BAe Sea Harrier - Technical data and discussion

Thread is WIP

Sea Harrier FRS.1

The British Aerospace Sea Harrier is a naval short take-off and vertical landing/vertical take-off and landing jet fighter, reconnaissance and attack aircraft. It is the second member of the Harrier Jump Jet family developed. It first entered service with the Royal Navy in April 1980 as the Sea Harrier FRS1 and became informally known as the “Shar”. Unusual in an era in which most naval and land-based air superiority fighters were large and supersonic, the principal role of the subsonic Sea Harrier was to provide air defense for Royal Navy task groups centred around the aircraft carriers.

Blue Fox (ARI 5982) was largely an adaptation of the Seaspray radar to form an “off the shelf” fighter radar. Design was prematurely frozen in 1982 for the Falklands War. In 1984, upgrades (Blue Fox B?) were made to the processor, scanner and receiver which significantly improved it. The radar was extremely reliable; some Blue Foxes operated right through to the MLU in 1992 without repair. The next stage in development was Blue Fox Mk 2; essentially this was mostly pre-development work which fed into Blue Vixen and CAPTOR because Blue Fox was withdrawn soon after upgrading to Mk 2 was completed. Blue Fox Mk 2 incorporated two ECCM technologies, ILIC (In Loop Interpretative (or Integration) Control) and Anderwave (after the designers, Anderson & Waverley) which were subsequently used on Blue Vixen and ECR-90. This system was top secret; after Blue Fox Mk 2 was withdrawn from service, all systems had to be physically scrapped, despite intense overseas interest. All drawings were burnt.

Weapons

* 2 x 30mm ADEN (130 rounds per gun)
* 4 x AIM-9G/L/Dechirped L/M
* 4 x RN 2" (144 rockets)
* 2 x Sea Eagle ASM
* 5 x 1000lb Bombs (RET/FF/MFBF)
* 5 x BL-755 Cluster bombs

Countermeasures

* 2 x AN/ALE-40 (60 flares/Chaff)

Sensors

* Ferranti Blue Fox radar (ARI 5982)
* RWR (ARI 18228)


Sea Harrier FRS.51

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In 1977, the Indian government approved plans to acquire the Sea Harrier for the Indian Navy. In November 1979, India placed its first order for six Sea Harrier FRS Mk 51 fighters and two T Mk 60 Trainers; the first three Sea Harriers arrived at Dabolim Airport on 16 December 1983, and were inducted the same year. Ten more Sea Harriers were purchased in November 1985; eventually a total of 30 Harriers were procured, 25 for operational use and the remainder as dual-seat trainer aircraft. Until the 1990s, significant portions of pilot training was carried out in Britain due to limited aircraft availability

*The FRS.51 underwent upgrades from its initial introduction which saw it differ from the original FRS.1 fairly substantively. The addition of R.550 Magic IR Missiles and the Derby-BVR missile fired from the familiar twin pylons from the original FRS.1 also later used on FA.2. Its original Blue Fox radar was replaced with a modern ELM-2032 Multimode Radar, bringing it more inline with the capabilities found on the FA.2, the cockpit received further modernization following in the footsteps of the FA.2 the radar display was replaced with a MFD and a new RWR was installed. *

Weapons

* 2 x 30mm ADEN (130 rounds per gun)
* 4 x AIM-9G/L
* 4 x Matra Magic R.550
* 2 x Derby BVR
* 2 x SNEB Rockets (38 Rockets)
* 2 x Sea Eagle ASM
* 5 x 1000lb Bombs (RET/FF/MFBF)
* 5 x BL-755 Cluster bombs

Countermeasures

* 2 x AN/ALE-40 (60 flares/Chaff)
* 1 x Elta ELL-8222 jamming pod on the outboard pylon. 

Sensors

* Ferranti Blue Fox radar ARI 5982 (Early Radar)
* ELM-2032 Multimode Radar (Radar Upgrade)
* RWR ARI 18228 (Early RWR)
* Improved RWR "Tarang" (RWR Upgrade)


Sea Harrier FA.2

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Upgrade of FRS1 fleet in 1988, featuring the Blue Vixen Pulse-Doppler radar and the AIM-120 AMRAAM missile. A development of the FRS.1. But did include the more powerful engine upgrade that the Harrier II’s received (Pegasus Mk.104/106).

Blue Vixen (ARI 50019) was a superb radar design. It hadn’t been possible to make Blue Fox a lookdown/shootdown pulse doppler radar due to time constraints and a lack of suitable industrial and knowledge base. Armed with money and experience from Blue Fox, Ferranti started the Blue Falcon demonstrator program. This became the prototype for Blue Vixen.

