Military Review

Soviet Submarine Hunter - Avro Shackleton British Patrol Aircraft

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Avro Shackleton (Avro Shackleton) - British four-piston piston anti-submarine patrol aircraft of the Royal British Air Force. The aircraft was designed by Avro, an English company, based on Avro Lincoln, a heavy four-engine bomber of the Second World War period. This heavy piston machine with a pedigree dating back to the middle of the 1940's, was for many years a heavenly companion of Soviet submarines. Avro Shackleton was mass-produced from 1951 to 1958 year, during which time 185 aircraft of various modifications were assembled in the UK. Quite an impressive figure, given the narrow specialization of the aircraft.


The patrol aircraft was named after Ernest Henry Shackleton, an Anglo-Irish explorer of Antarctica. A man who belonged to the heroic age of Antarctic research. Ernest Shackleton was a member of four Antarctic expeditions, three of which he directly commanded. It is worth noting that the plane fully justified the name given to him, without tarnishing the memory of an outstanding researcher. Avro Shackleton aircraft in various modifications remained in service with the British Royal Air Force for 40 years - until 1991, a very worthy result for aviation techniques.

The era of piston aviation, which was rapidly leaving after the end of World War II, left such airplanes several small loopholes, one of which was long-range coastal patrol aircraft. In those years, the first jet engines did not have high reliability and were quite voracious, while no one demanded high flight speeds from patrol vehicles, let alone record ones. When the British needed a replacement for the fleet of former US patrol bombers Liberator (versions PB4Y-1 and PB4Y-2) who flew into the war, they decided to make their own plane that would not differ fundamentally from its predecessor.

Avro Lincoln

Built by Avro engineers, who had time to fill their hands and hone their skills in designing four-engined aircraft on numerous Lancaster and Lincoln bombers, the new patrol aircraft simply could not get out of luck. The patrol plane created by them first flew into the sky in the 1949 year, and then for 40 years it was engaged in the search for submarines of a potential enemy, mainly Soviet, in the British and South African Air Forces.

Since the planes were actively exploited up to the 1991 year, more than 10 Avro Shackleton of various modifications has survived to this day. However, most of them have not risen to the sky for a long time. The closest to the flight is the aircraft with the tail number WR963, the video with which can be found today on Youtube video hosting. The restoration of this aircraft is engaged in a group of enthusiasts. In the video at the airport in the British city of Coventry, the plane makes a run along the runway, there is a chance that someday it will again be able to rise into the sky.


Avro 696 Shackleton - a multi-purpose anti-submarine aircraft, which was developed based on the heavy bomber of the Second World War Avro 694 Lincoln. The new aircraft retained the wing and landing gear of the Lincoln, but received a completely new fuselage, which became wider, taller and shorter. At the same time, the horizontal tail of the aircraft turned from low-lying to high-lying, and the vertical tail washers characteristic of the Lancaster and Lincoln British bombers gained weight, becoming much more massive, and also rounded. Instead of Rolls-Royce Merlin engines, the Rolls-Royce Griffon engines with three-blade coaxial propellers were installed on a multi-purpose anti-submarine aircraft. The new fuselage made it easy to place on board a crew of 10 people. In the dorsal turret, two 20-mm guns were installed, and in the tail section there were two 12,7-mm machine guns. Inside the large bomb bay, the aircraft could carry both depth and conventional bombs.


His first flight made the new machine 9 March 1949 of the year. The first serial Avro Shackleton rose into the sky - October 24 1950 of the year, and in February of the following year, production aircraft began to enter service. The first major production version of the patrol aircraft was equipped with four Rolls-Royce Griffon 57А engines and had the designation Shackleton MR.Mk.1A.

