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  • Operation Corporate

    South Atlantic

    02-apr-82    to    17-jun-82

    Operation Corporate was the UK name given to the conflict between it and Argentina to retake the Falkand Islands (Islas Malvinas) and associated South Atlantic territories following their seizure by military invasion in early April 1982. The UK despatched a large naval task force and associated air and land forces, often using the Ascension Island as a mid point mounting base. Most of the UKs helicopter squadrons and/or their personnel found themselves involved in this operation sooner or later. Many of the helicopter types involved were upgraded to improve their capabilities or survivability. This conflict also marked the first combat use of the newly delivered RAF Chinook HC Mk1, and where several were lost, along with many other reinforcement helicopters, following the Exocet sinking of the Atlantic Conveyor.
    The operation highlighted the drawbacks of relying on a non-organic maritime reconnaissance capability, following the HM Treasury-led retirement of the Gannet AEW.3 force and the inflexibility in the deployment of Shackleton AEW.2 and Nimrod MR.2 shore-based assets to support the Fleet in a timely fashion. On the plus side, it led to the development of the Sea King AEW.2 and its successors plus the adoption of more robust anti-missile defence systems and a re-learning of lessons about the use of low combustibility materials for the surface fleet.
    indeed it was not the lack of maritime recce capability that was exposed, as the Nimrod MR2 (not the Mk 1 was indicated above) was fitted with in-flight refuelling probes specifically to operate in the combat zone, and the organic Sea Kings and Sea Harriers were employed for these duties too. The fundamental deficiency was organic airborne early warning (AEW) as the only available UK aircraft, the Shackleton AEW Mk2 had insufficient endurance to operate in the South Atlantic.


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    DatesRotary Wing Aircraft UnitModels
        UK 18 Squadron Royal Air Force CH-47C Chinook
        UK 202 Squadron Royal Air Force Wessex
    Sea King
        UK 810 Squadron Fleet Air Arm
        UK 815 Squadron Fleet Air Arm Lynx
        UK 820 Squadron Fleet Air Arm Sea King
        UK 829 Squadron Fleet Air Arm Wasp
        UK 845 Squadron Fleet Air Arm Wessex
        UK 846 Squadron Fleet Air Arm Sea King HC.4
        03apr82 to 15jul82 UK 3 Commando Brigade Air Squadron Royal Marines SA341B Gazelle AH.1
        04apr82 to 17sep82 UK 824 Squadron Fleet Air Arm Sea King
    Sea King
    Sea King
        17apr82 to 16oct82 UK 848 Squadron Fleet Air Arm Wessex
        21apr82 to 02aug82 UK 656 Squadron Army Air Corps SA341B Gazelle AH.1
        03may82 to 31jul82 UK 825 Squadron Fleet Air Arm Sea King
        07may82 to 26sep82 UK 847 squadron Royal Marines Wessex
    Not all models shown may have taken part in the Operation
    Some of the units could be operating fixed wing aircraft at the time, check every unit for details

    Individual helicopters

    Model IDs
    Boeing-Vertol CH-47C Chinook ZA705     ZA706     ZA707     ZA713     ZA715     ZA716     ZA717     ZA718     ZA719    
    Westland Wasp XS562     XT427     XT432     XT779     XV624    
    Westland Sea King HC.4 ZA290     ZA311    
    Westland Lynx HAS2 XZ233     XZ247     XZ249     XZ251     XZ696     XZ698     XZ700     XZ720     XZ722     XZ723     XZ736    
    Westland Sea King HAS.2 XZ579     XZ580    
    Westland Sea King HAS.1 XV649     XV654     XV656     XV659     XV663     XV696     XV700     XV714    
    Westland Wessex HU.5 XS479     XS480     XS483     XS486     XS488     XS495     XS499     XS506     XS507     XS512     XS514     XS515     XS516     XS518     XT450     XT451     XT459     XT460     XT464     XT466     XT468     XT469     XT471     XT472     XT473     XT475     XT476     XT480     XT483     XT484     XT486     XT755     XT756     XT757     XT759     XT765     XT766     XT771     XT773    
    Westland Scout AH.1 XP902     XR627     XR628     XT629     XT637     XT649     XV140     XW615     XW616    
    Aerospatiale SA341B Gazelle AH.1 XX376     XX380     XX402     XX411     XX412     XX413     XZ326     ZA730     ZA776    