*For Blue Vixen, Ferranti eschewed the simpler high PRF route which Marconi were following with AI24 Foxhunter and went full speed into medium PRF pulse doppler radar. This gave excellent all-aspect lookdown performance. In terms of rival radar designs, it is ahead of APG-65, more comparable to the (heavier, larger) APG-73. While Blue Vixen was initially required to track 12 targets, Ferranti aimed (and achieved) for an internal target of 28. The max number of tracked targets is actual 256. *

Weapons

* 2 x 30mm ADEN (130 rounds per gun)
* 4 x AIM-9L/Dechirped L/M
* 4 x ASRAAM
* 4 x AMRAAM (AIM-120A/B)
* 2 x ALARM ARM ( yet to be confirmed )
* 2 x Sea Eagle ASM
* 5 x 1000lb Bombs (RET/FF/MFBF)
* 5 x 540lb Bombs (RET/FF/MFBF)
* 5 x BL-755 Cluster bombs

Air to Air Loadouts

4 x AMRAAM (Outboard and Under Fuselage) 2x ALE-40 & 2x CRL/BOL (380CM's)
2 x Sidewinder (Outboard) 2 x AMRAAM (Under Fuselage) 2x ALE-40 & 2x BOL-304 (380CM's)
2 x Sidewinder (Outboard) 2 x ADEN30 Gunpod (Under Fuselage) 2x ALE-40 & 2x BOL-304 (380CM's)
2 x AMRAAM (Outboard) 2 x ADEN30 Gunpod (Under Fuselage) 2x ALE-40 & 2x CRL/BOL (380CM's)
4 x Sidewinder (Outboard Twin Rail) 2 x ADEN30 Gunpod (Under Fuselage) 2x ALE-40 (60CM's)
4 x Sidewinder (Outboard Twin Rail) 2 x AMRAAM (Under Fuselage) 2x ALE-40 (60CM's)

Countermeasures

* 2 x AN/ALE-40(V) (60 flares/chaff)
* 2 x BOL 304 dispensers (320 chaff/IRCM's)
* 2 x BOL/CRL (320 chaff/IRCM's)

Sensors

* Ferranti Blue Vixen Multi-Mode radar (ARI 50019/1)
* RWR (ARI 18228/19)
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As with the Harrier thread I copied over the main OP of the thread from the old forum. If there are any specifics you think are missing let me know.

I predict these aircraft will be among the first to receive the AMRAAM, besides the F4F ice and Viggen Mod D.

I really hope so, little Shar FA.2 with four AMRAAM will be loads of fun.

Sure, but first let’s let them fix the FRS.1 and give it it’s proper radar specs with IFF and all…

Don’t forget the cockpit. That needs replacing as well.

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Getting in your “I told you so!” rights are we?

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Still no proper cockpit for the Shar, I weep.

Has there been any word on that? If I recall, the new radar and cockpit weren’t due till the september update. But hoping it will be long before then

Last I heard it was still planned for an upcoming major. Obviously plans can change.

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Why does it have no IFF? Bought it to play in SB only to find the radar has no IFF making it largely useless.

There is a report in for this and for correcting the performance of the Blue Fox radar, I’ve given them a nudge.

Has placeholder radar I believe from the F5-E. I was the same, and looking forward to running it in SB if/when it gets sorted. The right cockpit will also be amazing in SB too

Does Blue Vixen radar have TWS mode?

I don’t have a huge amount of information on Blue Vixen due to the way the FAA disposed of their documents when they were disbanded but I do have this section from “The Blue Vixen Radar For Sea Harrier FRS.2”
image
Does seem to suggest a TWS mode.

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Quick question for someone more in the know.

Why dont the British Gen 1 Harriers (GR.1/3 & FRS.1) have access to the countermeasures pod the AV8s get?

Did we not adopt it?

Paul Tremelling, an Ex-FA2 pilot & Author of “Harrier, How to be a fighter pilot” has a full flight crew operating manual for the FA2 that he’s threatened to bore people with :')

Wonder if he’d share it for if/when we get the FA.2…

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Britain never used the AN/ALE-37

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I might get in contact with him, cheers.

America never used counter measures on their F-5Cs either to my knowledge, but they get them because the Chinese fitted them to a 5A at a later date.

There is absolutely no evidence to suggest the British harriers were not capable of having the same modification as the US harriers. The reason they don’t get them in game is because they are in the wrong nations tree.

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