Almost immediately after the start of deliveries to the troops of the Shackleton MR.1 aircraft, British designers started creating an upgraded version, taking into account the shortcomings and shortcomings that were discovered during the operation of the MR.1 version. The new version of the aircraft received the designation Shackleton MR.Mk.2. Especially for her Avro designers have designed a completely new nasal streamlined part, in which there was a paired 20-mm artillery, located above the striker's position. Instead of a radome antenna radome, which was located in the lower front part, the aircraft received a half retractable radome in the ventral cannon turret, this allowed for a review in 360 degrees. The rear large-caliber machine guns and a transparent tail fairing were also dismantled, and the non-retractable one-wheel tail support was replaced with a two-wheel retractable support.

The latest production version of the Shackleton MR.Mk.3 was created with an eye to improving all the general characteristics of the machine - the ailerons were improved, the end-wing fuel tanks were installed, the wing configuration was changed. The designers did not cheat the aircraft’s crew either - the MR.Mk.3 version received a cabin with excellent visibility and a soundproof cabin for the second crew - in case of a long patrol in the air. The increase in the overall weight of the aircraft was the reason for the appearance of a three-support retractable landing gear with a nose strut and double wheels. Another noticeable change in the aircraft was the absence of a dorsal turret, and the appearance of suspension units under the wings made it possible to use missiles. Eight of the 42 Shackleton MR.Mk.3 mass-produced aircraft were delivered by the Air Forces of the Republic of South Africa.

Shackleton MR.Mk.3

In the middle of 1960-s after the completion of production, the aircraft was once again improved. Increasing the strength of the design of the patrol car has increased the fuel supply. Two small Rolls-Royce Viper 203 turbojet engines of 1134 kgf each also appeared on the plane. They were installed in the outer wing nacelles, providing the car with additional thrust during takeoff and climb, if the aircraft took off with a maximum load.

During the operation of the Avro Shackleton aircraft, the British faced one rather unexpected problem - the lack of fuel. In the age of jet aviation, high-octane gasoline for piston aircraft engines of the Lancaster heir was in short supply. Particularly acute problem with high-quality fuel arose when the aircraft were based on "overseas" territories - in Akrotiri in Cyprus, Catania, as well as Icelandic base Keflavik and Italian bases.

The latest version of the veteran aircraft was the model Shackleton AEW.2. This aircraft was developed in 1971 by British Aerospace (BAe), it was created as an alternative to an anti-submarine aircraft and a DRLO Gannet AEW.3 aircraft from Fairey / Westland. A total of 12 aircraft were built in the version of AEW.2. Their main difference was that the half-movable ventral radome of the radar antenna was replaced by a fixed convex fairing located in front of the bomb compartment, it located the search radar APS-20, which was also used on Gannet AEW.3 airplanes. Other external changes were related to the fact that more different antennas were installed on the aircraft.

Shackleton AEW.2

All 12 aircraft were in service with the 8 Squadron of the British Air Force, searching for submarines, performing the function of early detection of enemy boats. They were based at the Royal Air Force "Lozigaons", performing flights over the waters of the North Sea, the Arctic Ocean and the Western Atlantic. Some patrol flights took up to 14 hours. The aircraft remained in service until the 1991 of the year, when they began to be replaced with Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW.Mk 1 early-detection aircraft.

Flight specifications Shackleton AEW AEW.2:
Overall dimensions: aircraft length - 26,62 m, height - 6,1 m, wing span - 31,09 m, wing area - 132 м2.
Empty weight - 24 600 kg.
Maximum take-off weight - 42 300 kg.
The power plant - 4 PD Rolls-Royce Merlin power 4x1460 HP
The maximum speed is 462 km / h.
Practical range - 4600 km.
Combat radius of action - 2672 km.
Flight duration - up to 14 hours.
Practical ceiling - 7010 m.
Crew - 3 man + 7 operators.

Information sources:
http://avia.pro/blog/avro-shackleton-foto-harakteristiki
http://warspot.ru/9650-izyaschnyy-sputnik-sovetskih-submarin
http://www.airwar.ru/enc/sea/shackl.html
http://www.dogswar.ru/voennaia-aviaciia/samolety/6190-morskoi-razvedchik-a.html
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  1. Firework
    Firework 12 February 2018 15: 08
    +1
    why in modern bombers do not put in the tail of a gun or machine guns?
    1. Bongo
      Bongo 12 February 2018 15: 43
      +8
      Quote: Salute
      why in modern bombers do not put in the tail of a gun or machine guns?


