Victor B.1A

$367,811,400

JP-A

33.32 tons

94.49 tons

5

108

Radar (300 km), Weather Radar (500 km), Bombing Radar (200 km), Tail Radar (100 km)

Shielded

Victor B.2

$380,995,200

JP4

34.02 tons

94.77 tons

4

111

Radar (400 km), Weather Radar (500 km), Bombing Radar (200 km), Tail Radar (150 km)

Shielded

Victor B.2R

$429,940,500

JP4

406 kg

102.47 tons

4

125

Radar (400 km), Weather Radar (500 km), Bombing Radar (200 km), Tail Radar (150 km)

Shielded

Victor B(SR).2

$444,370,600

JP4

681 kg

95.28 tons

8

115

Radar (400 km), Weather Radar (500 km), Tail Radar (150 km), SLAR (150 km), 3 Day Cameras (50 km), 3 Wide-Angle Day Cameras (50 km), 2 Night/IR Cameras (40 km), UV Camera (40 km), Radar Camera (30 km)

Shielded

Victor B(K).1A

$387,629,900

JP4

5.45 tons

111.92 tons

5

107

Radar (300 km), Weather Radar (500 km), Bombing Radar (200 km), Tail Radar (100 km)

Shielded

Victor K.1

$460,010,300

JP4

520 kg

143.46 tons

5

106

Radar (300 km), Weather Radar (500 km)

Shielded

Victor K.1A

$506,479,830

JP4

589 kg

144.96 tons

5

108

Radar (300 km), Weather Radar (500 km), Tail Radar (100 km)

 

Victor K.2

$524,634,050

JP4

585 kg

145.24 tons

5

110

Radar (400 km), Weather Radar (500 km), Tail Radar (150 km)

Shielded

Victor K.2 (Black Buck)

$546,383,040

JP4

465 kg

145.34 tons

5

111

Radar (400 km), Weather Radar (500 km), Tail Radar (150 km), Two Day/Night Cameras (800 km), One Radar Camera (600 km)

Shielded

 

Aircraft

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Mnvr/Acc Agl/Turn

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Ceiling

Armor

Victor B.1

1248

347 (145)

NA  68 7/5  70/50

36713

4492

17000

FF8  CF7  RF7  T6  W5

Victor B.1A

1228

341 (145)

NA  67 7/5  70/50

36713

4492

17000

FF8  CF7  RF7  T6  W5

Victor B.2

1901

528 (145)

NA 104 7/5  70/50

36713

7015

19000

FF8  CF7  RF7  T6  W5

Victor B.2R

2823

784 (145)

NA 154 7/5  70/50

36713

11356

19000

FF8  CF7  RF7  T6  W5

Victor B(SR).2

3034

943 (145)

NA 185 7/5  70/50

36713

11356

19000

FF8  CF7  RF7  T6  W5

Victor B(K).1A

1042

289 (145)

NA  57 7/5  70/50

36713+37854

4492

17000

FF8  CF7  RF7  T6  W5

Victor K.1

819

228 (145)

NA  45 7/5  70/50

36713+50472

4492

17000

FF8  CF7  RF7  T6  W5

Victor K.1A

811

225 (145)

NA  44 7/5  70/50

36713+50472

4492

17000

FF8  CF7  RF7  T6  W5

Victor K.2

2001

556 (145)

NA  109 7/5  70/50

36713+50472

7015

19000

FF8  CF7  RF7  T6  W5

Victor K.2 (Black Buck)

2001

556 (145)

NA  109 7/5  70/50

36713+50472

7015

19000

FF8  CF7  RF7  T6  W5

 

Aircraft

Combat Equipment

Minimum Landing/Takeoff Zone

RF

Armament

Ammo

Victor B.2

IFF, Secure Radios (One 700 km, Two 300 km, One AM), Navigation Bombing Computer, Transponder, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, LORAN, Radar Beam Riding, Radio Beacon Detection, ILS, ECM 1, ECCM 1, INS, Flare and Chaff Dispensers (40 Flares, 40 Chaff)

2400/1840m Hardened Runway

+1

Internal Bomb Bay

Various Nuclear Bomb(s), 35x454 kg or 52x340 kg or 70x227 kg Bombs

Victor B.1A

IFF, RWR, Secure Radios (One 700 km, Two 300 km, One AM), Navigation Bombing Computer, Transponder, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, LORAN, Radar Beam Riding, Radio Beacon Detection, ILS, ECM 2, ECCM 2, INS, Flare and Chaff Dispensers (40 Flares, 40 Chaff)

