Author Topic: Gekko's Profiles  (Read 140886 times)

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Re: Gekko's Profiles
« Reply #45 on: December 27, 2011, 04:35:59 AM »
Some that Richard and I collaborated on:

Saudi Phantoms:

The Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) was established in 1950 during the reign of Abd al Aziz. During its initial years, the RSAF was influenced chiefly by the British, who provided aircraft and advisers and helped train Saudi pilots and maintenance personnel in the Kingdom and in Britain. This influence continued when in the early 1970s, the RSAF was seeking a strike aircraft to compliment its English Electric Lightning F.53s.


RSAF FGR. 51 in its original colour scheme.

In 1972 the first of 114 Spey engined Phantom FGR.Mk 2s were delivered to the RSAF (officially, these were referred to as Phantom FGR. 51s, though essentially they were identical to the RAF’s own FGR.Mk 2s).


This RSAF FGR. 51 wares an experimental scheme as tested in late 1989.

In mid-1988, it was announced that as part of a huge transaction under Project Al Yamamah, Saudi Arabia would acquire Tornado fighters from Britain in their strike and air defence configurations. This effectively resulted in both the Lightnings and the Phantoms being replaced. However, due to delays in the delivery of the Tornadoes and the higher priority given to replacing the Lightnings, the Phantoms remained in frontline service well into the 1990s.


This RSAF FGR. 51 wares the latest scheme as used during Desert Storm, it was responsible for shooting down an Iraqi Su-24 Fencer and Mirage F.1EQ!

Their highpoint of service undoubtedly being in 1991 during the first Gulf War to liberate Kuwait when RSAF Phantoms flew numerous strike and close air support missions.

All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Re: Gekko's Profiles
« Reply #46 on: December 27, 2011, 04:37:51 AM »
Another collaboration.

Pakistan

The Pakistan Air Force (PAF – the ‘Royal’ having been prefix Royal was removed in 1956) has had a long and proud history, having served with distinction during numerous wars with its larger neighbor India. In 1979 the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. With the war being critical to Pakistan's national sovereignty and integrity, the PAF once again sought out modernization, including the procurement of new generation fighter aircraft - this was eventually satisfied by the purchase of 28 General Dynamics F-16A and 12 F-16B in 1981. Between 1986 and 1988 the PAF F-16s took part in frequent skirmishes with Soviet and Afghan aircraft.



However, times change, and in 1990 Pakistan was hit by American military embargoes in response to its nuclear weapons development. These embargoes prevented the Pakistan Air Force from acquiring a further 71 new-built F-16s that had been ordered. However, all was not lost. Via a deal that, still to this day has not been fully revealed (despite two Royal Commissions and a US Congress investigation), an arrangement was made whereby the PAF would acquire, with the assistance of un-named US interests, 50 ex-RAF Spey engined Phantom FGR.Mk 2s.



Following an upgrade program in Pakistan (and assisted by companies from both the UK and France), the first of these entered service in late 1992. This upgrade mainly involved re-lifing the airframe as well as completely overhauling the RR Spey engines. A few years later, a further, more extensive update was undertaken whereby the Phantoms were upgraded with digital cockpits and FLIR pods (greatly enhancing the air-to-surface precision strike capability).



In recent years, Pakistan has once again been ‘welcomed in from the cold’ (especially so since the events of Sept 11). This has allowed the PAF to once start considering various options in order to replace its ageing aircraft fleet, with the JF-17 (a joint production between Pakistan and China) and US made F-16 fighter jets as the top contenders for a Phantom replacement. Though given that the Phantoms were only relatively recently upgraded, there has been a strong call from within the PAF, to keep the Phantoms in service alongside the new aircraft.
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Re: Gekko's Profiles
« Reply #47 on: December 27, 2011, 04:40:47 AM »
Yet another.

Royal New Zealand Air Force F-4K Phantom.

During the late 1960s, the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) was searching for a replacement for its English Electric Canberras. The 1965 Defence Review had recommended the replacement of the RNZAF’s Canberra force by 1970, and indicated that the new aircraft should be for a close air support role. Given the lessons of the war in Vietnam at that time, defence planners preferred the F-4 Phantom. However, economic factors appeared to be swaying the Government towards a purchase of modified A-4F Skyhawks. At the last moment though (quite literally - the same day as the A-4 order was to be signed), the former motherland (UK) stepped in with a compromise deal. In order to spread the development costs for its own RR Spey engined F-4 development, they made an offer of a special ‘Commonwealth only’ deal for a batch of brand new Spey engined Phantom FGR.Mk 2s. These were essentially identical to those then entering service with the RAF. In RNZAF service though, they would be referred to as the F-4K (the K being for ‘Kiwi’).


