RAF Nimrod maritime patrol aircraft flys into the sunset at it base near Kinloss Morayshire
Contributor:David Gowans / Alamy Stock Photo
File size:60 MB (1.4 MB Compressed download)
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Dimensions:5428 x 3862 px | 46 x 32.7 cm | 18.1 x 12.9 inches | 300dpi
Location:Kinloss Morayshire Grampian Region Scotland
The Nimrod is a development of the basic Comet No 4C airframe that dates from the late 1940s. Both the current variants are descended from the original Nimrod MR Mark 1 version (first flight May 1967) upgraded during the 1980s. The first is the MR Mark 2P, which has been developed for long-range maritime patrol. The Nimrod MR2 carries out three main roles; Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Anti-Surface Unit Warfare (ASUW) and Search and Rescue (SAR). Its long ferry range enables the crew to monitor maritime areas far to the north of Iceland and up to 4,000 km out into the Western Atlantic. With AAR (Air-to-Air Refuelling), its range and endurance is greatly extended. The MR2 is a very lethal submarine killer carrying the most up to date sensors and data processing equipment linked to the weapon systems. In addition to weapons and sonar-buoys, a searchlight mounted in the starboard wing pod can be used for search and rescue (SAR) operations. Crew members comprise 2 x Pilots and a flight engineer operate the flight deck, 2 x Navigators, an Air Electronics Officer (AEO), the sonobuoy sensor team of 3 x Air Electronic Operators and 4 x Air Electronic Operators to manage a wide range of avionics and weapon systems The second version is the R Mark 1, an aircraft specially fitted out for the gathering of electronic intelligence and only three are known to be in service. This is a highly secret aircraft that has been in RAF service since 1971 and about which little is known except that has been spotted on patrol over the Baltic Sea. The Nimrod R1s are externally distinguishable from the maritime reconnaissance version by the absence of the magnetic anomaly detection tail booms and a distinctive pod on the leading edge of the port wing. In-flight refuelling probes were added in 1982. Under a £2.2 billion contract in July 1996, the Nimrod upgrade programme involved 21 Nimrod MR2 aircraft to Maritime Reconnaissance Attack 4 (MRA4) standard