Lockheed S-3 Viking
The Lockheed S-3 Viking is a four-seat, twin-engine turbofan-powered jet aircraft, used by the U. S. Navy for anti-submarine warfare. In the late 1990s, the S-3B's mission focus shifted to surface warfare and aerial refueling; the Viking provided electronic warfare and surface surveillance capabilities to the carrier battle group. A carrier-based, all-weather, multi-mission aircraft with long range; because of the characteristic sound of the Viking's engines, it was nicknamed the "Hoover" after the vacuum cleaner brand. The S-3 was retired from front-line US Navy fleet service aboard aircraft carriers in January 2009, with its missions being assumed by other platforms such as the P-3C Orion, Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk, Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. Several aircraft were flown by Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Thirty at Naval Base Ventura County / NAS Point Mugu, for range clearance and surveillance operations on the NAVAIR Point Mugu Range until 2016, one S-3 is operated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration at the NASA Glenn Research Center.
In the mid-1960s, the U. S. Navy developed the VSX requirement for a replacement for the piston-engined Grumman S-2 Tracker as an anti-submarine aircraft to fly off the Navy's aircraft carriers. In August 1968, a team led by Lockheed and a Convair/Grumman team were asked to further develop their proposals to meet this requirement. Lockheed recognised that it had little recent experience in designing carrier based aircraft, so Ling-Temco-Vought was brought into the team, being responsible for the folding wings and tail, the engine nacelles, the landing gear, derived from LTV A-7 Corsair II and Vought F-8 Crusader. Sperry Univac Federal Systems was assigned the task of developing the aircraft's onboard computers which integrated input from sensors and sonobuoys. On 4 August 1969, Lockheed's design was selected as the winner of the contest, eight prototypes, designated YS-3A were ordered; the first prototype was flown on 21 January 1972 by military test pilot John Christiansen, the S-3 entered service in 1974.
During the production run from 1974 to 1978, a total of 186 S-3As were built. The majority of the surviving S-3As were upgraded to the S-3B variant, with sixteen aircraft converted into ES-3A Shadow electronic intelligence collection aircraft; the S-3 is a conventional monoplane with a cantilever shoulder wing, swept at an angle of 15°. The two GE TF-34 high-bypass turbofan engines mounted in nacelles under the wings provide excellent fuel efficiency, giving the Viking the required long range and endurance, while maintaining docile engine-out characteristics; the aircraft can seat four crew members, three officers and one enlisted aircrewman, with the pilot and the copilot/tactical coordinator in the front of the cockpit and the tactical coordinator and sensor operator in the back. Entry is via a door / ladder; when the aircraft's anti-submarine warfare role ended in the late 1990s, the enlisted SENSOs were removed from the crew. In the tanking crew configuration, the S-3B flew with a pilot and co-pilot/COTAC.
The wing is fitted with leading Fowler flaps. Spoilers are fitted to both the lower surfaces of the wings. All control surfaces are actuated by dual hydraulically boosted irreversible systems. In the event of dual hydraulic failures, an Emergency Flight Control System permits manual control with increased stick forces and reduced control authority. Unlike many tactical jets which required ground service equipment, the S-3 was equipped with an auxiliary power unit and capable of unassisted starts; the aircraft's original APU could provide only minimal electric power and pressurized air for both aircraft cooling and for the engines' pneumatic starters. A newer, more powerful APU could provide full electrical service to the aircraft; the APU itself was started from a hydraulic accumulator by pulling a mechanical handle in the cockpit. The APU accumulator was fed from the primary hydraulic system, but could be pumped up manually from the cockpit. All crew members sit on forward-facing, upward-firing Douglas Escapac zero-zero ejection seats.
In "group eject" mode, initiating ejection from either front seat ejects the entire crew in sequence, with the back seats ejecting 0.5 seconds before the front in order to provide safe separation. The rear seats are capable of self ejection, the ejection sequence includes a pyrotechnic charge that stows the rear keyboard trays out of the occupants' way before ejection. Safe ejection requires the seats to be weighted in pairs, when flying with a single crewman in the back the unoccupied seat is fitted with ballast blocks. At the time it entered the fleet, the S-3 introduced an unprecedented level of systems integration. Previous ASW aircraft like the Lockheed P-3 Orion and S-3's predecessor, the Grumman S-2 Tracker, featured separate instrumentation and controls for each sensor system. Sensor operators monitored paper traces, using mechanical calipers to make precise measurements and annotating data by writing on the scrolling paper. Beginning with the S-3, all sensor systems were integrated through a single General Purpose Digital Computer.
