Collection: Missile, surface-to-air, Bloodhound Mark 2
This surface-to-air missile system was a key part of Britain’s air defence in the Cold War, to be used against Soviet bombers in the event of the world sliding into global nuclear conflict. This is one of only two complete Bloodhound systems anywhere in the world. It comprises a complex set of equipment – from the missile and launcher to the radar and associated control cabin. It served with No. 85 Squadron at RAF West Raynham, tasked with, in particular, the defence of East Anglia’s air bases from which NATO would launch its own nuclear attack.
In the dreaded ‘bolt-from-the-blue’ scenario (an unexpected nuclear attack on the UK by the Soviet Union), Bloodhound anti-aircraft missiles would provide part of the last defence for Britain’s V-bombers, protecting their bases for long-enough to allow the crews to scramble their lumbering aircraft skywards to bomb Soviet targets. A far cry from traditional ideas of air defence, sited to protect British homes and citizens. If ever used ‘in anger’, therefore, its launch would likely be the last act on earth undertaken by the crew manning it on the ground.
IWM's example is a complete Bloodhound Mark 2 surface to air missile section. Includes: missile on launcher, launch control post cabin, Type 86 radar on radar cabin (aerial equipment cage), 210 kVA generator, 400HZ generator, Type 54 air conditioning unit, power distribution boards A&B, frame containing two cable reels (one with launcher power cable No 17, the other PDB-LCP power cable No 26), a frame containing 12 cable reels, two loose cable reels.