Falklands

How the RAF Nimrod helped Britain win the Falklands War

2022 has marked the 40th anniversary of the Falklands conflict and Forces News has been speaking to veterans who were there.

The Royal Air Force played a significant role in helping to secure Britain's recapture of the Falkland Islands with its aircraft supporting UK forces during many operations. 

As the Royal Navy task force sailed south, Argentine ships and submarines posed a threat. 

RAF Nimrod aircraft patrolled the South Atlantic to guard against potential enemy attacks. 

Derek Straw, who flew as a navigator on board the aircraft, recalls those missions.

Mr Straw said he was initially shocked to hear he was being deployed, amid his posting to RAF Kinloss in Scotland as a navigator with 206 Squadron.

"Somewhat of a shock, especially as I was in the middle of my flying tour which I was thoroughly enjoying, but orders were orders," he said.

The Royal Air Force used Ascension Island – an Atlantic island halfway between the UK and Argentina - as a base during the conflict from which to launch aerial reconnaissance patrols.

Speaking highly of the Nimrod, Mr Straw said: "My first trip in it, I thoroughly enjoyed it, fell in love with it straight away, I think it proved to be a very good aeroplane for the job it had to do and it was enjoyed by just about everybody who flew them. Superb aeroplane."

Watch the full interview with Mr Straw above.

If you have been affected by any of the subjects in this interview, advice and support is available here.

Head to our Falklands 40 page, where you can find our memorial wall, as well as more Falklands stories, videos and podcasts.