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3 arid FACs #2: Free Spanish YOV-10D NEWT Bronco

Started by comrade harps, May 08, 2022, 04:48:55 AM

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comrade harps

North American Rockwell YOV-10D NEWT  Bronco
a/c 11-04, 111 Esquadrón, Ala 11, Free Spanish Air Force
Al Mahbes, Spanish Sahara, March, 1972
Personal mount of Captain Raúl Jiménez (pilot) and Lieutenant Janner Corozo (observer/ECM operator)


The Spanish Republic maintained a neutral stance when WW3 broke out in mid-1950. However, in December Spain joined the Moscow Pact as the European Red Revolutions culminated in the ousting of US forces from mainland Europe. Ejected from the UN, Spain was now at war. In response, the US occupied Spain's Atlantic territories, including the Canary Islands, and Free French troops based in Morocco took control over Spain's northern and southern Moroccan protectorates and its Spanish Sahara colony. A Free Spanish government was established at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in February 1951, which subsequently resumed authority over Spain's Atlantic and African territories. As a result, Free Spanish forces would see considerable combat against the Reds until 1980.

The colonial administration of Spanish Sahara was propped up by UN troops and funding, the active support of the Spanish diaspora and the recruitment of foreign mercenaries. After the Reds liberated northern Morocco in 1954, Free Spain and its UN allies defended Spanish Sahara until the colony was liberated in August 1980. Enemies included the Red Army and the insurgencies of the Moroccan Liberation Army and later the Polisario Front. It was the latter that established full control over the former colony as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic in August 1980.

The air war over Spanish Sahara was fought in two distinct arenas. Peer operations saw several campaigns of attrition fought between Red and UN airpower. Meanwhile, UN air forces maintained an ongoing COIN effort against insurgents and the Trotsky Trail, the latter forming the routes through which the Reds supported anti-UN forces in sub-Saharan Africa. While fast jets used Spanish Saharan air bases to engage the enemy up north, those same airfields hosted a range of slow movers mounting tactical COIN missions across the broad swathe of the western Sahara.

In the late 1950s the UN established a series of defensive lines south of the Maghreb, from the Atlantic in the west to the border of neutral Libya in the west. Characterised by minefields, berms, fortifications, artillery firebases, airfields and extensive surface and air patrolling, this forward positioning was expensive to maintain and constantly proved to be porous. With the growing prowess and reach of Red airpower, UN airpower within and to the north of these lines became increasingly challenged during the late 60s and into the 70s. By 1969, it had become apparent that the UN's nocturnal campaigns against Red movements in the Maghreb, collectively actioned under the umbrella of the DAMIT (Denied Area Mobile Interdiction Techniques) program, was unsustainable. To stem crippling losses, senior UN officers concluded that new systems and tactics were needed. A call went out for innovative solutions.

111 Esquadrón of the Free Spanish Air Force was formed in July 1953 at Laayoune as the first flying squadron of Ala 11. Flying US surplus North American AT-6D Texans, 111 Esq deployed detachments to forward airfields to conduct FAC and light attack missions throughout the colony, into southern Morocco and western Algeria. As with its sister squadron, 112 Esq (formed in 1954), the unit drew heavily on the Spanish diaspora for its personnel. The Texans were replaced by North American T-28D Nomads in 1962. In 1968, another North American product was introduced, the OV-10A Bronco. By then, most of the aircrew were foreigners from throughout the Hispanosphere.

Consulted on DAMIT's issues and informed of the funding available for new proposals, the personnel of Ala 11 responded with a novel concept. They noted that a critical problem was deteriorating situational awareness during DAMIT missions. This, they argued, was due to the loss rate of fast FAC aircraft being higher than the loss rate of the slow FACs they replaced. The failings and increasing timidity of the fast FAC force was compounded by DAMIT's standoff surveillance and EW platforms being forced to fly further south than was useful for effective support. The solution, the Free Spanish personnel figured, was to replace these planes with ones that flew slow and low. They knew from experience that a low flying Bronco was hard to shoot down with a fighter, even in daylight, but what the OV-10A didn't have was the range of targeting sensors and ECM to fulfil DAMIT night FAC missions alone. What was needed, they suggested, were Broncos with LLLTV, FLIR, ground mapping/MTI radar, Elint and ECM capabilities. As the OV-10 had a cargo and passenger compartment in the rear fuselage, Ala 11 argued that the Bronco could feasibly (if uncomfortably) accommodate a third crew member and their black boxes if needed.

When the Ala 11's proposal (The Multispectral OV-10 DAMIT FAC) was considered by UN brass, it was warmly received by Canadian officers, but not the Americans. Although all were aware of the USMC's recently let contract for 2 of the complementary YOV-10D NOGS (Night Observation Gun Ship), the relevant US officers failed to see the potential synergies. Instead, the US focus was on stealth (specifically the Lockheed YO-3A Quiet Star), special forces, RPVs and precision-guided weapons. Nevertheless, UN funding was made available and Canada and the Free Spanish collaborated to define a new Bronco variant, to be manufactured by North American Rockwell as the YOV-10D NEWT (Night Electronic Warfare & Targeting).