Each crew station had its own display, the co-pilot/COTAC, TACCO and SENSO displays were Multi-Purpose Displays capable of displaying data from any of a number of systems. This new level of integration allowed the crew to consult with each other by examining the same data at multiple stations simultan
CATOBAR is a system used for the launch and recovery of aircraft from the deck of an aircraft carrier. Under this technique, aircraft launch using a catapult-assisted take-off and land on the ship using arrestor wires. Although this system is costlier than alternative methods, it provides greater flexibility in carrier operations, since it imposes less onerous design elements on fixed wing aircraft than alternative methods of launch and recovery such as STOVL or STOBAR, allowing for a greater payload for more ordnance and/or fuel. CATOBAR can launch aircraft that lack a high thrust to weight ratio, including heavier non-fighter aircraft such as the E-2 Hawkeye and Grumman C-2 Greyhound; the catapult system in use in modern CATOBAR carriers is the steam. Its primary advantage is the amount of control it can provide. During World War II the US Navy used a hydraulic catapult; the United States Navy is developing a system to launch carrier-based aircraft from catapults using a linear motor drive instead of steam, called the EMALS.
Only two states operate carriers that use the CATOBAR system following the decommissioning of Brazil's NAe São Paulo in February 2017. S. with its Nimitz-class and Gerald R. Ford-class and France with its Charles De Gaulle. U. S. Navy Gerald R. Ford-class carriers will use the EMALS electromagnetic aircraft launch system in place of steam catapults; the Chinese Type 002 aircraft carrier under construction at the Jiangnan Shipyard, will feature an integrated electric propulsion system that will allow the operation of electromagnetic launch catapults, similar to the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System used by the United States Navy. INS Vishal, India's second indigenous aircraft carrier of the Vikrant-class, is planned to be of 65,000 ton displacement and to utilize the EMALS electromagnetic aircraft launch system developed by General Atomics as it supports heavier fighters, AEW aircraft and UCAVs that cannot launch using a STOBAR ski jump ramps. List of all aircraft carriers
The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union with its satellite states, the United States with its allies after World War II. A common historiography of the conflict begins between 1946, the year U. S. diplomat George F. Kennan's "Long Telegram" from Moscow cemented a U. S. foreign policy of containment of Soviet expansionism threatening strategically vital regions, the Truman Doctrine of 1947, ending between the Revolutions of 1989, which ended communism in Eastern Europe, the 1991 collapse of the USSR, when nations of the Soviet Union abolished communism and restored their independence. The term "cold" is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, but they each supported major regional conflicts known as proxy wars; the conflict split the temporary wartime alliance against Nazi Germany and its allies, leaving the USSR and the US as two superpowers with profound economic and political differences. The capitalist West was led by the United States, a federal republic with a two-party presidential system, as well as the other First World nations of the Western Bloc that were liberal democratic with a free press and independent organizations, but were economically and politically entwined with a network of banana republics and other authoritarian regimes, most of which were the Western Bloc's former colonies.
Some major Cold War frontlines such as Indochina and the Congo were still Western colonies in 1947. The Soviet Union, on the other hand, was a self-proclaimed Marxist–Leninist state led by its Communist Party, which in turn was dominated by a totalitarian leader with different titles over time, a small committee called the Politburo; the Party controlled the state, the press, the military, the economy, many organizations throughout the Second World, including the Warsaw Pact and other satellites, funded communist parties around the world, sometimes in competition with communist China following the Sino-Soviet split of the 1960s. The two worlds were fighting for dominance in low-developed regions known as the Third World. In time, a neutral bloc arose in these regions with the Non-Aligned Movement, which sought good relations with both sides. Notwithstanding isolated incidents of air-to-air dogfights and shoot-downs, the two superpowers never engaged directly in full-scale armed combat. However, both were armed in preparation for a possible all-out nuclear world war.
