de Haviland Sea Vixen FAW.1: Ugly yet Beautiful

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de Haviland Sea Vixen FAW.1

Hello and Welcome to my suggestion for the de Haviland Sea Vixen FAW.1! The first iteration of the both famous and infamous Sea Vixen. I feel this could come to the British Tech Tree as a researchable alternative to the FAW.2 given its place in Fleet Air Arm history and its ability possibly to carry guns.

History

Spoiler

The Development as the Sea Vixen started as early as 1946, when de Haviland began talks with the British Admiralty for a future all-weather Jet powered fighter equipped with radar, it was decided that in order for the aircraft to maintain both an advanced radar and a good capability as a fighter it would need a crew of two, and the aircraft would also incorporate the structural strength to operate from aircraft carriers such as the Centaur and Audacious Classes.

As de Haviland pursued development of this aircraft the initial design was dubbed DH.110 as a twin engined, all weather fighter. The design of the DH.110 incorporated the Twin boom structure of the de Haviland Vampire and Venom, as well as having provisions for 4 30mm ADEN cannons.

In early 1947 specifications were put out for an all weather fighter for both the RAF and FAA, the DH.110 was submitted to both and subsequently 5 prototypes were put into construction for the RAF and 4 for the FAA, however whilst the DH.110 lost to the Gloster Javelin in RAF service, for the FAA the DH.110s provisions for carrier capability made it an ideal choice however as the RN opted for the Sea Venom instead the development of the DH.110 was delayed.

in 1951 after a series of setbacks the first DH.110 Prototype made its maiden flight, armed with 4 30mm ADEN cannons and within a year it displayed its capability to regularly break the sound barrier. However tragedy struck when the Prototype disintegrated whilst demonstrating its capabilities at Farnborough and unfortunately the Debris of the aircraft crashed into the crowds killing 29 Spectators and the Two crew of the prototype.

After this serious setback the DH.110s design was largely revised and the decision was made to focus purely on navalising the aircraft as the Sea Venoms approached replacement in the late 50s, to which the FAA had chosen the DH.110 as a replacement. In 1955 the first Semi navalised prototype took flight, it featured everything required for carrier operations except for Wing folding mechanisms or weapons hardpoints, and performed carrier tests on HMS Ark Royal the next year.

As an order was put down for a revised DH.110 with 6 weapons hardpoints the FAA began evaluating the necessity of needing cannons on the aircraft, as with other countries in the 50s and 60s a lot of Politicians and High up military personnel believed that Air to Air missiles would make cannons completely obsolete, the same way jet aircraft had replaced props, and thus decided to remove the Cannons in favour of 2 deployable RP rocket pods, with 14 rockets each with the admiralty believing the upcoming Red Top missile would largely remove the need for other weaponry, However most importantly to my knowledge the aircraft retained capability for cannons to be fitted in potential refits and most likely would have been fitted had the British had an experience similar to the Americans experience with the early Phantoms in Vietnam.

The First Sea Vixens entered service in mid 1959 and the production was continued until the first FAW.2 aircraft began to be made, all in all around 120 Sea vixen FAW.1s were constructed with 67 being rebuilt to FAW.2 standard after 1962 as the FAW.1s were phased out due to reliability concerns. The Sea Vixen FAW.1 became notorious for its terrible safety record with almost all of the Sea Vixen crashes being the FAW.1 hence why they were retired as soon as the FAW.2 was brought into service.

Photos

Spoiler

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Sea Vixen FAW.1 with its twin RP launchers, Anti air rockets could also be equipped in these slots

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One of the Prototype Sea Vixens (Not DH.110 most Please note) with 4 30mm ADEN cannons mounted (see just behind Nose wheel)

FAW.1 at Yeovilton in 2010

A prototype Sea Vixen in flight, Circa 1955

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A Sea Vixen FAW.1 on HMS Centaur in 1964, armed with 2 RP pods and 2 Firestreaks

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Sea Vixen FAW.1 taking off from USS Yorktown

Sea Vixen Prototype armed with 4 (dummy) Firestreak Missiles

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A line of Sea Vixen FAW.1s on HMS Centaur in the early 60s

Sea Vixen FAW.1 Flying beside an A-4 Skyhawk

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Sea Vixen FAW.1 Armed with 24 RP-3 Rockets

