VC10 Tanker

Support Aircraft Colours

Picture: A VC10 tanker in company with two Tornado GR1s.

Four Nimrods were detached to Oman from their base at Kinloss to support coalition naval operations in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman. The Hercules was the very first RAF aircraft involved in Operation Granby. They operated throughout the conflict in both the strategic and tactical airlift roles. All of the VC10s of No 101 Squadron based at Brize Norton, were deployed to the Gulf to provide AAR support and all of No 216 Squadron's TriStars were involved in transporting personnel and equipment. Additionally, two TriStar K1s were based in the Gulf to provide air-to-air refuelling. The Hercules and TriStars were painted in "Desert Sand", the Nimrods and VC10s remained in their 'Hemp' schemes.

Please note - Some (in fact much) of the nose art carried by RAF aircraft during Operation Granby can be termed as "risque". If you are easily offended, please be warned!!

Maritime Patrol



The detached Nimrods in theatre came from all of the Kinloss based Squadrons.

The Nimrods flew in support of naval operations throughout the conflict.

See Nimrod Nose Art

Tankers and Transports



European camouflageThe Hercules in theatre came from No 24, 30, 47, 57, and 70 Squadrons and 242 OCU.

Hercules operated from main bases and forward operating strips.

Initially, the Hercules fleet was deployed in the European camouflage. As clearly seen here, the aircraft were highly visible.

Hercules approaching forward stripThe new "Desert Sand" scheme was introduced quickly. Here a Hercules approaches a forward operating strip.

See [link not available]


The VC10s in theatre came from No 101 Squadron.


101 VC10s flew AAR operations from Riyadh, Muharraq and Seeb.

Vc10 on station, hoses deployedA clear view of the underside of a 101 Squadron VC10, taken from an aircraft on approach to refuel.



The Tristars in theatre came from No 216 Squadron.

See: VC10 and Tristar Nose Art


The Victor K2s in theatre came from No 55 Squadron.


A No 55 Squadron Victor.

The eight aircraft of No 55 Squadron deployed to Bahrain during December 1990 and January 1991 to provide AAR for RAF and other coalition aircraft. The remained in their overall Hemp scheme, but had a variety of nose art, largely featuring a variety of ladies with the 55 Squadron emblem, a spear, added in theatre by the Squadron artist.

VictorA Victor takes off, showing its underside markings and hemp scheme.

See Victor Nose Art

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