Tuesday, 5 June 2012

5 June 1982, a costly mistake?

Log Book entry:  ESM AEW  2.45 hours

So back on the AEW treadmill except for one minor hiccup.  We had launched on time and were in the transit to our AEW picket line, when we got two sweeps of a radar on the Orange Crop.  The parameters were different to those seen previously but still within the limits we could expect for an Etendard radar.  Bob and I looked at each other as the bearing was directly towards the islands - was it really another raid?  Something wasn't right.  We immediately realised we didn't have a choice and called the warning back to the Fleet.  I have to say the reaction was pretty damned good with all the ships firing off chaff and starting their countermeasures.  Then another ship chirped in saying that they had 'Nurse Uganda' on that bearing.  A few more minutes of checking and it was confirmed that we had picked up two sweeps of the hospital ship Uganda's navigation radar, one that they had been specifically told not to use because it was too much like Handbrake.  Silly sods.  Of course by getting only two sweeps it seemed like an aircraft's sector scanning radar. Still it kept us all on our toes - I wonder how much it cost though, those chaff rockets weren't cheap.

'Nurse' Uganda, a converted small cruise ship and now the fleet's hospital ship.  When I was at school, I recall she was used for school trips in the Mediterranean in the summer holidays, not that I ever got to go on her.  I just wish she had kept her radar off!!

No comments:

Post a Comment