Given access to the NOGS program and a commitment for the supply of 6 NOGS for combat testing on DAMIT missions, the Free Spanish Air Force ordered 6 NEWTS from North American Rockwell. Intending to use the two types as a DAMIT FAC and attack team, NEWT required a ground mapping radar with MTI, plus a sufficiently powerful ECM suite to provide joint protection. Not limited to using American equipment, NEWT featured the Turquoise Oval SLAR in an elongated nose and the Heliotrope Sail escort ECM suite, which included a ventrally mounted pod. Both systems were produced by the Canadian Marconi company. At the tip of the nose was an internally mounted AAA-4B Pave Mouse IR/UV beacon detector, while under the fuselage was a fairing housing the Pave Bounce direction-finding radar receiver. LORAN-C provided both navigation and geolocation data for third-party targeting. Both versions of the YOV-10D were issued to 111 Esq, while 112 Esq upgraded to the OV-10F (which, like the NEWT, featured 4 .50 cal Brownings, more powerful engines and upgraded air-conditioning).

NEWT external loadout options included CBUs (4 Mk.20 Rockeye IIs are seen here), rocket pods, Mk.82s and GBU-12s. SideARMs or AGM-45B Shrikes were carried for SEAD, with a Phillips Canada Sable Latch chaff/flare dispenser mounted on each tail boom as standard. The NEWT's capabilities and weapons complimented the FLIR, laser designator and turreted 20mm M197 cannon of the NOGS.

The airfield adjacent to the northern Spanish Saharan town of Al Mahbes was one of 112 Esq's forward positions. This aircraft, 11-04, was photographed there in April 1972, alongside a NOGS, prior to a night FAC team mission. Seen beside the NEWT Bronco were its crew, pilot Captain Raúl Jiménez (a former Mexican Air Force C-130B pilot) and systems (radar and ECM) operator Lieutenant Janner Corozo (a former electronic warfare operator with the Ecuadorian Navy). According to the article in Soldier of Fortune magazine that accompanied the photo (DAMIT! Hispanic NEWTS and NOGS, September 1972), neither man had seen combat before recruitment to the Free Spanish Air Force. They were said to have volunteered for "the adventure and to kill Commies." Capt. Jiménez was quoted as saying they flew "CSAR FAC and DAMIT kill box FAC patrols, SEAD, heckler diversion and harassment raids and special forces support." According to the story, their "memorable missions" included "successful CSAR efforts" (one to save a downed USAF F-111A crew and another to rescue a Canadian F-4M crew) and a "particularly productive sortie where they busted a pair of BTR-60s, took out a BMP-1 and flamed a few trucks." Both men were killed on 3 November 1972, when 11-04 was shot down by a FLIR-assisted, radar-guided ZSU-23-4 Shilka mobile AAA system near Fam El Hisn in Morocco. Their loss brought an end to YOV-10D operations.

Both the NEWT and NOGS versions of the YOV-10D were experimental and no more were built. The Free Spanish YOV-10D DAMIT teams achieved limited success and after 10 months of combat were withdrawn. By then, only 3 NOGS and 2 NEWT YOV-10Ds remained to be sent to the boneyard. Of the 2 USMC NOGS, both saw service in SEA during 1972's Operation Half Back Flanker, where they were shot down. Production OV-10Ds were built to an entirely different standard and delivered to 111 Esq in 1974.


Mmmmm, chocolate, caramel, and butterscotch...

Another great camo scheme comrade.


- 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..


[the word "realistic" hurts my heart...]

Old Wombat

Another good build! :thumbsup:

And another very good camo! :mellow:
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


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! :)



A long nose OV 10.very cool and i know all to well about the nose weight problem Harp mate..ive got a 32nd scale He 219 Owl and the amount of lead in that thing is crazy..i feel your pain brother  :lol:
Another great looking build ..great camo job again  ;D.
Its like the 3 tone cammy paint job the Aussies have on their birds..very attractive just like yours  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
If it aint broke ,,fix it until it is .
Over kill is often very understated .
I know the voices in my head ain't real but they do come up with some great ideas.
Theres few of lifes problems that can't be solved with the proper application of a high explosive projectile .

comrade harps

Quote from: PR19_Kit on May 08, 2022, 10:31:07 AM
That's one SERIOUS nose job!  :o

The snozzle is from the new tool Airfix Buccaneer. It's the huge tail airbreak. It fitted quite well.


Quote from: comrade harps on May 08, 2022, 04:58:06 PM
It's the huge tail airbreak. It fitted quite well.
tail becoming nose? good what-if principle! :thumbsup:
[the word "realistic" hurts my heart...]

comrade harps



That bird could very well be called Pinocchio... ;D ;D Great job, Comrade! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
"Sticks and stones may break some bones but a 3.57's gonna blow your damn head off!!"


Quote from: DogfighterZen on May 09, 2022, 04:37:27 AM
That bird could very well be called Pinocchio... ;D ;D
If I remember correctly, Pinocchio's nose was lengthening in case of lie, but this is impossible for a twin-boom bird, so honnest so perfect, including this special one ;)
[the word "realistic" hurts my heart...]


Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.



Will die without understanding this world.