Friday, June 21, 2024 Military Aviation » Royal Air Force Luqa » Major Exercises » Naval exercises  
Naval Exercises

This page lists aircraft used in a different kind of exercise, different from the normal APC detachments.

These aircraft were land-based at either Luqa or Hal-Far, and would engage in manoeuvres against RN ships in the vicinity of Malta.

Information about these aircraft was gathered from the log book of my colleague Godfrey Mangion. Anyone who can add to what is listed below, either in terms of other aircraft or exact dates of deployment and ships involved, will be appreciated.


? 809   16.11.55 The Ark Royal-based squadron arrived from Yeovelton at Ta Qali, until repairs to HF r/ws were complete. Apart from a small number of ground crew, the squadron personnel were based at Hal-Far, and driven between the two airfields on a daily basis. Departed for Hal-Far on 02.12.55.
? 845   Helicopters night stopped at Ta Qali on 29.10.56. Whole squadron disembarked from HMS Theseus and operated from Ta Qali from 10.11.56, departing for the ship on 23.11.56.
? 848   Newly setup naval Helicopter squadron, based at Hal-Far, made practice landings at Ta Qali in November 58.
?     Helicopters from HMS Victorious visited Ta Qali in December 1958.
? 848   Parachute trails by helicopters and 3rd Command Brigade between 08-15.04.59 over Ta Qali.
?     2 helicopters from HMS Bulwark parachute dropped 90 RM commandos 11.05.60.
? 820 & 824   A total of nine helicopters from these squadrons from HMS Ark Royal land at Ta Qali on 29.07.60 as the carrier underwent servicing in harbour. Returned to the ship on 08.08.60.
?     RN helicopters made 45 parachute drops over ta Qali in September 1960.
? 824   23.11.60. From HMS Ark Royal, used Ta Qali as a forward landing ground in an exercise with the US Nautilus.
? 824   Helicopters again visited Ta Qali in December 1960 as the Ark Royal was in harbour.
?     March 1967. Six helicopters and 13 aircraft disembarked at Hal Far from HMS Hermes. For exercise and trails in the Malta area.
EE Canberra T.17 360   3 T.17s operated from Luqa for EW training with Ark Royal between 08-11.12.70.
EE Canberra TT.18 FRADU * WK126/843 December 1972. * Fleet Requirements and Air Direction Unit. (Information courtesy John Visanich.)
Gl. Meteor T.7 860 ? VL332 23.03.67, overall dark blue.
Gl. Meteor TT.20   WD612 Hal-Far based, noted on/between 27 February and 26 April 1967.
Gl. Meteor T.7   WL350/044 At RAF Luqa between 05-14.02.68
Gl. Meteor TT.20   WM159/040 At RAF Luqa on/between the following dates - 04.11.67, 08-14.02.68, 04.11.68.
Gl. Meteor TT.20   WM255 Noted at RAF Luqa on 05.11.68 and 05.03.69.
Gl. Meteor TT.20   WM260/026 Noted on 14.02.68 with target winch.
Gl. Meteor TT.20   WM292/041 Noted between 06-11.11.68.
H. Sea Hawk 898   10 aircraft from HMS Eagle operated from Ta Qali between 08-20.11.58.
H. Sea Hawk FGA.6   XE334/036 06.11.67.
H. Sea Hawk FGA.6   XE339 06.11.67.
H. Hunter T.8   WT799/839 Noted on various dates between 16 Oct – 03 Nov 1972.
H. Hunter GA.11   XE685/861 Noted on 11.10.76.
H. Hunter GA.11   XE689/864 October 1976.
H. Hunter GA.11   XE707/833 Noted at Luqa on 19.03.71 and 24.10.72.
H. Hunter GA.11   XE716/834 Noted at Luqa on 19.03.71 and 16.10.72.
H. Hunter GA.11   XF368/733/VL 18.10.72 and 18.12.72.
201 Sqd. 1937 Mediterranean Cruise Air Defence, 1966 (Testing of) Dawn Patrol Deep Stream DMX 51/Beehive Easy Gambler Eden Apple Forthright IV Lime Jug 70 MEDASWX 26 Naval exercises Sundial Sunspot Vulcan
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