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Sea Harrier FRS Mk.1 "Falklands" XZ457, 899 NAS, HMS Hermes, 1982
General Background
The BAe Sea Harrier FRS1 first entered service with the Royal Navy in April 1980. The aircraft is a naval VTOL/VSTOL jet fighter designed for reconnaissance and attack roles. In 1993 an improved variant of the Sea Harrier was produced as the FA.2 with a more powerful engine, improved air-to-air capabilities and weapons options. The FA.2 was produced until 1998 and continued in service until 2006 when it was replaced by the Harrier GR9. 56 FA.2 Sea Harriers were produced for the Royal Navy.
The Aircraft
On April 2, 1982 Argentine forces invaded the Falkland Islands they claimed as theirs and the British also had claims on the islands. The small island force was easily overwhelmed and the Argentines occupied the territory. It wasn’t long before Britain mounted a task force to retake the Falklands. On April 1982 HMS Hermes sailed from the UK as part of 127 ships, consisting of 43 Royal Navy vessels, 22 from the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and 62 merchant ships. Sea Harrier FRS Mk.1 was credited with three victories and one damaged. After 74 days Britain reclaimed the Falklands.
Specifications :
Role: Single seat fighter, reconnaissance and strike aircraft
Primary Manufacturer: British Aerospace
Length: 47ft 7ins
Wingspan: 25ft 3ins
Height: 12ft 2ins
Weight: 25,000lbs (loaded)
Power Plant: 1 X 21,500lb Rolls Royce Pegasus 104 vectored thrust turbofan
Maximum Speed: 642 knots
Range: 250 nautical miles (strike), 400 nautical miles (fighter)
Armament 2 X 30mm Aden cannon, four Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, various combinations of bombs or two Sea Eagle air to surface missiles.