Valiant Units of the Cold War

Valiant Units of the Cold War


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The RAF's first Cold War strategic bomber, the Vickers Valiant, was procured as an insurance measure in case either the Vulcan or Victor was found to have a serious flaw. The Valiant was the equivalent of the US B-47 Stratojet, and it blazed the trail for the British airborne nuclear deterrent as the aircraft enjoyed a far more active service career than later V-bombers. It was the launch platform for all British free fall nuclear weapons tests both in the Pacific and in central Australia, it took part in the Suez campaign in 1956 and it was the only V-bomber to drop (conventional) weapons in anger until the Falklands operation in 1982. The Valiant was modified to serve in the electronic warfare, strategic reconnaissance and airborne tanker role. It was the first V-bomber to operate down at low level when it was assigned to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), and the last six squadrons were scheduled to remain in service until 1970. However, the Valiant force had to be grounded in early 1965 when the aircraft succumbed to metal fatigue.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781849087537
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 08/21/2012
Series: Combat Aircraft Series , #95
Pages: 96
Product dimensions: 6.24(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Andrew Brookes completed RAF pilot training after reading history at Leeds University. Following recce and strike tours on Victors, Canberras and Vulcans, during which he logged 3,500 flying hours, he served as a UK nuclear release officer in NATO and was the last operational RAF Commander at the Greenham Common cruise missile base. He was coordinator of air power studies at the RAF Advanced Staff College. He is now Aerospace Analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He publishes and broadcasts widely. He has written twelve aviation books, including Combat Aircraft 72 - Vulcan Units of the Cold War and Combat Aircraft 88 - Victor Units of the Cold War, and he received the Defence Aerospace Journalist of the Year Award in 2004 and 2006.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Birth of a Bomber 6

Chapter 2 Trailblazer 13

Chapter 3 The Suez Campaign 28

Chapter 4 Nuclear Trials 34

Chapter 5 Training Days 45

Chapter 6 Valiant Tankers 57

Chapter 7 Valiant and Vigilant 65

Chapter 8 Ready for Armageddon 74

Chapter 9 On the Way Down 80

Appendices 92

Colour Plates Commentary 93

Bibliography 95

Index 95

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