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British Secret Projects

Hypersonics, Ramjets and Missiles


by Chris Gibson and Tony Buttler



S u m m a r y



Media and Contents:

Hard Cover; 208 Pages


GPB£24.99 Available from Midland Counties Superstore

Review Type:



Excellent coverage of a range of fascinating programs


Not really a modeling reference


Highly Recommended


Reviewed by Ken Bowes

HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com




Being a student of military technology I have always been interested as much in the developmental paths that led to dead ends as those that resulted in a fielded capability. To that end the fascinating British Secret Projects series which has reached volume four has caught my fancy. This time the authors cover a grab bag of projects from hypersonic spaceplanes to air to air and surface to air missile systems. As such it covers a lot of ground and whilst a lot of systems covered will be familiar (Blue Jay/Red Top, Red Duster/Bloodhound and Confessor/Sea Wolf to name a few) there are of course considerably more that never got beyond the prototype, test vehicle or design study stage.

Gibson and Buttler step through the history of the many systems that fall into the description of hypersonics, ramjets and missiles in a logical manner, looking at air to air projects, air to surface guided missiles and unguided rockets, surface to air missiles and surface to surface missiles in turn. Anyone familiar with the Sandys Review will understand that a plethora of such projects emerged in Britain the period from World War Two to the present day and this book dips into as many of those systems as it can. Couple this with a look at the various hypersonic fighter, strike and transport projects and design studies and the volume could be considered a complete look at those aspects of aviation technology that fall outside the conventional.

Finally two very useful appendices complete the book. Firstly ever wanted to know what a Violet Club or Yellow Duckling was (high yield strategic weapons and IR submarine detection system respectively)? The authors have taken the time to explain the seemingly random Ministry of Supply Colour Code system and attempted to list all systems that fell under it, regardless of type. A very useful reference in its own right. The second appendix lists all the operational requirements from OR 1000 to OR 3578, which again proves useful to any student of British military equipment programs. A useful and comprehensive reference is contained within the covers of this book. One should not expect to use it as a modeling reference, but if you want to understand why Brimstone looks like a Hellfire or what radar system is employed on the Skyflash missile hung on your FGR2 Phantom then this would have to be the best source.

Highly Recommended.

Thanks to Simon from DLS for the review sample

Review Copyright © 2007 by Ken Bowes
This Page Created on 04 December, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007

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