HMS Coventry in the Falklands - What happened

Discussion in 'Modern' started by syscom3, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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  2. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    The key was the failure of the Sea wolf, if not probably the 50% of argentine A-4 woulndt survive that attack.
     
  3. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    My understanding was that the four Skyhawks flew so low that Coventry's targeting radar could not distinguish between them and the land and failed to lock on. Broadsword attempted to target the first pair of attackers with her Sea Wolf missile system, but her own tracking system locked down during the attack and could not be reset before the aircraft released their bombs. Coventry claimed to have hit the second in the tail with small arms fire, although he did return safely to Argentina.
    The second pair of Skyhawks, headed for Coventry 90 seconds later at a 20-degree angle to her port bow. Still unable to gain a missile lock, Coventry launched a Sea Dart in an attempt to distract them and turned hard to starboard to reduce her profile. On Broadsword the Sea Wolf system had been reset and successfully acquired the attacking aircraft, but was unable to fire as Coventry's turn took her directly into the line of fire.
     
  4. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    Yep, that's what sys' youtube film said ;)
     
  5. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    should have addressed that to marcel as he blamed it on the sea wolf system which was working the second time around
     
  6. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    The comments about not relying on missiles alone for CIWs (close In weapons systems) is spot on. I remmber the RAN was considering the threats posed by sub launched, and air launched cruise missiles from the mid-70s. We had considered Sea wolf and the british radars and rejected them in favour of the Vulcan guns, 5inch automatic guns and Mk 41 launchers for our own AAW destroyers. Importantly also, by 1980 we were using NCDS which in the situation described in that video would have allowed either destroywer to plug into the others detection systems, or indeed for the destroyers to use a third partys radar to lock onto the target. This might be a helo on station or even a Tracker operating far out to sea.

    Australia also used the skyhawks at that time, and whilst no longer frontline material for the USN was still considered frontline material by the RAN. We had adapted our A-$s to include a measure of air defence deterrent being capable of carrying the AIM sidewinder missiles. At the time of the falkands war were still equipping the A-4s with iron bombs like the Argentinians, but on review of what happened to them, and in view of the high attrition they suffered we were looking at various exedients to address that. had the A-4 squadrons been retained after 1984, instead of being retired becuse of the scrapping of the carrier, there was discussion to equip them with the air launched version of the harpoon and bullpup missiles. These came to nothjing, and the a-4s in australian services finished with iron bombs only as their offensive warload.
     
  7. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    War is full of ifs and buts.

    Had the sea wolf worked as advertised then i doubt any Skyhawk was coming home.

    The Argentine pilots were extremely brave. To take on a modern air defence system like sea wolf without ecm is almost kamikaze in my book.
     
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