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 Post subject: Re: SAAF Nuclear Role
PostPosted: 08 Aug 2011, 17:51 
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Good point Eugene.

I still think having a so called "Big Stick" can come in handy. Don't declare your capability. Just keep them guessing and have a kind of reserve trump card.


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 Post subject: Re: SAAF Nuclear Role
PostPosted: 08 Aug 2011, 18:46 
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I also think nukes can be negated with a good germ warfare program.
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 Post subject: Re: SAAF Nuclear Role
PostPosted: 08 Aug 2011, 19:02 
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About the Mirage III Ez's, in his book "Winds of Destruction" the author mentions that the Rhodesian AF operated (Manned and paid all expenses) as part of Operation "Sand", a squadron of Mirages (EZ'z ???). If this is true, only the highest authority would know. They were definitely involved as he also mention that Rick Culpan (RIP) was involved in the modification of the fire control system of the Mirage III EZ which greatly improved the accuracy of the system. This might make sense, referring to the lack of involvement of the EZ's in the border war effort, keeping in mind the ever dwindling numbers of Hunters and Canberra's of the RhAF. If the EZ's were ever involved in the Rhodesian Conflict is a matter of speculation. When that conflict ended in 1980 the Ez's were basically used for "training" purposes and was thus the ideal aircraft to be modified as a "replacement" aircraft for the SAAF since obtaining new aircraft was out of the question at that stage. In the mid 80's the SAAF also had only 5 Buccaneers left, not that the Cheetah E's could fulfill the same role as the Buccaneer, and that must also have been a very worrying factor. The Cheetah D's also came into service and had a refueling and smart weapon delivery capability and a 2 man crew which was ideal to make up for Buccaneer losses (Still not a Buccaneer) it could also have been used as a possible delivery platform for the Nuk???


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 Post subject: Re: SAAF Nuclear Role
PostPosted: 08 Aug 2011, 19:24 
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Balerit wrote:
I also think nukes can be negated with a good germ warfare program.


Germ warfare, which has been around for many centuries (the Hittites already used it in 1500 BCE), is a two-edged weapon. Germs don't discriminate and germs mutate. There is no guarantee that the things won't come back and bite your own side in the backside. As they oftimes did in antiquity. Germ warfare is predicated on the fact that you have an antidote and the enemy does not. And the germs will not mutate in such a way that your antidote will not save you. Experiments carried out during WW2 were not very encouraging as to either efficacy or immunity for the user.


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 Post subject: Re: SAAF Nuclear Role
PostPosted: 08 Aug 2011, 19:26 
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gripen1 wrote:
Good point Eugene.

I still think having a so called "Big Stick" can come in handy. Don't declare your capability. Just keep them guessing and have a kind of reserve trump card.


Which is the tactics the Israelis are following. However having a big stick is of little use when it's ants that are plaguing one.


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 Post subject: Re: SAAF Nuclear Role
PostPosted: 08 Aug 2011, 19:32 
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I could be wrong, but Buccaneer 422, now in the war museum in Jhb I seem to recall was the plane ear marked for the bomb.


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 Post subject: Re: SAAF Nuclear Role
PostPosted: 08 Aug 2011, 19:41 
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An interesting read:
Quote:
SOUTH AFRICA AND THE NUCLEAR OPTION
By Marcus Duvenhage

.... The second and more conventional delivery platform would have been the air launched option. According to newspaper reports the bombs were designed for airborne delivery, were 1.5m long, 70cm wide and aerodynamically shaped. Each bomb weighed approximately a ton and had an explosive force of between 14 and 18 kilotons, roughly equal to the bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. By implication this meant that the bombs would have been dropped by conventional fixed wing aircraft. The SAAF possessed three types of aircraft at the end of the 1980's that were capable of fulfilling this role. The French Mirage F1 AZ, fighter-bomber, the Buccaneer S MK.50 and the Canberra B(1) 12. The last two aircraft being "light" bombers of British design and manufacture. Whereas the Mirage F1 had a limited range, the other two aircraft had sufficient unrefueled range to strike at targets in Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania. The Mirage and Buccaneer could be refueled in flight while the Canberra did not possess this capability. It is interesting to note that the SAAF acquired five Boeings 707 tanker, transport, and electronic warfare aircraft from Bedeck Industries of Israel in the middle 1980's. These tanker aircraft were seen as force multipliers by the SAAF, enabling the Mirage F1 AZ's and the Buccaneers to increase their operational ranges. This enabled them to attack countries as far afield as central and northern Africa.

Of the three aircraft mentioned the most likely candidate for the first nuclear attack would have been the Buccaneer. The Buccaneer had a two-man crew, two engines, could be refueled in the air and had excellent navigation equipment. An indication of its nuclear attack capability can be found in the fact that a Buccaneer dropped the first H2 "Smart"-Bomb to be used operationally by the SAAF during an attack on the Cuito bridge in Southern Angola on 12 December 1987. Unfortunately the H2, TV guided weapon failed to destroy its target but a second attack on 3 January 1988 proved more successful. Further evidence supporting the Buccaneer can be found with the last surviving "airworthy" Buccaneer 422, which today is on display at the South African Museum for Military History in Saxonwold, Johannesburg. This particular aircraft is reported to have undergone a major overhaul costing many millions of Rand (said to be 13m) in about 1987-89. One may speculate whether this "major overhaul" was to prepare it for the delivery of the first nuclear bomb?

