V Bombers after 1970

uk 75

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2006
Messages
4,182
Reaction score
3,439
Something that keeps surprising me is that in 1964 the RAF planned to retain only Victor out of its V bomber fleet into the 1970s. In reality the Victors became recce and tankers and then only tankers.The Vulcans carried on being a medium bomber force until 1982.
Was the original plan more sensible?
In fact would building more Victors have been a great help to the RAF.
 

zen

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
3,299
Reaction score
2,012
I think it was easier to strengthen the Vulcan. Something about literally bolting extra plates of metal to the frame?

But outside of that the Victor flew higher, faster and further, while carrying more.

An irony is that despite a quick and dirty conversion to trial a refueling in flight hose and drogue system on the Vulcan. Trials aircraft pilots reported it was a smoother experience than with Victor or VC10.
 

alertken

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Jan 20, 2007
Messages
740
Reaction score
483
zen #2: Victor flew higher, faster and further, while carrying more.

But we did not know that till 1963, by when the primacy of Vulcan had been secured...by no issue of comparative performance.

Expensive insurance duplication had been UK Bomber practice from 1933 and, remarkably, continued with concurrent R&D funding of Mk. 2 Victor+Vulcan, 31/5/56, all on UK account as US declined Mutual Defense funding. Mk.2 production orders were then duplicated, 6/56: 35/Victor, 49/Vulcan (some of each redefined Mk.1 orders), plus 30 more Victor, 40 more Vulcan by Sandys at Defence, 6/57: so 65 Victor, 89 Vulcan B.2 on order when he addressed what they were to carry. AWRE/ROF would not be capable of building 154 H-Bombs quickly.

8/8/57, he made a Memorandum with DoD, in force 4/8/58, accessing US loan Bombs and integrating "nuclear strike plans...inextricably linked" wef 1/7/58 (Wynn,P.262). B-28 licence was secured 29/10/58, so Yellow Sun became a few Mk.1, and B-28 as Red Snow/Yellow Sun 2 entered inventory 7/61....intended to be interim pending Skybolt ALBM. Memorandum, 6/6/60, Sister Firm: Avro Weapons Research Div (bereft of new work since CAS 1/1/60 abandoned any enhancement, to concentrate them on actually producing Mk.1). Fraternally, Avro-the-a/c-firm advised Sandys (moving 14/10/59 from MoD to MoS, industrial sponsor of UK-Aero) that Victor B.2 could not carry Skybolt.

Here and yon that has been dissed...but it was what the Minister wanted to hear. He had instructed UK-Aero 9/9/58 to tender for (to be) TSR.2 in teams, intending the winning airframe and the winning engine teams then to merge (as would emerge as BAC, BSEL). Sir Geo DH wanted none of it, but he had retired from his own business; Sir Fred HP wanted none of it...and had not. DH found a way to agree equity valuation and were subsumed into HS Grp; Sir Fred's valuation of his business found no likes. So Victor B.2 orders were reduced to 34, intended to be 24/Blue Steel (that became 16+8 SR.2). Nobody cared to confuse Ministers with potential a/c capability comparisons..
 
Last edited:

NOMISYRRUC

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
571
Reaction score
786
Something that keeps surprising me is that in 1964 the RAF planned to retain only Victor out of its V bomber fleet into the 1970s. In reality the Victors became recce and tankers and then only tankers. The Vulcans carried on being a medium bomber force until 1982.
Was the original plan more sensible?
In fact would building more Victors have been a great help to the RAF.
Is that's based on what I've been posting in the TSR.2 thread that you started? Specifically this which is an extract from Plan P of March 1964?

Plan P March 1964 Medium Bombers, Strategic Transports and Tankers.png
 

uk 75

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2006
Messages
4,182
Reaction score
3,439
Partially, though the Victor question did crop up in an earlier thread which I could not find.
While your chart is there, can you explain why Vulcans are divided into Free Fall and Blue Steel and Victors are not? Sorry its probably something obvious.
 

NOMISYRRUC

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
571
Reaction score
786
While your chart is there, can you explain why Vulcans are divided into Free Fall and Blue Steel and Victors are not? Sorry its probably something obvious.
By Victors and Vulcans... Do you mean only the B.2 Victors and B.2 Vulcans or are you including the Victor B.1/B.1As and Vulcan B.1As?
 

alertken

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Jan 20, 2007
Messages
740
Reaction score
483
No Yellow Sun 2 were built specifically for Victor B.2, which were expected to be Blue Steel from Day 1. Until 12/62 AWRE/ROF were to produce (100-144) warheads for Skybolt, so the 100 Yellow Sun 2 (upto 82 deployed 5/61-30/5/68+4 spares,+14 as components sets) were intended for Victor/Vulcan B.1 and the Coningsby Vulcan B.2, as interim until Skybolt. NOM/#4, 1/64 extends them to 3/72 (5th SSBN opnl).

Victor B.2/Blue Steel was delayed (Full Opnl. Clearance, low level/QRA would be 25/11/64), in part by a mod program ("Autoland", but extensive as B.2R), so between (mid-62, 139 Sqdn; early-63, 100 Sqdn) and 1st. BS sortie (139 Sqdn, 24/10/63, Wynn,P.217; 1st. B.2R delivery, 100 Sqd, 16/1/64, Barnes,Putnam HP,P.521) upto 12 YS2 could have been assigned to Wittering, but opnl capability would have been, ah, below optimal.
 

uk 75

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2006
Messages
4,182
Reaction score
3,439
While your chart is there, can you explain why Vulcans are divided into Free Fall and Blue Steel and Victors are not? Sorry its probably something obvious.
By Victors and Vulcans... Do you mean only the B.2 Victors and B.2 Vulcans or are you including the Victor B.1/B.1As and Vulcan B.1As?
Vulcan and Victor B2 (B1 were all free fall).
Alertken has answered my question. All Victor B2 were Blue Steel.
 

NOMISYRRUC

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
571
Reaction score
786
For what it's worth...

Gibson in Vulcan's Hammer and Wynn in The RAF Nuclear Deterrent Force say that the third Victor B.2 squadron was to have been a Medium Bomber unit armed with Blue Steel before converting the L.R.P.R. role. However, the plan was abandoned due to the length of time it took to get Blue Steel into service and deliveries of the Victor B.2 being far behind schedule. The new plan was to form it as a L.R.P.R. squadron in the first place.
 

NOMISYRRUC

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
571
Reaction score
786
This is from AIR 20/11465/68706 The Future Size and Shape of the Royal Air Force dated January 1964.
20. All this is particularly important in relation to:-
(a) NATO, to which at present 225 strike/reconnaissance aircraft are assigned, and to which we must continue to play a major role;​
(b) the growing need to contain China. This is to be recognised by the retention of 3 V-bomber squadrons for this purpose after the introduction of Polaris. However, in the Seventies, these will become a less credible deterrent and the role must be taken over by the TSR2 force.​
 
Top