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Showing posts from August, 2018

The F-111B: A Missed Opportunity? (1961-1968)

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A prototype F-111B lands on USS Coral Sea (CV-43) during carrier trials in 1968 The saga of the F-111 is well known. In the late 1960’s, the United States Air Force and United States Navy were both looking for a new tactical fighter and the Department of Defense mandated that they cooperate and develop a single airframe with variants for both services. The Air Force variant, a low-level attack plane, entered service in 1967 as the F-111A Aardvark. Fast, long-ranged, and equipped with sophisticated electronics, the F-111A and its later versions served with distinction from the Vietnam War to Operation Desert Storm. It also was modified into a highly effective electronic warfare plane (the EF-111) and Strategic Air Command even operated a version (the FB-111) as a nuclear bomber. However, the Navy’s F-111B variant, a long-range interceptor, was cancelled in 1968 after only seven prototypes had been built. The stated reasons for this cancellation was that the plane was too heavy, u

Missile Loadouts: Dutch Air Warfare Ships (1962-2018)

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The Royal Netherlands Navy has a rather under-appreciated history. Although it fell from the ranks of first rate navies back in the 17th century, it continued to maintain one of the world's most capable smaller fleets (although combination of budget cuts and rising Asian powers has recently seen the Royal Netherlands Navy slide several places down the list). This proud tradition carried into the missile age, with the Netherlands designing and building a variety of guided missile ships, generally armed with a combination of foreign weapons and domestic combat systems. Cruiser De Zeven Provinciën As with several other navies, the first Dutch guided missile ship was a converted cruiser - De Zeven Provinciën (C802). First commissioned in 1953 with eight 6” guns in four turrets, in 1962 she lost her two aft turrets for a twin-arm Mk 10 Terrier launcher with a forty-round magazine. The United States actually offered the Netherlands free Terrier systems for both De Zeven Provinciën and

USN Carrier Aircraft of the Korean War (1950-1953)

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During the Korean War, military technology was in a transitional state. While a whole generation of more modern weapons had been developed, the large inventory of World War II weapons and the post-war Truman budget cuts meant that old and new operated side by side throughout the conflict. This can be clearly seen in the Navy's aircraft, where WWII propellor planes operated with jets and helicopters. This post will provide a brief overview of every aircraft variant that served aboard the newly redesignated attack carriers during the Korean War. An F4U-4 Corsair armed with eight 5" rockets The F4U-4 Corsair was the single most common carrier aircraft in the Korean War. Designed as a high-performance fighter during World War II, by 1950 its top speed of 390 knots and service ceiling of 41,000 feet was decidedly outclassed by the jet fighters that were then in service. However, large numbers were available and its six internal .50 machine guns with 2400 rounds of ammo as we