F-4K Phantom, 75 Squadron, Ohakea, 1971.

The entire purchase of 14 aircraft (10 F-4Ks and 4 TF-4Ks (this being a dedicated, though combat capable trainer variant)) were shipped to New Zealand aboard an aircraft carrier in 1970. The aircraft were operated by 75 Sqn, but conversion and initial strike training were passed to 14 Sqn. The conversion role reverted to 75 Sqn in 1975, with 14 Sqn moving to purely Strikemaster operations. The conversion role was further changed in 1984, passing to 2 Sqn when it was reformed at Ohakea on December 11, 1984. The creation of a new Phantom squadron becoming possible with the purchase of ten ex-RAF FGR.Mk 2s (8 F-4s and 2 TF-4s) aircraft in 1984.


F-4K Kahu, 75 Squadron, Nowra NAS, N.S.W., Australia, 1986.

Under project KAHU, all aircraft updated to the F-4K Kahu standard, essentially by adopting the avionics from the F-16 Fighting Falcon, giving them the ability to use laser guided bombs, as well as AGM-65 Maverick and AIM-9L Sidewinder missiles. Kahu is Māori for falcon.


F-4K Kahu, 75 Squadron, Ohakea, 1998. This scheme proved very unpopular with Malaysian and Thai pilots during overseas exercises, the Asian pilots complaining that it was too difficult to locate! They asked the RNZAF to make the scheme more hi-vis, the RNZAF refused.

The survivors were retired in 2001 amidst much controversy. The aircraft are currently being stored at RNZAF Base Woodburne, just outside of Blenheim in the South Island.


F-4K Kingfisher, 75 Squadron, Ohakea, 2001. This was a test scheme for the F-4K that was to be implemented for specialised aircraft used in the anti-shipping role in conjunction with the Harpoon and Penguin anti ship missiles.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Re: Gekko's Profiles
« Reply #48 on: December 27, 2011, 04:44:08 AM »
They keep coming...

FGR.2's over the Nam.

In June 1966, with the development of the new RR Spey engined F-4 Phantom FGR.Mk 2 under way for the RAF, the USAF made the decision to also purchase at least a squadron’s worth directly ‘off the drawing board’ . This decision was largely based on the supposedly greater performance that would be available with the new engine. On paper, using Speys looked like a great idea, as they were more powerful than the J79s fitted normally, and more fuel-efficient. In reality, these predicted benefits did not translate to real life, and in fact the F-4M (as they were designated in USAF service) were actually poorer performers than the standard J79 powered version. Never-the-less, a purchase is a purchase and the USAF now found themselves with a squadron of F-4Ms.


F-4M Phantom, 10th fighter Commando Squadron, Bien Hoa Air Base, 1967.

These were assigned to 10th Fighter Commando Squadron and sent to Vietnam for a full up combat evaluation. Though successful, the F-4M’s lower performance wasn’t generally liked by the USAF pilots and the aircraft were subsequently turned over to the air force of South Vietnam, which previously had only slow A-1 Skyraider and A-37 Dragonfly attack aircraft. With the step up in performance that this entailed, the South Vietnamese crew couldn’t have been happier.


F-4M Phantom, 1st Fighter Squadron, South Vietnamese Air Force (VNAF), Bien Hoa Air Base, 1973. Seen here in an experimental camouflage scheme seen on several of the 1st's Phantoms.

Sadly, the South Vietnamese F-4Ms only operated for a few years before the country was eventually overrun by the North Vietnamese forces. Ironically, several of the aircraft were captured and used operationally by the NVAF, in particular against Khmer Rouge. In fact, even as late as 1995, it was reported that a few F-4Ms were still in use – they being eventually replaced by Su-27s.


North Vietnamese F-4M Phantom, seen here after being brought back to flying condition following the cannibalisation of several unserviceable VNAF Phantoms, 1976


NVAF F-4M Phantom, 1994, in standard air superiority scheme.

One further interesting twist to this story was the use of the F-4M by both the Polish and Soviet militaries. Several of the F-4Ms left-over post Vietnam War were apparently exported to Poland and Russia for advanced study of US aviation technology. It is reported that both of these countries operated at least one in flying condition – though there is speculation that this may have in fact been the same aircraft.


