How did the Harrier manage to totally out fight the Mirage 3s in the Falklands conflict?

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Mudassir Ali
Jan 16, 2020 07:57 AM 0 Answers
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How did the Harrier manage to totally out fight the Mirage 3s in the Falklands conflict?

Mudassir Ali
- Jan 16, 2020 07:58 AM

The Harriers especially the Royal Navy’s Sea Harrier, had a few surprises for the Mirages.

The Sea Harrier at sea level is a formidable weapon. Not many craft could match the speed and agility of an aircraft that could nearly reach Mach 1 at 100ft. The RAF’s Harrier GR3 was no slouch either.

The Sea Harrier was the primary air defence and superiority fighter. The Harrier GR3 was primarily used for ground attack.

With its Variable Vector Nozzles the Harrier could stop on a sixpence and turn on a sixpence. It could slow and gather speed fast. The Mirage pilots had never seen anything like it. Let the mirage get behind – change Vector Nozzles and slam on the brakes – Mirage flies past unable to slow down as fast as the Harrier – change nozzles back to full forward speed – up to speed in seconds – Mirage in view an range – fire missile – dead.

The air over the task force was controlled by a superior machine. The Harrier GR3 was able to attack land targets and handle itself in the air in the same manner as the Sea Harrier.

The Argentinians were pompous. Did not expect a retaliatory task force from the UK, especially in how quick it set sail for the Falklands. They underestimated the smaller British force on the ground.

They certainly underestimated the Harrier and its pilots.

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