Each side had a nuclear strategy that discouraged an attack by the other side, on the basis that such an attack would lead to the total destruction of the attacker—the doctrine of mutually assured destruction. Aside from the development of the two sides' nuclear arsenals, their deployment of conventional military forces, the struggle for dominance was expressed via proxy wars around the globe, psychological warfare, massive propaganda campaigns and espionage, far-reaching embargoes, rivalry at sports events, technological competitions such as the Space Race; the first phase of the Cold War began in the first two years after the end of the Second World War in 1945. The USSR consolidated its control over the states of the Eastern Bloc, while the United States began a strategy of global containment to challenge Soviet power, extending military and financial aid to the countries of Western Europe and creating the NATO alliance; the Berlin Blockade was the first major crisis of the Cold War. With the victory of the Communist side in the Chinese Civil War and the outbreak of the Korean War, the conflict expanded.
The USSR and the US competed for influence in Latin America and the decolonizing states of Africa and Asia. The Soviets suppressed the Hungarian Revolution of 1956; the expansion and escalation sparked more crises, such as the Suez Crisis, the Berlin Crisis of 1961, the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, the closest the two sides came to nuclear war. Meanwhile, an international peace movement took root and grew among citizens around the world, first in Japan from 1954, when people became concerned about nuclear weapons testing, but soon in Europe and the US; the peace movement, in particular the anti-nuclear movement, gained pace and popularity from the late 1950s and early 1960s, continued to grow through the'70s and'80s with large protest marches and various non-parliamentary activism opposing war and calling for global nuclear disarmament. Following the Cuban Missile Crisis, a new phase began that saw the Sino-Soviet split complicate relations within the Communist sphere, while US allies France, demonstrated greater independence of action.
The USSR crushed the 1968 Prague Spring liberalization program in Czechoslovakia, while the US experienced internal turmoil from the civil rights movement and opposition to the Vietnam War, which ended with the defeat of the US-backed Republic of Vietnam, prompting further adjustments. By the 1970s, both sides had become interested in making allowances in order to create a more stable and predictable international system, ushering in a period of détente that saw Strategic Arms Limitation Talks and the US opening relations with the People's Republic of China as a strategic counterweight to the Soviet Union. Détente collapsed at the end of the decade with the beginning of the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979; the early 1980s were another period of elevated tension, with the Soviet downing of KAL Flight 007 and the "Able Archer" NATO military exercises, both in 1983. The United States increased diplomatic and economic pressures on the Soviet Union, at a time when the communist state was suffering from economic stag
USS Kearsarge (CV-33)
USS Kearsarge was one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers completed during or shortly after World War II for the United States Navy. The ship was the third US Navy ship to bear the name, was named for a Civil War-era steam sloop. Kearsarge was commissioned in March 1946. Modernized in the early 1950s as an attack carrier, she served in the Korean War, for which she earned two battle stars. In the late 1950s she was further modified to become an anti-submarine carrier. Kearsarge was the recovery ship for the last two manned Project Mercury space missions in 1962–1963, she completed her career serving in the Vietnam War. She was decommissioned in 1970, sold for scrap in 1974. Kearsarge was one of the "long-hull" Essex-class ships, she was laid down on 1 March 1944 at the New York Navy Yard, was launched on 5 May 1945, sponsored by Mrs. Gwyneth Fitch, wife of Admiral Aubrey W. Fitch, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations. Kearsarge commissioned on 2 March 1946, with Captain Francis J. McKenna in command.
Kearsarge arrived at her home port of Norfolk, Virginia on 21 April 1946, for the next year engaged in training operations along the East Coast and Caribbean. She cleared Norfolk on 7 June 1947 on a midshipmen training cruise to the United Kingdom. Upon her return to the United States in August, the carrier engaged in maneuvers for 10 months before departing Hampton Roads on 1 June 1948 for duty with the 6th Fleet. Tragedy marked her steaming. Eighteen Navy personnel and ten Marines were unaccounted for after a 50-foot open launch returning some 90 men to the carrier from liberty swamped in the choppy water of Hampton Roads on 31 May. Sixty-eight were recovered. During her tour in the Mediterranean, units of the 6th Fleet were placed on alert to insure peace in the Middle East. Kearsarge returned to Quonset Point, Rhode Island on 2 October, operated along the Atlantic Coast and the Caribbean until 27 January 1950, when she sailed for the West Coast; the carrier arrived Puget Sound Navy Yard on 23 February, decommissioned there on 16 June 1950 for the SCB-27A modernization overhaul that would enable her to handle new jet aircraft.