Polish F/A-4M Phantomski, used for ground attack mission testing, 1976.


Soviet F-4M Phantomski, used in the "Topgunski" role by a Top Secret test unit, 1977.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Re: Gekko's Profiles
« Reply #49 on: December 27, 2011, 04:46:48 AM »
More...

Phantoms over Oz!

On the night of 12th May 1975 the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) suffered perhaps its greatest blow. The flagship of the fleet, the Majestic class, light aircraft carrier, HMAS Melbourne was completely gutted by fire during a major refit at Garden Island. Luckily, as there were minimal personnel on board at the time, there was no loss of life. The cause was never proven with theories ranging from a simple industrial accident through to sabotage by an anti-military protestor.


FGR.3 of VF-805 in her delivery scheme of gull grey over white, 1976.

Given that only a few months prior, the carrier had proven its extreme usefulness when it had assisted in the post-Cyclone Tracy disaster recovery operations at Darwin, there was strong public support for rapidly replacing the carrier.


VF-805's Phantoms soon started appearing in the wrap around scheme adopted by the Navy's A-4G Skyhawks, 1977.

However, rapidly acquiring a new carrier is not something that one does easily. Ideally the RAN would have liked a new purpose built carrier, but this would take time (and many overseas junkets). In the short term, a solution was found by acquiring (at a greatly discounted price – the British Government being glad to find a buyer) the relatively recently decommissioned HMS Eagle. Quickly brought back to full operational condition, the newly re-commissioned HMAS Darwin (a moral boosting, recognition to the recently devastated city) reached Australia just in time for Christmas 1976. Aboard her were 24 newly acquired Phantom FGR Mk.3s (the decision having already been made to replace the A-4G Skyhawks with something more potent) of 805 Squadron RAN FAA.


By 1979 VF-805's Phantoms began to take on US Navy type low-viz colour schemes.

These were meant to have been identical to the RN FG.1s, but a paperwork mix-up resulted in the incorrect aircraft being craned aboard the deck in Devonport. When the mistake was discovered, it was decided to simply modify the aircraft back into carrier capable fighters. This largely involved the refitting of the unique, double-height, folding nose gear for a higher AOA on catapult launch; the reinforced main gear and arresting hook; and the radome that could be hinged back to allow the aircraft to fit down the smaller elevators on the carrier. Following these mods, the aircraft were re-designated as Phantom FGR Mk.3s. Complimenting the fighters aboard the carrier were 6 of the existing Grumman S-2E/G Trackers as well as Westland Sea King Mk 50 helicopters.


With tensions between Australia and Indonesia on the rise the Defene Department decided to re-camouflage the Navy's tactical aircraft in a scheme better suited to low level over water operations, 1981.

In 1982, the new carrier selection decision had finally been made and the HMAS Darwin was replaced by the first of two new carriers (these being based on the new American CVV design), HMAS Gallipoli (soon to be joined by the HMAS Kokoda). Since these new carriers were unable to accommodate the Phantom FGR Mk.3s (they would carry the new SAAB JA-37N ‘Cyclone’ fighters), it was decided to transfer the Phantoms to the RAAF.


The first RAAF unit to get to play with the FGR.3 Phantom was the Aircraft Reasearch and Development Unit in their striking orange and white colours!

These were allocated to the newly re-established 2 Squadron, which would now become a specialised anti-shipping unit armed with AGM-84 Harpoon ASMs.


Exercise Pitch Black '84 saw this RAAF Number 2 Squadron FGR.3 Phantom 'borrow' some paint being used by 38 Squadron on their Caribou aircraft for test and evaluation purposes. For some strange reason this Phantom is still carrying its Navy seriel codes?


Here we see another of 2 Squadron's Phantoms wearing a short lived "exercise scheme" during Pitch Black '84.

These continued to serve through until 1989, when they too were replaced with the RAAF’s own variant of the SAAB Cyclone.


Here we see 2 Squadrons initial anti-shipping scheme. However it was soon realised that the scheme was far too light for over water operations, 1985.


2 Squadron's final scheme for over water anti-shipping operations was this darker blue/grey scheme, 1987.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Gekko's Profiles
« Reply #50 on: December 27, 2011, 04:52:50 AM »
And one for those weird people of the North...

Canadian Phantoms!