Sea Vixen FAW.1 Landing on HMS Centaur in 1960

Sea Vixens Braving a storm onboard HMS Victorious in February 1961

Specs/ Aramament

Spoiler
  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 55 ft 7 in (16.94 m)
  • Wingspan: 51 ft 0 in (15.54 m)
  • Height: 10 ft 9 in (3.28 m)
  • Wing area: 648 sq ft (60.2 m2)
  • Airfoil: EC1040
  • Empty weight: 27,950 lb (12,678 kg)
  • Gross weight: 41,575 lb (18,858 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 46,750 lb (21,205 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Rolls-Royce Avon 208 Turbojet engines, 11,000 lbf (49 kN) thrust each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 690 mph (1,110 km/h, 600 kn)
  • Maximum speed: Mach 0.91
  • Range: 790 mi (1,270 km, 690 nmi) on internals
  • Service ceiling: 48,000 ft (15,000 m)
  • Rate of climb: 9,000 ft/min (46 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 64.2 lb/sq ft (313 kg/m2)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.54

Armament

  • Hardpoints: 6 , with provisions to carry combinations of:

    • Guns: 4 x 30mm ADEN Cannons (160 Rounds per gun (total 640 rounds)) (never fitted outside of prototypes however were still capable of being fitted)

    • Rockets: 28 2 inch rockets in 2 deployable containers, 4 Matra rocket pods with 18 SNEB 68 mm rockets each, or 4 Rocket pods with 24 or 32 Microcell 2-inch rockets or 24 3-inch rockets

    • Missiles: 4 Firestreak air-to-air missiles, 2 AGM-12 Bullpup air-to-ground missiles, AS.37 Martel Anti Radiation missiles

    • Bombs: 1 Red Beard freefall nuclear bomb, or four 500 lb (227 kg) plus two 1,000 lb (454 kg) conventional bombs.

Avionics

  • GEC AI.18 Air Interception radar

Why I feel it should get Cannons

Spoiler

Personally I feel whilst the Production aircraft never carried ADENs I would argue for them to be added for a tech tree FAW.1, as the FAW.1 did not have Red Top capability (the RP pods would be removed on the FAW.2 to facilitate red top capability) hence it would be stuck with worse missiles, however if given the 4 ADENs it would help to fill a rather large gap in the tree from the Scimitar to Sea harrier FRS.1(e) and would sit nicely either at 8.7 or 9.0 after the Scimitar.

I would suggest that there be a modification to swap the cannons out with the rockets, similar to how the LAV-AD can swap out a Stinger launcher for a Hydra rocket pod, possible with the cannons stock and a modification to swap them for the RP containers as a Rank 4 modification.

Place in game

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In game this would fly a bit like the Javelin except better in every way, assuming it gets the cannons it will have great climb rate and speed, alongside some fairly potent early missiles which would make it a good tech tree alternative to the Current FAW.2 that lacks any sort of guns, alternatively it would have a marginally increased CAS capability with it 28 RP rockets alongside all of the Air to Ground armament of the FAW.2.

In terms of BR I feel it would sit around 8.7/ 9.0 after the Scimitar at Rank 6, it would help fill the massive gap between both the Scimitar and Sea Harrier and add diversity to the higher tier line-ups for Britain

Sources

Spoiler

Sea Vixen FAW.1 load out - Aircraft Cold War - Britmodeller.com
de Havilland Sea Vixen - Wikipedia
https://www.baesystems.com/en-uk/heritage/de-havilland-dh110-sea-vixen
Sea Vixen FAW.1 XJ476 - The Martel carrying Sea Vixen - Passed for Consideration - War Thunder - Official Forum
Britain Air Tree - What's left to be added for all BRs - #101 by Headnaught
Sea Vixen FAW.1 XJ476 - The Martel carrying Sea Vixen - Passed for Consideration - War Thunder - Official Forum

4 Likes

This gets a big +1 from me

2 Likes

I really want the internal rocket pods. A version with the ADENs would be interesting. But its those rocket pods I really want, they look like fun.

3 Likes

Gets a definite +1 from me, particularly with the cannons, it would be a really nice aircraft to see in the tree.

2 Likes

+1, and if the Harrier GR.7 got its troublesome ADEN-25’s then there is no reason to exclude cannons from this

there is also the Swift F.7 which never carried any cannons IRL however was given them in game as Gaijin established they retained the capability to mount them.

the game is full of cases in which History and specs have been bent slightly to allow for an aircraft or vehicle to be more competitive (E.G. Yak-141 Countermeasures, Ariete DM53, Harrier GR.7 and Swift F.7 Cannons, etc.) this would not be out of place nor the first time gaijin has done something like this for balance.

3 Likes

+1