      Well, apparently Tu-22М3 is not modern enough for you?
      In general, cannon defensive installations were replaced by electronic warfare equipment, and devices for shooting thermal and radar traps. For modern bombers, a very promising means of self-defense are towed decoys and all-air missiles.
      As for the publication itself, in my opinion it is in many ways frankly weak. There are no interesting details of the combat service, the characteristics of the radar, and the history of its appearance on this aircraft. negative
    2. Pan_hrabio
      Pan_hrabio 12 February 2018 15: 59
      +4
      Somewhere on the site I saw information on this topic, but is no longer able to remember and find. If briefly and from memory, the location of such a turret, all the more habitable, fits with a serious weighting of the aircraft, which, combined with the scanty, especially today, chance of at least some benefit from such a turret, makes its installation pointless and even harmful.
    3. NF68
      NF68 12 February 2018 16: 14
      +6
      Quote: Salute
      why in modern bombers do not put in the tail of a gun or machine guns?


      Because the real benefits of these guns or machine guns are currently not much, since enemy fighters do not need to approach to attack these planes at such close distances. Air-to-air missiles are launched at a distance of several kilometers / tens of kilometers. Destroy these missiles by cannons or machine guns is hardly possible.
      1. Bongo
        Bongo 12 February 2018 17: 21
        +7
        Quote: NF68
        Because the real benefits of these guns or machine guns are currently not much, since enemy fighters do not need to approach to attack these planes at such close distances. Air-to-air missiles are launched at a distance of several kilometers / tens of kilometers. Destroy these missiles by cannons or machine guns is hardly possible.

        Well, how do you say request Apparently the designers of aircraft and aviation weapons do not know what you know.
        Guys, before writing this, ask about the composition of the block assembly of defensive 23-mm installations on the Tu-22М3, Tu-95MS and Il-76МД. The task after all is not only in the direct reflection of the attacks of interceptors.
        What do you think, how will the infrared or radar fuse react to the line of special projectiles with increased infrared and radilocation signature that have flown by? Given that the rate of the UKU-9A-502М installation is 4000 shots / min, the chances of shooting down a rocket are quite large.
        1. NF68
          NF68 12 February 2018 21: 12
          +3
          Well, how do you say


          As is, say so. Do not be shy.

          Quote: Bongo
          What do you think, how will the infrared or radar fuse react to the line of special projectiles with increased infrared and radilocation signature that have flown by? Given that the rate of the UKU-9A-502М installation is 4000 shots / min, the chances of shooting down a rocket are quite large.


          The fuse may not respond to the queue. The adversary should not be considered slack. Especially if it is not about the Papuans.
          Quote: Alexey RA
          Pomnitsa, back in Vietnam, the B-52 fighters preferred to approach with the radar turned off at the launch distance of the RVV with the infrared seeker. Because BKO half a half easily detected the inclusion of radar fighter, after which Stratofortress was dissolved in interference.
          In the second half of the 80’s BKO Tu-95MS, we managed to thwart all attempts of the MiG-31 to launch a missile bomb: theoretically, the thirty-first could work with 100 km, but practically reached the distance of cannon fire without getting a capture.


          Missile developers are also not idle.
          Quote: Alexey RA
          Yeah ... once experts already stated that air-to-air missiles fly tens of kilometers, so the new fighter does not need this archaic device - a cannon. Then I had to wind this gun with almost blue electrical tape.


          And how often have fighter cannons been used in recent years when attacking strategic or front-line bombers? Many enemy planes shot down?

          In the second half of the 80’s BKO Tu-95MS, we managed to thwart all attempts of the MiG-31 to launch a missile bomb: theoretically, the thirty-first could work with 100 km, but practically reached the distance of cannon fire without getting a capture.


