Nimrod was a development of the basic
Comet No 4C airframe that dates from the late 1940s.
The Nimrod MR2
and MR4 were scrapped in March 2011.
The MR Mark 2P, which was developed for long-range
maritime patrol. The Nimrod MR2 carried out three main roles;
Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Anti-Surface Unit Warfare (ASUW) and
Search and Rescue (SAR).
Its long ferry range enabled the crew to monitor maritime areas far
to the north of Iceland and up to 4,000 km out into the Western
Atlantic. With AAR (Air-to-Air Refuelling), its range and endurance
was greatly extended.
The MR2 was a very lethal submarine killer carrying the most up to
date sensors and data processing equipment linked to the weapon
systems. In addition to weapons and sonar-buoys, a searchlight
mounted in the starboard wing pod could be used for search and rescue
(SAR) operations. Crew members comprised 2 x Pilots and a flight
engineer operate the flight deck, 2 x Navigators, an Air Electronics
Officer (AEO), the sonobuoy sensor team of 3 x Air Electronic
Operators and 4 x Air Electronic Operators to manage a wide range of
avionics and weapon systems .
The second version was the R Mark 1, an aircraft specially fitted out
for the gathering of electronic intelligence and only three were
known to be in service. This was a highly secret aircraft that had
been in RAF service since 1971 and about which little was known
except that had been spotted on patrol over the Baltic Sea. The
Nimrod R1s were externally distinguishable from the maritime
reconnaissance version by the absence of the magnetic anomaly
detection tail booms and a distinctive pod on the leading edge of
the port wing. In-flight refuelling probes were added in 1982.
Under a £2.2 billion
contract in July 1996, the Nimrod upgrade programme involved 21
Nimrod MR2 aircraft to Maritime Reconnaissance Attack 4 (MRA4)
standard, together with training and integrated logistics support
Nimrod MR4A was to have a reach extending to some 6,000 miles,
compared to the previous MR2 capability of some 3,800 miles. Rolls
BR710 engines replaced RR Spey engines. Other capability improvements
over MR2 included increased time on station, a major improvement in
overall sensor performance and weapon carrying capability. The new
digital, integrated mission system features the Searchwater 2000
radar, UYS503/AQS970 sonar, DASS 2000 ECM, and EL/L8300UK ESM. The
crew complement was reduced by 25%.
Weapons included torpedoes (Tigerfish), AGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship
missiles (range 50 nautical miles) or AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air
missiles for defence against hostile aircraft.
All the Nimrods were scrapped in March 2011.
|| 4 x Rolls Royce Spey RB 168-20 Mark 250
|| 9 x Mark 46 or Stingray
Photos Copyright BAe