Kearsarge recommissioned on 15 February 1952 with Captain Louis B. French in command. Following shakedown, the carrier cleared San Diego on 11 August for intensive flight training in the Hawaiian Islands, her readiness complete, she sailed for the Far East to engage in combat missions in the Korean War. Arriving at Yokosuka on 8 September, Kearsarge joined the fast carrier Task Force 77 off the east coast of Korea six days later. For the next five months, the carrier's planes flew nearly 6,000 sorties against Communist forces in North Korea, unleashing considerable damage on enemy positions, she completed her tour in late February 1953. While serving in Korea her classification was changed to CVA-33. After returning to San Diego, Kearsarge was used in the filming of the 1954 movie The Caine Mutiny to depict the abortive visit to Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr. aboard his unnamed flagship. Kearsarge sailed again for the Far East on 1 July 1953 and operated with the 7th Fleet fast carrier force during the uneasy truce in Korea.
The "Mighty Kay" kept watch over the Formosa Straits to prevent the Communists from attacking the Chinese Nationalists on Taiwan. Kearsarge returned San Diego on 18 January 1954 to resume training operations off California. Clearing San Diego on 7 October, she steamed toward her third deployment to the Far East. While operating with the 7th Fleet, the carrier stood by to assist the Nationalist Chinese in the evacuation of the Tachen Islands. From 6–13 February 1955, Kearsarge supported units of the fleet in the successful evacuation of 18,000 civilians and 20,000 military personnel from the islands, her cruise ended at San Diego on 12 May and for the next three years operated on the annual deployment schedule to the Far East and training operations off California. In 1956–57, Kearsarge received the SCB-125 modernization incorporating a hurricane bow and an angled deck. During the summer of 1958, Kearsarge was fitted out as a support carrier and reclassified CVS-33. Following intensive training in her new role, the carrier sailed on 5 September 1959 for 7th Fleet operations in the Far East.
Early in her tour, Japan was hit with a violent typhoon, Kearsarge played an important role in providing relief to the victims. Her planes landed parties of medical and supply units, while her crew and air group donated clothing and money to the distressed people. After participating in SEATO exercises and 7th Fleet operations, she cleared Yokosuka on 3 March 1960 for her homeward voyage. Three days in stormy waters 1,200 miles off Wake Island, four Russians were rescued after drifting 49 days in disabled landing craft, they were flown back to their country after Kearsarge arrived in California on 15 March. A year of training operations preceded her next deployment from San Diego which began on 3 March 1961; the antisubmarine carrier steamed to Southeast Asian waters as the Communists intensified their effort to overthrow the government in Laos. The demonstrations of the 7th Fleet were observed by the enemy and the crisis abated. After six months in the Far East, Kearsarge arrived Puget Sound on 1 November for the second phase of her modernizations.
Upon completion of repairs and training, Kearsarge departed Long Beach, California on 1 August 1962 to station herself
Landing Platform Helicopter
Landing Platform Helicopter is the hull classification used by a number of the world's navies to designate a type of amphibious warfare ship designed to operate as a launch and recovery platform for helicopters and other VTOL aircraft. As such, they are considered a type of helicopter carrier. Under the NATO Standardisation Agreement document for reporting vessels, LPH is a short form designator used for "Amphibious Assault Ship, Helicopter" defined as a "large helicopter carrier" for carrying and deploying around 1,800 assault troops using its own aircraft, but for which use of landing craft is "not a principal function". For ships of this hull classification in the Royal Navy, LPH is a direct acronym for "Landing Platform Helicopter", while the United States Navy referred to its vessels within this classification as "Amphibious Assault Ships". Regardless of the terminology, all vessels classified as an LPH possess similar capabilities; the Royal Navy used the term "Commando Carrier", which it applied to aircraft carriers converted to helicopter only operations.