          The developers of missiles and guidance systems are also not idle. If the Mig-31 equipment could not provide capture, this does not mean that the enemy fighters will have the same thing.
          1. zyablik.olga
            zyablik.olga 13 February 2018 03: 24
            +5
            Quote: NF68
            And how often have fighter cannons been used in recent years when attacking strategic or front-line bombers? Many enemy planes shot down?

            Excuse me, when was the strategic bomber attacked by an interceptor for the last time in combat? However, I myself became interested in this issue and asked the guys from the weapons laboratory. So they, too, are not a little puzzled and scratched their heads. It turned out that the last such incident occurred at the beginning of the 70-s in Vietnam. Moreover, American B-52 at that time also had defensive installations, and according to the official reports of the crews, they managed to shoot down several MiGs.
            1. Amurets
              Amurets 13 February 2018 04: 54
              +3
              Quote: zyablik.olga
              Excuse me, when was the last time a strategic bomber was attacked by an interceptor in combat conditions?

              In those conditions is unlikely. Here is what V.E. Ilyin writes. Bombers. T-1. Chapter: Boeing B-52 .: “If we take for the most reliable American data on the losses of B-52 during Operation Linebacker II, then they were less than predicted by some American experts. This is because although the raids were carried out on high altitude (to increase the bomb load), they passed under the cover of night and under the guise of jamming and anti-radar aircraft .... For the effective use of MiG-21 fighters in these conditions, the Vietnamese leadership, on the recommendation of Soviet military advisers, adopted the tactics of one-time single intercepts without getting involved in protracted maneuvering battles with the enemy, the Americans bombed most airfields in North Vietnam and MiG-21 aircraft could take off only from taxiways and unpaved runways of limited size using SPRD-99 powder accelerators. on an external sling MiG-6 flew to intercept from a position I was on duty on the ground after receiving a signal from a long-range radar warning system organized by Soviet specialists, which made it possible to detect B-21s flying at high altitude at a distance of up to 52 km. In order not to unmask themselves, MiG-350 pilots were not allowed to turn on the RP-21 sight for radiation during the attack. The interception was controlled by commands from the ground, the target was detected visually (at night - by airborne navigation lights, which the B-21 crews left turned on to withstand specified intervals and distances between aircraft in the squad). Usually, the MiG-52 pilot before the attack occupied the initial position far behind the target, then, after turning on the afterburner, dropping the fuel tanks and accelerating the aircraft to the highest possible speed, stealthily approached the target, carried out a rapid missile attack and went to its airfield along the shortest route. The first American bomber was destroyed on December 21 by the pilot Pham Tuan, the future cosmonaut of Vietnam: two R-27C missiles fired in succession hit the target. The interception carried out the next day by another Vietnamese pilot, although he achieved his goal, was not so prosperous: at the moment the interceptor began the maneuver, the B-3 crew unexpectedly turned off the ANO for the attacker and the fighter pilot crashed into the V-52 ( soon the wreckage of a fighter and a bomber was discovered on the ground at a close distance from one another. "
              So the jamming option is the most likely use of air guns.
            2. NF68
              NF68 13 February 2018 16: 42
              +1
              Quote: zyablik.olga
              Quote: NF68
              And how often have fighter cannons been used in recent years when attacking strategic or front-line bombers? Many enemy planes shot down?

              Excuse me, when was the strategic bomber attacked by an interceptor for the last time in combat? However, I myself became interested in this issue and asked the guys from the weapons laboratory. So they, too, are not a little puzzled and scratched their heads. It turned out that the last such incident occurred at the beginning of the 70-s in Vietnam. Moreover, American B-52 at that time also had defensive installations, and according to the official reports of the crews, they managed to shoot down several MiGs.