During 1987-1988 only five Buccaneers remained airworthy with the SAAF. The aircraft finally being withdrawn from service in 1990. According to a leading overseas aviation publication that the Buccaneers had the ability to carry the British WE 177 nuclear bomb in its rotating bomb bay. It must be born in mind that part of the training program and operational conversion course undertaken by SAAF, Buccaneer pilots who went across to the UK in the 1960's was the delivery of a nuclear weapon.

http://sadf.sentinelprojects.com/tbd/sanuc.html

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 Post subject: Re: SAAF Nuclear Role
PostPosted: 08 Aug 2011, 19:52 
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From SOUTH AFRICA’S WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION by by Helen E. Purkitt and Stephen F. Burgess.
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The first fully “qualified” gun-type device that ARMSCOR built could be delivered by a modified Buccaneer bomber equipped with a rotary bomb bay used in Australian drop tests of British nuclear weapons. Subsequent nuclear warheads were built for use in air-to-surface weapons (that is, a TV-guided glide bomb). These warheads could be carried on either the Buccaneer bombers or on one of the Air Force’s Mirage fighterbombers. According to official accounts, ARMSCOR had built three more deliverable devices, and the highly enhanced uranium core and the components for South Africa’s seventh device had been manufactured by the time the program was shut down at the end of 1989. As nuclear warheads came on line, they were increasingly viewed as “a force concept multiplier . . . a special payload for conventional delivery systems.” This shifting perspective prompted further work on developing a nuclear-tipped payload that could be used for the SADF surface-to-surface missile using the launch rocket of its reconnaissance satellite.

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 Post subject: Re: SAAF Nuclear Role
PostPosted: 08 Aug 2011, 20:27 
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Good references - thanks Kremlin. :smt023

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 Post subject: Re: SAAF Nuclear Role
PostPosted: 09 Aug 2011, 00:11 
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Ultimately I am glad that South Africa never had cause (whether real or imagined) to make use of a nuclear weapon for if we did, it would surely have brought serious repercussions.

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 Post subject: Re: SAAF Nuclear Role
PostPosted: 09 Aug 2011, 12:05 
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When did the SAAF Bucanneers recieve their upgraded bulged bomb bay / door, which was an up grade design from the UK put on the RAF / FAA Bucanneers


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 Post subject: Re: SAAF Nuclear Role
PostPosted: 09 Aug 2011, 12:59 
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I am also glad that RSA never used the H Bombs. The Buccaneer bulged bomb bay door modification must have been done during the late 70's. I have a photograph of Buccaneer 413 taken at an airshow in May 1979 which clearly show the bulged bomb bay door.


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 Post subject: Re: SAAF Nuclear Role
PostPosted: 09 Aug 2011, 13:28 
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Buccaneer wrote:
I am also glad that RSA never used the H Bombs


Perhaps because they never had any?

Buccaneer wrote:
The Buccaneer bulged bomb bay door modification must have been done during the late 70's.


The upgrade, which included other things besides the extra fuel in the bomb bay door, was begun in the mid seventies IIRC. Several Brits eventually went to jail for it. (Illegal transfer of technology).

What is interesting that the nuclear weapon originally designed for the FAA Buccaneers was cancelled at some stage and the FAA Buccaneers ended up with a nuclear bomb originally designed to be carried by Canberras. The FAA bomb was to have been guided, IIRC, while the bomb they ended up with was a dumb one. I do think some modification was made to the fins to make it more suitable for toss bombing - but otherwise the case was unchanged. It was a long bomb (small diameter) that practically lay the entire length of the Buccaneer bomb bay - and only one could be carried at a time. By the time the Buccaneer began to see FAA service the original reason for it's development, the Sverdlov cruiser, had lost much of it's bogey man status and the insanity of using nuclear weapons against it had begun to filter through to the powers that be. So it's intended role was rather short-lived. But a truly magnificent aircraft that long outlived it's original design ideas.


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 Post subject: Re: SAAF Nuclear Role
PostPosted: 09 Aug 2011, 13:52 
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Hi Eugene Thanks for all the information. You perhaps know what other modifications was done on the Buccaneer beside the bulged bomb bay door????


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 Post subject: Re: SAAF Nuclear Role
PostPosted: 09 Aug 2011, 14:34 
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Eugene wrote:
Israel owns many thermo-nukes (perhaps as many as China) and the means to deliver them over a wide area. Maybe anywhere in the world looking at their satellite capabilities. Has had nukes since 1973. Has it brought any advantage?


Well, perhaps your question was answered by yourself.

A clue: When was the last time Israel was invaded by the standing army of a sovereign country?

The answer:

The Yom Kippur War.
The date?
1973.

:wink:


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