Monday, 14 May 2012

14 May 1982 - Still practising

Logbook entry: Surface search, Sea Skua attacks (SKUTACS)  2.30 hours

Haven't mentioned Sea Skua yet.  SKUTACS were another bread and butter exercise for the Lynx.  The whole concept of the aircraft had come about when an Egyptian patrol boat had sunk an Israeli destroyer by firing a Russian Styx surface to surface missile at it.  The patrol boat wasn't even at sea - it was alongside the dockyard wall.  The Brass then all ran around with their trousers on fire terrified that little boats with big missiles were going to be a real problem - answer - the Lynx and Sea Skua, Hoorah!!
We could carry up to four of them and they had a pretty good range.  The missiles 'sea skimmed' at several preset heights down our radar beam which of course meant alerting the enemy that we were there but a small patrol boat couldn't do anything about that anyway. They had already been used down south to sink several Argie patrol vessels and would ruin the Iraq navy's day in a big way in the future. We had also  worked out tactics against bigger ships.  The Argies didn't have any surface to air missiles that could take us out at Skua launch range anyway so we even had designs on clobbering the '25 May' their old aircraft carrier.  One of the ways of increasing the weapons effectiveness was to use two aircraft.  We would find our target, tell the other Lynx where and when and then follow a preset procedure to fly very low to positions where we could pop up and launch our missiles from ninety degrees apart.  The target would then be faced with up to eight missiles coming in a different heights from two different directions, it would definitely ruin their day. So today we went of with one of the other Lynx from one of the other frigates (can't remember which one) and pretended to take on the whole Argie fleet - and win of course.

ARFA with his permanent load of two warshot Sea Skuas on the Starboard weapon station.  We could only carry two as the jammer was hogging the port weapon carrier.

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