The RN now operates one vessel that it classifies as HMS Ocean. Following the British government's decision to withdraw its Harrier aircraft at the end of 2010, the former light fleet carrier HMS Illustrious performed this role, but has now been decommissioned; the LPH classification was used by the United States Navy for the amphibious assault ships of the Iwo Jima class, a converted Casablanca-class escort carrier and three converted Essex-class aircraft carriers. No ships of this classification are in active service with the United States Navy, having been replaced with multi-purpose ships classified under NATO naming conventions as Landing Helicopter Dock or Landing Helicopter Assault ships. Royal Navy "Commando Carriers and "Amphibious Helicopter Carrier"s HMS Ocean – 1956 only, emergency minimal conversion for Suez Crisis Colossus-class aircraft carrier - Broken up HMS Theseus – 1956 only, emergency minimal conversion for Suez Crisis Colossus-class aircraft carrier - Broken up HMS Albion – 1962-1972, converted Centaur-class aircraft carrier - Converted to a Commando carrier in 1961/62.
Decommissioned 1972 and scrapped. HMS Bulwark – 1960-1980, converted Centaur-class aircraft carrier. Converted to an anti-submarine warfare carrier 1979. Damaged by a fire, she was not fit for emergency use in the Falklands War and was broken up. HMS Hermes – 1973-1976, converted Centaur-class aircraft carrier after which she was equipped as a helicopter anti-submarine warfare carrier and still as a Sea Harrier equipped VSTOL light carrier, which role continued after being sold to the Indian Navy. HMS Ocean – 1998-2018 designed and built as a commando carrier based on the Invincible-class STOVL carrier hull. Decommissioned in March 2018 and awaiting transfer to Brazil. HMS Illustrious - 2011-2014, Invincible-class aircraft carrier equipped and re-purposed as a commando carrier while HMS Ocean was in refit. Decommissioned in 2014 and scrapped in Turkey. USS Block Island – Commencement Bay-class escort carrier – Conversion to LPH cancelled -Scrapped USS Iwo Jima – Iwo Jima-class amphibious assault ship – First ship to be designed and built from the keel up as an amphibious assault ship - Scrapped USS Okinawa – Iwo Jima class - Sunk in SINKEX USS Boxer – Converted straight deck Essex-class aircraft carrier - Scrapped USS Princeton – Converted straight deck Essex-class aircraft carrier - Scrapped USS Thetis Bay – Minimal conversion of a Casablanca-class escort carrier - Scrapped USS Guadalcanal – Iwo Jima class - Sunk in SINKEX USS Valley Forge – Converted straight deck Essex-class aircraft carrier - Scrapped USS Guam – Iwo Jima class - Sunk in SINKEX USS Tripoli – Iwo Jima class – As of 10 September 2011, towed hulk still on loan to the US Army for launching targets for THAAD missiles at the Pacific Missile Range Facility.
USS New Orleans – Iwo Jima class - Sunk in SINKEX off of the coast of Oahu, Hawaii. USS Inchon – Iwo Jima class - Stricken from the list and sunk east of Virginia Beach, Virginia on 5 December 2004. Dokdo-class amphibious assault ship ROKS Dokdo ROKS Marado PHM Atlântico Amphibious assault ship Helicopter carrier List of amphibious warfare ships
ARA Veinticinco de Mayo (V-2)
ARA Veinticinco de Mayo was an aircraft carrier in the Argentine Navy from 1969 to 1997. The English translation of the name is Twenty-fifth of May, the date of Argentina's May Revolution in 1810; the ship served in the Royal Navy as HMS Venerable and the Royal Netherlands Navy as HNLMS Karel Doorman. She was deployed south during the Beagle Crisis in 1978 and in the first weeks of the Falklands War, where her aircraft were deployed against the Royal Navy task force, but spent the bulk of the war in port; the ship was built for the Royal Navy by Cammell Laird in Birkenhead, England during the Second World War. As a Colossus-class aircraft carrier, she was named HMS Venerable and saw service in the British Pacific Fleet. Venerable only served three years in the Royal Navy before being sold to the Netherlands as HNLMS Karel Doorman. After a boiler room fire, the carrier was rebuilt, sold to Argentina; the Argentines operated a carrier, ARA Independencia a former Royal Navy Colossus-class. After Independencia was decommissioned in 1970, Veinticinco de Mayo was the sole remaining carrier in the Argentine fleet.
