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Operation Bravo, 1982

Operation BravoOn 3 October 1982, Operation Bravo was flown. This was a Canberra PR (Photo Reconnaissance) sortie over Virei — a direct result of intelligence inputs to the build-up of forces in the area. Virei was being developed as an advanced radar and possible missile base. The Canberra, with two F1CZ Mirages as escort, carried out a low-level penetration before climbing to Flight Level 240 for the photo run. On the egress from Vimei a pass was made over Cahama to update our photography.

As the Canberra formation broke Angolan radar cover another pair of F1Czs, acting as a spoof raid, popped above the radar horizon to confuse the Angolan radar controllers. Two F1AZs were on SAR (Search And Rescue) standby at Ondangwa; two armed Impalas were positioned at Ruacana along with four Pumas with Parabats for SAR; one EW (Electronic Warfare) equipped DC-3 Dakota flew from Grootfontein to monitor enemy radar– and radio transmissions during the operation; and one Impala flying at high level from Ondangwa operated as a Telstar radio link. All of these activities must have excited the Angolan air defence authorities who brought their forces to a high state of readiness. This was to have bearing on the operations which took place a few days later.

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Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET
Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET
Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET
Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET
Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET

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