Fighter All Weather (FAW) of the Fleet Air Arm.

Ground Attack

  • 10°/20° Dive RP. 2" (Rocket Projectiles): Four pods containing 32 High Explosive Rockets each could be fired in fast ripple within 2 seconds.
  • (Photo 1. Right) The Ordnance Crew seen here loading a RP Pod on deck.
  • (Photo 2. Right) Sea Vixen Mk 2 of 893 Sqn/ HMS Hermes (circa 1969) firing 2 pods in Fast Ripple .
  • 10°/20° Dive Bombing. 500lb and 1000lb Bombs: Contact and Proximity fused.
  • Self Illuminating Night Attacks: ground attack by firing 3" rocket flares (Glow Worm) or by tossing a single High Luminance Flare. (Lepus)
  • The tactics of the time would see a Division (4) aircraft passing through the target.

Mk2 Sea Vixen with all available armament: archive of Lt. (O) John Bradley RN.

Rear Row L to R: Tanker Pod, Photographic Pod, Bullpup Missile.
Middle Row L to R: 1000 lb bomb, Firestreak Missile, 500 lb bomb, Redtop Missile, 500 lb bomb, Four RP Pods (32 x 2" RP per pod layed out in V shape), 500 lb bomb. Redtop Missile, 500 lb bomb, Redtop missile, Special Mission Bomb.
Front Row L to R: 2 x Lepus Flares, 4 x 3" Rockets, 8 x Practice bombs, 4 x 3" Rockets. 2 x Lepus Flares.

3" Rocket projectiles (RP) were in the inventory since about 1944. These highly versatile larger 3" Rocket Projectiles were gradually phased out during the Sea Vixen era. In the early days of the Mk 1 Sea Vixen there were a variety of heads. Semi Armour Piercing (SAP) or 60lb High Explosive (HE). The Sea Vixen had two rails under each wing, each rail held 6 RP. 24 in all. There was also special head for Glowworm.

I fired 3" RP from a Sea Fury, February and March 1951 according to my log book. A devastating weapon and far more accurate and dangerous than 2". I used live 60lb HE against tanks on Salisbury Plain, 4 of us with 12 live each. Didn't half make a mess, nothing left of tanks. SAP were very good on ships. If they fell short they levelled out under water and punched nice holes through the hull. What I am getting at is that one is inclined to forget what a good [and cheap] weapon it was".

-- Personal testimony of Cdr (F) DMAH "Shorty" Hamilton RN. (November 2007)

Cdr (F) DMAH "Shorty" Hamilton RN. fires a ripple of 2" RP 16th August_1960

Engines flame out O could not eject pilot GC

XJ 520 seen here carrying 3" RP's. This aircraft was lost 10th May 1966 with the loss the the Observers life. Accident ID 36.

archive: Hamilton

archive: Tony Rodwell: LAM(O)HMS Centaur/Hermes 1964/1970.

archive: Tony Rodwell.

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