In July 1970, the Canadian aircraft carrier HMCS Bonaventure was decommissioned. Initially there were no plans to replace it, however after a great deal of strong lobbying from those both inside and outside of the military, it was eventually decided to look for a replacement. However, since the Government was unwilling to spend a great deal of money on a replacement, the search focused primarily on second hand ships.

Fortuitously, in 1971 the British Government had decided to decommission HMS Eagle. When the Canadian Government started searching for a new carrier, the British Government was only too happy to sell it (at a very affordable price – there being a great deal of relief at being able to find a buyer) along with a compliment of 24 Phantom FG Mk.1s. The Canadian’s however requested some modifications to the aircraft which actually brought them more into line with the RAF’s FGR Mk.2s (this mainly being done to aid in the logistics effort – it being thought that since the RAF was still operating Mk.2s, it would be wise to have commonality where possible).


1. CF-116B Phantom, VF-871, HMCS Hampton Grey, 1972 in its initial delivery scheme.


2. CF-116B Phantom, VF-870, HMCS Hampton Grey, 1972 in its initial delivery scheme, differing slightly from VF-871's machines.

At the same time as this was taking place, the Canadian Air Command (AIRCOM) was suffering from a number of serviceability problems with its CF-5 Freedom Fighters. After many months of trying to overcome the problems, it was decided to simply give up and replace them all with something else. Given that the Maritime Command (MARCOM) had just announced that it was getting Phantoms, it was decided to increase the order and purchase an additional 54 standard FGR Mk.2s. This was greatly welcomed, since many airmen had originally wanted the Phantom instead of the Freedom Fighter. In order to avoid the embarrassment of having to go back on one of its decisions, the Government declared that these too would be designated CF-116s (the CF-5’s official designation having been the CF-116) – even today this still rankles many aviation historians.


3. Canadian Air Command CF-116C Phantom, No, 419 "Moose" Squadron, in its initial, and short lived, delivery scheme, 1972.

In 1972, the new carrier, HMCS Hampton Grey (it having been named after the Canadian naval aviator who won the VC during the closing days of WWII) arrived at CFB Halifax carrying 36 CF-116s (24 naval CF-116Bs for MARCOM, and the first 12 CF-116C for AIRCOM).


4. AIRCOM CF-116C Phantom, No, 419 "Moose" Squadron, in tactical colours, 1973.


5. AIRCOM CF-116C Phantom, No, 434 "Bluenose" Squadron, in Aggressor colours, 1973.


6. AIRCOM CF-116C Phantom, No, 433 "Porcupine" Squadron, in wrap around tactical colours, 1974.

In MARCOM service, the CF-116Bs would serve with both VF-870 and VF-871 squadrons as well as the reformed “Grey Ghosts” aerobatic team (the Phantom being seen as an appropriate ghostly replacement for the Banshee).


7. MARCOM CF-116B Phantom, "Grey Ghosts" aerobatic team, 1974.

In AIRCOM service, the CF-116Cs first entered service with No. 419 ("Moose") Squadron primarily in an aggressor and training role (though they were still capable of being used in offensive operations if so required). They also replaced the CF-5s of both No.s 433 ("Porcupine") and 434 ("Bluenose") Squadrons. These squadrons were assigned the mission of reinforcing Norway should trouble ever break out in Europe. The first such European deployment with the aid of air-to-air refuelling took place June 9, 1973.


8. AIRCOM CF-116C Phantom, No, 419 "Moose" Squadron, Aggressor, 1984.


9. AIRCOM CF-116C Phantom, No, 433 "Porcupine" Squadron, Norway deployment, 1982.


10. AIRCOM CF-116C Phantom, No, 419 "Moose" Squadron, Aggressor, 1985.


11. AIRCOM CF-116C Phantom, No 433 "Porcupine" Squadron, 1986, Norway deployment, in new European 1 colours.

Both the CF-116Bs and Cs were to be replaced by the CF-188 Hornet during the late 1980s, however the Phantom's days in Canadian colours were not over yet. As the CF-116Cs still had time left on their airframes they were kept in the aggressor role with No. 419 squadron until the mid 1990s. During this time, they were also used to train new pilots in tactics and low level navigation before moving on to the CF-188 Hornet.


12. AIRCOM CF-116C Phantom, No 434 "Bluenose" Squadron, 1989, In the types final air superiority colour scheme.


13. CF-116B Phantom, VF-870, HMCS Hampton Grey, 1987, wearing a competition trials camouflage scheme. VF-870 and VF-871 were both trialing a "shallow water" tactical scheme. With each Squadron using different colours in the trials.


