031605 - NIMROD, RISE AND FALL
By Tony Blackman
Nimrod Rise and Fall is about an aircraft which was arguably the world’s best reconnaissance aircraft until it was stopped prematurely by the Government of the day under great financial duress but, unfortunately, leaving the Country almost defenceless from a maritime reconnaissance viewpoint, certainly for long distances It is written for the general reader, not for Nimrod aficionados, though I hope that they will read it with interest and enjoy it. Not many people realise what a great job the aircraft did because so much of what it did was classified. Conversely they don’t realise what a great loss it is to this country. The Author's aim in writing this book is to let everyone know what a superb aircraft it was and tell a few stories of all the things it could do. It tells as much as is currently allowed about the fascinating task of anti submarine warfare, explaining the challenges involved. However there is a lot more to be told when security permits but, regrettably, it must be for another day.
The book tells just a few of the many many stories of the very valuable work that the aircraft was able to do with its dedicated crews and includes many vivid personal accounts. It gives an elementary introduction to anti-submarine warfare with a description of the roles of all the crew members. Its accident record is discussed, particularly the terrible accident in Afghanistan which was due to inadequate flight testing; there is a photograph of the underside of the Nimrod showing the probable source of the fire and explaining how the accident should never have happened. The Airborne Early Warning variant which never worked satisfactorily is examined critically as is the MRA4 upgrade which turned into a horror story bringing credit neither to the manufacturer nor to the Government. In both cases aircraft were destroyed and the beneficiary was and inevitably will be the United States aircraft manufacturers.