Hawker Seahawk GR55 Rhodesian RidgebackEdit
After a long and useful service with the Royal Navy the Sea Hawk was phased out of service by 1964, but many of the airframes soldiered on with the cash strapped Royal Rhodesian Air Force which aquired many of them (112) at knock dowm prices and proceded to modify them into two seaters and to add extra hardpoints under the wings as well as uprated French engines.The conversions carriedout at Salisbury Iron and rail works managed to produce over 50 airframes from the available stocks.
The aircraft was put into service in Namibia against Cuban backed incursions into the territory and at home against rebels operating in the bush and from former Portugese colonies. The Aircraft was a great sucess and extermely popular with its crews and soon earned the Rhodesian Ridgeback nickname.The ridgeback lasted in service in dwindling numbers until 1986 when it was replaced by the Ridgeback 2. The Aircraft illustrated is in service with 5 Sqd RRaf in 1979 based at Salisbury and flying missions in support of local forces fighting insurgents.