She could carry up to 24 aircraft. The air group started with F9F Panthers and F9F Cougar jets and these were replaced with A-4Q Skyhawks supported by S-2 Tracker anti-submarine warfare aircraft and Sikorsky Sea King helicopters. In September 1969, during the voyage of the bought Veinticinco de Mayo from the Netherlands, Hawker Siddeley demonstrated their Harrier GR.1 on board the carrier for a possible sale to the Argentine Navy. During the 1970s the ship was refitted and updated several times, though in each case the duration of each repair period was never more than 3–5 months, allowing her to be available to deploy, her last pre-Falklands refit occurred during 1981, when she received an update to her radar, arresting gear, steam catapult and the forward edge of the port side angled deck was filled out via an enlarged sponson. These improvements would theoretically enable her to operate the Super Etendard strike aircraft purchased from France, but it was discovered during testing that the catapult had difficulties launching the aircraft type.
As a result, her strike airwing was limited to the A-4Q Skyhawks. See Operation Soberania During the Operation Soberania Veinticinco de Mayo was planned to support the invasion of the Picton and Lennox islands. During the Falklands War, Veinticinco de Mayo was used in support of the initial Argentine landings on the Falklands. On the day of the invasion, she waited with 1500 army soldiers outside Stanley harbour as first submarine and boat-landed commandos secured landing areas, Argentine marines made the main amphibious landing, her aircraft were not used during the invasion. In defence of the occupation, she was deployed in a task force north of the Falkland Islands, with ARA General Belgrano to the south; the British had assigned HMS Splendid, a nuclear-powered submarine, to track down Veinticinco de Mayo and sink her if necessary. Rear Admiral Sandy Woodward, commanding the British Task Force from HMS Hermes stated in his book "One Hundred Days", had Splendid located the carrier, he would have "Recommended in the strongest possible terms to the Commander-in-Chief Admiral Sir John Fieldhouse that we take them both out this night".
After hostilities broke out on 1 May 1982, the Argentine carrier attempted to launch a wave of A-4Q Skyhawk jets against the Royal Navy Task Force after her S-2 Trackers detected the British fleet. What would have been the first battle between aircraft carriers since World War II did not take place, as light winds prevented the loaded jets from being launched. After the British nuclear-powered submarine HMS Conqueror sank General Belgrano, Veinticinco de Mayo returned to port for her own safety. Splendid never tracked down the carrier; the naval A-4Q Skyhawks flew the rest of the war from the airbase in Río Grande, Tierra del Fuego, had some success against the Royal Navy, sinking HMS Ardent. Three Skyhawks were shot down by Sea Harriers. In 1983, Veinticinco de Mayo was modified to carry the new Dassault Super Étendard jetsVideo but soon after problems in her engines confined her to port; the Argentine Navy could not procure the funds for a modernisation and new engines, leading to her decommissioning by 1997.
By this time, she had been stripped of various major pieces of equipment, which were used as spares for the Brazilian carrier NAeL Minas Gerais, another Colossus-class ship, modified in the Netherlands. In 2000, she was towed to Alang, India for scrapping. Although Minas Gerais was offered to the Argentine Navy in 2000 as a replacement, she was rejected, due to her poor condition and high restoration and maintenance costs. Argentine cooperation with Brazil has meant that the naval air wing has continued to operate from the deck of carrier NAe São Paulo during ARAEX exercises, and/or touch-and-go landings on US Navy carriers when they are in transit within Argentine coastal waters during Gringo-Gaucho manoeuvres. List of aircraft carriers List of ships of the Argentine Navy Veinticinco de Mayo cruiser List of ship launches in 1943 List of ship commissionings in 1969 List of ship decommissionings in 1997 Ireland, Bernard; the Illustrated Guide to Aircraft Carriers of the World. London: Anness Publishing Limited, Hermes House.
P. 147. ISBN 1-84477-747-2. Bishop, Chris. Aircraft Carriers. London: Summertime Publishing Ltd. p. 83. ISBN 0-7603-2005-5. Donald, David. Carrier Aviation Air Power Directory. Norwalk, CT: AIRtime Publishing. P. 91. ISBN 1-880588-43-9. Secondi, Martín.
Hawker Siddeley Harrier
The Hawker Siddeley Harrier, developed in the 1960s, is the first of the Harrier Jump Jet series of aircraft. It was the first operational close-support and reconnaissance fighter aircraft with vertical/short takeoff and landing capabilities and the only successful V/STOL design of the many that arose in that era; the Harrier was developed directly from the Hawker Siddeley Kestrel prototype aircraft, following the cancellation of a more advanced supersonic aircraft, the Hawker Siddeley P.1154. The British Royal Air Force ordered the Harrier GR.1 and GR.3 variants in the late 1960s. It was exported to the United States as the AV-8A, for use by the US Marine Corps, in the 1970s. During the Harrier's service the RAF positioned the bulk of the aircraft in West Germany to defend against a potential invasion of Western Europe by the Warsaw Pact forces; the USMC used their Harriers for close air support, operating from amphibious assault ships, and, if needed, forward operating bases. Harrier squadrons saw several deployments overseas.
