Malvinas/Falklands war - Alleged attack on HMS Invincible

Naval discussions covering the latter half of the 20th Century.
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marcelo_malara
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Postby marcelo_malara » Thu Jun 07, 2007 12:23 pm

Welcome to the forum Swordfish, I see you know the stuff of the campaign.

the exocet was destroyed by 4.5-inch gun fire from HMS Avenger


This is quiet strange. Do you think that a 4.5" gun can acomplish anti-missile duties? How would it be aimed? In the Phalanx system the radar continuosly track the incoming missile as well as the stream of bullets to align the barrel. A 4.5" gun is not a rapid fire gun (I mean more than 1000 rpm). The computer would need to provide a fire solution based on the speed of the missile, its course and altitude, and then point the gun, accounting for flight time to an interception point, based on the muzzle velocity of the gun. Don´t think it was possible then, not even now. The missile is 50 cm across, far less than the natural dispersion of the gun. I don´t buy the missile was destroyed that way.
Are you aware of the thereabouts of the carrier from May 30th to her entering port? What about an alleged reduction in the Harrier CAP after the same day?



The Atlantic Conveyor was of course sunk by Skyhawks


Not Robert, she was taken by one or two Exocets, putting her on fire, much like Sheffield.

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Postby Bgile » Thu Jun 07, 2007 2:40 pm

Marcelo,

All those things you mentioned (and more) are done by a modern gun fire control system, but I agree it would be hard to destroy an Exocet with a 4.5" gun. But, if the gun was shooting at it and it exploded ... maybe they got lucky.

Or it was jammed and they didn't want to admit that capability.

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Postby Karl Heidenreich » Thu Jun 07, 2007 3:01 pm

What about the Phalanx system?
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Postby mike1880 » Thu Jun 07, 2007 5:52 pm

If you trawl the internet you'll also find it suggested that the Exocet flew into the sea or was decoyed by chaff and hit the remains of Atlantic Conveyor. Flying into the sea is perhaps the most likely of all the various suggestions, the 4.5-in gun idea just seems like a bit of opportunistic overclaiming (there was plenty of that on both sides) by Avenger's gunnery team.

If there's anything to add to the day's events there may be some enlightenment in 2012 when documents from the time are eligible for release under the 30-year rule; of course that won't convince any of the conspiracy theorists.

Mike

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marcelo_malara
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Postby marcelo_malara » Thu Jun 07, 2007 5:55 pm

All those things you mentioned (and more) are done by a modern gun fire control system, but I agree it would be hard to destroy an Exocet with a 4.5" gun. But, if the gun was shooting at it and it exploded ... maybe they got lucky.


Yes, Bgile, that was what I was trying to say. I believe in that capability against a medium to high level aircraft, but not against a sea-skimmer, flying at 10 feet at almost 300 m/s. For that, the Phalanx, Goalkeeper and other last-mile defense system were developed.

Karl, I don´t know if the carrier was so equipped.

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Postby RF » Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:49 am

marcelo_malara wrote:
the exocet was destroyed by 4.5-inch gun fire from HMS Avenger

This is quiet strange. Do you think that a 4.5" gun can acomplish anti-missile duties? How would it be aimed?

I believe there was a case in the Baltic where a U-boat downed a Soviet bomber with one shot from its 10.5 cm deck gun. The gun was not specifically designed for AA duties, and the shot was put down as a complete fluke - rather like a hole in one in golf.

The Atlantic Conveyor was of course sunk by Skyhawks

Not Robert, she was taken by one or two Exocets, putting her on fire, much like Sheffield.

Yes you are quite right, I stand corrected.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Postby RF » Fri Jul 06, 2007 9:49 am

Marcelo,

I have checked again, and it is confirmed from British M.O.D. sources and also from Admiral Woodward, task force commanding officer, that both British carriers were positioned well to the east of East Falkland, and hence out of striking range of all Argentine aircraft and missiles. They were not sighted or fired on by Argentine forces throughout the campaign.

Hope this clears up your query.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Postby marcelo_malara » Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:40 pm

Thanks Robert. What about the fact that the carrier didn´t enter port until August?

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Postby RF » Sat Jul 07, 2007 9:50 am

I don't see any great significance in that, particulary as the Royal Navy has worldwide commitments it is by no means unusual for most of their ships to be at sea for months.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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marcelo_malara
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Postby marcelo_malara » Sat Jul 07, 2007 3:12 pm

Well I thnk that after a war, a ship would need replenishment at least.

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Postby Bgile » Tue Jul 10, 2007 1:18 pm

I believe the Royal Navy is capable if underway replenishment. US Carriers have been known to deploy for nine month cruises.

If she was damaged, where would she go for repairs? Why hide it? The war is over. There is no point.

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marcelo_malara
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Postby marcelo_malara » Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:38 pm

Hi Bgile:

One of the theories is that she was patched while at sea, supporters of the theory of the attack put the fact of the prolonged stay out of port as a prove.

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Postby Bgile » Wed Jul 11, 2007 8:41 am

If you can repair the damage from an Exocet while at sea, you can also build the starship Enterprise at the same time.

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Postby mike1880 » Wed Jul 11, 2007 10:11 am

The simple answer is that British forces didn't stand down when the Argentine garrison surrendered because that wasn't the end of the war; Britain unilaterally declared an end to hostilities (i.e. the end of offensive operations) on June 20th but Argentina didn't (and didn't until 1990). Air defence patrols over Ascension Island continued until mid-July and LRMP continued until mid-August. One carrier was kept on station until the runway extension was completed, allowing Phantoms to be deployed in October (Illustrious was rushed into commission and replaced Invincible in the South Atlantic in the meantime).

Mike

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HMS INVINCIBLE - REMAINED

Postby SWORDFISH » Thu Jul 19, 2007 10:26 pm

The reason HMS Invinsible remained in the South Altantic was to 'show the flag', and returned home after being relieved by HMS Illustrious (same carrier class) which was her first commission.
Lest We Forget


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