2400/1840m Hardened Runway

+1

Internal Bomb Bay

Various Nuclear Bomb(s), 35x454 kg or 52x340 kg or 70x227 kg Bombs

Victor B.2

IFF, RWR, Secure Radios (One 700 km, Two 300 km, One AM), Transponder, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, LORAN, Radar Beam Riding, Radio Beacon Detection, ILS, ECM 2, ECCM 2, IRCM 1, INS, Flare and Chaff Dispensers (50 Flares, 50 Chaff), One Chaff Rocket

2400/1840m Hardened Runway

+2

Internal Bomb Bay

Various Nuclear Bomb(s), 35x454 kg or 52x340 kg or 70x227 kg Bombs

Victor B.2R

IFF, RWR, Secure Radios (One 700 km, Two 300 km, One AM), Transponder, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, LORAN, Radar Beam Riding, Radio Beacon Detection, ILS, ECM 2, ECCM 2, IRCM 1, INS*, Flare and Chaff Dispensers (50 Flares, 50 Chaff)

2400/2200m Hardened Runway

+4

Internal Bomb Bay (Modified)

Blue Steel Standoff Missile**

Victor B(SR).2

Advanced IFF, RWR, Secure Radios (One 700 km, Two 300 km, One AM), Transponder, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, LORAN, Radar Beam Riding, Radio Beacon Detection, ILS, ECM 3, ECCM 3, IRCM 1, DJM, ELINT 3, Radar Detection 2, Radio Jamming 1, INS, Target ID, Flare and Chaff Dispensers (80 Flares, 60 Chaff), Corridor Chaff Pod, Chaff Rocket, Radiation Detector (800 km)

2400/2000m Hardened Runway

Nil

Nil

Nil

Victor B(K).1A

IFF, RWR, Secure Radios (One 700 km, Two 300 km, One AM), Navigation Bombing Computer, Transponder, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, LORAN, Radar Beam Riding, Radio Beacon Detection, ILS, ECM 2, ECCM 2, INS, Flare and Chaff Dispensers (40 Flares, 40 Chaff)

2400/2600m Hardened Runway

+2

Internal Bomb Bay

12x454 kg Bombs

Victor K.1

IFF, Secure Radios (One 700 km, Two 300 km, One AM), Transponder, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, LORAN, Radar Beam Riding, Radio Beacon Detection, ILS, ECM 1, ECCM 1, INS, Flare and Chaff Dispensers (40 Flares, 40 Chaff), Two Hose/Drogue Reels

2400/2600m Hardened Runway

Nil

Nil

Nil

Victor K.1A

IFF, RWR, Secure Radios (One 700 km, Two 300 km, One AM), Transponder, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, LORAN, Radar Beam Riding, Radio Beacon Detection, ILS, ECM 2, ECCM 2, INS, Flare and Chaff Dispensers (40 Flares, 40 Chaff), Two Hose/Drogue Reels

2400/2600m Hardened Runway

Nil

Nil

Nil

Victor K.2

IFF, RWR, Secure Radios (One 700 km, Two 300 km, One AM), Transponder, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, LORAN, Radar Beam Riding, Radio Beacon Detection, ILS, ECM 2, ECCM 2, IRCM 1, INS, Flare and Chaff Dispensers (50 Flares, 50 Chaff), One Chaff Rocket, Three Hose/Drogue Reel Units

2400/2600m Hardened Runway

Nil

Nil

Nil

Victor K.2 (Black Buck)

IFF, RWR, Secure Radios (One 700 km, Two 300 km, One AM), Transponder, Gyrocompass, Barometric Altimeter, LORAN, Radar Beam Riding, Radio Beacon Detection, ILS, ECM 2, ECCM 2, IRCM 1, INS, Flare and Chaff Dispensers (50 Flares, 50 Chaff), One Chaff Rocket, Three Hose/Drogue Reel Units

2400/2600m Hardened Runway

Nil

Nil

Nil

*While the Blue Steel missile is mated to the B.2R, the crew may use the missile’s INS, which has a range of 125 km and eases the navigator’s task of guiding the aircraft by one level.

**Preparing the Blue Steel and mating it to the B.2R takes a minimum of four hours.  Mating the missile to the aircraft is a Difficult Mechanic task and requires a minimum of six persons.  Fueling the missile is an Impossible Mechanic task.  Arming the missile is an Easy ADM or Average Mechanic task.  The cost of the Blue Steel is subsumed in the cost of the B.2R.