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    Aircraft Carrier  Improved Centaur class   Royal Navy R12 HMS Hermes,
    Aircraft Carrier V STOL  Invincible class   Royal Navy R05 HMS Invincible,
    Helicopter Carrier  Engadine class   Royal Fleet Auxiliary K08 RFA Engadine,
    Helicopter Carrier  Argus class   Royal Fleet Auxiliary A135 RFA Argus,
    Guided-Missile Destroyer  County class   Royal Navy D18 HMS Antrim, Royal Navy D19 HMS Glamorgan,
    Guided-Missile Destroyer  Type 82 Bristol class   Royal Navy D23 HMS Bristol,
    Guided-Missile Destroyer  Type 42 (Batch 1 and 2) class   Royal Navy D108 HMS Cardiff, Royal Navy D118 HMS Coventry, Royal Navy D80 HMS Sheffield, Royal Navy D88 HMS Glasgow, Royal Navy D89 HMS Exeter,
    Frigate  Type 12 Rothesay class   Royal Navy F101 HMS Yarmouth, Royal Navy F126 HMS Plymouth,
    Frigate  Type 21 Amazon class   Royal Navy F170 HMS Antelope, Royal Navy F171 HMS Active, Royal Navy F172 HMS Ambuscade, Royal Navy F173 HMS Arrow, Royal Navy F174 HMS Alacrity, Royal Navy F184 HMS Ardent, Royal Navy F185 HMS Avenger,
    Frigate  Type 22 (Batch 1) Broadsword class   Royal Navy F88 HMS Broadsword, Royal Navy F90 HMS Brilliant,
    Frigate  Exocet Leander class   Royal Navy F127 HMS Penelope, Royal Navy F45 HMS Minerva,
    Frigate  Seawolf Leander class   Royal Navy F57 HMS Andromeda,
    Frigate  Towed Array Exocet Leander class   Royal Navy F56 HMS Argonaut,
    Corvette  Castle class patrol vessel   Royal Navy P258 HMS Leeds Castle,
    Landing Ship/Platform Dock  Fearless class   Royal Navy L10 HMS Fearless, Royal Navy L11 HMS Intrepid,
    Landing Ship/Platform Dock  Round Table class   Royal Fleet Auxiliary L3004 RFA Sir Bedivere, Royal Fleet Auxiliary L3005 RFA Sir Galahad, Royal Fleet Auxiliary L3027 RFA Sir Geraint, Royal Fleet Auxiliary L3029 RFA Sir Lancelot, Royal Fleet Auxiliary L3036 RFA Sir Percivale, Royal Fleet Auxiliary L3505 RFA Sir Tristram,
    Support Ship  Ness class   Royal Fleet Auxiliary A344 RFA Stromness,
    Support Ship  Improved Tide class   Royal Fleet Auxiliary A75 RFA Tidespring,
    Support Ship  OL class   Royal Fleet Auxiliary A123 RFA Olna, Royal Fleet Auxiliary A124 RFA Olmeda,
    Support Ship  Hecla class   Royal Navy A133 HMS Hecla, Royal Navy A138 HMS Herald, Royal Navy A144 HMS Hydra,
    Support Ship  Endurance (1967)   Royal Navy A171 HMS Endurance,
    Support Ship  Rover class   Royal Fleet Auxiliary A270 RFA Blue Rover,
    Support Ship  Regent class   Royal Fleet Auxiliary A480 RFA Resource, Royal Fleet Auxiliary A486 RFA Regent,
    Support Ship  Fort I class (1978)   Royal Fleet Auxiliary A385 RFA Fort Grange, Royal Fleet Auxiliary A386 RFA Fort Austin,

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