Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer S2B

This Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer S2B was on display at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford.

Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer S2B

The Blackburn Buccaneer is a British carrier-capable attack aircraft designed in the 1950s for the Royal Navy (RN). Designed and initially produced by Blackburn Aircraft at Brough, it was later officially known as the Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer when Blackburn became a part of the Hawker Siddeley Group, but this name is rarely used.

The Buccaneer was originally designed in response to the Soviet Union’s Sverdlov-class cruiser construction programme. Instead of building a new fleet of its own, the Royal Navy could use the Buccaneer to attack these ships by approaching at low altitudes below the ship’s radar horizon. The Buccaneer could attack using a nuclear bomb, or conventional weapons.

The Buccaneer entered Royal Navy service in 1962. The Buccaneer was purchased by the RAF, entering service in 1969 having initially been rejected in favour of the TSR-2. The TSR-2 was cancelled and the replacement project the F-111K was also cancelled, so the RAF did end up with the Buccaneer.

The Royal Navy retired the last of its large aircraft carriers in 1978, moving their strike role to the British Aerospace Sea Harrier, and passing their Buccaneers to the RAF.

The ending of the Cold War led to a reduction in strength of the RAF, and the accelerated retirement of the remaining fleet, with the last Buccaneers in RAF service being retired in 1994 in favour of the Panavia Tornado.

The Buccaneer at Duxford is he 2SB variant of S.2 for RAF squadrons. Capable of carrying the Martel anti-radar or anti-shipping missile. Forty-six built between 1973 and 1977, plus three for Ministry of Defence weapons trials work.