Thursday, 28 October 2010

How To Invade The Falkland Islands Again

Work in progress.

Some time ago we posted this guide to invading the Falkland Islands.

It was intended to demonstrate that 4 Typhoons cannot protect the Falklands from invasion.

Recently this subject has been raised in a number of places.

The Raging Tory gives his opinion on the subject here.

The same subject is going to be covered on The Phoenix Think Tank.

There may be an interesting debate on this subject.

We shall go into it in more depth here when time permits.

Hence this post will be updated at random intervals.

Until then we will just mention that it would take,at the very least,24 hours for the British to fly in reinforcements to their single infantry company on the islands.

Argentina's small fleet of Hercules aircraft could deliver about 2,400 parachutists to the islands in that time.

Those troops only need to cover the runway with fire to prevent reinforcements from landing.

It is interesting to note that it would take about 25 minutes for a Typhoon on 15 minute Quick Reaction Alert (Q.R.A.) at Mount Pleasant to get to the radar station at Mount Alice.

Which means it would arrive about 20 minutes after the station had been bombed when the Argentine aircraft would be half way home.

This time to intercept problem is one reason why land based fighters cannot protect warships at sea.

The Royal Air Force Typhoons would have to be held at less than 4 minutes Q.R.A. just to intercept an attack on their own runway.

This emphasises just how much the Falklands defence depends on the ground based Rapier missiles rather than the Typhoon fighters.

The Falkland Islands is defended by a single Rapier battery,presumably with just 6 mobile fire units.

The coverage of those units is illustrated above.

In reality the effective radius of a Rapier fire unit can be significantly reduced by target kinematics and terrain masking.

Rapier is clearly only capable of providing local defence to high value areas.

Satellite Imagery of the Falkland Islands is very interesting.

On Google Earth many areas have been patched from images taken at different times.

Some interesting things can be seen.

It is interesting to speculate on the location of "surface wave" radars on the islands.

Marconi built such a system many years ago,there may also be a more recent system by Insyte.

There is a civilian "sky wave" Over the Horizon Radar at Goose Green.

With no Airborne Early Warning aircraft in the Falklands and only 4 Typhoons,air defence is not practicable without an Over The Horizon radar.

Even with such a system there remain major vulnerabilities.


Martin said...

look forard to reading the full article. I have read a few of these before but weather or not the argies would be prepared to accept the type of losses required with a full frontal parashoot asault as well as the chance they might f**K it up are doubt full to me. Its not really any different to the plan proposed for the SAS in 1982 to assualt Rio Grande. Casualty estimates of upto 90% put pay to that plan and I think we were allot more motivated than Argintina would be today.

Sven Ortmann said...

The Typhoons are there for air policing and showing the flag, they're no real defence no matter what some people say about their theoretical potential.

The Argentinians don't even need aircraft for an invasion - some improvisation with one or two of the many ships in the area would suffice.

The MI6 is most likely the really decisive line of defence.

GrandLogistics said...

Hello Sven Ortmann,

I agree with you completely.


Anonymous said...

Hi - I'm a British PhD student in International Relations at MIT in the US writing a paper on this topic. Can I ask how you produced the maps showing radar coverage/time from detection to weapon or parachute drop and what sources did you use? I am looking for this sort of information. Feel free to email me at - would love to discuss the topic with you.

TheRagingTory said...

Is (probably) the tool used, just use wikipedia or a hetter source and plug in the numbers

GrandLogistics said...

Hello Anonymous,

you will be able to find the locations of the "conventional" radar stations from open source information.
A map and basic radar horizon calculations will give a rough idea of their low level coverage.
If you know the detection range and speed of the aircraft you can work out the time from detection to weapon release.
I assumed dumb bombs,smart weapons could be released much sooner.

TheRaging Tory has mentioned a very useful tool which I have used on other illustrations but for some reason it would not work with the coordinates of the Falklands radar stations so that had to be done using paint software.

You will have more difficulty finding information on "surface wave" radars in the Falklands but there is some open source material on that subject.


GrandLogistics said...

Hello Martin,

you should read about the Royal Air Force Cold War QUick Reaction Alerts.
Even with huge numbers of aircraft we were often on the verge of running out of interceptors.

With just 4 Typhoons in the shouldn't be hard to run the legs off them.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for that. With respect to the surface wave radars - assuming there are such radars on the islands, roughly how much would that increase the warning time?

GrandLogistics said...

Hello Mark,

it would depend on the radar,surface wave radars in a military context would be used to go well beyond the horizon.
All the way to Argentina f you believe loose lipped members of the British armed forces.

If that is the case it makes it much harder for the Argentinians to conduct a surprise attack but conversely makes it easier to "run the legs off" the handful of Typhoons in the Falklands.


Anonymous said...

I would just like to make my thought on this clear.
First, I was born in the falklands and have every intention to make sure it stays british.
Second, your getting into some pretty rough territory by posting these maps around and about. It only takes one idiot to take it to the argy PM to start another war.
Thirdly, They are protected! Not just by the military, but by locals willing to go against anyone who dares to raise a foreign flag over our home. By god if they try it again I'm going to make them pay...

Anonymous said...

"You really dont have clue what you are talking about" was aimed at the originator of this fantasy.

TrT said...

"Second, your getting into some pretty rough territory by posting these maps around and about. It only takes one idiot to take it to the argy PM to start another war."

Presumably the Argentine Armed Forces dont have access to google maps....

Anonymous said...

if u haven't noticed Argentina will never take the Falkland islands and why in the name would there armed forces bomb the island if they want to invade it WE in other words the British have kiked the Argentinian armed forces ass before and we are not scared to actually invade Argentina on their own ground the British have far more superior armed forces than theirs and they also have a lot more allies than Argentina so if you want a war than carry on because all it would take is one very angry person in the government to see this and see it as an act or personal act of war

the Falkland islands will always be British and it will stay that way it isn't just protected by the British but also by America because it has a certain significance to them as well so id watch what u say

Anonymous said...

muy buen informe GrandLogistics ,igual por mas poca defensa que tengan las islas malvinas,va ser dificil que nosotros las tomemos.

1)los A-4 no cuentan con el armamento suuficiente para dicho ataque con precision como decis.
2)los 130 hercules que tenemos hace poco tiempo que volvieron a estar operativos.

ademas la fuerza aerea argentina ,ademas de las otras fuerzas,esta sufriendo problemas presupuestarios muy grandes,lo cual seria casi imposible tener una invasion con gran bretaña.

mis mas cordiales respetos
saludos desde argentina

P.D: igual tarde o temprano vamos a volver,esta en nuestro ser recuperarlas,y no vamos a perder,en 1805 ganamos nosotros en buenos aires cuando nos quisieron invadir,en 1982 ganaron ustedes,quien sabe quien ganara en el futuro

Anonymous said...

The radar ranges are bollocks, the A-4 has to fly a High - Low - High profile to get to the Falklands even with in flight refueling. The Radars will pick them up before they go low level and the Typhoons will be airborne before the argies get close

ℱคςςย đคภשש said...

sooner or later again be ARGENTINAS