Harsh planeman, very harsh !
Aircraft are named with intent, not necessarily result !
And, the Boomerang was intended to be an Army co-operation aircraft, not a state-of-the-art fighter - it was really only a re-arrangement of Wirraway
parts after all. Damn, I don't seem to be able to make my Boomerang come back either! As an aside, when Airfix went bust the first time, I
understand the Boomerang moulds went to New Zealand, but got badly damaged in transit - so in that sense, the Boomerang isn't coming back !
Waynos, the Sea Harrier's (then) lack of BVR missiles mitigated against it being able to mount a successful CAP regardless of how far you could see.
Without the gear to shoot down at that range (with either long-range BVR missiles or by the ability to intercept at sufficient range from the carrier
- read supersonic dash or greater numbers of picket aircraft further from the carrier - read greater range and endurance, air-to-air refuelling), the
idea that being able to "see" that far out is a greater protection for the fleet is an illusion.
That the F-14 is possibly the best aircraft for this particular job is down to it's range, endurance, speed, air-to-air refuelling capability and
armament, which all go toward reducing the number of airborne pickets required to do the job, while covering the area necessary to protect the fleet
from sea-skimming missile launchers - that it works so well with E-2 is a function of the fact that the Tomcat's capabilities actually exceed the
capability of surface radar systems. Most of the above mentioned qualities appear to be missing from the Sea Harrier's specification.
Well of course the Brits had no carrier-borne AWACS capability, all the APS 20s had been taken out of the Gannets and put under Shackletons. Was this
a retrograde step, or what? Like, OK let's take the sets out of the Avengers and put them in Skyraiders, OK, let's move the sets to something new
like a Gannet derivative - works for me - but OK, let's pull them out again and then hang them on a derivative of a 1940 bomber.
[edit on 22/2/06 by The Winged Wombat]