Lightning FGA proposal.
So I've recently acquired the Freightdog E.E. Lightning FGA proposal resin conversion set for the Airfix new tool Lightning kit. In the notes provided by Colin it states that the project would update early Lightning marks to F.3A (visually F.6) standard with ground attack capability by means of a new ventral weapon pack; apparently the brochure then outlines the following;
1: 600 gallon ventral tank with alternative interchangeable armament packs in the center section of the ventral tank.
2: Lightning F.6 external ducts
3: fitting of cambered wing leading edge and squared off vertical fin.
4: provision for inflight refueling but not for carriage over wing tanks.
5: Removal of gun armament, leaving the bay's and blast tubes available for additional avionics and cable ducts.
Weapons proposed to be carried included Nord AS30 missiles, 1000 lb Mk.N1 bombs, Zuni rocket launchers and 100 gallon Napalm tanks.
Firestreak missiles could still be carried, but would not be fitted at the same time as the ground attack weapon pack.
The Airframes suggested are F.1, F.1A and F.2, So that's 19 F.1, 28 F.1A and 44 F.2
Out of the 44 F.2's 32 were converted to F.2A, which gives a (max) grand total of 59 Airframes to convert to FGA.3 standard. That's possibly enough for three squadrons plus Spares for major maintenance and Attrition replacements. However allowing for trials Airframes and early in service losses before the F.1 and F.1A were replaced, we are probably only looking at enough Airframes being available for two Squadrons plus Spares/servicing.
So what if their Airships and MOD accepted this proposal? With the possibility that a more potent version based on the F.6 would follow on treasury funding permitting?
However with the draw down of British Forces in the Middle East, and general reduction in Manpower and Aircraft in the RAF the follow on order for the more potent Lightning FGA.9 is cancelled.
But two and a bit Squadrons of Lightning FGA.3 would allow me to rearm the Aden Strike wing
I'd send 43Sqn home to the UK to Fly Lightning F.6 at Leuchars. Keep 8Sqn and 208Sqn as dual roll Fighter/Ground Attack units, leaving 1417 Flt giving photo recce support to the other two Lightning Squadrons and the Army up country. And as an added bonus after the Middle East draw down, there would probably be enough Lightnings left to form that much rumored (in the eighties) third Lightning Squadron at Binbrook.
And this is were I've got to:
Top is the Freightdog conversion, middle is one that's going to have an even bigger belly tank and bottom a normal unmolested Lightning, so you lot can see the differences