14. VF-871 in the trials scheme for that Squadron.This particular Phantom was involved in an incident in which it was tasked with sinking a container ship that was carrying highly flammable substances and was drifting dangerously close to populated coastal areas. 202 was vectored in to sink the ship and did so with two AGM-119B Penguin anti-ship missiles. No lives were lost. Note "kill" marking on splitter plate!

In 1991, the CF-116s were finally blooded. As part of Operation FRICTION (Canada's contribution to the 1991 liberation of Kuwait) the HMCS Hampton Grey escorted by the the destroyers HMCS Terra Nova and HMCS Athabaskan and the supply ship HMCS Protecteur joined the coalition fleet in the Persian Gulf. In addition No. 434 squadron was deployed to Saudi Arabia. When the air war began, both the CF-116Bs and Cs were integrated into the coalition force and provided air cover and attacked ground targets. This was the first time since the Korean War that Canadian forces had participated in offensive combat operations. Overall during the operation the CF-116Bs and Cs flew a total of 2400 hrs.


15. No. 434 Squadron, Saudi Arabia, 1991, Operation Friction. This particular CF-116C Phantom shot down an Iraqi Mirage F.1EQ with a Skyflash air to air missile. Also visible on the splitter plate are five dumb bomb and twelve Laser Guide Bomb markings.


16. Another Operation Friction CF-116C Phantom from No. 434 "Bluenose" Squadron, this time with Sharkmouth and five dumb bomb and five LGB markings.


17. VF-870 CF-116B Phantom, HMCS Hampton Grey, Operation Friction, Persian Gulf, 1991. Phantom 106 shot down an Iraqi Su-24 Fencer and an Su-22 Fitter, both with AIM-9L Sidewinder. Both jets were spotted flying very low in the Persian Gulf, apparently trying to make it to Iran. All of Hampton Grey's Air Wing carried Sharkmouths during Operation Friction.


18. VF-871, CF-116 Phantom, HMCS Hampton Grey, Operation Friction, Persian Gulf, 1991. Phantom 210 shot down an Iraqi MiG-25 Foxbat on the opening day of what would famously be known as Desert Storm. 210 also sported a Sharkmouth for the Operation and had also sunk three Iraqi Patrol boats with AGM-119B Penguin anti-ship missiles near the Shatt al Arab water way.

Eventually, in 1995, the Department of National Defence initiated a 25 percent cut in the strength of Fighter Group, forcing a substantial portion of the active CF-188 fleet to be put into storage. To prevent further cuts in the CF-188 fleet, the Canadian Armed Forces agreed to eliminate all its CF-116s from the active inventory.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Sentinel Chicken

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Re: Gekko's Profiles
« Reply #51 on: December 27, 2011, 05:41:00 AM »
Excuse me while I take those Aussie and Canadian Phantoms into a dark room......

FAP FAP
FAP FAP
FAP FAP
FAP FAP
FAP FAP
FAP FAP

Offline Bladerunner

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Re: Gekko's Profiles
« Reply #52 on: December 27, 2011, 06:46:30 AM »
  :want: They're all so cool. :in-love:


I only have one Fujimi kit in my stash though :'(

Offline Maverick

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Re: Gekko's Profiles
« Reply #53 on: December 27, 2011, 07:31:44 AM »
Some super stuff there indeed.

Regards,

John
Regards,

John

Offline JoseFern

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Re: Gekko's Profiles
« Reply #54 on: December 27, 2011, 09:34:21 AM »
:want: Canadian Phantoms! :want:

Offline lauhof52

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Re: Gekko's Profiles
« Reply #55 on: December 27, 2011, 03:50:55 PM »
Top Phantoms!! 8) Lauhof

Re: Gekko's Profiles
« Reply #56 on: December 27, 2011, 09:39:24 PM »
Rhinos =  :in-love:

Sentinel Chicken

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Re: Gekko's Profiles
« Reply #57 on: December 27, 2011, 10:30:25 PM »
Hey, quiet! I'm still busy FAPPING to these Phantoms.

Y'all are messin' up my concentration here.

Offline Gekko1

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Re: Gekko's Profiles
« Reply #58 on: December 28, 2011, 04:21:05 PM »








Cheers

Richard.

Offline The Big Gimper

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Re: Gekko's Profiles
« Reply #59 on: December 28, 2011, 08:14:26 PM »
OMG. Now I need to buy even more F-4s to build all those Canadians birds. Great work Richard.
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