The Harrier's ability to operate with minimal ground facilities and short runways allowed it to be used at locations unavailable to other fixed-wing aircraft. The Harrier received criticism for having a high accident rate and for a time-consuming maintenance process. In the 1970s the British Aerospace Sea Harrier was developed from the Harrier for use by the Royal Navy on Invincible-class aircraft carriers; the Sea Harrier and the Harrier fought in the 1982 Falklands War, in which the aircraft proved to be crucial and versatile. The RN Sea Harriers provided fixed-wing air defence while the RAF Harriers focused on ground-attack missions in support of the advancing British land force; the Harrier was extensively redesigned as the AV-8B Harrier II and British Aerospace Harrier II by the team of McDonnell Douglas and British Aerospace. The innovative Harrier family and its Rolls-Royce Pegasus engines with thrust vectoring nozzles have generated long-term interest in V/STOL aircraft; the Harrier's design was derived from the Hawker P.1127.
Prior to developing the P.1127 Hawker Aircraft had been working on a replacement for the Hawker Hunter, the Hawker P.1121. The P.1121 was cancelled after the release of the British Government's 1957 Defence White Paper, which advocated a policy shift away from manned aircraft and towards missiles. This policy resulted in the termination of the majority of aircraft development projects underway for the British military. Hawker sought to move on to a new project and became interested in Vertical Take Off/Landing aircraft, which did not need runways. According to Air Chief Marshal Sir Patrick Hine this interest may have been stimulated by the presence of Air Staff Requirement 345, which sought a V/STOL ground attack fighter for the Royal Air Force. Design work on the P.1127 was formally started in 1957 by Sir Sydney Camm, Ralph Hooper of Hawker Aircraft, Stanley Hooker of the Bristol Engine Company. The close cooperation between Hawker, the airframe company, Bristol, the engine company, was viewed by project engineer Gordon Lewis as one of the key factors that allowed the development of the Harrier to continue in spite of technical obstacles and political setbacks.
Rather than using rotors or a direct jet thrust, the P.1127 had an innovative vectored thrust turbofan engine, the Pegasus. The Pegasus I was rated at 9,000 pounds of thrust and first ran in September 1959. A contract for two development prototypes was signed in June 1960 and the first flight followed in October 1960. Of the six prototypes built, three crashed, including one during an air display at the 1963 Paris Air Show. In 1961 the United Kingdom, United States and West Germany jointly agreed to purchase nine aircraft developed from the P.1127, for the evaluation of the performance and potential of V/STOL aircraft. These aircraft were built by Hawker Siddeley and were designated Kestrel FGA.1 by the UK. The Kestrel was an evaluation aircraft and to save money the Pegasus 5 engine was not developed as intended, only having 15,000 pounds of thrust instead of the projected 18,200 pounds; the Tripartite Evaluation Squadron numbered ten pilots. The Kestrel's first flight took place on 7 March 1964.
A total of 960 sorties had been made during the trials, including 1,366 takeoffs and landings, by the end of evaluations in November 1965. One aircraft was destroyed in an accident and six others were transferred to the United States, assigned the US designation XV-6A Kestrel, underwent further testing; the two remaining British-based Kestrels were assigned to further trials and experimentation at RAE Bedford with one being modified to use the uprated Pegasus 6 engine. At the time of the development of the P.1127 Hawker and Bristol had undertaken considerable development work on a supersonic version, the Hawker Siddeley P.1154, to meet a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation requirement issued for such an aircraft. The design used a single Bristol Siddeley BS100 engine with four swivelling nozzles, in a fashion similar to the P.1127, required the use of plenum chamber burning to achieve supersonic speeds. The P.1154 won the competition to meet the requirement against strong competition from other aircraft manufacturers such as Dassault Aviation's Mirage IIIV.
The French government withdrew. The Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy planned to develop and introduce the supersonic P.1154 independently of the cancelled NATO requirement. This ambition was complicated by the c