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RAF Regiment - Gun Tractors in 1980's


Tarland
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Can anyone shed any light on what vehicles were used by the RAF Regiment as Gun Tractors in the 1980's

Just finished reading Ian Gardiners "The Yompers" (45 Commando in the Falklands) and includes an interesting photo of a captured Argentine AA gun that has been installed on the heli deck of a ship (I think one of the LSL's in Port Stanley harbour).

I know an Auxiliary RAF Regiment was formed at RAF Waddington that employed captured AA guns and Skyguard Radars (the main search radar from Stanley ended up at RAF Buchan)

The 35mm GDF system is detailed here and has the entry on the Waddington unit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oerlikon_GDF

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Not been able to find any pictures/details in RAF service. Any ideas/suggestions on what would have been used to support this equipment?

Not the best image but an example of the smaller 20mm Rheinmetall AA gun on the flight deck of HMS Fearless

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An example at Goose Green - a well know image of the Gurkhas having relieved 2 Para following arrival of 5 Infantry Brigade

I don't believe these 20mm guns were ever used post war. They just ended up as trophies with examples at IWM and Muckleburgh amongst other places. These look to be of a size that they could have been towed by Landrovers (as were the components of Rapier).

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I was thinking something a bit bigger than a Unimog.....

I know what you mean about the Unimog tow tractors used for the Harriers on dispersed field locations. Those tended to be the short wheelbase versions.

Thanks for the link - never knew about the long base versions.

I did have a look to see what trucks the Argentines were using. Supposedly a Mercedes of some form. Apparently a number were returned to the UK  (according to the ARRSE website) but apparently Mercedes were never paid by the Argentine goverment for the truck contract so declined to provide spares.

The trucks left on the Falklands were run into the ground in the couple of years following the War and scrapped.

Did the RB44 ever end up in RAF regiment service?

From the photo a normal battery was two guns plus a radar trailer (there were 6 Radars recovered although one was in a bad way plus 13 guns) so at least 3 tractors required for a battery plus supporting vehicles. Crews would travel in the tractors, plus a Landie and a suitable vehicle for ammuniton and a fuel tanker.

What was used for the Bofors L70's before they were declared obsolete - Bedford MJ's?

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  • 3 years later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I served on 2729 " City of Lincoln" Squadron R.Aux.A.F. Regiment. We used what we called 8 Tonners to tow our equipment. Both the guns, radars and associated generators. I've uploaded a few photos showing a gun and associated prime mover ( 8 tonner) admittedly not in the best of circumstances. I've also added a photo of my gun deployed on an exercies at R.A.F. Wildenrath in June 1988, and one at our home base R.A.F. Waddington circa 1990.

A few of us where trained to drive the Unimog for the specific purpose of towing the guns into the arena at Earls Court for the Royal Tournament in 1989. This was the only time we used the Unimog.

 

Our guns where all named after Falkland War engagements / significant places. My gun was on "C" flight, by far the best flight on the squadron and was called " Stanley Airport"

Hope this helps

2729 8 tonner crash..jpg

2729 8 tonner crash 1.jpg

2729 35mm Oerlikon cannon.jpg

2729 d.JPG

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