The development of the Nimrod began in 1964 as a replacement aircraft for the Avro Shackleton. The Nimrod was designed on the Comet 4 civil airliner but was fitted with Rolls Royce Spey turbofan engines.
Modifications to the Nimrod included internal weapons bay, extended nose to house radar, a new tail, electronic sensors and a magnetic anomoly detector (MAD) boom.
The first flight of the MR1 took place during May of 1967 resulting in the RAF placing orders for 46 aircraft.
Three MR1 Nimrods were modified as signals itelligence aircraft and designated the R1. The R1 was distinguishable by the lack of a MAD boom.
The R1 was fitted with an array of rotating dish aerials which were located in the bomb bay. There were additional dish aerialsin the tail and at the fromt of the wing mounted fuel tanks.
The R1 had a flight crew of two pilots, a flight engineer and two navigators. The R1 was based at RAF Waddington and operated by No 51 Squadron.
The R1 had its last flight on the 28th of June 2011 from RAF Waddington and will be replaced by Boeing RC-135WC Rivet Joint aircraft, known as Air Seekers, which will be delivered between 2014 and 2018.
By August 1979, 35 Nimrod aircraft had been upgraded to MR2's by installation of an updated electronic suite. Further provision for in-flight refueling and hardpoints to enable AIM-9 sidewinder missiles to be fitted was developed and the aircraft variation designated as MR2P.
In 1991 further modifications were carried out to a small number of MR2's including improved datalinks, electronic countermeasures, a towed radar decoy and a infrared turret under the starboard wing.
The Nimrod MR2 carried out three main roles: Anti-submarine Warfare, Anti-Surface Unit Warfare and Search and Rescue.
The Nimrod MR2 was based at RAF Kinloss and operated by Nos 201, 120 and 42 Squadrons. The MR2 was withdrawn from service on the 31st of March 2010.
|Length:||126ft 9in (38.65m)|
|Wingspan:||114ft 10in (35m)|
|Height:||31ft 0in (9.14m)|
|Empty Weight:||86,000lb (39009kg)|
|Max. Weight:||192,000lb (87090kg)|
|Engines (x4):||R.R. Spey turbofans|
producing 12,160 lbf each.
|Max. Speed:||575 mph (923 km/h)|
|Range:||5,755 miles (9265km)|
|Armament: - (Refer to Variants for fitment)|
|Hardpoints:||2 x underwing|
|Bomb bay capacity:||20,000 lb|
|Torpedoes:||Mk 46, Sting Ray|
|Other:||Naval mines, Sonobouys|
|Missiles(MR2):||2 x AIM-9 sidewinder|
Developed as a replacement for the Shackleton for maritime reconnaissance.
Nimrod Mk.1 upgraded for Signals intelligence role.
Nimrod MR1 upgraded to include EMI searchwater radar and additional ESM.
In-flight refueling version with hardpoints to carry AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles.
Proposed version for Airborne Early Warning as a replacement for the Shackleton. The Project was cancelled in 1986 in favour of the Boeing E-3 Sentry.
Prototype replacement for MR2
Powered by R.R. BR710 turbofans
Larger wing & revised fuselage
Project cancelled in 2010.
The Hawker Siddeley Nimrod was a development of the World's fir jet airliner the de Havilland Comet.
The Nimrod MR1/MR2 was designed as a Royal Air Force maritime patrol aircraft with its major role being anti-submarine warfare.
A Prototype Nimrod MRA4 photographed above at Royal International Air Tattoo, Fairford in 2007, which was scrapped due to cancellation of the project.