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Falkland Islands: Centenary of the RAF 1918 - 2018

The Royal Air Force came into existence on 1 April 1918 by the
amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service.
The RAF is the world's oldest air force of any significant size which is
independent of any army or naval control. During World War I air power
proved to be a strong defensive force and the newly formed RAF became a
respected and formidable force.

Throughout the interwar years, the RAF had to prove that there was still
a need for an independent air force. However, following the outbreak of
the Second World War the RAF underwent a rapid expansion. The Falkland
Islands were proud to help in 1940 with the Legislative Assembly voting
£50,000 from Colony Funds for the purchase of 10 Spitfires with funds
for a further Spitfire being raised by individual islanders. A message
of thanks was received 25 July 1940 from Lord Beaverbrook, the Minister
of Aircraft Production. “Will you please convey to the Legislative
Council and people of the Falkland Islands the profound sense of
gratitude and immense encouragement their gift brings to me. It is more
than a contribution, it is an act of sacrifice and faith in an hour of
crisis for our race in every continent and ocean. With the money we are
enabled to add ten formidable aircraft to our squadrons. You help us to
protect the safety of our homes and to ensure the future of your islands
in peace and freedom”

Over the years there have been great technological advances in warfare
allowing the RAF to play a significant role in defending the United
Kingdom and other countries and there is no doubt that the RAF played a
major role in the events of 1982 and subsequent defence of the Islands.

31p Nimrod MR2

The Hawker Siddeley Nimrod was a maritime patrol aircraft designed in
response to the RAFs need to replace its fleet of ageing Avro
Shackletons. It served from the early 1970s until 2010.

In 1982 Nimrods were first deployed to Wideawake airfield on Ascension
Island where they flew local patrols and then escorted the British Task
Force as it sailed south towards the Falklands. They were also used to
provide search and rescue as well as communications relay support for
the Operation Black Buck bombing raids by Avro Vulcans.

The addition of air-to-air refuelling probes allowed operations to be
carried out in the vicinity of the Falklands. Nimrods flew 111 missions
from Ascension in support of British operations during the Falklands War.

76p F-4 Phantom

The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom was one of the RAF’s principal combat
aircraft from 1969 to the early 1990s. The UK was the first export
customer for the Phantom which served in both the Fleet Air Arm and RAF
in several roles including air defence, close air support, low-level
strike and tactical reconnaissance.

Although assembled in the United States, the UK's Phantoms were built
separately and contained a significant amount of British technology.

In May 1982, three Phantoms from 29 Squadron were forward deployed to
RAF Wideawake on Ascension Island to provide air cover for the RAF's
operations during the Falklands War. In August 1982, following the end
of the conflict and the reconstruction of the runway a number of the
aircraft were detached to RAF Stanley to provide air defence for the
Falkland Islands until October 1988.

£1.22 Harrier GR.3

Considered one of the country’s greatest technological achievements, the
British-built Harrier jets were the first in the world to be able to
take off and land vertically.

Introduced by the RAF in 1969, they were famed for their ability to
hover above the ground, a distinctive feature which enabled them to fly
in and out of areas close to a battlefield that conventional aircraft
could not reach. In the 1970s the Sea Harrier was developed from the
Harrier for use by the Royal Navy on Invincible-class aircraft carriers.

In 1982, with the Falklands being some 4,000 miles from a friendly
airbase, there was doubt as to how useful the RAF could be. Very soon
however questions began to be asked about whether the RAF’s Harrier
force could operate aboard the Royal Navy’s carriers.

In the event, both the Sea Harrier and 10 RAF Harrier GR.3’s fought in
the 1982 Falklands Conflict, in which the aircraft proved to be crucial
and versatile. As the RAF Harrier GR.3 were not designed for naval
service, the 10 aircraft had to be rapidly modified prior to the
departure of the task force. Special sealants against corrosion were
applied and a new deck-based inertial guidance aid was devised to allow
the RAF Harrier to land on a carrier as easily as the Sea Harrier.
Transponders to guide aircraft back to the carriers during night-time
operations were also installed, along with flares and chaff dispensers.

As a number of Harrier Jump Jets made their final flight in 2010 the Air
Vice-Marshal Greg Bagwell said: ‘The Harrier is a true icon and stands
testament to the innovation and excellence of British design and
engineering and the skill and courage of our airmen. It has had a truly
distinguished service with the RAF and the Royal Navy, from the South
Atlantic to the skies over Afghanistan. It takes its place in history as
one of aviation’s greats.’

£1.92 – Typhoon

The Typhoon was designed by a European consortium to be the world's most
advanced multirole combat aircraft. It is a single seat, twin-engine
fighter capable of operating against targets that are beyond visual
range or in close combat. With a cruising speed of Mach 1.5 and a
maximum speed of Mach 2.5, the aircraft has a range of 1800 miles. It
can be armed with a variety of missiles, bombs, targeting and electronic
countermeasures pods.

It entered front line service with the RAF in July 2005, has been combat
proven with them over Libya and Afghanistan and in September 2009, the
Typhoon replaced the Tornado F3 as the air defence aircraft over the
Falkland Islands.

Technical Details

Designer Robin Carter

Printer Cartor Security Printing

Process Stochastic lithography

Stamp Size 28 x 42mm

Sheet Format 10

Perforation 13 ¼ x 13 ½ per 2cms

Release Date 2 July 2018

Production Co-ordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd

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