H.S.Buccaneer S Mk.2b
no.16 Squadron Royal Air Force Laarbruch Germany 1977
indistinctly Signed SL Smyth ‘78
Gouache on paper
30 x 50cm
The Blackburn Buccaneer is a British carrier-capable attack aircraft designed in the 1950s for the Royal Navy (RN). Designed and initially produced by Blackburn Aircraft at Brough, it was later officially known as the Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer when Blackburn became a part of the Hawker Siddeley Group, but this name is rarely used.
The Buccaneer was originally designed in response to the Soviet Union’s Sverdlov-class cruiser construction programme. Instead of building a new fleet of its own, the Royal Navy could use the Buccaneer to attack these ships by approaching at low altitudes below the ship’s radar horizon. The Buccaneer could attack using a nuclear bomb, or conventional weapons. It was later intended to carry short-range anti-shipping missiles to improve its survivability against more modern ship-based anti-aircraft weapons. The Buccaneer was finally purchased by the RAF, entering service in 1969.
Buccaneers saw combat action in the first Gulf War of 1991, and the South African Border War.
LAARBRUCH was the last station in Royal Air Force Germany to be built using war-time reparation funds. Opened in 1954, the Station operated Meteors, Canberras and Javelins before its long association with the Buccaneer which began in 1971. In 1984, re-equipment with Tornado saw the Laarbruch wing comprise three strike/attack Tornado GR1 squadrons.
Since the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty in 1949, RAF Laarbruch with its operational squadrons has contributed the NATO deterrent forces. Despite the changes caused by the collapse of communism, the Station, continues to be active.