#1064 Harrier GR9

Harrier GR9
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£10.00 €11.68 $12.68
43.8 cm x 29.2 cm
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Harrier GR9
ZD321 '02'
4 Sqn
RAF Wittering
UK - Air Force
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Squadron Prints Lithograph No. 1064 - Harrier GR9, ZD321 \'02\'. IV(R) Squadron, RAF Wittering. Formed at Farnborough in August 1912, No IV (AC) Squadron had a variety of aircraft at the outbreak of the First World War. The Squadron moved to France in August 1914 to provide the BEF with reconnaissance facilities and continued in this role together with Artillery spotting and photography. BE2Cs were flown from April 1915 and RE8s from June 1917. Returning to the UK in February 1919 the Squadron disbanded in September but reformed on 30th April 1920 with Bristol Fighters and, apart for a short period in Turkey, remained in England flying Atlas, Audax and Hector aircraft before being equipped with Lysanders in January 1939. During the Second World War the Squadron was again engaged in Army Co-Operation duties and later concentrated on photographic missions using types as varied as Lysanders, Tomahawks, Mustangs, Mosquitos, Spitfires and Typhoons from bases in the UK and, later the European mainland. After the War the Squadron remained at Celle in Germany but later moved to other bases where it successively equipped with Mosquitos, Vampires, Sabres and Hunters flying in the fighter reconnaissance role as part of the 2nd ATAF. In June 1970 No IV (AC) Squadron became the first unit in RAF Germany to receive VSTOL Harriers and in January 1977 it moved from Wildenrath to Gütersloh. Since then its aircraft and personnel have been deployed to many parts of the world including the Falkland Islands, Canada and Belize. The Squadron was the last to operate the Harrier GR3 and re-equipped with the GR7 in September 1990. In November 1992 it moved from Gütersloh to Laarbruch and within 6 months was again operational, enforcing the Northern Iraqi No Fly Zone from Incirlik, Turkey. In July 1995 the Squadron flew from Italy in support of operations over the troubled Former Yugoslavia; as part of the NATO airstrikes they were actively involved in the bombing of key positions including ammunition depots, communications sites and radar equipment. With the closure of Laarbruch, the Squadron moved to Cottesmore in April 1999, as a member of the Joint RAF/RN overland and maritime air wing - JF2000, later to be named Joint Force Harrier. As part of Joint Force Harrier the Squadron has continued to be involved in exercises in countries such as the USA, Norway, Poland and Turkey, whilst also maintaining their carrier capabilities on board HMS Invincible. The Squadron has also continued their noteworthy operational contributions, by conducting missions over Iraq whilst based in Kuwait, and more recently in Afghanistan in support of ground troops. IV(AC) Squadron reformed on 1 April 2010 when No 20(R) Squadron, the Harrier Operational Conversion Unit (OCU), based at RAF Wittering flying Harrier GR9s and T12s, was restyled IV(R) Squadron. The Squadron is now responsible for training at an ab-initio and post-graduate level, all RAF and RN Pilots and Engineers as part of the Joint Force Harrier capability. In carrying out this task, the OCU is equipped with single-seat Harrier GR9s and two-seat Harrier T12s which are infinitely more capable than their predecessors and definitive proof that the RAF can boast some of the finest and most technologically advanced aircraft in the world today.
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