The Avro Shackleton is a long-range, multipurpose maritime patrol aircraft, built as a counter to the increasing threat of Soviet submarines in the early days of the Cold War. All War Thunder pilots and fans of British aviation may look forward to having the chance to pilot the beautiful Shackleton, coming to the game with the update “Direct hit”!
Shackleton MR Mk.2, bomber, Britain, IV rank
- Good bomb payload
- Lacks turrets to protect the lower hemisphere
Following the end of WW2 and going into the Cold War era, submarine development had picked up so much momentum that the previously used submarine counters quickly became obsolete. In addition to this, Britain was faced with a lack of capable long-range maritime patrol aircraft after it was forced to return the lend-lease B-24 Liberator bombers it received during wartime. A stopgap solution in the form of a modified version of the Lancaster bomber was created, but the need for a dedicated maritime patrol aircraft became more and more emphasized in the postwar period.
Development of the Avro Shackleton began in 1945 after the British Air Staff expressed an interest in the conversion of the Avro Lincoln bomber into a general reconnaissance as well as rescue aircraft. As a result, the Avro Type 696 was designed. The Type 696 was primarily based on the Avro Lincoln bomber, but also borrowed some design solutions from the Avro Tudor airliner, of which the latter two themselves were derivative designs of the famous Avro Lancaster. The first prototype, designated Shackleton GR.1, successfully performed its maiden flight in March 1949 and was shortly afterwards ordered into production.
The Avro Shackleton entered service with the RAF in February 1951. The aircraft performed several roles, ranging from its primary role - maritime reconnaissance - over escort and transport duties to search and rescue, whilst being employed all across the globe. However, the aircraft saw numerous modifications during its lifetime, aimed at increasing its capabilities and addressing reliability and structural problems, although at the expense of added weight. The Shackleton and its variants continued to serve throughout the Cold War era, and in the late ‘80s the Avro Shackleton was finally considered obsolete.
In War Thunder, the Avro Shackleton will become available to all players with the release of update “Direct hit” in the later Mk.2 version. At first glance, players may already notice some of the legacy design solutions that got carried over to the Shackleton from the Lincoln; such as the wings, engine nacelles and dorsal turret. A unique characteristic of the Shackleton is its powerplant choice. Namely, it’s the only British piston-engine aircraft of its size powered by the Rolls-Royce Griffon 57 engine, and four of them at that! Furthermore, the designers also fitted the Shackleton with two contra-rotating propellers for each engine in order to effectively deal with engine torque. Admit it, it also looks nice, doesn’t it?
When it comes to armaments, the Shackleton was well-equipped to perform its role of maritime patrol. Thanks to the spacious bomb bay, the Shackleton can bring up to 12,500lbs of ordnance to the battle, consisting of a wide selection of bombs of various calibers as well as RP-3 rockets. Thanks to a long combat endurance and a massive bomb load, no matter where the Shackleton operates or what targets need to be destroyed, it will feel right at home.
The new Avro Shackleton will become available to all War Thunder pilots as new bomber of the higher ranks of the British aviation tree, coming to the game as part of the “Direct Hit” update. Stay tuned to the news to find out more about the next major update coming to War Thunder very soon. Until then, pilots!