Vigilante S.1

Although inter-service rivalry normally created a reluctance to use an aircraft operating with the RAF, as the Vigilante was originally a Navy plane ( albeit USN ) the Fleet Air Arm was happy to buy it for the land based maritime strike role. As there was no intention to ever operate it from a carrier, the airframes were like the RAF ones in that all the weighty arrestor gear etc. was removed. They also had the same weapons bay modification as the RAF strike variants, and had the same ability to tote nuclear stores, though it was more common to see them with Martel ( later Sea Eagle ) missiles loaded. The FAA aircraft also had modified weapons bay doors to allow the carriage of external stores on a centreline pylon, the usual load being a fuel tank.

Two operational squadrons were formed, one based at RNAS Culdrose covering the Southern approaches to the UK, and one at RNAS Fulmar at Lossiemouth operating in the GIUK gap, plus a training wing at RNAS Yeovilton.

Hasegawa kit, Martels from an old Airfix MRCA kit, centreline tank from an Airfix Phantom