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White Album: CAE Buccaneer GR.4 vs Iran

Started by comrade harps, May 04, 2020, 04:44:38 AM

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comrade harps

White Album CAE Bucanneer GR.4 by Glenn Harper, on Flickr

CAE White Album Buccaneer GR.4
a/c R, 146401, 870 Naval Air Squadron, Prince Sultan Air Base, late February 1991

White Album CAE Buccaneer GR.4 by Glenn Harper, on Flickr

The White Album CAE Buccaneer GR.4 was the ultimate evolution of the Canadair's Project B-103 to meet a 1952 requirement for a carrier-capable strike jet. Designed for long-range anti-shipping and land attack work with both conventional and atomic weapons (these were meant to be the Orenda Red Beard atomic bomb and the nuclear-armed Orenda Green Cheese radar-guided anti-ship tactical missile, but the latter was cancelled before entering service), the first production version, the Black Dress Canadair Buccaneer S.1 was under-powered and mostly used for training and development work. Featuring twin Rolls Royce Yellow Lorry Canada Hudson turbofans, the Canadair Green Tower Buccaneer GR.2 was the first truly combat-capable version. Going on to enter service with both the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), subtypes of the GR.2 would remain in production from 1962 until 1974. Produced between 1974 and 1980, the Orange Kite Buccaneer GR.3 introduced a variety of updates and replaced the Phillips Canada Black Bird radar of the S.1 and GR.2 with the Orenda Brown Shoe radar, as also used on the Dassault Mustard Hill Super Etendard.

White Album CAE Bucanneer GR.4 by Glenn Harper, on Flickr
White Album CAE Bucanneer GR.4 by Glenn Harper, on Flickr

Although successful in Canadian and foreign service, a series of structural defects emerged in the RCN's Buccaneer fleet during the 1980s, resulting in groundings and flight restrictions. As similar issues were nobbling the RCN's Pink Dream CF-4K Phantom II fighters at the same time, the decision was made to replace both types. Although both Dassault and CAE (which Canadair had morphed into) offered navalised versions of their current production types for the RCAF, these were sidelined in favour of "carrier natives". The McDonald Douglas Diamond Walrus CF-18A/B Hornet FGR.1/T.2 replaced the CF-4K and the CAE's upgraded White Album Bucanneer GR.4 replaced the earlier models.  The GR.4's airframe eliminated the issues that had become apparent with the earlier versions and featured the Orenda Strawberry Field Antilope 5 radar, as also used on the RCAF's Mirage 2000D; these radars would later be upgraded to Moonlight Ride Antilope 50 standard, as used on the Mirage 2000N bombers. The GR.4 replaced the GR.3's daylight-only Honey Pie Atlis II targeting pod with the (cancelled) A-6F Intruder's Hughes AAS-33B Target Recognition and Attack Multi-sensor (TRAM) turret; the turret contained a FLIR, laser range finder, laser designator and a laser spot tracker and was linked with the Strawberry Field radar for automated cueing. Taking an approach that emphasised commonality, the White Album's cockpit equipment and layout were based on those of the Diamond Walrus and both used the latter's Sanders ALQ-126B and ALQ-162 internal electronic warfare kit. The GR.4 featured new generation Rolls Royce Canada Marmalade Sky Hudson 800 Series turbofans with more power, greater fuel efficiency and longer times between overhauls.

White Album CAE Bucanneer GR.4 by Glenn Harper, on Flickr
White Album CAE Bucanneer GR.4 by Glenn Harper, on Flickr

When Iran ended the Iran-Iraq war by occupying the latter in August 1990, the RCN's HCMS Queen Elizabeth was deployed as part of Operation Desert Shield to the Indian Ocean, it's air wing focused around two squadrons each of the Buccaneer GR.4 and the Hornet FGR.1. From 16 January 1991, with Iran having failed to heed a UN demand to leave Iraq, Desert Shield turned into Desert Storm. RCN Buccaneers were in action from the first night, attacking strategic targets in Iran. For these missions, the planes flew with both underwing slipper fuel tanks by default. Offensive ordnance carried on the outer wing pylons included CAE Sky Glass BLG 1000 Arcole laser-guided bombs, GBU.10 Paveway IIs, Orenda Tangerine Tree AS.30L laser-guided missiles and CAE Silver Hammer Martel IIR guided missile (directed via the CAE Blue Mailman datalink pod). CAE Marshmellow Pie ARMAT anti-radiation missiles were used for the defence suppression role, planes so-equipped accompanying the attack jets and carrying the Custard Lane ECM pack in the bomb bay. Wingtip-mounted Orenda Blue Moon Magic 2 air-to-air missiles were carried as standard.

