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List of Rainbow Codes

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List of Rainbow Codes

The Rainbow Codes were a series of code names used to disguise the nature of various British military research projects. They were mainly used from after the Second World War until 1958, when they were replaced by an alphanumeric code system.

Contents

  • History 1
  • Projects 2
    • Black 2.1
    • Blue 2.2
    • Brown 2.3
    • Green 2.4
    • Indigo 2.5
    • Jade 2.6
    • Orange 2.7
    • Pink 2.8
    • Purple 2.9
    • Red 2.10
    • Violet 2.11
    • Yellow 2.12
  • Non-Rainbow codes 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

History

The Ministry of Supply (MoS) initiated the idea because, during World War II, the British realised that although the code-names of some German secret projects could be cryptic, they often provided useful clues as to their nature. For example, basic characteristics of a new German radio navigation device known as Wotan (which used a single radio beam) were inferred by the British before it entered service with the Luftwaffe. This was because the system was named after the one-eyed god of the same name, which offered British scientists a useful hint.[1] The intention of rainbow codes was to clearly and uniquely identify British projects, whilst not providing any hints or clues regarding their characteristics.

Each rainbow code name was constructed from a randomly selected colour, plus an (often appropriate) noun taken from a list, for example:

While most colour and noun combinations were meaningless, some were real names, although quite unrelated to the project they designated. For example, "Black Maria" is also a name for a police van and the "Red Duster" is a name for the Red Ensign, the flag flown by British merchant ships.

The names were mostly dropped with the end of the Ministry in 1959. Its functions were transferred to the BL755, WE.177. However, rainbow codes continue to be used with some modern systems; current examples include the Blue Vixen radar[2] and the Orange Reaper Electronic Support Measures system.

Projects

Black

  • Black Arrow - a satellite launch vehicle derived from Blue Streak/Black Knight
  • Black Knight - a launch vehicle used to test re-entry vehicles for Blue Streak
  • Black Maria - fighter IFF interrogator
  • Black Prince - proposed satellite launch vehicle based on Blue Streak/Black Knight — a.k.a. Blue Star
  • Black Rock - surface to surface guided missile

Blue

Brown

  • Brown Bunny - original, unofficial name for Blue Peacock

Green

Indigo

Jade

  • Jade River - continuous wave radar, developed from Indigo Corkscrew

Orange

Pink

  • Pink Hawk - early name for Fairey Fireflash missile. As this was a "reduced" version of the Red Hawk, it is a rare example of Rainbow Codes having some implied meaning, rather than their usual purely deliberately meaningless choice.

Purple

Red

Violet

Yellow

Non-Rainbow codes

Several British military related terms have a similar format to Rainbow Codes, but are not since they do not refer to classified research projects, and some names have been used unofficially. These include:

See also

References

Notes
  1. ^  
  2. ^ "Blue Vixen radar (United Kingdom), AIRBORNE RADAR SYSTEMS". Jane's Avionics. Retrieved 2009-08-08. 
  3. ^ www.skomer.u-net.com/Blue Boar
  4. ^ www.aeroflight.co.uk/review 7
  5. ^ p.18Vulcan’s HammerChris Gibson
  6. ^ PRO. AVIA 65/1193 E10A. Tech Note GW375 p.2
  7. ^ "Fairey Green Cheese Air to Surface missile". Skomer. 
  8. ^ Cullen, Tony & Foss, Christopher F. (1991) Jane’s Land-Based Air Defence 1990–91, Jane’s Information Group, London: ISBN 0-7106-0915-9
  9. ^ Green Mace Anti-Aircraft Gun
  10. ^ p17Vulcan's HammerChris Gibson
  11. ^ British Secret Projects: Jet Bombers Since 1949 Tony Buttler Midland Publishing 2003
  12. ^ a b c d "United Kingdom Aerospace and Weapons Projects". Skomer. Retrieved 2012-09-28. 
  13. ^ http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1959/1959%20-%202460.html
  14. ^ The Red Queen and the Vigilante accessed 22 April 2008
  15. ^ Red Queen
  16. ^ Jobson P. (2008) Royal Artillery Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations, The History Press, Stroud: 316 pp.
  17. ^ "Airborne DF has existed for over 50 years.".  
  18. ^ "Falklands 25". Fast Air Photography. 
  19. ^ Morgan, David (2012). Hostile Skies. Hachette. p. 165.  
  20. ^ [2]
  21. ^ Campbell, Duncan (17 April 1981). "The Wings of the Green Parrot". New Statesman. p. 9. 
  22. ^ Duncan Campbell (1986). The Unsinkable Aircraft Carrier: American Military Power in Britain. Paladin Grafton Books. p. 104. 
  23. ^ Davis, R.A. (1993). "Concorde Power Plant Fire Protection System". Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology 43 (5): 26–30. 
Bibliography
  • United Kingdom Aerospace and Weapons Projects
  • Public Record Office, London. TNA AIR 2/17322 E51B (a)
  • Vulcan's Hammer: V-Force Aircraft and Weapons Projects Since 1945 - Chris Gibson - 2011 - ISBN 978-1-902109-17-6

External links

  • British nuclear weapon history
  • United Kingdom Aerospace and Weapons Projects
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