              Approximately 70 years have passed since the beginning of the 45's. It must be assumed that since then electronic warfare systems have become "not much" more efficient. Both radar and air-to-air missiles are also “not much” more advanced and capable in some cases quickly enough to distinguish a real target from a lot of active interference.
        2. Pan_hrabio
          Pan_hrabio 12 February 2018 21: 22
          +5
          Quote: Bongo
          In your opinion, how will an infrared or radar fuse react to the line of special projectiles flying alongside with increased IR and radar signature?


          I will avoid participation in the discussion because of my incompetence in this matter, I will only say that it was a surprise for me to learn about the existence of jamming infrared and anti-radar shells for aircraft guns. Thanks for the tip on this information.



          By order of the Air Force Commander-in-Chief of February 9, 1962, 23-mm DOS-15 anti-radar cartridges (dipole reflectors) for AM-23 guns were accepted for supply. The weight of the cartridge was 332 g, length 198 mm. The length of the reflectors is 15 mm, the diameter is 35 microns. The cartridge received the index PRL-AM-23 (9-A-418).

          The modern 23 mm PRL anti-radar projectile contains dipole reflectors. The response time of the knockout device is 7-9 s.

          The 23-mm infrared jamming projectile IR is a trap emitter that generates signals of false targets on the coordinator of the thermal homing head. The burning time of the bottom emitter of the IR projectile is at least 3,8 s. The interference emission range is 1,8-6 microns.


          http://airwar.ru/weapon/guns/am-23.html
      2. Alexey RA
        Alexey RA 12 February 2018 18: 18
        +6
        Quote: NF68
        Because there are currently not many real benefits from these cannons or machine guns, since enemy fighters do not need to approach to attack these aircraft at such close range.

        Pomnitsa, back in Vietnam, the B-52 fighters preferred to approach with the radar turned off at the launch distance of the RVV with the infrared seeker. Because BKO half a half easily detected the inclusion of radar fighter, after which Stratofortress was dissolved in interference.
        In the second half of the 80’s BKO Tu-95MS, we managed to thwart all attempts of the MiG-31 to launch a missile bomb: theoretically, the thirty-first could work with 100 km, but practically reached the distance of cannon fire without getting a capture.
        Quote: NF68
        Air-to-air missiles are launched at a distance of several kilometers / tens of kilometers. Destroy these missiles with guns or machine guns is hardly possible.

        Yeah ... once experts already stated that air-to-air missiles fly tens of kilometers, so the new fighter does not need this archaic device - the gun. Then I had to wind this gun with almost blue electrical tape. smile
        And in the late 80s, it turned out that missiles with PARLGSN can be thrown out altogether - even BKO fighters developed so much that disruption of target tracking during launches from a distance of more than 5-6 km was the norm. PMSM, now for missiles with ARLGSN the picture will be approximately similar.
        1. NF68
          NF68 13 February 2018 16: 47
          0
          Quote: Alexey RA
          And at the end of the 80's it turned out that missiles with PARLGSN can even be thrown away


          About 30 years have passed since then, during which missile guidance systems were constantly improved.
    4. Aviator_
      Aviator_ 12 February 2018 22: 51
      +3
      The effective fire range of an aircraft gun is no more than 2 km, and the missile launch range is an order of magnitude greater. Therefore, they don’t put it - there is a lot of trouble, but no use.
  2. Amurets
    Amurets 13 February 2018 02: 20
    +5
    During the operation of the Avro Shackleton aircraft, the British faced one rather unexpected problem - the lack of fuel. In the age of jet aviation, high-octane gasoline for piston aircraft engines of the Lancaster heir was in short supply. Particularly acute problem with high-quality fuel arose when the aircraft were based on "overseas" territories - in Akrotiri in Cyprus, Catania, as well as Icelandic base Keflavik and Italian bases.
    Well, it is rather a matter of supply and logistics. In the USSR, in the 70s, high-octane gasoline with an OChM 91/115 and 100/130 was used in Mi-1, Mi-4 helicopters, An-2 aircraft. In England and the USA, and in other countries, similar gasolines were used in light aircraft.