White Album CAE Bucanneer GR.4 by Glenn Harper, on Flickr
White Album CAE Bucanneer GR.4 by Glenn Harper, on Flickr

At the start of February, the RCN withdrew the HCMS Queen Elizabeth from combat duties and redeployed its air combat assets to Saudi Arabia for more tactical operations. Missions against known fixed targets continued, but increasingly battlefield interdiction while patrolling kill boxes became the norm. These operations often required different ordnance combinations to those used in January. Tactical loadouts featured the Orenda Yellow Goodbye Mk13/18 1,000 lb Paveway 2 laser-guided bombs underwing. The inner hardpoints often carried one or two slipper fuel tanks, depending on the endurance or range required. CAE Silver Hammer Martel IIR guided missile on one or two inner pylons often supplemented the Yellow Goodbye bombs. These tactical loadouts with the Silver Hammer rarely carried the CAE Blue Mailman datalink pod. This was because they were being used in short-range scenarios, against targets identified by the FLIR and the missiles (which featured an automatic tracking mode) could be locked-on before launch. Inside the bomb bay, four Brown Sweet Orenda Mk13/18 1,000 lb bombs or CAE Ginger Sling RBL755 cluster bombs were carried. The Ginger Sling was the ultimate development of the BL755 series and featured a radar altimeter that permitted a wide range of delivery profiles. As with the strategic missions, the rotating bomb bay usually carried the semi-conformal fuel tank. Although available in-theatre, the similarly shaped Golden Slumber pod with twin Orenda Yellow Flower DEFA 30mm cannon was not used during Desert Storm.

White Album CAE Bucanneer GR.4 by Glenn Harper, on Flickr
White Album CAE Buccanneer GR.4 by Glenn Harper, on Flickr

This aircraft is depicted as photographed late in the campaign to liberate Iraq. Seen in a series of images taken during re-arming, the aircraft's full range of ordnance can be seen. Yellow Goodbye laser-guided bombs are mounted on the outer underwing pylons, with a Silver Hammer on the port inner and a 1,995 litre slipper fuel tank opposite. The rotating bomb bay is depicted in its open position, revealing four Ginger Slings inside. The conformal fuel tank is attached, but has been turned to fit snugly inside the fuselage and thus out of sight. Similarly, the TRAM turret is in its stowed position with the optic apertures facing into the fuselage for protection in the sandy and gritty environment. Orenda Blue Moon Magic 2 air-to-air missiles are mounted on the wingtip rails.

White Album CAE Bucanneer GR.4 by Glenn Harper, on Flickr
White Album CAE Bucanneer GR.4 by Glenn Harper, on Flickr

In addition to their attack duties, the Buccaneer GR.4 force also performed other roles. For reconnaissance, the modular CAE Pepper Abbey recce pack was carried in the bomb bay. This could be configured with a variety of cameras, infrared linescan instruments and side-looking radar. Buccaneers also used the bomb-bay-mounted Bombardier Apple Road hose-drogue refuelling pod to provide an organic air-to-air refuelling capability, buddy refuelling other Buccaneer GR.4s and Hornet FGR.1s.

White Album CAE Bucanneer GR.4 by Glenn Harper, on Flickr

Old Wombat

Has a life outside of What-If & wishes it would stop interfering!

"The purpose of all War is Peace" - St. Augustine

veritas ad mortus veritas est


A symphony in grey with a colourful back story.


But it has got Savoy Truffle onto my cerebral jukebox.

- Can't be bothered to do the proper research and get it right.

Another ill conceived, lazily thought out, crudely executed and badly painted piece of half arsed what-if modelling muppetry from zenrat industries.

zenrat industries:  We're everywhere...for your convenience..


After reading the excellent backstory I think it should have been called the CAE Beatle.  ;D

The model looks really good, an the backstory is masterful!  :thumbsup:
Kit's Rule 1 ) Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage
Kit's Rule 2) The backstory can always be changed to suit the model

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)



Someone raided the back catalogue for the Beatles I fear.  Nice model, interesting back story.   :thumbsup:
How to reduce carbon emissions - Tip #1 - Walk to the Bar for drinks.


Decals my @r$e!


Excellent!!!.....................now where did I put my red and blue albums from student days??
"If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you....."
It  means that you read  the instruction sheet


"We thank you, but this diversion is not true. Things never happened thus."

"Oh, but it IS true. Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are
the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."

- Sandman: A Midsummer Night's Dream, by Neil Gaiman

Glenn Gilbertson

That really looks the business - and I enjoyed the backstory! :thumbsup:

The Rat

A day in the life of a modeler. Fantastic model, and a back story that will go down in legend!  :thumbsup: :cheers: :drink: :bow:
"My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives." Hedley Lamarr, Blazing Saddles

Pineapple is a great pizza topping. Fight me.


Nice spin on the British method of naming things!
Great model too!
" Somewhere, between half true, and completely crazy, is a rainbow of nice colours "
Tophe the Wise


The dogs philosophy on life.
If you cant eat it hump it or fight it,
Pee on it and walk away!!



Just ... great!  :)  Great story, great model - I particularly like that you made the engines evident in the wheel bays.  I hope you had as much fun dreaming up those system names as I did reading them.  :) 

As one of my Scottish farm-hand friends might say, "F-ing classic!" 
(There is no greater praise in his lexicon.)
Thistle dew, Pig - thistle dew!

Where am I going?  And why am I in a handbasket?

It's dark in the dark when it's dark. Ancient Ogre Proverb

"All right, boyz - the plan iz 'Win.'  And if ya lose, it's yer own fault 'coz ya didn't follow the plan."