avatar_comrade harps

CAE Magenta Cloud

Started by comrade harps, May 31, 2011, 05:13:28 PM

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comrade harps

Magenta Cloud

One of Canada's secret weapons during Desert Storm was the 16 Magenta Cloud MSIP 1 combat ISTAR aircraft deployed to Saudi Arabia.

The Magenta Cloud story goes back to the early 1970s, when the USMC developed the OS-3A littoral warfare surveillance and reconnaissance version of the Lockheed's S-3A Viking. Seeking a similar carrier-capable multi-sensor platform, the Canadian Armed Forces ran a competition which included a tiltrotor pitch from Bell Canada, a Falcon based submission from Dassault and an OS-3 based proposal from Canadian Aerospace (CAE). Since Canada was already purchasing CAE's S-3 Viking based Fuchsia Rabbit maritime warfare aircraft, the OS-3 derived tender was selected and code named Apricot Bucket. These aircraft saw extensive combat over south-west Africa during the UN's ill-fated conflict with the Southern African Union in 1978-79.

During the late 1980s, a multi-stage improvement program (MSIP) brought the surviving 21 Apricot Bucket planes up to Magenta Cloud standard.  The MSIP 1s used in Desert Storm featured a life extended airframe, a digital databus, updated data links and ECM/ESM, new Cerise Water inverse synthetic aperture radar and new aft-mounted Aureolin Weaver infra-red linescan. These complimented the existing sideways looking radar, boom mounted magnetic anomaly detector and semi-recessed Pave Tack FLIR/laser designator that would be replaced with later equipment in the MSIP 2 standard.

During Desert Storm, the Magenta Cloud aircraft flew a variety of missions. On the first night of the UN offensive, 4 Magenta Clouds launched ADM-141 TALD glide decoys at Iranian defences and also created chaff corridors over the Persian Gulf. Another 4 fired recently integrated Coral Alarm SEAD missiles into Iranian airspace. But it was over Iranian occupied Iraq that Magenta Cloud made its name. Here they flew mostly at night on ISTAR and interdiction missions, hunting mobile Scud launchers and attacking convoys, directing artillery fire and performing FAC duties. They also participated in tank plinking operations, each armed with 4 GBU-12s. During the UN's Desert Sabre ground invasion of Iraq, Magenta Clouds were overhead during several major battles.

This Magenta Cloud was seen in mid Febraury, 1992, and has 31 missions marks. It carries 2 each GBU-12 LGBs, Rose Blanket CBUs with radar altimeter and Ochre Magic infra-red guided air-to-air missiles, a typical load for a kill-box interdiction mission over Iraq.

Captain Canada

Nice ! Love the colours and the weapons load.....and of course, the markings ! Great read as well !

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Cliffy B

Holy awesome on a stick!!!!!  Best Viking I've seen in a long time.  Great backstory too  :thumbsup:
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very nice! Cool loadout too  :thumbsup:
"Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality." -Jules de Gaultier

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An armor guy, who builds airplanes almost exclusively, that he converts to space fighters-- all while admiring ship models.