Air International 2001-07
J.Lake - Nimrod R.1. The RAF's SIGINT platform extraordinare /Military/
Although blessed with a useful range and endurance, certain missions performed by the Nimrod R.1 require it to exploit its air-air refuelling capability. Here one of the three operational aircraft (XW665) takes on fuel from a 216 Squadron Lockheed Tristar during a routine training sortie.
Hitherto rarely photographed officially, this airborne study of two (XW664 and XW665) of 51 Squadron's three Nimrod R.1s shows the type’s main features to good effect. Unlike other large electronic reconnaissance aircraft, its external appearance is comparatively uncluttered, with many of its antenna systems installed discreetly within the airframe. Only the necessarily prominent black ‘hockey stick’ V/UHF antennas reveal its unconventional purpose.
Первый R.Mk 1, XV664, сфотографирован в самом начале своей карьеры, самолет имеет меньше иллюминаторов, чем MR.Mk 2. Позже в результате добавления новой аппаратуры пришлось заглушить и другие иллюминаторы.
When first delivered in 1971, the Nimrod R.1 was finished in the standard maritime colour scheme of the day and could be distinguished from the MR variants only by the absence of the MAD boom and Strong Electric searchlight in the starboard external wing fuel tank. A di-electric nosecone on the port wing tank and additional pairs of communications antennas on the rear fuselage were the only clues to its new role.
17 мая 1997г. XV249, который должен был заменить самолет Nimrod R.Mk 1, совершил свой первый полет после модернизации из MR.Mk 2 Standard.
Representing the post-Gulf War configuration - with mid-wing BOZ pods modified to incorporate missile approach warning sensors in the blunt nose, but lacking the towed radar decoy under the tail cone - this underside view also reveals the absence of external radomes which normally typify SIGINT aircraft.
XV664 запечатлен на авиабазе Уоддингтон - самолет окрашен в серый камуфляж, введенный в 2001 году. Такой же камуфляж несли самолеты Nimrod MR.Mk 2.
The first Nimrod R.1, XW664, delivered to 51 Squadron 30 years ago in July 1971, has recently returned from being repainted at Norwich Airport by Sprayavia. Wearing an overall pale grey scheme, the aircraft also has a distinctive very light upper fuselage strip which might be associated with the location of all the communications antennae in this area.
Ремонтные работы проводились на авиабазе Кинлосс, но покраска Nimrod R.Mk 1 британских ВВС проводилась компанией "British Airways" на территории аэропорта Лондон-Хитроу. На фотографии, датированной 1993 годом, XW665 покидает аэропорт, где с него была удалена окраска, и направляется для ремонта в Кинлосс.
The last place where it might be expected to see a camera-shy SIGINT aircraft is at the world’s busiest airport! Nevertheless, in July 1993, XW665 was flown in to London-Heathrow for paint stripping by British Airways engineering services prior to undergoing major overhaul at the Nimrod Major Servicing Unit at RAF Kinloss.
XV664 запечатлен во время очередного полета над Балтийским морем, примерно 1977-1978 годы. Самолет сопровождает Saab J35D Draken шведских ВВС.
Although always operated in international airspace, the uncommunicative Nimrod R.1 frequently attracted the attention of patrolling fighters. Here, one of a pair of Swedish Air Force Saab Drakens escorts XW664 over the Baltic Sea in 1977, to check its identity visually and confirm its non-hostile status.
British Aerospace Nimrod R.1
Three-view drawing of the BAe Nimrod R.1.